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Manual Selection of Wireless Access Point

Discussion in 'Networking' started by CarolinaBill, Apr 18, 2012.

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  1. CarolinaBill

    CarolinaBill Thread Starter

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    I have a RealTek 8187 USB wireless adapter on my desktop computer that has an associated utility that allows me to manually select which of several competing WAP's to connect to. But that is good only for that particular adapter. My laptop has a different make of adapter that does not have this capability and many of my friends and neighbors lack the capability also. I have a situation where when I turn on my desktop, it automatically connects to a certain WAP, presumably because it has the strongest signal. However, at certain times of the day, traffic or other unknown interference blocks internet access for varying periods of time. I can usually go to my RealTek utility and switch connections to another WAP that has somewhat less signal strength (for example from Channel 1 to Channel 9 -- all within the same Wi-Fi network). Almost always I can restore internet access by doing this. My neighbors are unable to do this because of using different adapters and are very frustrated.

    My question: is there generic software available that allows manually selecting WAP channels regardless of the particular brand of wireless adapter being used. Or is there some setting in either Windows XP or Windows 7 that would allow selectively choosing to connect to one channel of a network rather than another even if the signal strength is less.
     
  2. etaf

    etaf Wayne Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2003
    Messages:
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    xirrus is a good utility to see all the channels being broadcast around you , strength, channels used and has a graph so you can see if it changes strength at all - also gives an indication for a robust connection of greater than -70

    you should also be able to save the profile of the wireless - the first time you connect - it should be prompted and then this is the default network to connect to

    post back an xirrus shot
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Run Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector
    Download and install

    If you cannot access the internet with this PC, then you will need to copy the program across to the faulty PC
    Save the file to a USB flash drive or other removable media. Plug it into the working computer with internet access and copy the file and paste here.


    http://www.xirrus.com/Products/Wi-Fi-Inspector.aspx
    Direct link to the program is here http://wpc.475a.edgecastcdn.net/00475A/XirrusWiFiInspectorSetup.1.2.0.exe

    {If the above link does not work heres another link http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file_download/fid,77196-order,4/download.html}

    Then run and install the program - on a wireless enabled PC/Laptop
    if you get an error - You need NET Framework installed for the WiFi Inspector to function.

    Run the program

    A user guide is available here http://www.xirrus.com/Products/Wi-Fi-Inspector/xirruswifiinspectorguide1-2-0.aspx

    post a screen shot of the program running - if there are a lot of networks showing can you click on "networks" top lefthand area - so we can see all the network information, and also post which network "Adapter Name" (1st column) is yours on the list

    To post a screen shot of the active window, hold the Alt key and press the PrtScn key. Open the Windows PAINT application and Paste the screen shot. You can then use PAINT to trim to suit, and save it as a JPG format file.
    To upload it to the forum, open the full reply window and use the Manage Attachments button to upload it here.
    Full details are here http://library.techguy.org/wiki/TSG_Posting_a_Screenshot

    Note:
    For a reliable (or robust as the Xirrus user guide says) wireless connection you need a signal of about -70 dBm or better.

    If you are using the Mac OS then use http://www.istumbler.net/
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  3. TerryNet

    TerryNet Terry Moderator

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    Are you talking about wireless networks in general, or just those with the same SSID?
     
  4. CarolinaBill

    CarolinaBill Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Response to TerryNet. I am talking about access points with the same SSID. I can access three separate WAP's that are located geographical in different directions with the intent of providing wireless coverage for an exterior area covering a half mile or more. Each is operating on a different channel but all with the same SSID. I can see other WAP's that are farther away, but the signal strength from them is too low to be useable.

    Response to etaf: I have Xirrus Wi-Fi inspector and use it regularly, but I have not found any place in it that allows me to select a new access point.
     
  5. etaf

    etaf Wayne Moderator

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    if you click on connect/disconnect on xirrus - it will bring up the list of wireless networks

    not sure how that would deal with the same SSID names

    i suspect terrynet may be able to provide further detail
     
  6. TerryNet

    TerryNet Terry Moderator

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    In Xirrus select the network you want and click on Connect. I believe that will simply go to the default wireless utility, which won't give you what you want, but that's the only possibility that I can think of.

    Not that I know of. Even more annoyingly, sometimes a weaker signal will be selected instead of the (usually desired) strongest one.
     
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