We recently moved to a new (for us) home. I have a Belkin wireless router connected to a DSL modem in my office at one end of the house. My wife's desktop is at the opposite end of the home, about 120 feet away and through three walls, one of which is cement block.
Her PC connects to the wireless LAN for a while then cuts out. This happens at random with no apparent pattern. The home is typical Florida construction -- drywall over firring over cement block, wrapped in stucco. Inside walls are ordinary wood frame, but there's a fireplace directly in the path between the router and the problem PC.
I don't mind buying a new RF access point or adding better antennas (there are three of them on the Belkin). The attic is tall enough to walk around but unfortunately there's no connection between the space above the main house and my wife's office, which was originally the "bonus room" by the pool. Any suggestions?
Do you have security protocols enabled? Using the security features may cause your connections to cycle sporatically. If you're concerned about turning them off, I'd suggest hard wiring your connections and ditching the wireless ones. Sounds to me like you could do it quite easily (just don't make any connections in the attic which you may wind up having to trouble-shoot at some point in the future).
Try an Airlink Wireless Repeater. No Ethernet connection required. After setting it up while plugged into a PC it can sit in a closet or attic with just a wall wart. You might also try moving the existing router to a more central location.
Stucco implies a fine wire mesh - a problem for high frequency wireless signals. Dells can be so useful here. Dell provides a signal strength monitor program that reports dB of signal strength - none of the ballpark and not informative '5 bars' stuff. How the antenna is oriented on a wireless router can make a difference. For example, a metal frame of an adjacent chair can substantially reduce signal strength. But again, another reason why a true signal strength meter (software) is so useful for solving signal strength problems.
If using the wireless in secure mode, S/N ratio must be higher to maintain a connection. IOW test the system in insecure (open) mode (no WEP, etc). If this improves a connection, then suspect too little S/N. Of course orient the antenna to maximize field strength in her direction while testing.
Simplest soluti> We recently moved to a new (for us) home. I have a Belkin wireless
I saw that. But IIRC the OP said that all the transmission paths were through normal cinder block walls. Maybe the OP can clarify whether this problem involves signals passing through stucco.
I thought the comment that the "fireplace [is] directly in the path between the router and the problem PC" was more likely the problem. Fireplaces have metal flashing and may have metal chimney components. If elevating the router didn't work, I would at least try changing the path to eliminate the fireplace.
Amen brother. You can never run enough CAT5 and here's another reason that many wouldn't think of to begin with.
I still think that if he moves it above the "ground clutter" of tabletops, countertops and people that he'll have no problems. It's certainly an easy enough thing to try!
Bear in mind that most 802.11 device antennae produce a pattern that does not favor vertical. The spread tends to be no more than about 10 feet vertically. So if you're expecting to cover more than one floor it often helps to have the device higher/lower to better suit the 'other' floor.
I've also found that 802.11g devices tend to work better in older construction than 802.11b. Probably an unscientific observation but no amount of added antennae made our 802.11b router work anywhere near as reliably as a replacement 802.11g unit. Regardless of card in the PC.
We went so far as to find the ideal place for the wireless router and then ran wired ethernet there to support it. Turned out to be a 1st floor window near the 'L' of the 2 story house. That provided effective coverage to both the mainly underground 1st floor along with coverage to the outside rear patio and the 2nd floor.
Your situation might entail using a rather long ethernet cable and a signal strength indicator program on the PC. Move the base station around until the signal covers the needed areas effectively and then run wire to that location. This would likewise be true, placement-wise, for any wifi booster/repeater devices. I've had mixed success with them.
you don't mention the model, but let me tell you what i did with my Belkin router. Belkin is horrible about never updating anything -- firmware, drivers, etc. They are essentially a remarketer, though -- they don't design or engineer any of it. The OEM often does provide updates that are SUBSTANTIALLY better.
so go to dslreports.com and look in the Belkin forum. I found that my router has the same motherboard as a particular Linksys model. Well, they do update the firmware they get from the OEM. So by changing two bytes, i was able to flash my router, turning it into a Linksys. For my Belkin wireless PCI adapter, I got the drivers from the OEM, which were a big improvement over the ones Belkin made available.
world of difference, it truly is. I used to get constant disconnects, and now with these changes, i've kept up VPN connections and remote control connections for days without a hiccup. I was ready to throw in the towel on wireless & wait another couple of years.... it's working pretty well now, it just depends on your vendor's willingness to make it so. I won't buy Belkin again. Let me mention I am using wpa2/aes (best level of authentication/encryption). Another poster who said enabling security protocols can cause this is correct, but it's not the protocols themselves that are the problem, it's the implementation.... that's what updates do, fix bugs. Belkin doesn't seem to care.
find out who makes your stuff. The chipset mfr. often changes from revision to revision, so that's very important. For instance, the Belkin F5D7000 PCI card uses a Ralink chip (ralinktech.com) for revision 300x, whereas revision
500x uses Atheros (Google for the drivers v.126.96.36.199, they don't make them publicly available).
a benefit is that newer and better security (like WPA2) is enabled by the driver, so using a generic can get you new features. I've seen several wireless cards go from supporting only WEP (easily cracked) to WPA/WPA2 with a new driver.
and for anyone reading this, if you cannot deal with a "blue screen of death," don't change your card's driver without verifying it works. It's easy to back out, but the generic drivers won't work in all (most, yes) cases. The integrated Atheros on a Toshiba laptop, for instance, blue-screened with a newer generic driver. I had to go back to the one Toshiba provides, which supports only WEP.
Much thanks to all. I was puzzling over this problem today when it occurred to me to test the location using one of my laptops. Curiously, the LT gets a consistently good signal whereas the desktop drops out much of the time. I moved the desktop unit around in the general area but its performance stayed pretty much the same -- lousy. I've decided to try a new wireless PCI card as I suspect that may be the weak link.