Wireless acting strangely

By Gradient
Nov 23, 2006
  1. I'm having a pig of a time connecting to my wireless router. It mostly connects fine, but suddenly the connection will drop out despite XP saying it is still connected. When I doubleclick the wireless icon to bring up the Wireless Network Connection Status box, it can show the signal fluxuating from two bars to four, the speed jumping anywhere from 1Mbps to 54Mbps and the name of the network keeps vanishing and reappearing as though it's constantly losing the connection. None of these things even seem connected; the signal can be great, but the speed drops, or vice versa. Diconnecting then reconnecting solves it, at least until it happens again. My laptop is less than ten metres from the router, and no-one else in the house seems to have these problems. I've both updated and rolled back my drivers and had a defrag. Any suggestions? If this is at all related to any of the other current topics being discussed, be sure to point me to the right one. :)

  2. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,383   +105

    Where did you place this wireless router?

    Basement (bad idea)
  3. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX TS Rookie Posts: 2,273

    Are you using a Desktop or a Laptop and where is your router located at?

    If you have a laptop try moving around the house and see if that changes your connection and if you have a desktop move the router closer to your computer because routers have basicly a big radius befor the connection starts to go down... Most of them have like 30 feet or so
  4. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    out of curiosity, does your router or the wifi card(s) have detachable antennae? check if they're screwed on properly.. it caught me out a couple of times..
  5. Gradient

    Gradient TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    I'm not sure it's related to range; I decided to switch to the wireless client that came with my laptop instead of XP's client, and when it cuts out, it says 'waiting for keys' (ie. the network key), despite me having set the key in the settings. Pressing Reconnect fixes it instantly.

    EDIT: That seems to be a one off, so ignore that for now. I'll keep moving the laptop closer and see what happens.
  6. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    I guess we all have different views on what 'big radius' should be. :)

    As a suggestion, have you tried changing the channel on your wireless router? Interference can create simliar issues. Try channel 1 if you're using 11 and and 11 if you're using 1. If you don't get any improvement using 1 or 11, try 6. If none of those work, try 1, 6 and 11 specifying 802.11b ONLY (if an option) instead of 802.11g. If none of the above works, then it probably isn't interference or you are being slowly oven-roasted to a golden brown by microwave radiation... Just kidding about that last part... sort of. ;)

    Upgrading your router's firmware is always recommended for a wide variety of issues and I'd certainly suggest it, whether or not your get your problem solved.
  7. Gradient

    Gradient TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    Range seems to have done it. It was part way down the stairs, so each step was an obstacle. :) I was a little thrown because Live Messenger kept losing the connection, but it appears that was down to it being rubbish. Sorry for my slightly dim posting.

    EDIT: What do you know, Web Messenger signs out as well. Firmware upgrade it is then.

    EDIT2: I am now absolutely sure that it is my wireless adaptor that is at fault. Windows just brought up the 'Found New Hardware' and 'Your new hardware is ready for use' bubbles on the taskbar, both for my wireless adaptor. I've updated and rolled back drivers recently, and repaired Windows with a recovery disc, so now might be the time to invest in a USB wireless dongle. :(
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