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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll preface this with knowing that sometimes connections just drop. This seems to be a bit more than the typical hiccups, though.

Quick list of specs:
Linksys Router - WRT54GL (WPA, SSID not broadcast because there's 6 other nets in the area, MAC filtered)
Linksys Wireless Card - WMP54G v4.1
Windows XP SP3


So, the story. This computer was originally set up probably a good 60 feet away from the router through a garage with steel supports and all, through two more rooms, and up a flight of stairs to the back another room. The wireless worked relatively well, although sometimes it didn't like to connect to the network when it was first turned on. Usually dropping into standby for a minute or two and starting back up got it to hook up. The connection was relatively stable, with no more drops than you'd expect from decent wireless, with a signal strength of 60-80%. If it did drop it had reconnection issues though.

More recently, the computer has been moved down to my basement, but now in the same house as the router. The signal strength has improved to 80-90% most of the time, and is now only about 20 feet away from the router (albeit through a floor and a wall). The connection to the router now unpredictably drops out with some frequency. Sometimes it will drop for about 3-5 seconds and reconnect, and do this a dozen times in an hour, or not for 6 hours. The hardware hasn't changed, the drivers are updated and have been reinstalled twice.

Aside from the location of the computer, the positioning of the equipment itself has changed. In its original location, the antenna in the back faced the general direction of the router, with no particular objects aside from walls and steel supports in line of sight. In its new location, the side of the computer is facing the general direction of the router, and there is a 20" LCD screen directly above the tower. Additionally, the host computer for the router is now in the way of the router and this PC's LOS.

I mention all this wondering if it's EMI from the devices, but it can happen at any time of day when there are other devices running all around the house, or in the dead of night when there is nothing more than this unit running. Perhaps its simply the new location.

Alternatively, I've read about many many problems from the WMP54G v4 and 4.1 cards (including from someone with a similar username, years ago o_O). They seem to have some significant connection issues compared to the older v2 cards, but of course finding a v2 card isn't really going to happen.

There are two laptops that run off their internal wireless and don't have any particularly noteworthy issues.

I'm willing to try a number of things and provide any information needed. Networks aren't my strong point by any measure, so I'm not sure what at all to do. Unfortunately, hardwiring it to the router in question isn't an option or I'd have done that already.

The three things I've mulled over thusfar have been to try an alternate card (with the WMP54G v4's being sketchy at best) or an external USB adapter that I can position about 3 feet away if its a matter of short range positioning/EMI from say, the monitor. Or lastly, to try and hardwire my nearby Comcast modem to this through a router (it's already hooked up to my main rig), but I hear that Comcast is very unsupportive and does not cooperate with third party routers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you have Comcast, how is it not connected to the router and still working?


I'd consider a hi-gain antenna.
Ah, well, the Comcast is a dedicated line (at the moment) to my main rig on the basement level. The networked setup is using a Verison DSL in the house on the first floor.

Yes, I've got two computers down there. The main rig is for any heavy duty work (it's the one listed under my forum name here). The computer in question is my old P4 Northwood that I've revived and set up in a place where I can comfortably dawdle with it while playing console games or watching programs on the TV.

Now, the Comcast is close enough that I could run a hardwire to the P4 as well, but when I got this set up I was under the impression that Comcast doesn't like to support third party routers and charges extra for additional machines on the same line. That's why I currently have it on the DSL's network.

Sorry for that lack of clarity there.
 

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Actually, I have installed standard routers on a number of Comcast accounts. I used to have Comcast here before Verizon FiOS became available.

There is no issue to using a router with Comcast that I've ever heard of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Actually, I have installed standard routers on a number of Comcast accounts. I used to have Comcast here before Verizon FiOS became available.

There is no issue to using a router with Comcast that I've ever heard of.
Well, that's good news. Perhaps their policies have changed since I got the Comcast. Avoiding wireless entirely is always favorable when possible. I'll let this thread drop down while I fish around for a router.

Since you have experience with it, do you have any particular suggestions? Something pretty vanilla will suffice. Doesn't even really need to have wireless capability. It's a Motorola Surfboard 5120 modem, specifically.
 

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Almost any mainstream brand should do the trick. You will probably have better luck buying a wireless router and disabling the wireless if you don't need it, they're far more common.

Here's a good deal on the DIR-615, I have one of these that's worked well for me. It also comes with an 802.11n PCMCIA card, if you don't need it, sell it on eBay. :smile:

http://dealnews.com/D-Link-802-11-n...ptop-Adapter-for-40-free-shipping/295626.html
 
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