December 10th, 2002, 02:55 AM
Microsoft Wireless Network help
I went out and looked around for wireless networks for the house. There were two main companies that I saw in the shelf of wireless stuff, Microsoft and Linksys. Because I've had problems before with a non wireless Linksys router, I decided to go with the Microsoft brand. I bought a base station, wireless card for another desktop and a wireless card for a laptop. Now after reinstalling quite a few times I got the base station and the computer it's connected to, working. Now I tried installing the notebook card. After a few installations, it worked. In the same room I was able to enjoy my cable connection without any problems. But when I stepped out of the room just a few feet from the door, the connection lagged. And when I went downstairs to a room right below the basestation, the connection simply stopped working. Now, the box says it's suppose to work 300 feet away from the base station through walls, ceilings and floors. I thought this was weird because when I installed a wireless card on a desktop that was on the other end of the house and downstairs, the connection worked fine, still a bit laggy. So if anyone out there knows about wireless networks, knows about Microsoft network stuff, or knows tips on how to boost the base stations signal, I would appreciate you posting your knoledge.
December 10th, 2002, 03:19 AM
The problem with wireless networks is that the speed you are mentioning is the theoretical speed. Any sort of obstruction will cause interference. For instance, if you were to walk between your laptop and your base station, you may already notice a short loss in performance. Since your desktop works well, there are two different ideas. One is there may simply be less interference between the AP and the desktop then between your AP and where you walked with your laptop. The other issue may be that the antennae on the desktop is better than the antennae on the laptop.
To maximize the effect of the base station, try different rooms, locations within rooms, etc. For instance, in my house, I have a total of four wireless access points connected to my ethernet network, and the optimum location for the units were in the attic. A problem I found was my outdoor walls cause a great deal of interference, so my access points become ineffective when forced to transmit outside the walls. As for boosting performance, you can always get an external antennae to increase the range of the signal. You could also opt to get an amplifier, but the FCC has regulations how much you are allowed to amplify the signal, so if you're not careful, you could run into legal issues with the FCC. Good luck.
December 10th, 2002, 03:22 AM
What are these amplifiers that your talking about? Where would I get one and how would I install it on the base station?
December 10th, 2002, 03:52 AM
the wireless world is nopt quite there yet. The problems are:
1. Inability to send signals through multiple wall without serious speed resuction.
2. Multi-path issues
I have found both in home and business use, you need to put Access points every 100 feet to maintain signal strength ( connection and reasonable speed). Also, most (all) wireless access points have a serious problem going through concrete walls or walls with alot of steel (i.e business that have elevators)
Boosting signal strenght with special adapters and/or antennas are nice, but you will also be broadcasting your wireless system outside your business or home. You need to make sure that you have a firewall and that the access poiint is not installed using the default settings. You'd be surprissed how many homes I'm able to attach to their wireless systems because they use default IP,DHCP and virtually no security.
Bottomline, wireless systems are nice but they have severe problems when you use them in areas other than large open space offices (warehouse, manufacturing floors etc..)
Ultra-wide-band may help and the 60ghz wireless system may help resolve some of the speed issues and distance, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
Chip manufacturers' for wirelss chipsets say that it will be another 18months before anything comes out that is useful
December 10th, 2002, 04:02 AM
*sigh* Suppose I'll have to wait till then, thanks for your help.
December 10th, 2002, 04:52 AM
Another thing to check for is interference from other devices. Do you have a 2.4 Gig cordless phone? If so make sure the phone base is not in the same room. If it has to be in the same room move it as far away as possible. Also make sure your access point is as high as possible in the room. That made a difference for me. One last thing comes to mind... Microwave ovens can also cause problems if they are between the access point and your client device. And lastly the antennae on some PCards leave much to be desired. I have 2 linksys PCards, one is their first version the other is their latest. I get about 20 more feet with the later version.
Work... Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints...
December 10th, 2002, 05:19 AM
I hate to be a troll usually, but, ....
You said you did not buy the linksys wireless system because you had previously had trouble with a linksys product. Am I to believe that you have never had problems with a microsoft product?
Several different things will help out majorly. Base station positioning can have a big effect. Also, if you bought the microsoft card, or even the linksys card(both of which are CRAP) your range is going to be significantly reduced than with other solutions. There are several things which help out your range(without getting to terribly technical).
1. A different antenna on the wireless access point. Some access points are able to have a better antenna attached to them.
2. a different antenna on the wireless network card in your laptop. They are majorly different. I had a card from some manufacturer(linksys) which had horrible range. I went out and bought a Cisco Aironet 350 card for 40 dollars more, and had amazingly better service.
3. Some laptops have large antenna's built in. Most laptops which advertise having built in wireless networking have an antenna which completel wraps around the screen, inside the case of course. HP's, Apple, Compaq, anyone who claims builtin wireless has these really long antenna's(if you measure around the entire monitor, it is almost 3 feet.). A PCMCIA card in a laptop has no hope of competing. Also, most cards you buy which fit in a PCI slot in a desktop have HUGE antennas.
The commodity (****) wireless card you bought, whether it be from linksys or microsoft, or whoever, cannot possibly work as well as other cards with larger antennas(laptops with builtin) or better design(Cisco).