What’s With Wireless?
Borrowing a phrase from Jerry Seinfeld, I have to rant a bit… what’s with wireless? Being an avid linux fan, I’m used to wasting hours troubleshooting obscure, and what seem to be impossible, issues. But I always seem to have some sort of problem with my wireless configuration. It’s not that complicated, why does it never seem to work quite right?
I had a linksys router and wireless NIC that just did not want to talk to each other. The signal wasn’t bad, I had an IP address, my gateway and DNS servers were all setup correctly through DHCP, yet for some reason I could not even ping my router. I know each piece worked independently (through testing against other devices), just not together. So I used linksys’s live online help. The support person tells me the NIC I’m using doesn’t support Windows Vista 64-bit. 1. Vista has been around for over 2 years now, get with the program. 2. It was working before, so it’s obviously possible to get it to work. Lets just say I returned that hardware for some netgear equipment.
Of course I got the “Range Max” version of the wireless router. It’s supposed to work throughout the entire house. I have a 2 bedroom apartment. I get almost no signal on my desktop that’s maybe 30 – 40 feet away from the router, no major obstructions in the way. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. =/
UPDATE: After looking into the issue a little more, there appear to be 10 – 20 wireless networks at my apartment complex in range of my desktop. Since there are only 3 wireless channels that do not interfere with one another, this is obviously an issue. Eventually I had to purchase a separate D-Link wireless antenna to increase the coverage at my desktop, and switch my wireless to a channel that would have the least amount of interference. The net result: I have a decent signal, and am getting 6000+ Kb/s from dslreports.com. Another option would have been to go with equipment that supports 802.11 n, but this standard is still in draft and the equipment is quite expensive.