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No Signal: Homes Often Baffle Wi-Fi From Routers-wsj.com

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by mikeny, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. mikeny

    mikeny Hall Of Fame

    Aug 20, 2006
  2. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

    Jun 24, 2007
    Northern VA
    Nothing new there. A wireless router is not going to get a perfect signal everywhere that you want it to. If you think it will, well, you're going to be disappointed. There's a reason why it's always recommended to hardwire your devices if you have the capability to do so.

    - Merg
  3. Marlin Guy

    Marlin Guy Hall Of Fame

    Apr 8, 2009
  4. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

    Nov 15, 2005
    Ding Ding....

    If the device doesn't move, it should be hardwired.

    It's also why I have three access points in my house (well technically 4, the 4the one i turn on when we have a party, with only internet access)
  5. Grentz

    Grentz New Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    There are just so many variables with wireless. Always easiest to hardwire everything you can, then go from there.

    Some of my clients houses can have one little router cover everything, others need 2+ in just a few hundred sqft to cover things properly. Wireless devices also vary a lot (access points and clients) in how well they work.

    It is one thing I hate about my Apple gear, the iPad/iPhone/iPods have very crappy wireless range/sensitivity when the going gets tough.
  6. billsharpe

    billsharpe Hall Of Fame

    Jan 25, 2007
    My iPod Touch gets better wireless reception than my computer when both are upstairs. The router is downstairs, hardwired to my DirecTV DVR.

    Put the router as high in the room as you possibly can for best results. Most routers offer a selection of channels -- results may vary depending on which channel you choose.
  7. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    When possible, always choose channels 1 or 11. Only 1, 6 and 11 don't overlap each other, and channel 6 is a common default. I have a handy app on my Touch called eWifi, shows all access points in range, whether or not they are hidden, channel and encryption. I think Apple pulled it though. Plenty of apps for a computer, but having it on a handheld is useful.
  8. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

    Dec 2, 2010
    My WiFi works very well on my Macs and iPhone, but my house is all wood, with damn few wires strung!

    I'll bite- almost unabashed newbie here- who's the photo of? Is there a deep meaning?
  9. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

    Jun 24, 2007
    Northern VA
    That works great, except when neighbors are all picking 1, 6, and 11 since that is what is always suggested. :)

    - Merg
  10. Cholly

    Cholly Old Guys Rule! DBSTalk Club

    Mar 22, 2004
    Having everything hard wired can prove to be a problem. Our home has so many network devices that we wound up having a combination of wired and wireless. I have a Netgear WNDR3700 dual band wireless N router with all four Ethernet outputs being used. One output goes to a Trendnet 8 channel gigabit switch. Another goes to a DLink 5 channel 10/100 switch in my bedroom, with connections going to my HP photosmart 3200 printer, Pogoplug hard drive, Panasonic Blu-ray DVD player and Toshiba HD DVD player. My main computer, Wii, TiVo Premiere and Kodak HD theater all connect wirelessly. I have a second gigabit line that I use for direct connect to my laptop.
    In my den, a hard wired line connects to an old Linksys 10/100 hub, which serves Blu-ray and HD DVD players and occasionally, my son's work laptop. Also in the den, My HTPC, Brother Laser printer and HD TiVo all communicate wirelessly. In the upstairs playroom, the PS3 communicates wirelessly, while the kids' computer is wired. My daughter in-law's computer is wired, and in the upstairs master bedroom, there's a wired outlet my son uses at times, and a Series 2 TiVo that communicates wirelessly. Finally, in our family room, an LG BH200 HD DVD/Blu-ray player is hard wired and a Series 3 TiVo communicates wirelessly.
    Phew! :eek2:
  11. RasputinAXP

    RasputinAXP Kwisatz Haderach of Cordcuttery

    Jan 23, 2008
    I just put Tomato on my Linksys router and crank the transmit power up. No big deal.
  12. tkrandall

    tkrandall Hall Of Fame

    Oct 3, 2003
    Can you point me to some apps (Windows or MAC OS)? I would like to know the channels being used in my vicinity.
  13. RasputinAXP

    RasputinAXP Kwisatz Haderach of Cordcuttery

    Jan 23, 2008
  14. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jan 18, 2007
  15. Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2009
    NY Hudson...
    Home wireless for me is iffy. I live in an area surrounded by hills loaded with iron. Early wireless was totally useless. The newer stuff does better, but still hiccups.
  16. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jan 18, 2007
    My system is hardwired to our primary computers, Dish boxes, Slingbox, Wii, Panasonic BD player with Vierra, Dell color laser printer, etc.

    But I have a secondary WiFi router, used as a switch for extra ports and a wifi access point, through which our new HP eStation printer, iPads, and laptops connect.

    Over the holiday, family brought a multitude of iPhones, iPods, and laptops which finally drove the system berserk and nobody could get a proper IP address on the wireless side and even my Wii had a problem connecting.

    Had to shut it all down and start up methodically. But the wireless side usually gives me about the same speeds as the wired equipment with no problems.
  17. Grentz

    Grentz New Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    My Thinkpad blows away the iDevices. As do quite a few other wireless devices I have.

    My Access Point is positioned fine, and I have noticed it in many wireless environments with all the devices (I travel with my ThinkPad and iPhone a lot).
  18. kc1ih

    kc1ih Legend

    May 22, 2004
    Hudson, FL
    I used to believe the same thing, until my cable line got struck by lightening. It took out the cable modem, the router, and the Ethernet ports on two computers. At least the computers would have been OK had I used wireless.

    I know about surge suppressors, but if you get enough of a direct hit nothing is gonna save you.
  19. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz Day Sleeper

    Mar 23, 2002
    Sacramento, CA
    I'm prohibited from running wires all over the house, so I'm stuck with wireless. That means that beyond my room, it is all wireless. This includes:
    • My mom's computer
    • A wireless point at my mom's TV/HD-DVR/BluRay player.
    • My laptop
    • My Droid X phone
    • The Kindle
    Fortunately, my network is set up with WPA2 security. Don't want freeloaders on my network.

    The house was built in the mid-1970s, so the framing is all wood with no chicken mesh. (Yay).
  20. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Apr 17, 2003
    Nice tool!
    Running inSSIDer 2.0 I find three signals at home, all on channel 6.
    No other signals.

    Mine is in the basement about 20 ft from where I sit upstairs ... signal level -55dB
    The two neighbors (at least 150 ft away) are around -90dB. One keeps falling off the chart. (Both neighbors are Westell Technology and have a SSID of 10FXnnnnnnnn numbers so I assume they got their wireless routers from the phone company. My DSL modem is a phone company supplied Westell. My wi-fi is Linksys.)

    Sheepishly looking at three channel 6's on the chart I changed mine to channel 1 ... and -55db became -65db (less signal) ... so up to channel 11 and -65db again. It seems that the RSSI is best back on channel 6. So go with the highest signal?

    BTW: The neighbors are using WEP ... mine is RSNA-CCMP.

    As far as wires ... yes, I'd prefer them. When I bought the house the first thing I did was run wired ethernet to every room all leading to a 10/100 switch in the basement where the modem was installed. Originally I had dialup on a linux box providing an internet connection, then replaced that with a cable modem when it became available, then replaced that with DSL when it became available. I added the wi-fi when I got a laptop and didn't want the wire strung across the room.

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