: Wireless Network Signal Fluctation



Cadillacboy
01-08-08, 10:40 AM
I got some new antennas in order to improve my network range .The modem I am using is US Robotics .I also have an access point but I rarely need it .
The standard antennas came with the modem is 5 DbA .That's ok still a good connection but the wireless connection signal is consistently changing .Sometimes it shows 99% ,sometimes moves down to 30% . In order to rectify this and having a stable connection signal I bought off 9dB antennas .The result is just same :nono:
Anyone else having similar signal discrepancy ?

EcSTSatic
01-08-08, 10:48 AM
You need to describe your system a little better. You have an access point so I assume you have a wired router and your modem (cable or DSL?) is hooked to the router? Did you add the high gain antennas to the access point?
You don't have a wireless router and wireless access point do you? That could be a problem.

Have you tried Network Magic (http://www.networkmagic.com/) to configure your system? It may help.

malcolm
01-08-08, 11:23 AM
Do you live in a Condo or Townhouse or Apartment? Neighbors with wireless phones, baby monitors and other wireless devices can raise hell with your connection.

Crown Vic Owner
01-08-08, 11:25 AM
network magic sounds like a bunch of spyware / unneeded BS to me.



Honestly, the only option you have is buying a really good network card (aka, not one in a retail store) or get a really decent AP.


If someone likes to use a microwave or portable phone within the area, i know that can mess with WIFI signals. Honestly, 33% should be more than enough for the avg. user to use. I would not be worried about speed unless you are big on doing network transfers from computer to computer. If you are doing this on the internet, there is no reason to worry.

Cadillacboy
01-08-08, 12:03 PM
Thanks for your reply .It's a wireless DSL modem. The standard antenna came with the access point is just fine .I mainly bought it for the modem notthe access point .I don't use the access point all the time because if it's connected all the time ,it just clushes with the modem and disables the connection .Only times I need the access point is when I take my notebook with me to the 2nd floor .That's when i need an access point .Other than that let's say I'm in the 1st floor and the access point in the 2nd floor and hooked up , then the signals clashes with each other ,quite funny lol

EcSTSatic
01-08-08, 12:48 PM
network magic sounds like a bunch of spyware / unneeded BS to me.


you obviously haven't used it :~blah:

EcSTSatic
01-08-08, 12:53 PM
Thanks for your reply .It's a wireless DSL modem. The standard antenna came with the access point is just fine .I mainly bought it for the modem notthe access point .I don't use the access point all the time because if it's connected all the time ,it just clushes with the modem and disables the connection .Only times I need the access point is when I take my notebook with me to the 2nd floor .That's when i need an access point .Other than that let's say I'm in the 1st floor and the access point in the 2nd floor and hooked up , then the signals clashes with each other ,quite funny lol

An access point is mainly used to bridge a wired and wireless network together. If range is a problem then maybe what you should have is an expander, it should work in harmony with the modem. I see problems (obviously) with an access point in your situation. Are you using multiple computers? i.e. do you have a wireless network?

Cadillacboy
01-08-08, 03:54 PM
The signal strenght is now 99% .I did nothing ie resetting the modem ,computer .Nope, I am using only one computer (sometimes 2 computers but this happens rarely) .I have a wireless connection but not using any netwok card as I don't need it .

AMGoff
01-08-08, 07:15 PM
So I'm slightly confused by all of this... all you are running is an integrated dsl modem/wireless router, correct?

Beyond that, the only reason you use the wireless is when you go to the second floor?

First off, why aren't you using wireless all the time? If all you have is a DSL connection, you have more than enough throughput with wireless-G to take full advantage of your available bandwidth... there's no reason at all not to be running it on wireless all of the time.

Also, unless your floors are made from solid steel and/or concrete, then there's also not much reason why you should be losing a lot of signal strength just by moving to the next floor. We have ours located on the second floor and I can get a full signal regardless of whether I'm in the basement, in the attic, or even out in the garage. As Malcom pointed out... the biggest source of interference comes from the used of things like cordless phones, baby monitors, etc... interfering with the radio band. If the wife gets on the cordless phone while I'm on my PowerBook, my connect will get cut.

Cadillacboy
01-08-08, 07:30 PM
I'm using wireless all the time .Only times I need to use the access point (US Robotics just same brand w/ my modem ) is when I go to the second floor .BTW, my notebook has two wireless frequency LAN options which are 2.4 ghz and 5 ghz .I use 2.4Ghz anyway using both of them can cause some some signal problems as those are not compatible w/ each other . Besides that what's said using bluetooth and 2.4 Ghz can effect the stability .

AMGoff
01-08-08, 09:46 PM
So you're running two separate pieces of equipment? I guess I'm just getting confused by your terminology... many DSL modems come with an integrated wireless router these days which serves as an "access point." A dedicated access point is for existing wired networks to add wireless capability... however, they are unnecessary for those with either a wireless router (wireless + ethernet ports) or with integrated modems (modem + wireless + ethernet ports). So I'm still not completely sure what you're running.

EcSTSatic
01-08-08, 10:16 PM
:yeah:

Cadillacboy
01-09-08, 10:03 AM
Yeah, the modem I'm using is a router as well.However I really don't know the main difference between routers and access points. In fact, these two perform the same job .
What I'm trying to say that high gain antennas aren't working as they are advertised .

AMGoff
01-09-08, 02:50 PM
Yeah, the modem I'm using is a router as well.However I really don't know the main difference between routers and access points. In fact, these two perform the same job .
What I'm trying to say that high gain antennas aren't working as they are advertised .

Of course they're not... they're nothing more than snake oil. Just because you slap a bigger antenna on something doesn't necessarily mean you're going to get a stronger signal. That theory works more for receivers than it does transmitters... your transmitting device is still putting out the same power regardless of how big the antenna is... consequently your signal strength will be about the same.

As for a the differences between the devices themselves... a router, whether it be wired, wireless, or both does just that - it automatically "routes" information between different devices, ie - computer to computer, computer to printer, internet to computer, etc... Most routers are "plug and play" these days.. as they have built-in DHCP servers which automatically assign dynamic IP addresses to all of your devices.

Many telecom companies are now setting their customers up with integrated modems which have a router (+wireless) all built in to the same device. These came on the scene after we got our DSL hookup. So my setup is that I have a dedicated DSL modem which plugs into the phone line and then is connected by ethernet to my Motorola wireless-G broadband router... that is the only device that actually "talks" to the WAN/internet/outside world... all of the data that goes to and from my computers goes through that router first. It has four hard-wired ethernet ports, two of which are used for mine and the wife's desktops, and then both of our laptops are then connected to that same device wirelessly. They all talk to each other on the same network.

An access point is solely that - they generally have a static IP address on an established network and it's sole purpose is to generate a wireless connection to and from your wired network... it doesn't generate and assign IP addresses. This type of device is only for those who already have an existing wired network (which generally means they already have some sort of existing wired-only router/switch) and wish to extend wireless capability to that wired network. It in essence, creates a separate, "ad-hoc" wireless network and then bridges that separate wireless network to the existing wired network.

Most at home, broadband consumers don't need a dedicated "access point," as they either have an integrated modem/router+wireless or they have a setup like mine which is a modem that is then connected to a router (wired+wireless). So basically, if your telecom provider sent you a DSL modem that has an antenna or two sticking out of it as well as a couple ethernet ports, you have no need for a separate device.

EcSTSatic
01-09-08, 03:26 PM
I have an access point to bridge my wired and wireless networks. Wired is still faster. My wireless side is for my laptops and PDAs and one wireless USB printer.

I still can't figure out your setup. Do you have a wireless NIC and a standalone wireless DSL modem/router? If range is a problem consider an Expander but be sure you secure your signal. Lose the access point, it won't help you.

HITMONEY
01-09-08, 03:45 PM
Wireless signals, 2.4ghz like to travel downward... picture a big top tent with the AP being at the top of the tent and the tent itself the signal. 2.4ghz is also the same frequency used by many cordless phones in homes as well as microwave ovens. Either one of these has the potential to knock your network completley off (100%) packet loss) and at the very least wreak havoc.

Putting "boosters" or larger antennas on your AP is pointless unless you do the same on the other end. If you boost power up to say 100 milliwatts on one end thats fine and dandy but if your laptop only runs 25 milliwatts you have done nothing. If your router/ap is 802.11b/g and your notebook is 802.11g set the router/ap to accept 802.11g only because if a 802.11b device connects it drops the whole network to 802.11b speeds(through put). The weakest link in the network will be its default strength.

Make sure you have the latest firmware for your router/AP, these things are rushed to market 9 times out of 10, so multiple firmware upgrades are the norm, especially with Linksys.

Try a lower level of security, the higher your security.. say Radius vs WPA vs WEP requires more packets for the router/ap to decifer.

When your signal is low, ping your router's ip address, ie 192.168.1.1, and see if you are experiencing any packet loss. Weaker signal does not mean you are losing any packets, vice versa. Packet loss should be your concern, not signal strength.

Try moving your router/ap's location... even a small move can increase signal strength immensly.

Wait for 802.11n to work itself out.

HITMONEY
01-09-08, 03:58 PM
I have an access point to bridge my wired and wireless networks. Wired is still faster. My wireless side is for my laptops and PDAs and one wireless USB printer.



Wired will always be "faster" as there is no packet security encyption and deciphering going on to hinder packet transfer... in other words, less lag.