TechSpot

Wireless Signal - help please!

By mig4
May 28, 2007
  1. Hi

    Wondered if anyone could help me identify a problem that I seem to be having. I've had a wireless network set up for a good while using a Dlink DI-524 router with a 2 MEG connection from Virgin/Telewest (using their standard modem).

    The router and modem (connection point) is upstairs directly above where I'm trying to connect. For the first few months this setup was spot on, I was getting decent speeds and decent connection reliability, but for the past month it seems to have got slightly shaky; the speed has dropped considerably as an average (sometimes fast, sometimes slow, slow most of the time), but most frustrating is the reliability of the connection. I'll be happliy surfing along and suddenly it'll fail to open a page, sometimes I see the Wireless symbol in my intray looking for the connection a few seconds later, sometimes it stays connected throughout. But the laptop then finds the connection again after about 60 seconds.

    Is this a classic router signal strength problem or does it sound like a telewest internet speed problem; or both. I tried a speed test on toast.net yesterday and apparently my connection is only just faster than dial-up which is slightly worrying.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated as it's a slightly annoying dilemma!
     
  2. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,752   +96

    [​IMG]

    This a pretty good wf-router, have you release and renew the ip address from your ISP lately. How's the LAN is that stable? WAN is your problem then? If you stay close to the connection to router how it good fair or bad in signal strenght?

    Also you have DSL or Cable modem? Sometimes the DSL modems act up plus have your ISP check your lines and DSL strength. But if you w-f router is dropping the connections you need to check the logs and you might have to reset the router to see if that clears it up. Firmware updates are good to do..

    Here's the dlink link for you w-f router
    http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=316
     
  3. mig4

    mig4 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks Tipstir, the LAN is fine from what I can gather, seems like on that premise it must be a WAN problem...

    My knowledge of computers is slightly sketchy so apologies if I sound like a muppet when I say this, but I thought DSL and Cable modems were the same thing?

    I know that my connection is a cable connection (not through a phoneline) if that helps?

    How would I check the logs on the router? What would that show me just out of interest?

    Sorry I know I sound hopeless but its quite annoying and would be awesome to sort out as I feel its something easily solved.
     
  4. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,752   +96

    Do help you you need to look under the bottom to see which UPC you have.. Use the link below to assit

    http://www.dlink.com/products/support.asp?pid=316&sec=0#manual

    I take it you don't have your manual for you system.

    Btw did you ever setup a password for your router?

    If you connect the laptop directly to the router using a patch cord LAN cable you can then do this..

    click on start
    click on run
    type: cmd
    type: route print

    Now Look for where it said Default Gateway:
    Take that IP address and type it into your IE browser line that's your router IP address.
    Make sure you read the manual as it will help you continue how to access your router logs and change features to make the router function correctly again.
     
  5. mig4

    mig4 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey thanks for getting back to me, I know the router address and I can access the router system itself and I found the log, not sure entirely what I'm looking at?

    I can't get access to the router itself at present (its in my mate's room and he's got a girl in there, alright for some) so I don't know which version it is.

    I set a password for the wireless network; it has WPA-PSK encryption TKIP. But I didn't set a password for access to the router itself.

    What do I need to look at to measure the performance of the router? I'm now convinced its the wirless signal thats the problem, the LAN works fine.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
     
  6. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,752   +96

    make sure that router is high and above... and the ANT is not being block. So you have to wait on your mate extra activies :) Don't worry you'll have the same as he does with GF for you :) Takes longer for some...
     
  7. mig4

    mig4 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    What does this mean? :

    Monday May 28, 2007 17:26:37 Unrecognized attempt blocked from 202.97.238.203:55569 to 82.46.60.205 UDP:1027

    My net just did one of its favourite things (wouldn't let me access net or router even though signal was apparently excellent), you think the above line from my router's log is something to do with my problem?

    Surely if the signal is excellent then its the internet, but it isn't the internet because the LAN works perfectly. I just don't get this, it doesn't make any sense.

    does it seem right that the signal is so on and off (sometimes excellent/sometimes breaking off) given the router I currently have? surely it should be fairly consistent in its strength?
     
  8. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,752   +96

    Okay when you can get to the router connect your laptop directly into it using a patch cord (ethernet LAN cable) and see if you can connect. Also while there see if the wireless makes a connection. You have to see if the router sees your laptop and you can make a good connection.
     
  9. mig4

    mig4 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    i shall do this as soon as i get a chance, but presuming the router detects the laptop (which I'm highly confident it will) and the signal will be picked up wirelessly (which I'm sure it will), what are you suggesting is the next step?
     
  10. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,752   +96

    If you get that far then you should be okay... Just make sure:

    SSID is correct
    Password is correct to connect to the wireless
    You can get on the internet (most important)
     
  11. mig4

    mig4 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    hi Tipstir

    I've done these things and everything seems fine, but then I'd expect it would because I don't have a problem connecting to the wireless or wired network, its the stability of the wireless connection thats the problem. I must be less than 5 metres away, through one ceiling from the wireless connection point when I normally connect. Can you suggest any next steps?
     
     
  12. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,752   +96

    Does XP say your signal strength is good or fair? Are you in an area where there are bricks, mortor steel around you? You might have to get a WAP wireless access point device and place that in your room. That would extend the signal strenght of your mates wireless router and give you better signal of excellent.
     
  13. mig4

    mig4 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Right now its saying excellent, in fact is says excellent a lot of the time, but then suddenly i'll lose the connection. it'll come back very low, stay like that for a few minutes then get slowly get better. After another 15mins i'll lose the connection again!

    Damn wireless networks! if it was my house i'd drill a sodding hole through the ceiling and trail a wire!

    i might try the WAP and see if that works. Any other thoughts i could try in the mean time?
     
  14. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,513   +336

    The Dlink DI-524 is capable of dual mode (both G and B). It is well known that
    If you're using G and a neighbor is on B, then that will cause fluctuation in speed
    and reliability.

    Get a copy of Network Stumbler 0.4; it will show you your neighborhood WiFi
    users. You can see the channels in use and the speed of each station.

    B-mode stations run at 11kps and G mode is upward of that.

    Also notice the SNR column: (Signal to Noise Ration) Bigger numbers are better.

    Pick a channel as far from the others as possible (eg 1 or 11, as the default is 6)
     
  15. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,752   +96

    Need wireless access point to keep the signal strength constant. Otherwise what you're experiencing it pretty much it. Drilling holes in the wall well I did at the baseboard looks neater. But the whole purpose of using a laptop is to go wireless you don't want to drag patch cables all around the place. Another thing that's bad around your dwelling is the phone if it's wireless and on 2.4GHz bandwidth very bad to have going 5.8GHz solves that problem. That's what I use here for my wireless..
     
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