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11 Jul 2010  
not so gray matter

W7 Ult. x64 | OS X

It sounds like one of two problems. You either have a malfunctioning wireless card or you have interference in between you and the router. In my experience, interference is the more likely culprit, but I have a feeling you may have a bunk card due to the fact that other laptops don't have connection issues.

You can test my theory by moving your laptop to another area in the house where you know for certain that other computers can receive a strong signal. If your signal is still weak in this area, then you know that your card is bad. If you receive a strong signal, then you likely have some sort of interference in the area you normally use.

If you have a bad card the solution is very simple, buy a new one. I suggest a USB Wireless Stick. They're easy to use, portable and are fairly cheap. Branding doesn't matter much as long as you buy a device that's compatible with Windows 7 and will work with your router. The latest Linksys USB device is the AE1000. However, the 600N would work too.

If you think you have interference, then you need to find the culprit. Anything that sends out or blocks radio waves could be interfering with your signal. Some metals can do this, but this isn't usually a problem unless you have large sheets of copper or brass which almost no one has. Microwaves can be an issue, as can some cordless telephones and any other device that broadcasts or communicates wirelessly.
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