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Wireless range problem, I think

Discussion in 'Networking' started by gryffia1649, Nov 30, 2011.

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  1. gryffia1649

    gryffia1649 Thread Starter

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    CPU is HP e9107c Pavilion; ISP is Comcast cable, running a Ubee modem EGM515A model, I think.
    Netgear N150 WNR1000 v2 router (b/g), and Altheros 802.11a/b/g/n network module, with latest driver 11/23/10.
    I'm having problems connecting to wi-fi and maintaining a connection on the West end of a small ranch house, on Kindle Fire.
    In the office on East end of house, Win7 taskbar shows 2 wi-fi bars consistently with a jury-rigged parabolic aluminum foil booster on the router antenna. Status shows 54.0 Mbps.
    Question is, should the router be upgraded to N? If so, which one is compatible with Comcast? And is there anything else I can do to increase the range of the wireless signal?:confused:Thanks for any suggestions!

    Tech Support Guy System Info Utility version 1.0.0.2
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    Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q8200 @ 2.33GHz, Intel64 Family 6 Model 23 Stepping 10
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  2. etaf

    etaf Moderator

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    try running xirrus and monitor the signal and see if its above the -70dBm recommendation
    For a reliable (or robust as the Xirrus user guide says) wireless connection you need a signal of about -70 dBm or better.

    do all the devices you want to use on the wireless support "N" and have an N adapter

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    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

    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. gryffia1649

    gryffia1649 Thread Starter

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    No adapters beyond what's described. N150 is not 'n'. Here's the Xirrus, shows a -82. Not sure how to read this without going thru the user manual, but wanted to get results to you a.s.a.p.
     

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  4. gryffia1649

    gryffia1649 Thread Starter

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    Network is supposed to be wireless, but the Comcast repairman wired it together because it went from a speed of 15 to 34mbps wired. Router and modem are on East side of building in my office. House is an old brick ranch with a family room/breezeway on the West, on the other side of a brick wall. That's the room where the wireless signal is iffy. I need to somehow boost the signal to reach that room without moving the router to the middle of the house.
     
  5. etaf

    etaf Moderator

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    thats not a strong enough signal for a reliable connection - "N" router mayhelp - just depends on the make up of the walls/floors/ceilings it may have to go through

    when i changed from a G to a N router that was only a minor improvement

    this is from an old post of one of the experts here

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Extending Range adapters

    Extending Range adapters

    from Johnwill Post
    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. Paired with this Hawking [HAI7SIP] Hi-Gain 7dBi Omni-Directional Antenna, it'll give you significantly more range than the internal wireless adapter. You can also use directional antennas for even more range like this Hawking [HAI15SC] Hi-Gain 15dBi Corner Antenna. That's the one I use with this adapter, it really reaches out. :)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  6. gryffia1649

    gryffia1649 Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the suggestions/recommendations. The house is a 50's ranch; floors are hardwood. Between the office and the family room/breezeway is the bathroom with all piping, the kitchen with microwave, refrigerator, cordless telephone, and a brick wall which was the original West wall of the house. Maybe 50 feet all told. The other consideration is compatibility with Comcast;I'm assuming the adapter would not have issues with cable, or is that a dumb question?
     
  7. etaf

    etaf Moderator

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    The adapter works with the router - so thats the match that needs to be considered - does not matter if the broadband is supplied by cable or telephone or satellite - its the router that makes the difference
     
  8. gryffia1649

    gryffia1649 Thread Starter

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    OK. I'll order the wireless adapter and the Hawking 15dBi corner antenna. Thank you so much for your help with this. I always seem to come up with these equipment-specific questions and it is great to know I have found this group! I'll let you know the outcome.
     
  9. etaf

    etaf Moderator

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    if you have a "N" router it may be worth looking at an updated version of the adapter , as that recommendation is from johnwill and a little old now - although we at least know it worked well , assuming the components are still available for sale

    I'll see if one of the other gurus on the forum has an alternative with a "N" adapter

    I'll also see what roswell /hawkin recommend if they answer my enquiry
     
  10. gryffia1649

    gryffia1649 Thread Starter

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    Oh - nertz. My router is a Netgear N150 WNR1000v2, b/g. And I already ordered the Rosewill RNX-G1 adapter. Actually, that was my original question - should I upgrade the router to 'n.' At this point, I'll just see how the antenna and adapter work - and if the range improvement is significant, good enough.
     
  11. etaf

    etaf Moderator

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    See how that gets on, we at least knows that works well and the speed of G is 54Mbps , which should be fine for internet use -

    where did you purchase from ?
    amazon, newegg ?
     
  12. etaf

    etaf Moderator

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    i have just received a reply from rosewell - with an updated product - NOT on the website I linked to for some reason

    here it is
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833166068

    with a detachable aerial so should work with the hawkin device

    Also this device which is able to be positioned, but does not have a detachable aerail - so not as good as the above device with the hawkin adapter

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833166056

    I'll update the recommendation

    Hope that has not caused you too much inconvenience
     
  13. gryffia1649

    gryffia1649 Thread Starter

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    NewEgg, and I got the Hawking hi-gain 15dBi corner antenna last night. For some reason they shipped separate from the Rosewill. I'll check with NewEgg re: return/exchange for updated adapter; both would still work with either an 'n' router with detachable antenna, or the NetGear b/g I have already and which antenna isn't detachable, right?
     
  14. etaf

    etaf Moderator

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    Sorry a little confused now

    You say you do not have an "N" router
    BUT reading here
    ftp://downloads.netgear.com/files/wnr1000_ds_29jan09.pdf
    that says the WNR1000 is an N router , although not showing as N on the xirrus -

    you say in post #3
    also the adapter in post #1
    supports "N"

    it would be worth logging into the router and see if the router wireless section is set to mixed G/N or is set to just G
     
  15. gryffia1649

    gryffia1649 Thread Starter

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    No, it is definitely a b/g but has some kind of boost that 'supports' N. Evidently it came out just as N was on the horizon, so Netgear wanted to cover all bases. I did log in, and it is set to b/g. Also, the only button on the router is the reset/on/off. The anomaly shows on the link specs you sent me-mine is the middle one, I think. I'll log in again and run the wizard, but I would think if it was an 'N' range router, they'd advertise it as such. I'll probably wind up getting another router; any suggestions? I guess Netgear is considered the lower end of the router genre?
     
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