Connection problems!

  GeeKay+Dee 08:31 20 Jul 2006


I've recently had broadband installed by NTL and decided to opt for the wireless version instead of wired. I went and bought myself a Belkin package from PC World which consisted of Wireless G Router and a Wireless G USB Network Adapter.

I installed the hardware without too much bother, but once I started to use the wireless I've been getting a very erratic connection to the net! I've usually had a good signal strength and a good speed (Max 54mbps), although this sometimes does drop to 1 or 2 mbps!!

I phoned the Belkin support team and they couldn't tell me anything different to what I was doing (infact, they were useless!!), so still with the same problem.

I thought that maybe the firewall that comes with the product may be the source? Or should I upgrade the router and adapter to a 108 mbps? I don't have any other firewall installed, just the Belkin supplied one (NAT and SPI). Should I buy another firewall like Norton or Macafee?

Could anyone please give me a pointer as to what may be causing this problem as it is really beginning to frustrate me. System is windows XP.

Many thanks in advance for any help offered!

  FelixTCat 12:13 20 Jul 2006

Hi GeeKay+Dee,

Can you please give us a bit more information. I suspect from what you are saying that you do have a wireless connection to the internet, but that its speed varies. Is that correct?

If so, do not be too alarmed - that is normal. The speed will change with the distance between the two ends of the wireless link, what lies between them and with interference from other devices. It is almost certainly not the firewall, or you would not be able to surf at all.

The same frequency band used by wireless networking is also used by telephones, bluetooth, tv transmitters (room to room) and, sometimes, leaky microwave ovens. You can also get interference from other users of wireless networks in your neighbourhood.

One of the first things you can try is change the channel of your wireless network. Change the number by 5, ie if you are on channel 1, change to channel 6 and v.v. remember to change at both ends of the network, router and pc.



  ade.h 12:16 20 Jul 2006

"Or should I upgrade the router and adapter to a 108 mbps?"

Not in the slightest; that would not cure your problem.

You need to look at your immediate environment - sources of interference, thick walls/floors, metal structures in the fabric of the building, even certain minerals in bricks have been highlighted as potential problem areas.

Consider a MIMO router and PCMCIA card if you still have connectivity issues once your environment and router/client placement have been checked and sorted.

  GeeKay+Dee 12:58 20 Jul 2006

At the moment my PC and the router are sitting next to each other albeit wireless connected. Still the connectivity problem persists. The signal and speed strength at this moment are both working at maximum i.e. 54mbps and excellent signal. That is why I thought it was something else and not the building or other devices nearby etc that was causing the problem. The signal and speed vary when the PC is moved to another room further away. I will however try the offered solutions when I get home to see if there is any difference.


  ade.h 13:35 20 Jul 2006

It does not really matter how close the client is to the router if there are sources of interference.

  GeeKay+Dee 07:16 21 Jul 2006

Thanks for the responses so far.

I moved the PC upstairs again last night and I'm still unable to connect. I think this may be due to the signal strength being poor or low.

Having read your replies re interference etc, I'm beginning to think it could be the building (concrete build) as the two rooms containing the router and the PC are at opposite ends! My one query re this though is that I can pick up my neighbours network. Any suggestions as to why this is? The adapter is positioned next to a window.

Again thanks for the advice.

  FelixTCat 07:31 21 Jul 2006

Sorry you're still having problems. Have you tried changing channels?

I have a working wireless network in a similar building where it works through walls and a floor, so don't give up. The fact that you can pick up your neighbour's signal shows that it can be made to work.



  GeeKay+Dee 10:12 21 Jul 2006


Changed channels yesterday to one that wasn't near any other networks. Will persist with trying to get it connected.


  FelixTCat 10:19 21 Jul 2006


Just a thought. Look in the router's setup pages for a POWER option and see if you can increase the transmit power. Look in the driver software for the USB adapter too.

Best wishes,


  ade.h 13:07 21 Jul 2006

Concrete is a big problem - probably one of the reasons for making bunkers with it! If your client's adapter is near a window, then that is why you can see your neighbour's SSID; radio waves travel easily once unencumbered by a building, so whatever signal escapes his house is seen by you. It's common to find routers near to windows.

  GeeKay+Dee 16:30 21 Jul 2006

Visited PC world to see about an exchange or refund if problem persists. Guy seemed quite helpful and stated much the same as ade.h re concrete being a problem. He suggested exchanging the package for a G+ MIMO package if I was happy to pay the difference (£45). Didn't seem to be on the make and just wanting to make a sale, so does this sound like a possible solution?


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