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I've got XP and Wanadoo (now Orange) broadband with a Livebox for wireless connection. Most of the time this works fine, but occasioanlly I have problems connecting to the wireless network. Somethimes it won't connect at all, and other times it will drop the connection, then re-connect then drop it again and so on.
The symptoms are that XP can see my network, which has a signal strength of excellent, but can't connect to it. There can't be anything wrong with the basic setup, as normally it works fine. I'm beginning to wonder if something is interfering with the wireless connection, as if I have the problem I can guarantee that the following day it will be fine.
I've tried moving the Livebox around, but as the signal is excellent anyway it seems unlikely that this would make any difference. Is it possible that something could be 'blocking' my connection, for example something to do with a neighbours wireless (I cna 'see' about 4 other networks from my PC). Could changing the channel number help?
If you're comfortable doing it, changing channel is a great first step. If everyone around you is on 6, you need to be on 1 or 11 (or whatever the top end is in your location). Changing the number by 1 won't make any real difference.
Changing channels will either autmagically fix everything, or do nothing. In either case, it's answered one question on the fix list.
If it works with your wireless card, Netstumbler is a great tool for seeing at a glance how noisy your area is, and helps pick the right channel.
Good answer it is always a problem with urban areas when a lot of wirless networks spring up all using channel 6, some manufacturers have recognised this failing and set the deafult to either 11 or 1 but changing it is a simple matter.
Also the setting for 'b' and 'g' modes should be looked at, By default these are normally set too accept connections on either 'b' 11mbs and 'g' 54 mbs, Ok under normal circumstances but if yor connecting equipment is all of te 'g' type simply setting the connection to accept only 'g' hardware will exclude a lot of extranious connection attempts.
Unchecking the 'Broadcast SSID' is also good pratice, as if your network is not broadcasting to the world who and what it is there is less chance of other wireless equipment other than your own trying to log on.
Finally the use of the Access listing, or MAC filtering is also a very good method of denying access to your network, nothing to do with MAC computers here, Media Access Control, something that applies to every computer and wirelss capable device is that it has a unique MAC address associated with it, something you can use in your router interface to allow only those computers and devices access too the network, in short if it's not listed it cannot connect, Can be spoofed, but to do it you would need to be very computer aware and have a very good reason, not in the realms of most users.
Like Vancouv I've just upgraded to Livebox and I'm running XP also.
After some problems with the installation CD its working now but I'm finding that I get poor/limited connectivity sometimes due to the network not assigning an IP address..
If use XP's "repair" facility on the network connections that seems to cure it..
Range is modest - low to very low signal at 30 feet (and two brick walls inbetween) but other than video sites e.g. youtube where it sometimes stutters, on other sites, like this, works ok.
The other day I shut down the laptop: restarted a few hours later and found I was still connected wireless wise to the livebox. Am I better disconnecting when closing down? or doesn't it matter? I'm leaving the livebox on all the time.
Thanks for the tips. I downloaded Netstumbler and at the moment (while my connection is working) there are 2 other networks available - they are using channel 1 & 11 and I am using 9. It will be interesting to see what it looks like when I have a problem.
Brewster - your problem sounds different to mine. The signal strength is fine, and Windows repair doesn't fix my connectivity - it says it can't connect to the network. If I shut down my PC (not a laptop) the connection is cut and I have to reconnect at startup.
Yarss. There's 5MHz between channels on 802.11b, and each channel signal is 22MHz - 30MHz wide, depending on whose specs you trust. Simplifying slightly, basically you're limited to channels 1, 6 & 11. It's really a mess. Even trying to squeeze one more station in, so doing something like 1, 4, 7, 11, can cause enough interference to stop things.