#1  
Old 08-December-2004, 23:37
Wafter
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Default Signal Strength

I have set up a wireless network using my desktop and a laptop. I have a Belkin router linked to my Telewest cable modem. Everything works fine but I can only get an 'excellent' signal strength when I plonk the router on top of my desktop or put my laptop next to it. If I walk ten strides away into a different room with my laptop the signal strength drops to 'low' or 'very low'. This is the same for my desktop too. Is this what I should expect?
I live in a normal modern house with plasterboard or breeze block walls.

Any advice or confirmation would be appreciated

Regards
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  #2  
Old 09-December-2004, 10:34
thumpert
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Default Re: Signal Strength

Wafter,

I use a Draytek wireless router and I don't experience the symptoms you describe, so I would say that it is not normal. Do you have encryption running on your wireless link? If you don't you might find that it improves if you do. Do you have wireless telephones and bluetooth devices operating in the house as these may add to the interference?

Derek T
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  #3  
Old 09-December-2004, 11:53
Wafter
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Default Re: Signal Strength

Thumpert'

Thanks for the quick reply.
I don't have encryption on, in fact I don't have any security on at all yet. I don't have any bluetooth but I do have wireless telephones. However, these run at 1800MHz and just to check it I did switch off the base station and removed the batteries from the handsets. It made no difference at all.

This really is a strange one!
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  #4  
Old 09-December-2004, 13:36
thumpert
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Default Re: Signal Strength

Wafter,

As I said previously, try putting encryption on the wireless link. Basic WEP would be a good start. And see if that improves the signal strength.

Derek T
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  #5  
Old 09-December-2004, 20:12
Wafter
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Lightbulb Re: Signal Strength

Ah! I misunderstood. I thought encryption was a 'bad thing'. I'll read up on it and give it a whirl
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  #6  
Old 09-December-2004, 23:41
Memfis Memfis is offline
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Default Re: Signal Strength

Encryption options etc will not effect the wireless signal.

Many things that could effect signal are :

type of antenna,
location of antenna,
types of wall,
microwaves in general,
dect phones
Vertical or horizontal signal. (some pcmcia cards work better at different angles).

etc
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  #7  
Old 09-December-2004, 23:52
Wafter
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Unhappy Re: Signal Strength

Help! Am now in real trouble.
I tried to follow Thumpert's advice and set up WEP encryption. This went wrong for some reason and I am now locked out of the router. If I connect to the router then I lose the Internet connection which I need to type in the router's IP address to gain access to it.
If I uninstall and then reinstall the router will this clear the problem or is there a simpler way?
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  #8  
Old 10-December-2004, 01:38
thumpert
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Default Re: Signal Strength

Wafter,

Sorry that you are having so much trouble. When you set up Wep on your router it would automatically log you off. You have to set up the same key on your wireless card on the computer. Normally it is better to manage the router via a hardwired network cable.

Whilst what Memfis is saying is strictly correct, it is possible that encryption will allow a signal to be pulled out of randomised noise because it is encrypted. Spread spectrum is an example of this.

Derek T
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  #9  
Old 10-December-2004, 17:56
Wafter
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Unhappy Re: Signal Strength

Thumpert
Thanks for all your advice and I'm sorry for taking so long to reply but, as you can work out, I keep losing my Internet connection.
It was in setting up WEP where it all went wrong. The key that I automatically generated wasn't accepted when I put it into my wireless card.
The situation now is that Telewest have got me back on line using my cable ethernet. I have now got access to my router and taken off the encryption but I can't connect wirelessly to the Internet. I am now looking at why this may be and I keep swapping over the cables to test it. As far as I can see, the settings are as they were before but no connection.

Thanks to everyone for the interest
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  #10  
Old 10-December-2004, 19:08
thumpert
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Smile Re: Signal Strength

Wafter,

Glad you got control of your router again. Can you connect to your router wirelessly? is it just the fact that your router is not acting as Gateway to the internet.

Have you tried opening a command prompt and typing ipconfig /all This should show you what your settings are. Have you included your routers IP in your firewall trusted zone?

I am sure that we will get to the bottom of this.

Derek T
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  #11  
Old 11-December-2004, 02:51
Wafter
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Default Re: Signal Strength

Thumpert

Yes I can now connect to my router wirelessly and see the configuration page. I can't connect to the Internet.

I have typed in 'ipconfig' and I get the relevent information re IP addresses but I don't know what they signify or whether they are as they should be. What am I looking for?

My connection type is 'dynamic' and I have cloned my computer's MAC address into the router.

I tried disconnecting my firewall completely but it made no difference.

Hope this helps

Alan
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  #12  
Old 11-December-2004, 12:01
Memfis Memfis is offline
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Default Re: Signal Strength

you cant have two devices on the lan with the same mac address.
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  #13  
Old 11-December-2004, 12:51
Wafter
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Unhappy Re: Signal Strength

Memphis
Cloning the computer's MAC address into the router is a setup option. The manual says it may be a requirement of my ISP. Anyway, the wireless network, when it was working, was working with this in place.

I have checked all the configurations and yet it just don't work. It should, but it don't!

Arrggggh!
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  #14  
Old 11-December-2004, 13:36
Memfis Memfis is offline
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Default Re: Signal Strength

telewest do indeed require you to register the mac address. using another one is not an issue, I'm sure you can ring them / fill in some form / reboot cable modem to accept new mac address.

tcp/ip protocols just wont work properly with two nic's on the same lan with the same mac address.
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  #15  
Old 11-December-2004, 16:54
Wafter
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Unhappy Re: Signal Strength

TS! Team
Have just been to the Telewest site and you no longer have to register MAC addresses.

NETWORK INTERFACE MANAGEMENT
Good news! We've upgraded your service and as a result you no longer need to register your PC NIC Mac address. Just plug your equipment into your modem and reboot everything!


So that can't be the problem.
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  #16  
Old 11-December-2004, 21:38
thumpert
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Smile Re: Signal Strength

Wafter, what Memfis is saying makes sense. You should let your router use its own MAC address.
Below is the output for IPCONFIG for my laptop which is wirelessly connected to the net through my router. Does the output for yours look similar. If not what are the differences.

Ethernet adapter Wireless Network Connection:

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : PRISM 802.11 Adapter (3886)
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-90-4B-89-55-4A
Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.12
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : fe80::290:4bff:fe89:554a%5
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1
DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1
DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1
fec0:0:0:ffff::1%1
fec0:0:0:ffff::2%1
fec0:0:0:ffff::3%1
Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : 11 December 2004 20:13:51
Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : 14 December 2004 20:13:51

Derek T
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  #17  
Old 12-December-2004, 11:30
Wafter
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Default Re: Signal Strength

Tumpert
This is my printout from IP config.
It seems basically the same as yours


Ethernet adapter Wireless Network Connection:

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :Belkin
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Belkin 802.11g Network Adapter
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-11-50-1E-EB-72
Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.2.3
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.2.1
DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.2.1
DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.2.1
Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : 12 December 2004 20:17:11
Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : 19 January 2038 03:14:07

Alan
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  #18  
Old 12-December-2004, 13:50
thumpert
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Default Re: Signal Strength

Wafter or should I say Alan,

What have you got set in your Internet Options for Connection. In mine I have "Never Dial a Connection" and in the Advanced Tab all the options are unchecked.

What firewalls have you got running and on what machines?

Derek T
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  #19  
Old 13-December-2004, 00:23
Wafter
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Default Re: Signal Strength

Derek
That's what I've got mine set to as well.

I've got McAfee protecting my computer, the full works ie Virus checker, firewall, spamkiller and identity protection. However, it makes no difference if I completely disable it, I still can't connect. Before I lost the ability to connect wirelessly McAfee was running and presenting no problem.

Strange isn't it. I get the feeling it is one little thing that is wrong.

Alan
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  #20  
Old 20-December-2004, 17:56
Wafter
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Smile Re: Signal Strength

Hello again, especially Thumpert

I thought I would update all of you who were so helpful.

I finally rang the Belkin tech support and after the usual "if you want wireless support press 2" etc, I was speaking to a human being within 2 minutes. He was very helpful and polite and was speaking from somewhere in India. To cut a long story short he sorted my problem by getting me to reboot both my router and modem. I am now back to having a wireless connection but the signal strength is just as before, very poor 15 feet away.

Now I wonder if I should post a thread about this ........................?????

Alan
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  #21  
Old 20-December-2004, 22:03
thumpert
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Default Re: Signal Strength

Hi Alan,

Thanks for the update. Glad to hear that you are back to square one anyway. All I can suggest is to find a friend with a different make of router and try it out.

Derek T

Merry Christmas to all
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