WIRELESS NETWORKING

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Wireless Trouble Shooting:
5 Things to Try.

Wireless networks can be funny things. They'll work for weeks or months & then suddenly, one day - bang! They're dead. But what can you do to try and resuscitate a dead wireless network?

The Simple Things.

Before you go to too much trouble to fix your network, you should try the simple solutions. No-one's quite sure why they work, to be honest, but they have a surprisingly high success rate.

To get Windows to attempt to fix problems with a wireless connection, double click the connection's icon in the bottom right corner of your screen. Go to the Support section of the box that appears, and then click Repair. Windows will deactivate and reactivate the connection in an effort to get it to work.

Once you've tried this, the last-ditch simple solution is that Windows classic: restart the computer. If that doesn't work either then, well, you'll have to try something else.

Has Your Wireless Card Come Loose?

If you have a USB or PCMCIA wireless card, you should check now to see whether it's come loose. The best way to do this is to disconnect everything and reconnect it. USB devices are especially vulnerable to gradually coming loose - make sure you unplug your USB wire at both ends of the connection, if possible.

Of course, if you have an internal PCI wireless card, you might want to try a few other things first before you go to the trouble of opening the computer to take a look at it.

Have the Networks in Your Neighbourhood Changed?

Sometimes, if someone sets up a new network near you, it can cause some interference and take precedence over your own network, especially if you're in a part of your house where your network's signal is weak.

Once your computer is connected, though, there's no guarantee your computer will be granted - the other network could be set up in any number of strange ways. This leaves you in a position where your computer has connected to a network that it thought was 'better' without telling you, even though it turns out that network is useless to you.

You need to go to the 'View Available Wireless Networks' screen and take a look at what you're connected to. If it's something you don't recognise, you should double-click your own network in the list to connect to it. If this works, make sure you remove other networks' names from your 'preferred networks' list, to avoid connecting to them in the future.

Check for New Sources of Interference.

If you find that your connection will work if you put your computer right next to the source of the Internet signal, but stops working as you get further away, then the cause could be interference. You should consider any changes you've made to your home recently.

For example, did you just get a new cordless phone?

They can often interfere with wireless networks. Treat any equipment that uses radio waves as suspect - try switching each thing off in turn and see if the performance of the wireless network improves.

Reset Equipment to Factory Settings.

With routers and access points, one thing that might work is to log in to their admin control panels (using a web browser) and click the option to restore to factory settings. This removes all your settings and makes the router or access point 'like new' again, meaning that any problems it was causing should be solved, unless it has been physically damaged.

If none of these things work, but the network was working fine before, the chances are that you've got a hardware failure somewhere on your network. This could be as simple as someone having sat on a USB device, or knocked an antenna on a router.

You need to try unplugging things in turn to figure out where the failure is, and then call the manufacturer to report the fault - be prepared that you might need to replace the item yourself, though, if it's not their fault or the equipment is outside warranty.

Even if it turns out not to have been a hardware failure, they should be able to help you fix your network.

Published by Dunway Enterprises

WIRELESS NETWORKING INDEX

  1. What is Wireless Networking?
  2. How Do Wireless Networks Work?
  3. 5 Reasons Why You Need a Wireless Network
  4. Confused Yet? Wireless Jargon
  5. Could You Already Have Wireless and Not Realise It?
  6. 5 Things You Must Do Before You Buy Any Wireless Equipment
  7. Ports and Cards: How to Tell What You Need
  8. What to Look For: Range, Speed and Standards
  9. Wireless Alphabet Soup: What's the Difference Anyway?
  10. 10 Steps to Install a PCI Wireless Card
  11. Ad-hoc or Access Point? Network Structures Explained
  12. Fighting with Windows: Getting Wireless Set Up
  13. Sharing an Internet Connection over a Wireless Network
  14. Sharing Your Files and Folders Wirelessly
  15. Create Always-On Networks with a Wireless Router
  16. Connecting to a Wired Network: Wireless Access Points
  17. Taking it Long-Distance: Wireless Extension Points
  18. Wireless Everywhere: Talking Your Laptop for a Walk
  19. Wardriving and the Wireless Pirates
  20. Dealing with Security Threats: Wireless Encryption
  21. Wireless Troubleshooting: 5 Things to Try
  22. Bluetooth: Personal Wireless
  23. RFID: Wireless Shopping
  24. What Else Can You Do Over a Wireless Network?
  25. The Future of Wireless

Disclaimer: Information shown in any of the articles shown above
does not in any way constitute medical, financial or legal advice.

If you require such advice, you should seek appropriate professional guidance.

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