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  • Reliable Wireless Networking??

    I recently purchased a new home PC (custom build). When I was going through the spec I made sure that a decent wireless card was installed. I'd not used wireless networking before at home with my PC (I use it for portable devices), because my experience of wireless PC networking elsewhere was pants.

    Today, I've had to switch back to using an Ethernet cable. The wireless card, a TP-Link in a PCIe slot, was losing the network once every 2 or 3 days so I would find that downloads, answering posts, streaming media would be interrupted. The wireless network was still broadcasting as testified by my iPod's ability to connect to the Internet during these 'outages'.

    Is wireless still in its infancy? I'm really disappointed with this

    My router is the latest from BT and was installed specifically for my fibre connection. I thought, Great!, I'll go wireless. hahaha oh well

    What makes a wireless network reliable? Are there any good guides out there that help you tweak the settings on a wireless card? I've seen some stuff on Windows Networking dot com, but that just parrots the settings without explaining what they do.

    Thanks!
    A recent poll suggests that 6 out of 7 dwarfs are not happy

  • #2
    Re: Reliable Wireless Networking??

    Wireless networks are usually very reliable. If yours isn't working, it could be because:
    • the WLAN NIC might defective
    • there could be bugs in the driver
    • there might be a problem with the PC itself
    • the router might be defective or have buggy firmware
    • interference or poor reception could cause the link to go down


    How far is it from the PC to the WLAN router/access point? Are there any stone or concrete walls nearby?

    Have you tried doing a quick site survey with a tool such as inSSIDer to see if there are other networks nearby that could be causing interference?

    Are there any other possible sources of radio interference nearby, such as wireless surveillance cameras, cordless (DECT) phones or microwave ovens?

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    • #3
      Re: Reliable Wireless Networking??

      Take your BT router, and destroy it with a hammer, throw it off a building or run over it with a truck.

      Seriously, since I switched to a Draytek router that supports VDSL and replaced my BT HomeHub (I had the V3 and BT wouldn't give me an upgrade to the 5 despite admitting the 3 had issues) I have had no problems whatsoever. It was expensive, as I paid the extra for 5GHz Dual-Band WiFi but I am getting much faster speeds and there have been no connection issues or dropouts as the 5GHz band is so much clearer than the standard 2.4GHz band.
      BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
      sigpic
      Cruachan's Blog

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      • #4
        Re: Reliable Wireless Networking??

        Originally posted by Blood
        I recently purchased a new home PC (custom build).
        Reeeally.

        You may have a faulty Wireless NIC. It happens.
        Check line of sight and make sure you don't have any metal obstacles. Combined with interference could cause signal loss.
        Check what signal strength you have on your super duper PC.

        Finally, NOTHING wrong with wireless. I work in an organisation that has over 27,000 WAPs, not even going to try and estimate the number of wireless clients, and have very little problems. My home wireless that I have been running for 9 years has any issues fixed by a firmware flash to the latest version and anything after that by a WAP reboot. Just make sure you use the strongest WAP2 key you can generate.
        1 1 was a racehorse.
        2 2 was 1 2.
        1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
        2 2 1 1 2

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        • #5
          Re: Reliable Wireless Networking??

          Thanks a lot for the help

          I do have a cordless phone so I'll try switching the channels and also give the utility a go.

          I've been with BT for nearly ten years and not had n issue with their routers before. If it is the router I'll certainly give the Draytek a go. However, considering my experience with their tech support (or lack of it), I may go for another brand.
          A recent poll suggests that 6 out of 7 dwarfs are not happy

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          • #6
            Re: Reliable Wireless Networking??

            Originally posted by Blood View Post
            Thanks a lot for the help

            I do have a cordless phone so I'll try switching the channels and also give the utility a go.

            I've been with BT for nearly ten years and not had n issue with their routers before. If it is the router I'll certainly give the Draytek a go. However, considering my experience with their tech support (or lack of it), I may go for another brand.
            I'm only using a Draytek because I also have BT TV (YouView) and there aren't many 3rd party routers that support it. BT's support forums do have lots of threads on what routers work best.

            If you have an HH4 or 5 then both support dual-band WiFi, so if your wireless card also supports it (and most do now) then I'd give that a go before changing anything hardware-wise. As I said, it's made a huge difference to the speed and reliability of my wireless connections. I use a Surface Pro (V1, think it's a Marvell WiFi card), Nexus 7 2013 version and a Nokia Lumia 925 with the WiFi and all work pretty much flawlessly. The Surface had massive issues with the HH3 that I have now binned.

            I must also confess to a fair amount of prejudice against BT hardware because of the POS 2-Wire ADSL modems that they have been using for years. The business version of them (someone has tippexed out Home and written business in crayon on them is about the sum total of the changes) is completely unfit for purpose and led to the purchase of a large stock of Netgear DG834s at my last job to replace them. I've never had to speak to Draytek support, but I would be amazed if it's any worse than BT's - they could not have been less interested in my router issues at home and just wanted to sell my a new Home Hub.
            Last edited by cruachan; 23rd December 2014, 13:55.
            BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
            sigpic
            Cruachan's Blog

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            • #7
              Re: Reliable Wireless Networking??

              I think I may have resolved the issue.

              I was trawling through BT's customer support forums and saw several queries regarding poor Wi-Fi performance. One of the common suggestions was to disable syncing between the 2.4 and the 5GHz bands.

              I disabled this, renamed the 5GHz to Blood.5 and I have not had any problems. In the days leading up to this the wireless connection was dropping out at least twice a day and the router would appear to do a reset.

              I have a good wireless password but when I tried to increase its length (the BT router will accept up to 63 characters) and hit the Apply button the router would reset and the password would remain the same.

              There are obviously still some bugs in this device that BT need to resolve.

              Anyway, once again, thanks a lot for all your suggestions and for helping me understand more about this.
              A recent poll suggests that 6 out of 7 dwarfs are not happy

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              • #8
                Re: Reliable Wireless Networking??

                Well, that wasn't it

                I've kept an eye on the router and it seems to be either the wireless signal dropping (the Ethernet connection will work) or the line being dropped - I get outages when connected via Ethernet cable as well but can see the router is trying to connect. I have line of sight to the router. I downloaded the utility mentioned by Ser Olmy but everything seems to be in order.

                Damn! Did not want the extra expense of a professional router.
                A recent poll suggests that 6 out of 7 dwarfs are not happy

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                • #9
                  Re: Reliable Wireless Networking??

                  Is there any pattern to these dropouts?
                  1 1 was a racehorse.
                  2 2 was 1 2.
                  1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                  2 2 1 1 2

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                  • #10
                    Re: Reliable Wireless Networking??

                    No, none at all. They are intermittent. I'll make a note of when it happens over the next week and then ring BT and see if they can help.
                    A recent poll suggests that 6 out of 7 dwarfs are not happy

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                    • #11
                      Re: Reliable Wireless Networking??

                      Is the Wireless part of this BT device? I am assuming that it is only the wireless dropping out and not Wired traffic. Have you got a cheap TP Link WAP you can hook into the network and see if that works. Last TP Link WAP that I purchased cost me around AUD$45. Was a 54g but it will allow you to determine if it is the BT thing or not. It can be set up with the same SSID and WPA2 key so nothing needs to be changed on the clients.
                      1 1 was a racehorse.
                      2 2 was 1 2.
                      1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                      2 2 1 1 2

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                      • #12
                        Re: Reliable Wireless Networking??

                        Thanks for the suggestions

                        The wireless is integral to the router. The wired traffic was dropping out as well.

                        The connection has been OK during the last week so I'll persevere.
                        A recent poll suggests that 6 out of 7 dwarfs are not happy

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                        • #13
                          Re: Reliable Wireless Networking??

                          Originally posted by Blood
                          The wired traffic was dropping out as well.
                          Was the wired and wireless both dropping out at the same time?
                          1 1 was a racehorse.
                          2 2 was 1 2.
                          1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                          2 2 1 1 2

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                          • #14
                            Re: Reliable Wireless Networking??

                            I did not check - I'll do so next time.
                            A recent poll suggests that 6 out of 7 dwarfs are not happy

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                            • #15
                              Re: Reliable Wireless Networking??

                              Just to update you - I've been using the wireless adaptor without any problems for some time now - it knew we were talking about it...

                              Thanks again to everyone who responded
                              A recent poll suggests that 6 out of 7 dwarfs are not happy

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