How can I use a wireless network between floors?

May 9th, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in Hardware, networking, wireless 1 Comment »

I have just changed to ADSL2 & I got a wireless modem as I am now using laptop & Desk PC at home office. I live in a three floor townhouse in a strata property & the concrete floor slabs are proving too difficult for the wireless network if I’m on a different floor to  the modem location when using laptop. The ISP  told me to get a “cheap” wireless router but i am unclear how this will help if i have to plug the router into the modem.

Can you help explain?

Since changing to ADSL 2 I have had bad phone connection so I don’t want a router to make that deteriorate further.

The problem you have is the construction of your building, it’s almost certainly built with reinforced concrete floors which contain metal bars to make the concrete slabs stronger. This combination of rocks, cement and steel make it almost impenetrable for wireless networks.

You might be able to improve the signal between floors by putting the router in or close to the stairwell so the signal can get between floors, but even that will probably not get you good coverage throughout the house.

Probably the only reliable solution will be to run cables between each floor and set up a wireless base station on each. This shouldn’t affect your phone signal.

The phone signal problem is probably related to your phone not having line filters properly installed, we cover this in our Bad Phone Connection After Installing ADSL Post.

“Check the status of broker” error on GoToWebinar

December 1st, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in Internet, networking No Comments »

When trying to take a webinar out of Practice Mode I keep getting an error saying “check the status of broker”. How do I start my presentation?

The problem has to do with the presenters and organisers along with the way GoToWebinar deals with scheduled events.

You have to log all of the presenters and organisers out of the webinar and then back in, but you have to do this without closing the webinar and upsetting any waiting attendees.

To do this, follow these steps;

  1. Get all presenters to log off and back on again with the exception of the designated organiser.
  2. Once the presenters have logged back on, the designated organiser should log off
  3. GoToWebinar will ask the organiser if they want to designate one of the presenters to become the organiser and they should do so.
  4. On logging back on, the presenter can give the organiser function back to original organiser
  5. The webinar will now come out of Practice Mode.

That should resolve any problems you’re having with it.

unidentifiable network problem cuts me off the Internet

November 27th, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in networking No Comments »

I just moved and got a new internet provider.  Basically my PC loses internet connectivity about every 30 to 40 minutes.  It says it is an unidentifable network,  90% of the time i have to restart my PC to correct it.  10% of the time the Diagnostic now button fixes it. I have worked with my internet provider and he says it is a computer glitch not the modem.  What might case this problem. any fix suggestions?

We have some suggestions on fixing this problem with our IP address conflict post however it sounds like you are dealing with that problem by rebooting or running the Diagnose Now function in Windows.

The problem sounds like it is with your network router, which is usually the modem on most home networks. The router is giving out the right information for the computer to identify the network it’s connected to and so can’t get an Internet address.

Usually the router or modem has a number of sockets you can plug your network cables into, so try plugging the cable into one of the other sockets as sometimes there’s a defective socket or a loose connection. You can also try a different network cable.

If you are on a wireless network, you’ll need to check the settings in the router and maybe change the channel or security parameters to get a more reliable connection, we have a few more tips on dealing with unreliable WLANs in our wireless connection keeps dropping out post.

In your post you don’t say if this router/modem was supplied by the new Internet Service Provider, if so you should complain to them and see about obtaining a replacement.

rewiring a house

March 21st, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in Hardware, Internet, networking No Comments »

I want to rewire my home internet. We have FIOS that is primarily disseminated from a wireless router in our kitchen which I would like to move. The Verizon crew could only find a “signal” from coaxial cable, which they used. Is there a way I can convert the coaxial cable to a more standard cat5e without going outside my house?

It sounds like the Verizon installer took the quickest solution they could find. This should be a fairly straightforward job for a licensed electrician to run some Cat 5 cable from the Optical Network Terminal (ONT) box Verizon installed outside your home to the locations you want.

Most places have regulations regarding who can install cat5 and you should check with Verizon before doing any work around their equipment.

Error 720 on a dial up connection

July 15th, 2009 Paul Wallbank Posted in networking, Windows XP 2 Comments »

My operating system is Windows XP and my ISP is Chariot/Picknowl dialup. When I try to use dial-up connection I receive “Error 720″ message.

A friend of mine said it could be something to do with loss of a registry key? It seems to have occurred since I turned on Windows Update to automatically download updates.

Do I have to re format drive by saving my files and inserting Windows XP disc, or is there an easier way.

Any suggestions?

Your problem has come from a moden driver upgrade that’s messed up your network settings. Thankfully you won’t have to reinstall anything.

To fix it, click Start, Run and type CMD.

At the command box type netsh winsock reset catalog

This will reset your network settings back to normal and your dial up connection should work.

Note if you have a firewall or all in one security program this command might cause some problems and if that’s the case, you should call for some IT assistance.

Cannot connect through network port

June 12th, 2009 Paul Wallbank Posted in networking No Comments »

I have been transferred from mumbai to kochi. In mumbai i was using a broadband connection on LAN which was perfectly fine.

On shifting to kochi i got a new connection of Asianet on LAN. But LAN is not getting connected although USB from modem is connecting.

I am suspecting some problem with IP Adress set up- as the data is going in through LAN port but not sent back(showing in status).please help…

This question’s a bit confusing as you mention a LAN and USB connection. You need to be using one or the other, not both for your Internet connection. So the first step is to unplug the USB and restart your computer.

If the LAN still isn’t connecting. You may need to force the IP address to change, do this by clicking Start, Run and type ipconfig /renew then click OK.

There are some other settings you can change on your network card which we describe in our Slow Copying to a Vista Computer article. You may want to try setting the LAN connection to 100/duplex rather than Automatic.

Connecting XP Home to a Small Business Server network

March 2nd, 2009 Paul Wallbank Posted in networking, Windows XP No Comments »

Can I connect a computer with windows XP home to a small business server network?

You can however you won’t be able to use the Active Directory features. The practical consequence of this is you’ll be prompted for passwords whenever you want to use network resources like shared drives, Exchange mailboxes and printers.

There are many more reasons than that to use an XP Professional system on a business network as taking advantage of Active Directory gives you a vast range of mainentance and security features.

Connecting an XP Home system is fine for one off or occasional  use, however its not recommended if you’re intending to use the computer as an office system.

To set it up, just enter the domain name of the network as the workgroup name and choose a name for the system that doesn’t conflict with anything already on the network and it should work fine.

Remember the user name you log in as needs to be listed in the Windows Server account manager or you won’t be able to connect.

Choosing a router

January 9th, 2009 Paul Wallbank Posted in networking, wireless No Comments »

I want to buy a router so I can access internet on my laptop at home while my wife is on main computer. There are so many out there and I am so confused as to which one to buy?  What about security?

Generally the best thing to do is to buy a router through your Internet provider. While you will pay more than from your local computer store, you will get the specific set up for your connection and you should get support from the provider.

Security normally isn’t a problem if you are connecting the computers using an Ethernet cable. If you are planning on using the laptop wirelessly then you should use WPA security. We have more on this on our Securing a Network page.

Most of the ISP provided wireless routers come with WPA already activated.

If you decide to buy a router yourself most brands are fine although we like the Linksys range. Keep in mind the effectiveness of a wireless network can vary depending upon your location.

Computer not connecting to the net

January 1st, 2009 Paul Wallbank Posted in Hardware, networking No Comments »

I have DSl modem it works great. If I hook either of my computers to the DSl modem they works fine. If I hook up my 4 port D-Link or Linksys router the computer which is 25′ away will work but the other which is 150′ away will not connect. I have ran a new line, replaced the router ,and talked to someone for an hour at D-link that did everthing but fix my problem. Dell wants to charge me $50.00 just to tell me the problem please HELP?????????????

Normally the first thing I would look at with this problem is the cable running to the computer 150′ away. However you say that you “ran a new line” so I’m assuming you’ve replaced the cable.

The most likely cause of the problem is the network card in the remote computer has a problem with detecting the connection to the routers.

Modern Ethenet cards automatically detect the speed of the device at the other end of the cable and adjust their settings accordingly.

Most modems have compartively slow, and older, 10 Mbit Ethernet connections while most routers have 100 or 1,000 Mbit ports and sometimes defective Ethernet ports struggle to detect the faster ports properly.

The simplest solution is to replace the network card. You can do this yourself with a cheap USB adaptor or you can get your local computer tech to install a new internal card.

Networking Windows XP and Vista

December 30th, 2008 Paul Wallbank Posted in networking, Windows Vista, Windows XP 1 Comment »

I am attempting to home network by ethernet cable my two desktop PCs – one running Vista and the other, XP.

The Vista PC has an existing broadband internet connection and a new DLink modem/router, both operational. The driver for the modem is installed only on the Vista PC.

I clicked through various prompts on both PCs to set up a network, and each PC now displays the twin computers icon at the right hand side of the taskbar. But when I view the network, neither PC shows an icon of the other. They are invisible to one another.

I haven’t acquired any internal or external NICs because I thought that an ethernet port is a NIC – perhaps I’m wrong? I’ve read the relevant section in PCs For Dummies, but obviously I have overlooked something essential.

I hope you can advise me.

Kind regards, Elizabeth.

Hi Elizabeth.

You’re absolutely right about the Ethernet port being an NIC, or Network Interface Card, all new computers come with them so you don’t need to buy another.

There’s a number of differences in the way XP and Vista handle networks and this can cause problems. 

The most common one is Vista’s use of the Link-Layer Topology Discovery (LLTD) protocol which allows Vista computers to find each other on a network but isn’t part of Windows XP. 

If you want to get XP machines talking to Vista, the simplest way is to download and install the XP LLTD software from Microsoft.

Should this not work, Microsoft have futher troubleshooting tips, but you may need to call on the services of a computer tech to help you with what can be a complex and obscure problem.