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Why doesn't this work?

Discussion in 'Networking' started by pherball, Sep 7, 2004.

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  1. pherball

    pherball Thread Starter

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    my network consisted of a dlink 802.11b wireless router (dlink di-614). The signal strenght was not enough to reach upstairs, so i hard-wired an access point to the wireless router (dwl-800) and put it upstairs. It worked, i had full internet and network coverage all over my house...everywhere!!

    Then my router died, so i've had to replace it. Thinking one day, all my devices will be 802.11g capable, i decided to replace my dead router with a new 802.11g (dlink di-624) router. OK... all that being said...whenever i leave the room where the 802.11g router is, my laptop switches to the signal from my access point (802.11b) from upstairs. That's fine and the singal strength stays full, but I can no longer access the internet or ping the di-624 router. I've also noticed that my desktop (which is hardwired to the di-624 router) cannot ping any of the devices that are attached to the AccessPoint's network. The last little kicker... i have a desktop upstairs that is fully covered under the network of the access point, and it can still access the internet. So why when my laptop is in the crossover area does the internet drop but the signal strenght stay strong? (and remember, when i had an 802.11b router i never had this problem...everything was great!)

    Any help would be great! (and sorry for the long post) :eek:
     
  2. 5mi11er

    5mi11er

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    Long posts with information are much better than short posts that require us to ask lots of questions in order to even begin helping.

    I've got two thoughts for your problem. Different SSID (wireless network names) between the two wireless devices, and/or different WEP or WPA keys. The machine upstairs is correctly connected to the access point using the correct SSID and WEP/WPA keys, where the laptop is set correctly for the one downstairs. The fact that the upstairs access point is wire connected to the downstairs box means the two don't have to have the wireless settings, and in fact probably don't.

    So, when the laptop attempts to roam to the upstairs access point, incorrect settings for that access point mean the connection doesn't work properly.

    -Scott
     
  3. pherball

    pherball Thread Starter

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    hey scott...
    thanks for the reply. I checked the SSID's and they are both using the same one..(so that means, they're broadcasting the same, network, right?) Also, i don't have WEP enabled on either the router or the AP...too confusing for now.

    The one thing i can see different between the two is the channel. Upstairs is broadcasting SSID "lenwood" on channel 11 and downstairs, the router is broadcasting SSID "lenwood" on channel 6. I tried setting both of them to channel 6, but that didn't seem to work either. Am i going to have to replace my access point with a 802.11g too? I hope not...to much $$.
     
  4. 5mi11er

    5mi11er

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    No, different channels are good. The access card knows to switch to the strongest one. If they were on the same channel things don't work too well.

    Check to make sure your laptop's access card is set to automatically fall back to the 'B' Standard. It is possible that it wants to always use the 'G' standard which the 'B' access point won't be able to understand...
     
  5. pherball

    pherball Thread Starter

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    that's the easy part. my laptop only has an 802.11b card in it... is there anything special i need to do to the G router to make it B compatible? ...or is that an automatic thing?

    Also, can you help me understand what i'm doing here? Having a hardwired access point connected to my wireless router is, in effect, extending the funcionality of my router upstairs, right? the AP has a repeater mode which i was told would extend my wireless network signal, but the singal strength and internet speed is lame in this mode...so that's why i'm using it as an AP. Just wanted to make sure i udnerstand the difference between everything here...

    Thanks so much for your help!! (y)
     
  6. 5mi11er

    5mi11er

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    Yeah, you've got the right idea. Repeater mode would be what you need if you didn't have the upstairs AP wired into the downstairs box.

    Well, you say the laptop with the 'B' card connects to the 'G' router right? That means it is compatible. Is the laptop's card new? There are some old 'B' equipment that doesn't interoperate with other 'B' equipment, but I'd only suspect that if the laptop card has never worked with the upstairs AP...
     
  7. pherball

    pherball Thread Starter

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    good point about the laptop working with the G router. So i guess that means the router is doing the "backwards" compatabile thing automatically.

    So, they way we're leaving it for now, is to make sure the SSID"s are the same but the channels are different, right? I'm on my way home shortly and i'll check experiment with it.. And then if that's not the case, then it's my laptop card not "roaming" correctly, right? (it's a mac, so i'll have to check out the apple forums if that's the case).

    thanks again for your help...i'll post back with an update!
     
  8. 5mi11er

    5mi11er

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    Yep, I think you've got it.
     
  9. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Change the SSID so they're different, that's how I configure multiple WAPs or routers. I have two routers running here, and it works perfectly on different channels with different SSID's. With the same one, I can see how it might get confused...
     
  10. 5mi11er

    5mi11er

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    No, you don't want the SSID to be different. A roaming access card is supposed to be able to change from one Access Point to another without the user having to do anything. With a different SSID, the user has to modify the settings every time they want to switch. We have 20 wireless access points here at work; I'm one of the network architects. Different SSID's are not the way to go.
     
  11. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    FALSE! It works just fine here, I have both SSID's in preferred networks, and it switches seamlessly between them. I don't have to change any configuration, just carry the laptop to the other side of the house. I confess, I didn't try it with the same SSID, though it's an interesting experiment that I'll try. :)
     
  12. 5mi11er

    5mi11er

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    Hmm, I've never noticed either of my cards to have the ability for me to "roam" from one SSID to another. Course I also have to change WEP keys to move from one network to another...

    People got off on the wrong foot with wireless years ago when some idiot thought the SSID was a security feature (and the computer related popular press picked that up). It's best thought about as a network name. Change SSID's, and you should be changing Networks.
     
  13. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    For XP, you can configure each network with different encryption or keys, I originally had it setup with WPA on the SCM router and WEP on the D-Link. D-Link finally got a working WPA firmware load for my DI-614+, so now they're all WPA. I also had an old W98 laptop with wireless that worked with the WEP setup, but it's been retired and I'm shopping for a new one, and my wife gets the one I currently carry around.
     
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