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Old Jun 16, 2011, 05:16 AM // 05:16   #1
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Default Wireless N laptop, wireless g router.

Hi all. Having a bit of an issue here and would like some input. I have a Dell M5030 laptop that I'm trying to get connected to my wireless router and can't seem to do so (normally). It has an Atheros wireless b/g/n yet I still can't get it to connect the way it's supposed to. The only way is to use an Ethernet cable or literally stand within a 5 feet radius from the router. It's a Linksys WRT54G by Cisco. It sits on a shelf under the stairs in the basement. The old PC upstairs (the predecessor to this laptop in fact) can connect fine (it has an old wireless g card) and my iMac can connect just fine as well (also wireless g I believe) and that machine sits up on the second floor, full bars too!

I'm kinda thinking that there is some incompatibility issue between the laptop and the router and that it's just time to go out and buy a new Wireless N router.

Let me know what you guys think, or if there is something else I can do that won't cost me money, lol. Someone said I can change from WEP to something else and it would have better range. I thought that sounded like bs. I'm rather knowledgeable when it comes to computers for the most part... but when it comes to unexplainable/intermittent problems.. just a pain the ass.

Last edited by Chrisworld; Jun 16, 2011 at 05:18 AM // 05:18..
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Old Jun 16, 2011, 07:02 AM // 07:02   #2
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Changing WEP to WPA-SPK can help with reception, but not by a whole lot. Is your wireless card mini-pci, usb, or an express card?
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Old Jun 16, 2011, 10:05 AM // 10:05   #3
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Change from WEP anyway since it can easily be cracked. WPA or WPA-2 is what you should be using.

Found this info off a forum.

"Apparently, the answer to this question is not as simple as it should be. While Linksys claims that their Wireless-N product is backwards compatible witrh Wireless-G, Netgear claims that the Cisco N routers have trouble keeping a connection to a G device." Posted by Optimus Networks

I don't know where he is pulling his info from or if it is true that netgear ever said that about cisco but I feel it applies since you have a cisco router. I have a cisco n router and a g card and they work fine together.

Here is a link to the site I pulled that qoute from...

EDIT: Just a side note.

Keep in mind that without directional antenna's on a router that a signal is sent in a doughnut like shape out from the router. Meaning anything directly above the router will get a crappy signal. So depending on where you are in conjunction with your router you will see a poorer signal. Also depending on where appliances are in your house. Microwaves, tv's, frig, any other generic appliance they hurt the signal.

Last edited by Songbringer; Jun 16, 2011 at 10:09 AM // 10:09..
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Old Jun 16, 2011, 04:15 PM // 16:15   #4
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Like Songbringer said, WEP is a flawed protocol and can easily be cracked.
Unlike what Hot Bill said, it won't affect the reception to change from WEP to WPA/WPA2, it only changes the encryption standard.

Best you can do is get yourself a new N-router as it will generally improve reception. It usually sends on 2 channels instead of one. In either case also make sure that the channel you pick ain't in direct competition with another sender (ie. maybe neighbor got a wireless connection sending on same frequency).
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Old Jun 16, 2011, 09:46 PM // 21:46   #5
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Might sound dumb, but check the wireless channel setting?

Also if it's wireless G and N I wouldn't bother with WEP, I'd use WPA2.
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Old Jun 16, 2011, 11:17 PM // 23:17   #6
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Tried the wpa and wpa2 settings and such, still no luck. So now I have a new Cisco Linksys E1000 wireless N. Same results, the dell laptop STILL can't connect more than 5 feet away from the access point!!

I'm at a total loss here.
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Old Jun 17, 2011, 03:24 AM // 03:24   #7
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Silly question maybe, but are you using the windows wireless network manager or another software title to connect?
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Old Jun 24, 2011, 09:01 PM // 21:01   #8
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Did you turn off power management for the dell's wireless card? It seems like the antenna isn't set to full transmit power.

You might want to try a USB wireless adapter (or if you can, changing the internal one) if that fails.

Found some stuff on your PC:

Yours is Atheros, but for intel stuff:
Transmit Power
The optimal setting is to set the transmit power at the lowest possible level still compatible with the quality of their communication. This allows the maximum number of wireless devices to operate in dense areas and reduces interference with other devices that share this radio spectrum. If you decrease the transmit power, you reduce the radio coverage.

Lowest: Sets the adapter to the lowest transmit power. This enables you to increase the number of coverage areas or confine a coverage area. You should reduce the coverage area in high traffic areas to improve overall transmission quality and avoid congestion and interference with other devices.
Medium-low/Medium/Medium-high: Set by country requirements.
Highest (Default): Sets the adapter to a maximum transmit power level. Use this setting for maximum performance and range in environments with limited additional radio devices.
Check router's transmit power too:
Transmission Power

The greater the transmission power used, the larger the area a wireless network covers. To minimize the likelihood of eavesdropping by unauthorized wireless users, do not use more transmission power than necessary to cover the range needed by your wireless network. Try using the Router at different levels of transmission power, and determine how much power is needed to reach the wireless client, such as a PC or access point, that is farthest from the Router. Then select the appropriate level, High, Medium and Low, from the drop-down menu. The default is High.

Last edited by LifeInfusion; Jun 24, 2011 at 09:09 PM // 21:09..
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