WiFi problems on Windows PC

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Saluki Alex, May 24, 2006.

  1. Saluki Alex macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Location:
    Illinois
    #1
    Ok, so this isn't about running Windows on a Mac, but anyone's help will be appreciated.

    When I got my first Mac, I also installed a wireless router at my house, a Netgear WPN824. I then installed Netgear wireless antennas on both of the Windows desktops in my house (my desktop and my parents). My parents PC (Windows ME) has always been problematic and was becoming even more so, so I transferred all of there files onto my PC (Windows XP) and gave it to them (until they buy an iMac).

    The problem is this though, neither of the Windows pc's will stay connected to the network for any length of inactivity (my Mac has never had any problems and I could leave it awake for days without it dropping connection.) Mind you, this isn't because they don't get a strong signal, they both do this no matter how close they are to the router. I should also mention that restarting the computer gets the connection back up and running, but this becomes and annoyance as well as it is taxing on the hardware. Not only that, I have them set to update their anti-virus definitions late at night, and the update never goes through because by the time it's scheduled to do so, they've already disconnected from the network.

    Is there anything I can do to stop this from happening, the XP machine is the only one I'm really concerned about because the ME is about to kick the bucket.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. jonmf76 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    #2
    Have you tried enabling Mac address filtering? Maybe someone else is tying up your network bandwidth? Just a thought.

    Have you tried the full power down and power up sequence with ALL cables disconnected? Another thought.
     
  3. Saluki Alex thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Location:
    Illinois
    #3
    We're the only people around here who have WiFi so I highly doubt anyone is tying up my bandwidth. And the power down thing doesn't work either.

    My question is, is there something in windows (or the netgear software) that disconnects itself after a period of inactivity? Possibly something related to the Windows firewall?
     
  4. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #4
    A kludge definitely. You could probably use one of the many "keepalive" tools to make sure your network is never inactive for very long.

    e.g. http://www.gammadyne.com/conkeep.htm

    B
     
  5. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Try changing the channel on the Wireless Router, it'll be in the advanced options somewhere... the PC might have better luck then... AFAIK Mac's have excellent Airport reception compared to some PC's so maybe the problem is also that they're too far away.
     
  6. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #6
    Good thought.

    Do you happen to have a 2.4 GHz cordless phone or other 2.4 GHz device? Or maybe a nearby neighbor does...

    If so it might be interference related and changing the channel (typically Ch 11 has less interference).

    B
     
  7. jonmf76 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    #7
    I do believe there is a setting on your router configure/management page about disconnecting from the network that can be set to "never disconnect."

    Either way, I like Mac addy filtering just to be sure it is only you on there.
     
  8. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #8
    Shouldn't that be MAC address filtering. :p Usually people get slammed for calling Macintoshes MACs, but in this case it is a Media Access Control address.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAC_address

    B
     
  9. Saluki Alex thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Location:
    Illinois
    #9
    We do have a 2.4 GHz phone network in the house as well, but this has never caused any trouble with my Mac. And I would think if it were an interference issue, then it would affect the PC more than just disconnecting after a while.
     
  10. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #10
    All depends on how the wireless NIC is set up to handle the interference. Also, could it be that your Mac has interference robustness on, while the PC doesn't have that feature?

    Try moving the channel first and then see if you still get disconnected.

    http://www.wi-fiplanet.com/tutorials/article.php/2191241

    Could it also be that your Mac is closer/farther to the phone.

    B
     
  11. jonmf76 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    #11
    balamw,

    clearly you are taking this **** way too seriously.
     
  12. Saluki Alex thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Location:
    Illinois
    #12
    Well, I've set my network to Channel 11. Now another question, how do you go about setting up MAC filtering?
     
  13. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #13
    Not at all. I just thought it was amusing that after seeing so many "its' Mac not MAC" posts that I could contribute an "it's MAC not Mac" post.:p
    I'm not personally a fan of MAC address filtering, unless you're absolutely sure that you don't want to add machines to the network, e.g. houseguests.

    Usually you find the appropriate page in your router's configuration and input the list of MAC addresses that are OK to connect to the router. When I have set up MAC address filtering I have found it useful to find the DHCP lease info on the router as it usually displays a list of the MAC addresses that have already connected to the router.

    If you don't have the manuals handy start here:
    http://kbserver.netgear.com/products/wpn824.asp

    B
     

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