View Full Version : How To Fix Your Wireless Network - Part 1

10-09-2007, 04:00 PM

Wireless networks are a wonderful thing. However, the freedom and convenience they provide can also come with a healthy dose of frustration and annoyance. Your pain might come in the form of frequent network disconnects, sluggish speed, inability to connect or, if you're really lucky, combinations of all three.
Fortunately, armed with a basic understanding of how wireless networks (also commonly known as wireless LANs or WLANs) work and some simple troubleshooting techniques, you can find, fix or at least minimize many WLAN problems. ...


10-09-2007, 04:08 PM
Part 0: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_do_you_increase_the_range_of_a_Wifi_transmitte r

10-20-2007, 10:55 AM
"WLAN doesn't cover expected / required area."
Cable modem and Linksys router.
Whatever the distance stated, half it and work from there.
Old coax cable and splitters shortens distance if not loss of connection
Had perfect place to put modem and router but after much aggravation
moved all to middle bedroom to cover range of whole house much better.
I thinks my cable signal strength is low but hate fighting with Cox Cable
over anything. I'm running and happy now.
Thanks for the tips.:)

10-20-2007, 11:22 AM
Nick, for the wireless, look into different add-on antennas.
A few dollars there can make a huge difference. Determine if you need directional or omni.
Interference is the biggest killer for wireless. Look for objects in your path like appliances, wiring, heating ducts, large metal objects. All can suck the life out of a signal.

For the modem, review some of our previous posts on dealing with cable. Look up the IP to access your cable modem log files and you will see your signal and SNR.
If less than optimal, have the numbers available when you call Tech Support to schedule a Technician to come out. They will start at the tap and replace connectors and cable all the way to your modem to get optimal signal/SNR. It only takes a little corrosion on a coax end or splitter to sap the signal. Even Cox will be responsive as long as you know what you are talking about.

10-20-2007, 03:37 PM
Even Cox will be responsive as long as...
Thanks, Doug. Knowing a little makes a big difference.
I had their "tech support" look at my signal from their end. They saw weakness
and noise on the monitor. Well? We'll send someone out but if it's not our
prob, you'll have to pay the $$$ service charge.
But you see there is a prob at your end.
We have to come out to confirm and you'll have to pay.....yada, yada.....
Look, you see the problem on your monitor. Trace it to my house. I'm sure
you will find something wrong before you get to my outside connections.
Ok (this is Monday after 20 min hold to get T/S) we will have someone
check it out Thursday between 8 and 5. Someone will have to be there.
Fugetaboutit Lady!!!! I'll fix it myself.:mad:
(so I got no patience with some people....what else is new?:))
Maybe I did a workaround but it beats dealing with idiots before absolutely
necessary. Signal to noise ratio? Customer to idiot ratio.:cool:

10-20-2007, 04:12 PM
Nick, the problem is... without the meter, you can't measure it outside at the connections and from the tap to the machine. A corroded connector at the tap is all it takes.
They are responsible from tap to outside connection (and inside to modem if they installed it)
Can you access your modem signal page? on SB5100 )otherwise Google your modem by model # and you should be able to find that correct page.
Post your Signal strength and SNR numbers from that page.

Once you have that, and can tell them it sucks, demand that they have someone check and service from tap to house whether you are there or not.

10-20-2007, 06:04 PM
"Signal testing is not available" with webstar. (not enabled)
This sys info is all I can get (besides mod/ver/add/etc):
Receive Power Level
-5.1 dBmV
Transmit Power Level
58.5 dBmV
It may very well be old coax on my end but seems they should be able to
just test their end to my end without my help or presence. DUH!!!
But it was just silly to hear someone say they see something not right
with the signal from their monitoring position and not check it out
regardless of me really having to do anything at all.
Before I go to the trouble of isolating cable prob starting at the cox entry
point of the first splitter, they should verify prob/no prob to my entry point.
Too much to ask?:smash:
Man, reminds me of the good old days of hardware blaming software,
software blaming hardware, then both blaming the phone company.:D

10-20-2007, 08:08 PM
Your not isolated to Cox Cable - when I had Comtragic and first got my cable internet access I was going nuts. Seems I hooked up everything right but could not get any internet signal. T/S swore up and down that there was a problem on my end and they could see my modem.

Well, after banging back and forth they agreed to send someone out because it was a new setup and check things out. Guy checks my modem, my router connections, my LAN setup and then tested the cable - no signal :confused:

Does a trace and finds out that it is dead! Walks the cable back to the splitter and the wire was just hanging loose! Not connected to the splitter - not even an end on the wire! Now HOW IN HE!! that tech could see my modem was beyond both of us :mad:

I was lucky in not having to pay anything because I had documented with Comtragic when I moved into the house that I wanted EVERY jack checked and toned - and the sub-contractor didn't do his job.

I must admit I was more impressed with Verizon's installation - the guy was FANTASTIC! Even worked with me in setting up the router they provide for my internal LAN ip which is different than their "standard".

10-20-2007, 10:55 PM
Good one, Dan. "I see your modem!!" New meaning to wireless?:)
My cables aren't dangling and actually working pretty good after my
manipulation. My sig strength reads exxxxcellent...dude. But I can't walk
my lappy out to the mail box and get a sig although I'm supposed to get
out about 700 feet. Not hardly.
Like working on computers or cars, every situation is a little different.
I'll bug Cox again when I feel up to another round.:rolleyes:

10-21-2007, 09:57 AM
-5.1 dBmV reading from modem? That IS a problem.
Going to require a service call to fix that and get it up in spec. Bad connector, cable, amplifier.

10-21-2007, 10:42 AM
Thanks, Doug. I thought that bad also. I tried to circumvent all the phone
hassle with a call to Cox just to replace my modem but they wouldn't have
any of it until I ran circles with t/s. Iraq and a hard place, so to speak.
I'll update any progress I make and thanks again.:)
(some days, weeks, months.....I can be a regular hard@$$ when it comes
to dealing with seemingly, to them anyway, supreme beings.:eek:)

10-21-2007, 11:33 AM
Replacing your modem will do nothing to improve the signal it is receiving. You want a +3 signal strength and SNR in the 30+.
This has to be corrected. It will require a tech come out and find the problem, which could be somewhere else in your node beyond the tap.

Since they can look down the pipe and actually do see and acknowledge a problem on your end, it should not be difficult to get it serviced.
Break down and schedule a tech visit!
Be polite but firm. You have a lousy signal and SNR and are not getting the service you are paying for. It is up to them to correct that.

Cox may not be Comcast but I have found working WITH them instead of ranting at them results in much faster and easier resolution of your problem.

Once you get the cable issue satisfactorily resolved, with good readings and some speed tests to confirm you are getting the bandwidth and connection you are paying for, we can move on to your wireless and tune that up a bit for better performance. The wireless won't improve until the cable issue is resolved.

10-21-2007, 11:38 AM
Gotcha. Thanks.:)