I'm brand new to the world of wireless internet so I'm hoping you can help me. I just got last week Verizon DSL and they sent me a Linksys BEFW11S4 Wireless-B Broadband Router and a WPC11 network card. I've been using it the last three days and everything has been fine. The signal strength has been excellent since I've been staying near the router. But today is the first time I decided to try taking my notebook in another room. I went only one room away and the signal dropped to low. I went into the room after that and it dropped to "very low". Then all of a sudden the connection went out completely. Any idea why this is happening? Would I need to buy a new/better card and/or router? I dont know if you would need any more details or information, but thanks in advance!
I have the same BEFW11S4v4 router. Not great but good enough. I won't say anything nice about the WPC11 PCMCIA card. I don't like
2.4GHz antennas on G10 circuit board. They're just plain lossy and inefficient. Photos of one of the numerous mutations of the WPC11 guts.
There's not enough here to make a good determination. If your inside walls were insulated with foil backed insulation, you might have a serious problem. I had to deal with one house that was built by an RF paranoid who literally shielded each room with heavy foil in the walls and ceiling. The access point in one bedroom could only be heard by other radios if the door was left open. If you do NOT have one of these nighmares, you should at least be able to use the laptop in the adjacent room.
I think the next step would be to isolate whether the problem is the BEFW11s4 or the WPC11.
Place the BEFW11S4 in the window and go for a walk with the WPC11. Make sure there are no trees, bushes, shrubs, chain link fences, or buildings in the way. You should get about 300ft range before it craps out. At 100ft, you should have a reliable and useable signal.
Find a likely accomplis that owns a known working laptop with
802.11b. Compare ranges between the two laptops. If the range on your friends laptop is "normal", then the culprit is the WPC11.
Drag your laptop to the nearest hot spot and check the range. Ask one of the regulars how much range and signal strength they normally get. If your laptop works normally and as well as other users in the hot spot, we can assume that the WPC11 is functional.
Checking the BEFW11s4 is tricky. The only way I know for sure is to replace it with a borrowed access point or wireless router in your house. Only have one on at a time. No need to connect to the internet as you can use the internal web server in the router for testing range. If the borrowed access point works better than your BEFW11s4, methinks you have a warranty issue.
First off, make sure there are no other devices nearby that also use these signals - most common culprit for me was ALWAYS a 2.4Ghz cordless phone - they do make them now so that they are more compatible with wireless networks, and some people don't have a problem with the old ones - but I will tell you: When I had an older 2.4Ghz model phone, it destroyed my connection every single time. I had to replace it.
I've never had a problem with microwaves, but they can be a problem as well - also be careful of obstacles - one of the things I have learned is to make sure that router is as "in the open" as humanly possible - don't hide it on the bottom of a computer desk, for example. Put the router in a spot where it can relay it's signal the strongest.
I have found in about my year of experience with wireless networks that they are very reliable, but can be a little tricky - seriously, if I am even standing on the stairs going downstairs (my router is downstairs; this computer is upstairs) there are times when I am blocking the signal and it "jumps" - it hangs in there 99.9 percent of the time and doesn't disconnect, but my signal does drop to "Low" for a few moments, before jumping back up to it's typical "very good" or "excellent".
It just takes some trial and error sometimes......walk into different rooms, walk in different directions in the house, etc. and see what happens - if walking a large distance away from the router in the SAME room that the router resides doesn't cause a drop in your connection, but walking the same distance into another room does, you know there's an issue between the two rooms - could be that something is blocking the signal, etc.