Which router should I get for a stronger signal & help with laptop wireless

By Ancell · 10 replies
Dec 22, 2010
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  1. Hey hope I've posted this in the right section.

    I dont know much about laptops and dont know much about wireless, routers etc.

    My laptop brand new would pick the internet up outside in my garden, now sometimes it struggles to get a good connection just in my bedroom, normally get around 3 bars now but alot of disconnects, dads laptop is fine, so is the xbox so pretty sure router is fine, (I took my laptop to pc world few months ago because of a free check-up, told them the problem, it seemed to work a bit better once I got it back which took like 2 months. But now its just annoying as the problem has come back.

    So I was thinking of buying a new router to help boost the signal around the house, mostly for my laptop and Xbox.

    I currently have the virgin media router which is....

    and was considering buying...

    I didn't no what a Wireless-N Router was till yesterday but I found out my laptop and xbox dont support -N only support G, But If its backwards compatible would it still give a stronger signal even on G mode ?

    My budget is around £40, Any help much appreciated

    I've also tried changing channels on my router and on channel 11 at moment which no one else is on which didn't seem to help at all. My laptop cant even find other people's networks, where as it use to... and my dads can find at least 8 or 9 other networks.

    Just another small question:

    Can anyone explain how you go about picking the correct router and how to tell distance, quality of the signal and router. Etc ?

    Also can a laptop wireless card be changed your self?

    My laptop is the Advent 5431 "http://www.uktsupport.co.uk/advent/laptop/5431.htm"

    I've seen people selling the network card on ebay which is strange, so could I just replace the network card with a better one from ebuyer.

    Sorry this question is so long and probably didn't make much sense.

    Thanks for any help in advance.
  2. king21092

    king21092 TS Rookie Posts: 130

    You will never find routers listed by distance (feet, yards, meters, etc). They use dBm to show the amount of power used to transmit the signal. Signal strength all depends on the line of sight, objects in the way, and other variables. Higher dBm is better if you are looking for maximum distance.

    As far as laptops, they generally come with built in wireless NICs. You are talking about an actual express card that you plug directly into the laptop. Here is an example of an expresscard expansion slot: http://img.tomshardware.com/us/2006...heavy_and_full_of_features/hp_dv8075_pcie.jpg

    The different channels on the router won't affect the signal what so ever. The different channels are used if you are in a suburban area with many wireless networks nearby or anywhere else with many networks in close proximity.

    The only thing that comes to mind is that either your built in NIC is bad or you need a better one.
  3. Ancell

    Ancell TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 84

  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,168   +986

    Also to note: MIMO class routers have better range and reliability

    MIMO: Multiple In, Multiple Out receivers+transmitters; typically with multiple antenna
  5. Ancell

    Ancell TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 84

  6. Ancell

    Ancell TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 84

    This Wireless N 300 Router uses powerful 802.11n technology with multiple intelligent antennas to maximize the speed and range of your wireless signal to significantly outperform previous-generation Wireless G MIMO devices*. ;)

    Cheerz joebeard but still not sure on what to buy for best improvement. Out of my links.
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,168   +986

    BEST is always so subjective. A router with 802.11n would be nice especially where you
    may have cordless landline phones (aka 2.4ghz which contents with G mode devices) OR
    where you're in a tight neighborhood with a number of other WiFi users in close proximity.

    it's your choice ...
  8. Ancell

    Ancell TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 84

    If I did get just a -n router I was told it wouldn't help my laptop at all as its not N compatible, I guess if I bought the N router and run it in G mode, would I get any improvement?
  9. Ancell

    Ancell TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 84

  10. Ancell

    Ancell TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 84

    You can close this thread now thanks for the information on wireless routers etc, I will do some research and see what people think is best suited.
  11. king21092

    king21092 TS Rookie Posts: 130

    If you are the type of home problem quick fixer, you could always make a homemade dish for the signals to bounce off of. Video

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