Unreliable wireless network

  Pineman100 13:44 27 Jan 07
Locked

I run XP Home SP2 on an 18-month-old PC.

Some months ago I installed a wireless network for my B/B internet connection. This consists of a Belkin wireless router/BB modem and a USB Belkin adapter plugged into the computer. There are no other devices on the network.

When I first installed the network it was unreliable at starting up. Wireless contact between the router and the adapter would often not work on first startup, and needed the computer to be restarted before it would connect.

Then, after a couple of months, it started connecting first time, every time. This worked for perhaps 6 months.

Recently it has started to become unreliable again. It won't always connect first time, and 2 or 3 times a week the connection will just drop out for no reason, requiring me to restart the computer.

Nothing has changed in my setup. I haven't moved the router, the PC or the adapter. Nothing new has been placed between the router and the adapter. Whenever the network is connected, the signal strength is always reported as "excellent".

Can anyone please suggest any reason for this unreliability?

  Ben 216 14:15 27 Jan 07

I've come across similar problems a couple of times, and both times I'm pretty sure it's been caused by another wireless network in the area as "BT Home Hub" appeared in the available networks both times. Here's how I'd go about trying to get it to work:


1. If you have Belkin software for the adapter then disable the windows Wireless network control, somewhere in your network connection properties there's a check box for "do not allow windows to manage my wireless network" or similar. Using both can cause conflicts.


2. Check that your network is secured; If you can limit the router to a set of MAC addresses (found on the bottom of your wireless adapter) enable only yours and anyone elses you want to connect. Then set up the highest WEP/WAP encryption you can.


3. If you have the option, set the wireless adapter software to 'only connect to //your network name\\ network'


4. If you're still having issues, try decreasing the Tx rate in the adapter software. This will affect the speed of your connection but if you're only using it for internet connection you won't notice any difference unless you decrease the Tx rate below your broadband speed. ie. if you have 8Mbps broadband, then keep the Tx rate above 8Mbps , so select 11Mbps.


5. If all of the above fail and you have another wireless network in the list, see if you can find out which neighbor has recently installed a wireless network, and ask them very nicely to secure it, limiting it to a range of MAC addresses if possible.

Hope this helps.

  Dipso 16:36 27 Jan 07

I would suggest you change the wireless channel used by your router. If there is another wireless network in the areau sing your channel that could cause the problems you describe. Usually this is just a case of going into the routers interface, then the wireless settings and selecting a different channel number.

  Ben 216 18:03 27 Jan 07

I knew there was something I'd forgotten!

  Pineman100 19:20 27 Jan 07

Many thanks Ben 216 and Dipso. That's very useful information, and I'll set about following your instructions. I'm not very wi-fi savvy, so fingers crossed....!

Ben 216 - in point 5. of your instructions you mention "if you have another wireless network in your list..." Where do I find that list, please?

  Dipso 21:54 27 Jan 07

When using Windows to manage your wireless connection you get a Wireless Network Connection icon in the system tray by the clock. If you double click this you get the Status box and there is an option View Wireless Networks, this gives you a list of all the networks that can be seen by your adapter.

If you use a different wireless connection manager you should have a similar icon that should show a list of networks available.

  Pineman100 14:08 28 Jan 07

Thanks Dipso. I've checked, and mine is the only network listed. So now I'll work my way through the other suggestions.

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