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Wireless glitch requires frequent repair

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I have a desktop PC running Windows XP home SP2 and an older laptop running Windows 2000. I connect to the internet through my Adelphia ISP with a cable modem. I set up a wireless network using a Linsys WRK54G wireless router and wireless cards (also Linksys, no model numbers with me right now). It worked fine for almost a year and then the connection would start to glitch on the destop. The laptop still worked fine. I think the wireless signal would momentarilly glitch and lose communication with the desktop, because it would still appear to be connected but webpages would not load (white screen with cannot find.....message). It would work fine after a repair....but not for long. It was sometimes so bad that I would have to repair the connection between every webpage. I read that interference from cordless phones and other devices could affect the signal quality, so I ran the hardwire across the living room into the kitchen to connect the desktop directly so that my son could do his homework until I could call tech support at Linksys. The tech rep talked me through changing the broadcast channel on my router (have tried several) and it seems to be working somewhat better, but not by much (laptop still working great). I notice that my signal strength ranges from low to good (no more than three bars on the monitor) even though the router is on a six foot tall book case about 25 feet from the desktop computer. Signal strength on the laptop is great even when I'm on a different floor in the house. My connection speed on the desktop varies (18-36MBPS), but I would expect it to be much faster than it is. My questions are:

1) Is the low signal strength responsible for the lost connection (it never says "limited or no connectivity"...just "glitches")? If the signal strength is not the problem, what is, and how do I fix it?

2) How can I improve signal strength? I had to move the router over to the desktop to hardwire it during the reconfigure with the tech rep, and it had full signal while right next to the computer, so I know the router/wireless card combo have the ability to communicate with each other at full strength.

3) Should I expect better from my wireless equipment and setup? I think it should be working flawlessly...not glitching or having signal problems at all....I mean, what's the point of the system if it's unreliable. I'm just need a reality check on whether my expectations are reasonable. Am I expecting too much?

Thanks in advance for your help....I'm frustrated and at the end of my rope!
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Hi Amy,

1) I would be inclined to say that the signal strength is the problem in your scenario. The fact that you have been connected to the network for "almost a year" would suggest to me that it's possible that your Network Adapter could be faulty (ie: it's beginning to die on you :blink:); could you by any chance replace it with a temporary wireless NIC (that you borrowed from a friend / relative) to see if the problem still occurs.

2) There are Signal "Boosters" (Repeaters) out there that you can use; however you'd need to find out if it would be worth purchasing one in your scenario, or if maybe it might be more proactive to simply purchase a new Network Adapter (if that is indeed the problem). Repeaters are generally only employed if your computer is located a considerable distance from the router; and in your case it doesn't appear that this is the problem. That said, a Repeater could very well solve the problem, and if it's cheaper, you may try that.

3) I have found wireless to be in most cases unreliable -- however, there are people out there who use wireless and have absolutely no problems with it. You used wireless for close to a year without (I assume) any problems.. So, Wireless isn't "all bad". I'm just more comfortable using equipment that I can see :whistling: In Wireless there are too many unknowns; ie: electrical interference. Wireless has come a long way in the last couple of years, and should continue to improve in the future -- and that's when I'll start using it :help:
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