Poor Wireless signal range

Dell / Optiplex gx260
February 15, 2010 at 09:32:40
Specs: Microsoft Windows XP Professional, 2.399 GHz / 509 MB
I recently setup a wireless network using a Linksys WRT54GL router with my Siemens speedstream 4100 modem set to the bridged mode. I have an older Dell Inspiron 1100 with a Linksys WPC54G Note book adapter. My problem is the range is terrible. If I am right at the desk where the router is the signal is 100% but if I move to the kitchen for example which is about 12 feet away and in direct line of site, the signal drops to 80%. When I go to my family room which is about 25 feet away I get 25% strength. The router is sitting up high on a shelf. What should I check for?

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#1
February 15, 2010 at 15:43:47
What kind of things are in the line of sight? Microwave? Fireplace? Refrigerator? These types of things can interfere with wireless signal.


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#2
February 16, 2010 at 08:01:47
In the kitchen example there is absolutley nothing. I can look directly at the router on my desk. Also to mention that my cordless phone operates in the 49mhz range,far below the 2.4 ghz the system operates.

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#3
February 16, 2010 at 14:03:03
Try placing the router at the same height. Many antennas radiate
horizontally. I have greater losses (very poor) with a 5 feet
difference in elevation through wood floor, While 30 feet is OK
through two walls.

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Related Solutions

#4
February 17, 2010 at 07:47:13
I recently setup a wireless network using a Linksys WRT54GL router with my Siemens speedstream 4100 modem set to the bridged mode.

Why would you put the modem in "bridge" mode. The modem should plug directly into the WAN port of the router. Bridge mode is not required. A bridge by definition is a device that bridges two networks or two network segments. In this case, it's one network.


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#5
February 17, 2010 at 09:00:19
Wizard Fred: My router is at eye level and has 2 vertical antennas. But I will give it a try.

Curt R; I was told by AT&T that I needed to do that.

"The AT&T modem needs to be configured properly into "Bridged Ethernet Mode" for connecting a 3rd party router to your AT&T modem."


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#6
February 17, 2010 at 10:47:26
Interesting....well, if that's how they say to do it, it must be right.

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#7
February 17, 2010 at 14:04:52
After some thought I can't see where the bridged mode would be an issue since I am able to connect to the internet fine. It is between the note book adapter and the router where signal strength becomes the problem.

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#8
February 17, 2010 at 14:49:45
You'll have to excuse me. As a networking professional, I often get caught up on little details like this. It's unusual is all and that jumped out at me. If you read back you'll notice I never said I thought that was causing your problems.....because it isn't. It's just a strange way to configure a highspeed modem to router connection is all.

As to your actual problem, that's a strange one too. Usually the only thing that causes signal degradation (other than distance from source) is interference, be it physical (ie: walls, metal etc) or wireless (ie: cordless phones and other wireless signals)

I happen to have a bunch of Linksys WRT54GL's in production here where I work and I've found them to be very robust and reliable. If you have no walls in the way and no other wireless signals interfering then you may have a bad router.

I don't know that turning the antenna will help either but it's worth a try. If that doesn't fix the issue, then you may need to replace the router.


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#9
February 18, 2010 at 08:16:31
I know it is hard to "dummy down" when you are so expierenced in a certain area.LOL Since you are so familiar with the WRT54GL, do you think changing the channel would help any?

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#10
February 18, 2010 at 10:25:39
That is a possibility I hadn't considered. If you're set to Channel 1 (which if memory serves me is the default) and it's being interfered with, changing to channel 6 or 11 should help reduce interference.

You have nothing to lose in trying that.

Also, you may want to googole "tomato firmware". I use it on the WRT54GL's. It has more features than the default firmware. I don't know that it will make a difference either, I suspect it won't, but you may find you like it better than the default.


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#11
February 19, 2010 at 08:24:55
I am on ch6 right now and I am on occasion finding others on the same channel. So if I can figure out how to change channels I will try. Would I be better going higher or lower?

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