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.

Why does my wireless broadband connection keep stopping

January 17th, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in Hardware, Internet, wireless 1 Comment »

XP Professional, Version 2002, 2.80GHz running Firefox. After connecting and browsing for less than 15 Min’s, there becomes no response as if the signal had gone. pages will not load, emails cannot be sent. Lights on usb device still flash blue and task bar icon states very good signal. This continues frequently.

Help says to unplug device, shutdown and restart, which works for another short time and then drops out again. I can’t do this every time i wish to use the web. Have tried this on explorer browser and it happens just the same.

Will this be a computer problem or a wireless device problem?

The problem is almost certainly a driver issue. The software supplied on many Internet Providers’ disks is often outdated or simply buggy and this is very frequently the case with Bigpond.

To fix this first download the latest drivers for your wireless broadband equipment from the Bigpond website. Note where you have saved the downloaded files so you can use them later.

Once you’ve downloaded the drivers, unplug the USB modem from your system and go to Add/Remove programs and uninstall all Bigpond software along with anything referring to Maxon or Sierra software and drivers.

Restart your computer without the wireless modem plugged in and install the software you downloaded earlier. During the installation you may be asked to plug the device in, otherwise leave it disconnected.

When you’ve finished installing the updated software, restart the computer and once the computer is running, plug the device in. It should be detected as a USB wireless device and the Bigpond connection manager should start. Fill in the required details and you should be connected.

Internet disconnects after a phone call

December 28th, 2009 Paul Wallbank Posted in wireless 1 Comment »

Our home network consists of a PC hard wired to ADSL2 and a laptop through a router. When we receive a phone call on our landline, we lose the Broadband connection to the laptop when we answer the landline phone and also when we hang up. To our knowledge this has only developed recently.

Would you have suggestions as to the possible cause please?

Is the laptop hardwired to the router or connecting wirelessly?

If the cordless phone is interfering with a wireless connection then the telephone is broadcasting on a similar frequency to the router.

To fix this, you’ll have to try changing the wireless network channels on your router and you’ll find instructions to do this in the router’s instruction manual.

Cordless phones are notorious for interference with other devices on the same frequency. So if the problem continues you may have to replace the phone.

Should the problem be your network from disconnects from the Internet when someone rings, then it’s a filter problem. If you don’t have ADSL filters installed on all your phone connections, you need to do that.

If you do have filters, then one has failed and needs to be replaced. It’s going to be a matter of trial and error until you find the right one.

Wireless modem not recognised

October 27th, 2009 Paul Wallbank Posted in Hardware, Internet, Windows Vista, wireless 1 Comment »

I have a Dodo mobile wireless broadband modem HUAWEI #E160E, and a Compaq presario C700 (C774TU) laptop.

The modem did work at first, but then I was doing Vista updates and the computer shutdown to re-start while the modem was still running along with a program that shows the processor and ram usage/speeds (displays on the right hand side of the screen).

The computer never restarted and I had to manually shut it down and re-start in safe mode. There is a partition to back up the necessary start up files, but I thought they would update automatically, apparently not. Now the modem won’t work and I don’t have a previous copy to revert back to and re-load.

The computer works fine when I uninstall the modem software, but if I try to re-install it, it will  ”hang” and won’t complete the installation. The processor goes wild at 100% and just stays there. I have to manually shut it down and start in safe mode to un-install the modem. I have tried to update drivers but that won’t work.

I notice that if I plug the modem in that it becomes listed a a “drive” or storage drive in devise manager, not as a modem (as im my desktop I now have it plugged into). What have I done?

The problem lies with your system not recognising the modem correctly and that’s probably messing up the installation routine.

Forcing the drivers to install is the first thing to try. Make sure the drivers are extracted or copied to a folder on your hard drive and then attempt the following.

Plug the modem in, let the system detect it as a “drive”, right click the drive in Device Manager and delete. Then run the modem installation program.

The second thing to try is to again delete the “drive” in Device Manager and then force a redetection by clicking Action and then Scan for hardware changes. When the system detects the device, choose the Install from a disk or specific location option and point the wizard to where you’ve saved the modem drivers.

Finally, if the system insists on detecting the modem as a “drive” then in Device Manager, right-click on the drive, choose Update driver and select the Install from a disk or specific location once again. Follow the wizard and that should resolve the problem.

Once you’ve done these, you may have to run the installation program again for the other associated wireless Internet software to work.

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.

wg111cfg MFC Application has encountered a problem

October 9th, 2008 Paul Wallbank Posted in wireless No Comments »

I am having this continual pop up on my screen which tells me wg111cfg MFC app has caused a problem. Can you help me at all.  Thanks

regards, Karen.

Hi Karen, 

The problem is your wireless network card, which is a Netgear WG111. 

The simplest solution is to download the updated software from the Netgear website then uninstall the existing Netgear software.

If you’re still stuck, you should give your local computer technician a call to check where the problem lies.

SSID has stopped working

June 14th, 2008 Paul Wallbank Posted in wireless No Comments »

I am using a D-Link G604T for wireless broadband. I set a password on WPA (on the desktop hard wired to the router), but after a short time it stops working wirelessly and especially with the laptops using it, they won’t connect properly, when setting in the password.

When we put in the WPA password, a message came up to say SSID stopped working. I don’t know whether this has anything to do with it, as I don’t know what SSID is.

The SSID, or Service Set Identifier, is simply the name of your wireless network. In your case, the name is currently dlink. This is what appears on the list of available wireless networks your laptops show.

What the computers are complaining about is that they can’t find the wireless network you want to connect to. This is probably because there’s another Dlink router nearby with the same settings and this is confusing the system.

You can set the SSID to whatever you like and we’d suggest something everyone in your house or office will recognise but won’t be obvious to your neighbours.

To set the SSID on a Dlink 604T follow the instructions in their manual. The setting for SSID is step 7A on page 11.

Choosing a mobile broadband plan

May 21st, 2008 Paul Wallbank Posted in Internet, mobile phone, wireless No Comments »

I purchased a Toshiba M200 notebook to use as a means of connection to internet while travelling around Australia.

What equipment and security software do I need for this operation?

Other info.:-

I have Bigpond ADSL connected via land line at home.
I have a next G mobile phone (Telstra LG phone)

The important thing is the NextG service, this is Telstra’s branding of the 3.5G mobile phone services. 3.5G allows you to connect to the Internet at broadband speeds while on the road. Most countries have such services.

Depending on your phone and the software included with it you should be able to connect your phone as a wireless broadband modem to the laptop.

Australian broadband pricing is mind bogglingly complex and expensive if you choose the wrong plan so you need to be careful. Some of the cheaper plans have massive charges if you go over miniscule monthly data allowances.
The Telstra mobile plans we’d recommend are their $89 or $119 a month Mobile As a  Modem Browsing Packs. Given the excess usage charges, you shouldn’t consider anything less than 1Gb of data a month.

Wireless connection keeps dropping out

February 3rd, 2008 Paul Wallbank Posted in wireless No Comments »

 I have a D-Link router networking my 2 PCs. It was great while they were linked using the cable but I have moved one PC and the wireless connection keeps breaking.
Is there a better product?
I am about to buy a laptop which I would need to add to the network, will this change things?

Wireless connections can be unreliable. Often the cause is the construction of your building or interference from other networks nad electronic devices. Sometimes the device is simply set up poorly.

The first thing to check is the location of your router or wireless base station, change the directions of the antennae and move the device away from windows, concrete and stone walls.

It is also possible the router simply isn’t up to it. Some routers do better than others in certain circumstances. Sometimes the wireless network card doesn’t play well with the rest of the network.

It’s best to start with testing where in your house the signal is good and where it isn’t. Then, experiment with the location of the router and the antennae directions.

Once you’ve found what works and doesn’t you may need to call in a computer tech. Sometimes a newer and better router doesn’t always fix wireless network problems and a tech will be best placed to deal with it.

Cannot connect through a wireless network

February 2nd, 2008 Paul Wallbank Posted in networking, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows Vista, Windows XP, wireless 1 Comment »

 I have a friend that update Norton 360 and now cannot access his wireless network. He can from a wired LAN NIC. I turned off the Norton 360 firewall and the Windows firewall and it could still not access the wireless network.

On the wireless network, he gets an ip and the dns information from the router, however he cannot see the wireless connection with any application. It asks him to use his VPN connection, but that never connects. The wifi connection shows up in Network Connections, but you can’t ping outside the network or go to any service on the Internet.

Has anyone seen this?

It sounds like the incorrect software’s being used for accessing the wireless network. Some wireless adapters require you use their software rather than the built in Windows wireless configuration tool.

To switch to the other software, open the Network Connections, click on the wireless connection’s properties and in the Wireless Networks tab take the tick off “Use Windows to configure my wireless network settings”.

After rebooting you should find the wireless software has changed to the manufacturers. It may be necessary to download and upgrade the latest software for that model adapter.