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Wireless network connection problems

Discussion in 'Networking' started by dannyyoung, Apr 9, 2010.

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  1. dannyyoung

    dannyyoung Thread Starter

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    Hi everyone, I have a bit of a dilemma with my wireless network at home. Currently I am typing this on my HP Pavilion laptop (about 5-6 years old), and I am connected to my wireless network (the wireless router is at the opposite end of my house, and on the floor above) with 4/5 bars signal strength.

    However, I also have a Dell laptop (used for work) that will not connect. As far as I can see, the connection settings are the same on both laptops, but on the Dell machine, even though it can see the network (with only 2/5 bars signal strength) it will not connect, when I try I get the message saying that "Windows was unable to connect to ....", I run the troubleshooter and it says it cannot identify any problem.

    My first question is, is there a way to resolve this problem - I can't understand why the Dell laptop won't connect if it can see the network?

    My second question is, what is the best way to extend my wireless network's range? I have tried using a Netgear Powerline extender, with a wireless access point at one end, but I can't get it configured properly (I've tried lots of different scenarios, and currently have an open call logged with Netgear). If I am unable to get that working, do I have any other alternatives?

    I am not able to move the wireless router as there is a PC in the room that needs to be physically cabled into the back.

    All of my machines here are running Windows 7. Is there a useful utility I could download that could help me, or can anyone offer any advice please?

    Thanks for reading :)
     
  2. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Are you saying the Dell is getting only about 40% signal strength when near the router? That sounds like a loose or defective antenna. What is the brand and model of the wireless adapter?

    Have you tried connecting with encryption disabled? Tried it with another network?
     
  3. artista52

    artista52

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    We had a weak signal with our router and put together a little antenna booster made of aluminum foil and cardboard. It took 20 minutes and it worked. We found the template after doing a google search for the problem.
     
  4. dannyyoung

    dannyyoung Thread Starter

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    Hi TerryNet and artista52, thanks for your replies. The signal on the Dell laptop is at around 20-40% when it is at the other end of the house (wireless router is on the first floor at the back of the house, I need to use the laptop on the ground floor at the front of the house).

    I have had the antenna replaced once by Dell (this is a work laptop), and it seems to work fine when at work, and also when I am working in the room next door. I bought a larger antenna for my wireless router (a Hawking, I think...) but this hasn't made any difference. It seems strange that the HP laptop picks up the network at 80% signal strength, but the Dell only seems to get half of this.

    More annoyingly, however, is that even though the Dell laptop sees 20-40% signal strength, it refuses to connect to the network.

    There are a number of other wireless networks picked up by both of the laptops, presumably my neighbours. Could these be interfering with my wireless network? I have downloaded a tool called inSSIDer which shows 17 wireless networks! I will post a screenshot of the findings to see if this is useful...

    FYI my network is SKY60571 :)
     

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  5. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    From the signal strength that must have been output from the HP. Your explanation seems to say that the problem with the Dell not connecting is either the signal strength it is receiving or a combination of (weak) strength and interference.

    It appears that your network should overpower those other channel 1 networks, but not if it is only 40%, as the Dell is seeing. Theoretically with those other signals channel 11 shouldn't be any different that channel 1, but you might try it anyhow to see if the Dell likes it better. Are you in the UK? Try channel 13.

    It may be interesting for you to look at the inSSIDer output for the Dell in the next room where it does connect and compare it to the Dell's output in your desired room. It may help to know whether it is seeing a stronger signal there or is seeing less interference.

    However, my bottom line opinion, which doesn't really help you, is that the Dell's antenna is defective or loose. There should not be that much difference, assuming both the HP and Dell are using an integrated adapter.
     
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