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Weak Wireless Card?


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holy_saiyan1's Avatar
holy_saiyan1 holy_saiyan1 is offline
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20-Jul-2009, 09:19 PM #1
Weak Wireless Card?
I have a four months old Dell Latitude e6500, and I am having a problem with my wireless connection. After a frustrating cable company tech visit and 2 hours on the phone with Dell tech support, the "experts" finally concluded that Latitude e6500s just come installed with crappy wireless cards, and that I have no options but to enjoy my weak Internet connection.

To give an idea of how weak this connection is, it often drops out, and I'm totally honest, an iPhone gets full signal (100% signal) whereas I'm lucky to push 60% signal. There are only 2 thin walls between me and the router, so this is just ridiculous.

Does anyone have any ideas, or should I just accept my fate?
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20-Jul-2009, 09:28 PM #2
Try moving your access point to a more central location that is away from interferring items, such as cordless phones (including cell phones!) and other wireless accessories, and power cables.

Also, does your access point have antennas? Since since you seem to be in a single-level building, make sure the antennas point vertically. Consider replacing its standard antenna with a high-gain aftermarket model.

And when the tech came out, did s/he conclude that your access point was broadcasting with enough power?
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20-Jul-2009, 09:31 PM #3
Think further, your computer is still under warranty, right? If so, and all else fails, consider returning it -- especially since Dell admits to selling you "crappy" hardware!
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holy_saiyan1 holy_saiyan1 is offline
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20-Jul-2009, 09:33 PM #4
Okay, the router's in a pretty central location. I actually live in a three-story apartment building, but my router is set to broadcast on Channel 11, and all the others in the area are on Channel 1.

The antennae are set vertically, so that's okay.

Time Warner originally send out a tech because the upstream power level was outside of the specs, but when the tech came out this morning, they were back within acceptable levels.

He commented that my signal was fine, but I distinctly got the impression that he just wanted to get out of there, because I know for a fact what his instructions were, and he didn't do any of them.

If it makes any difference, my router is a Motorola SBG940. There is a Linksys router right next to it, which me and my roommates use as a home network for videos and such. That router displays 5 bars, no problem.
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21-Jul-2009, 07:29 AM #5
Hawking Tech has a number of products that will help you increase your wireless range. The root page is Hawking Hi-Gain™ WiFi Range Extending Products.

Some of the more interesting products are this Hawking [HSB2] Hi-Gain WiFi Signal Booster, which can be used on either end of a wireless connection to boost the signal power.

Another way to increase your signal strength is by the use of hi-gain antennas. You can choose from omni-directional or directional models, here are a some examples.

Hawking [HAI7SIP] Hi-Gain 7dBi Omni-Directional Antenna

Hawking [HAI15SC] Hi-Gain 15dBi Corner Antenna

[HAO14SD] Outdoor Hi-Gain 14dBi Directional Antenna Kit

For 802.11n applications, this ZyXEL ANT1106 6db omni-directional antenna can be used.

For really long range outdoor applications, this 24dB parabolic WiFi Antenna may be a good choice.

If you have a wireless adapter that doesn't have provisions for an external antenna, one adapter that I've had good luck with is a Rosewill RNX-G1 USB Wireless Adapter. It's feature is that is has a removable antenna and will accommodate replacement antennas.

This is just a sample of available products, many people have hi-gain antennas with similar specifications, but I haven't seen any other suppliers of signal boosters.
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ipown11's Avatar
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22-Jul-2009, 08:28 AM #6
Yeah my computer used to have a larger range but after a reboot and driver install it went waaaaay down in range. Can barely access internet over 50 feet away from the router. I'm guessing a USB wireless adapter is a must.
JohnWill's Avatar
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22-Jul-2009, 08:31 AM #7
Again, boosting the signal at the router may solve the issue. With a number of walls, 50 feet is not an uncommon range limitation.
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