wireless signal dropping

  kimosabi 13:08 12 Mar 2005

Hi Guys
I have a sweex 80.11g router everything works fine in my bedroom but when I take my laptop downstairs
in the lounge I cant get a signal five feet away in the dinning room its ok drops a signal now and them but i think thats to be expected and it shows a low signal up stairs it exellant signal.I am conected via ntl modem ethernet cable to desktop wireless to laptop is there any thing I can do to boost the signal or any config tips any help will be appricated I am on winxp home I have connected my laptop to my 32inch tv which is great with my flight sims but as I said no signal in that room

  FelixTCat 14:02 12 Mar 2005

Do you have another computer in your bedroom attached to the router?

If not, is there a telephone point somewhere between the lounge and your bedroom where you could connect the router?

If you can't move the router to a different room, can you move it within your bedroom? If you can raise it up (on top of a wardrobe?) or even move to towards the lounge, you may improve the signal. Even swivelling your chair round a bit in the lounge so your body isn't between the laptop and the router can help.

Otherwise, it would appear that the lounge is just too far from your bedroom.

  kimosabi 14:32 12 Mar 2005

Thanks felixTcat
I never thought of that yes I can move the router I bought some long ethernet cables so will try your sugestion will be back with result later

  kimosabi 14:48 12 Mar 2005

ok I have move the router a bit higher it increased the signal but still not in the lounge will keep trying won't close this thread for a while untill
I see what happens thanks again

  kimosabi 15:08 12 Mar 2005

ok Felix
got it working in the lounge but dropping all the time but I am getting there looks like your advise
is right I will change my redroom setup mybe that will sort it. the next question is on my wireless connection it say's( Lan connected unsecured wireless network this network is configured for open access information sent over this may be visable to others ) Is this ok

  kimosabi 16:19 12 Mar 2005

I don't know where my responses are going but they don't show up in the forum is it because my signal drops when I send it

  FelixTCat 16:26 12 Mar 2005

What that means is that no encryption is set on the wireless system. Anyone who can pick up the wireless signal can see exactly what is being sent over the network.

The normal encryption system that you can set up is called WEP. Its chief downside is that it degrades the signal, so a poor signal effectively becomes worse. Also, it does not provide a very high level of security. It will only stop casual eavesdroppers. At the moment, I don't think you should be bothered about it at this stage.

There are 2 other ways to protect your network but, unless you can see other networks it's unlikely that anyone can see yours. Only worry when you see 5 or 6 people sitting around their laptops outside your window :)

When you have managed to get a good signal in your lounge, come back and ask about MAC filtering and SSID concealing.

  kimosabi 17:01 12 Mar 2005

I am working from the lounge now the signal strength
is on the first bar thats low speed is 11.0 mbps thats slow but I am getting there

  FelixTCat 17:30 12 Mar 2005

That's great!

At bad times I've seen my rate go down to 1 Mbit/sec. Unless you are trying to make large file transfers even 1 is as fast as most broadband. I don't bother with large file transfers wirelessly - it's easier to take the laptop upstairs next time I go and plug in an ethernet cable.

  kimosabi 17:56 12 Mar 2005

well thanks for all your help what is mac filtering and ssid all about will it make any difference sorry for being so dumb but being an old 73yrs wrinkerly but I do get pleasure out ofmy computers I chat with my family in australia everyday and web cam so I would like to get it running right
best regards

  FelixTCat 18:56 12 Mar 2005

If you're satisfied with the signal in the lounge, we can move on. As ever, do one thing first and make sure that works before moving on. Remember that you don't HAVE to make any of these changes - the chances of someone breaking into your wireless network are not that great unless you live in the middle of a city or very built-up area.

I also suggest that you make any changes whilst connected to the router through an ethernet cable, not over the wireless. Then, if it doesn't work, it's much easier to change it back.

All wireless routers give a name to the wireless network they manage. This is so that you can identify which network you are on if there are several to choose from. This name is called the SSID (Service Set IDentifier).

When you are trying to log on to a wireless network, your network adapter looks for all the SSIDs that it can and then offers them to you to select the one to log on to. You can keep your network private by telling your router to keep its SSID a secret, so that nobody else can find it easily. Your own wireless network adapter already knows what it is, because you have already logged on to it.

To set this level of security, log into your router and navigate to the wireless section. In that section you will find an option to conceal the SSID, turn off SSID transmission or some similar wording. Tick the box to turn off transmission and tell the router to make the change. Then check that you can still work with your laptop wirelessly.

The second level of security involves what is called the MAC address. This stands for Media Access Control. Every network adapter is given a unique MAC by its manufacturer. When you are networking, one of the bits of information that is sent back and forth is the MAC of the adapters. When you log on to a network, your adapter sends its MAC and asks to be allowed to log on. The router then issues an IP address and away they go, living happily ever after (a bit of a simplification, but you get the general idea). Because the MAC address of your adapters is fixed, you can tell the router to only allow your own adapters to log onto your network.

To do this, it is easiest to make sure that all your adapters have logged in to the router since it was last restarted (including both the wireless adapter and the ethernet port of your laptop). Then log into the router and go to the section that covers security and look for MAC Address Filtering. There will be an empty table where you can fill in the allowed MAC addresses. Very often there is a drop-down box by the table which lists all the existing IP addresses with their MAC addresses and allows you to highlight each one in turn and add it to the table. Then make sure that the option to set MAC address filtering is set.

If you miss one of your own adapters, the router will not now let that adapter join the network. However, every adapter has its MAC address marked on it (or on its box if you buy a new one) so that you can add a new address manually, if necessary.

You can cancel MAC address filtering by logging in to the router and just cancelling the option.

Remember, one step at a time and make sure it works before moving on to the next.

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