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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:55 AM   #1
MacKenzie999
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Wireless Network Advice Needed

Hey everyone...

This is not exactly Apple-specific, but I always get the best advice here so I figured I'd give it a shot.

My home network is a cable modem (ethernet cabled into my MacPro) and a Rosewill RNX-N4PS 802.11.N.2.0 wireless router.

The problem is my wife's wireless connection. She has a Lenovo Ideapad (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2387552,00.asp) that disconnects from the wireless network about every ten minutes or so. She is not far from the router, about 20' if it were a straight line although it is up a flight of stairs. She is taking courses online and if she is disconnected during a test she loses everything.

She would like to be hardwired into the network, and before going to that expense I was wondering if there is anything I could be doing better, like adding some sort of signal repeater or improving the wireless on her laptop. I know very little about networking so forgive any painful displays of lack of knowledge here. Can her settings be at fault? Does my router need upgrading? I wouldn't hate going the Airport route if that would help.

The laptop features WiDi 2.0 and WiMAX, if that is at all useful. There are a lot of devices accessing the wireless network at various times: two iPhones, an iPad, two TiVos, a PS3, an XBox, a Wii, probably something else I'm forgetting. Also the previously-mentioned MacPro cabled to the cablemodem. I am not at all opposed to disconnecting the game systems if that would help at all.

Thanks!
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 10:04 AM   #2
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The problem is, which one gives the problems, is it her laptop or the router, these are hard to figure out.

You could try changing the channel on the wireless router, maybe there are other networks nearby which are giving the problems.
Microwaves and interference could also be the problem.

You could also set a static IP on the laptop and also go into the router and set it up so that the laptop will always get the same IP.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 12:57 PM   #3
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If it's that important and the distance is only 20' or so, then get a 50' length of coax and connect when needed. You can then fiddle around in slow time to find a lasting solution.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 02:02 PM   #4
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I would also suggest trying a different channel on your router. The default is usually channel 6. If you are in an area with lots of other wireless networks try channels 3 or 11.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 04:00 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone, I'll try changing the channel for starters.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 04:21 PM   #6
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PS You might also find that you overload the router's WiFi temporarily. Esp if you have 9 devices all trying to connect on the same channel at the same time.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:25 AM   #7
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1) Make sure the laptop is not bridging two networks.

2) Turn off the 3G/4G Radio while connected to 802.11X

3) Microwaves and Wireless phones can cause issues.

4) Make sure you have the latest firmware on the Router/AP

5) Make sure you have the latest Wifi drivers on the laptop.

6) Please configure WPA2 for wireless security!


Thats a start.....
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 08:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drsox View Post
PS You might also find that you overload the router's WiFi temporarily. Esp if you have 9 devices all trying to connect on the same channel at the same time.
Is there any fix for that beyond the obvious? Is there some sort of signal booster or something that better enables multiple connections?
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 08:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacKenzie999 View Post
Is there any fix for that beyond the obvious? Is there some sort of signal booster or something that allows for multiple connections?
You could get an airport express (expensive) and extend the other wireless network, for instance you plug it into a wall outlet nearby to where she is and it extends the main wireless routers network.

Or, you could get a homeplug, but then she is tethered to it.

Above another poster also had some good advise, do you have a wireless home telephone, those can also be a potential interference source.

Another option is to buy a cheap USB wireless stick, maybe that works better.

Wireless problems are notorious difficult to solve without special gear.
We as normal people just have to try out several things, the Pros have special equipment to see if there is any interference.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 08:18 AM   #10
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You might try swapping the Router for an Airport Extreme. You would have 14 days to try it. Maybe AE is better able to handle your WiFi load.

OR to split the WiFi load you will need to do :
1. Run a LAN cable to the upstairs.
2. Get an Airport Express (or Extreme if you want a built-in switch) and connect the two AEs as a roaming network through the LAN cable. Then the WiFi devices can chose which WiFi node to connect to.

Are your WiFi devices evenly split between upstairs and downstairs ?

The cheapest option is still going to be to run a LAN cable for your wife's use upstairs.
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