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What’s With Wireless?

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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.

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Written by Kris Wong

October 3, 2008 at 4:54 pm

One Response

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  1. I enjoy the ‘freedom’ some applications/devices provide! As a consumer, as long as it works, the price is right, and it is of value/integrity… it is worth it. If the signal and other functionalities don’t operate to fuel efficiency, freedom, and productivity = worthless! What products do you recommend to energize the best results for wireless, speed, and functionality for your dollar?

    Brian Siegel

    October 6, 2008 at 2:41 pm


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