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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  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.


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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