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low wireless signal despite close proximity to router

by cinca0989 / June 23, 2010 3:26 PM PDT


Please excuse the length of this post, I wanted to be as detailed as possible... Happy

I have have 5 laptops hooked up to my wireless network. 4 connect just fine and regularly achieve 15-20 mbps on Comcast's speed test. Downloading, streaming, and surfing are great.

However, there is one laptop that only reaches 3-5 mbps and cuts out completely at times, no matter the location in the house-- whether it is near or far from the router.

The specs on the problem laptop:

Gateway MX3701 1.6ghz 2gb RAM
Realtek RTL8185 Wireless Adapter
Windows XP Media Center Edition SP3

The router:
Linksys WRT54G

Usually, repairing the connection allows me to reconnect to the internet, however the signal remains low and slow. Sometimes it takes a few tries.

I thought the drivers may have been out of date, but installing the latest drivers did not help.

I thought that bandwidth was being exceeded, but despite turning off the other computers, there was no improvement. Even with all of them on, this laptop is the only one to ever have a problem.

I thought that perhaps there was signal interference, but this occurs no matter my location in the house, the nearest microwave is at least 40 feet away, and my household uses 5.8ghz phones.

I considered changing the channel of the router, but the fact that the rest of the computers connect just fine lead me to believe that perhaps some setting is incorrect in this laptop. Also, my router is the only one in the area that is on channel 6 (Used an app to check).

I've tried power-cycling the modem/router and even tweaked the TCP (Didn't help, so I restored to default). After many internet searches on different search engines, I cannot find the answer on my own.

Does anyone have an idea of what I can try next or of any settings I may have missed? Please let me know if you need additional information.

The computers that connect fine:

PowerBook G4 1.67ghz 2gb RAM - 10.4.11
Dell Inspiron E1405 1.6ghz 2gb RAM - Windows Vista SP2
Acer Apsire One 1.6ghz 1gb RAM - Windows XP SP3
Gateway M6307 1.6ghz 2gb RAM - Windows Vista SP2

Thanks in advance for any insight you can provide!


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If I saw such a laptop I would
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 23, 2010 9:58 PM PDT

Disable the onboard wifi and try some PC-Card or even USB wifi.

I've learned not to replace wifi cards in such laptops for reasons given in prior/ofter discussions.

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doesn't hurt to check
by SBrown441 / December 21, 2010 3:12 PM PST

Check the settings on your Realtek card, it is capable of 802.11a/b/g, however your linksys router only uses 802.11g. It is possible that your card is set to either a or b, in which case you would have any number of problems with connectivity/staying connected

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Detail Explanation
by random891 / September 10, 2012 11:43 PM PDT
In reply to: doesn't hurt to check

Kindly tell me the procedure to check the settings of Realtek card? I have same problem in my laptop.

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Years later.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 10, 2012 11:54 PM PDT
In reply to: Detail Explanation

The process is about the same. We always ask what channel the router is on, the security used and if any setting is not stock. In the past we used to check driver versions and firmware on the router but I'm finding more owners to struggle with the basics.

Be aware you dredged up an old discussion and may have fewer responders than a new post with the full details about router and machines.

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