connected but not connecting

hi all, first many thanks to everyone who is taking time out of their day to help me out with my problem. i'm new here so i'll try to be as specific as possible without overloading you.

so the problem: i am on a desktop pc with a wireless card/band/antenna/whatever that allows me to get wireless. i see the signal i want, i connect to the signal. i get the computer in my notification area in the lower right hand corner. computer says i'm connected. only, i'm not, or i am, but not enough. i open up firefox and all i get are 'server not found' pages. i know i'm connected somehow, through a program i'm running i can see that i'm uploading files over the internet, BUT NOT downloading.

what's bizarre is that this problem is intermittent at best. sometimes the computer will say i'm connected and i surf the web at lightning speeds (as now). other times it says i'm good to go when i can't get past 'server not found'. there is no rhyme or reason to when it decides i can/can't use the internet. and it always says that i'm fine.

another odd thing is that this problem is sometimes ( and always temporarily) fixed one of three ways: (1) using the 'repair' tool from the wireless icon. (2) restarting the DHCP Client. or (3) restarting teh computer. on occasion this allows me access to the internet, but it is not permanent, anywhere from 10 minutes to hours later it will quite on me again.

Product details: now, i have a "linksys instant wireless-B PCI adapter" for my dell desktop. I got it quite some time ago (~4years) and am getting the signal from a "2-Wire Gateway 2701 HG-D". uhh, we have qwest for our dsl provider.

any ideas? i don't think of myself as computer illiterate, but this one really has me stumped, i've done everything i can think of to fix it but it hangs around. if anyone has any suggestions or needs more info please please please respond. i don't know how much longer i have.. :o ... ahhh. many thanks to any and all.

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Open up the admin page for the router. Look for the diagnostic utility tools and run those...Could be your DSL (lights on DSL modem all OK?) or a bad router or a bad client card.

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For now, you are not concerned with fixing the problem, in part, because you still don't know what the problem is. And to get anything but speculation, provide specific facts (data).

Some of the tools to learn what is happening start with a simplest utility: Ping. From Command Prompt (probably found in Start>Accessory), execute the ping program by entering: PING

If the server inside your router or gateway has that IP address, then the wireless connection with get three echo replies from the gateway. Another possible address might be

Once that ping works, then setup ping to work constantly: PING -t 192.168.x.1

So what happens when you have and have not internet access? Does Ping also stop working?

Another program is IPCONFIG. What is the IP Address of your computer when connections do and do not exist? Does the IP Address remain intact? What happens to the Subnet Mask and Default Gateway?

Meanwhile go see what the server inside the router / gateway reports. Having established its IP Address, then enter that IP number as the address in Internet Explorer (or Firefox). The server should provide numerous important information such as signal strength of DSL. Does that signal strength low during dropouts? Also look at the DHCP server inside the Gateway. Is the IP address for your computer assigned? The server will (should) be full of useful facts that again tell you what is happening AND may also report useful facts when data is lost.

For example, how many errors (retransmissi> ...

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