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Windows 7: Please help me improve my wifi range

17 Aug 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1
 
 
Please help me improve my wifi range

I'm using my netbook right now, so my computer specs at the bottom don't apply to this post. This is my netbook: Hannspree HannsBook SN10E22BU3221 Netbook - Intel Atom N450 1.66GHz, 1GB DDR2, 250GB HDD, 10 WSVGA, 6-Cell, Windows 7 Starter, Black at TigerDirect.com
(Newegg link: Newegg.com - Hannspree SN10E22BU3221 Pearl Black Intel Atom N450(1.66GHz) 10.1" 1GB Memory 250GB HDD Netbook )

I've attached a cap of my device manager network section.

I've already updated all three of those drivers. Only the third one had an update from right clicking and selecting "update driver software".

Even though it is a netbook, and it's expected to have an inferior WiFi range compared to full laptops, I wanna see if I can boost it a little, because it is very weak. If I'm more than like 30 or so feet away from the router, I can still pick up the signal, but can't connect to it.

I've looked under the options and wanted to see what stuff I could change to improve my range without messing something else up.

Just a side note, I've set all three of my network adapters so that the computer can't turn them off to save power. Is that okay? The only times I would want my WiFi to be off would be when I close the netbook or manually turn off the WiFi (Fn + F9)

Since under Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter I can't tweak anything, I'm gonna focus on the first two.

Under the first one (Atheros AR5B95 Wireless Network Adapter), in the Advanced tab, the following Properties are listed, with their choice of values next to them. I'll list each property and the value selected next to it, with the other value options in parenthesis

802.11b Preamble - Long and Short (Long only)
AdHoc 11n - Disable (Enable)
Dynamic MIMO Power Save - Disable (Enable)
Network Address - Not Present (Manually enter value)
Receive Buffers - 256 (+/-)
Scan Valid Interval - 60 (+/-)
Transmit Buffers - 512 (+/-)

And for the second adapter (Atheros AR8131 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (NDIS 6.20) #5), in the Advanced tab, the following Properties are listed, with their choice of values next to them. I'll list them all just like I did above.

FlowControl - Tx & Rx Enabled (Disabled)
Interrupt Moderation - Enabled (Disabled)
IPv4 Checksum Offload - Tx & Rx Enabled (Disabled, Rx Enabled, Tx Enabled)
Jumbo Frame - Disabled (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9KB MTU options)
Large Send Offload (IPv4) - Enabled (Disabled)
Large Send Offload v2 (IPv4) - Disabled (Enabled)
Large Send Offload v2 (IPv6) - Disabled (Enabled)
Max IRQ per Second - 5000 (+/-)
Network Address - Not Present (Manually enter value)
Receive Buffers - 512 (+/-)
Receive Side Scaling - Disabled (Enabled)
Shutdown Wake Up - Disabled (Enabled)
Speed & Duplex - Auto Negotiation (10 Mbps Full Duplex, 10 Mbps Half Duplex, 100 Mbps Full Duplex, 100 Mbps Half Duplex)
TCP Checksum Offload (IPv4) - Tx & Rx Enabled (Disabled, Rx Enabled, Tx Enabled)
TCP Checksum Offload (IPv6) - Tx & Rx Enabled (Disabled, Rx Enabled, Tx Enabled)
Transmit Buffers - 256 (+/-)
UDP Checksum Offload (IPv4) - Tx & Rx Enabled (Disabled, Rx Enabled, Tx Enabled)
UDP Checksum Offload (IPv6) - Tx & Rx Enabled (Disabled, Rx Enabled, Tx Enabled)
Wake Up Capabilities - MagicPacket & PatternMatch (All, Magic Packet, None, Pattern Match)


Please, please, please someone help me understand these properties and values; which ones I should tweak; what they do; etc.
It took a long time to type all of this out so it could be as comprehensive as possible and I'd hate for it to go to waste. My netbook supports up to 802.11n so I thought the wireless card would be pretty good and I would rather improve my current one than have to buy a new one. Thanks so much in advance to anyone who decides to tackle this post. I really really appreciate it. Hope to hear from someone soon.



Attached Images
 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Aug 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-Bit
 
 

well, the ethernet properties won't help your wifi, but other than that I don't really know. I think it might just be a weak adapter. You could try a wireless usb adapter, which supposedly can get better signals, but other than that, i don't think system settings will change anything.
Weak signals will not allow you to connect most of the time.
<edit> you say your card supports wireless N, is your Router an N router?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1
 
 

No. It's G, I think. But my dad's laptop can easily pick up signal downstairs but mine can detect it, but cannot connect. I thought that since it supported up to N, it would have to be more high end than ones that don't support N.

And there's really nothing in the settings I can change to improve it? What are all those properties for then?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


18 Aug 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-Bit
 
 

Those settings are various other settings, but there is no way to change the strength of the signal. Yes a wireless N card is usually better, but it might be a weak card. Netbook wifi cards can be weak, and i've never heard of the brand of your netbook.
sorry, but I think you might have a weak card. You might want to try a wifi usb adapter to see if that helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2010   #5

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

1. Install an external Wi-Fi antenna on the laptop (if possible). For this option to be feasible, the laptop must support add-on antennas. Look for a special jack similar in appearance to a headphone or microphone jack. Sometimes these are called "SMA jacks." Consult the laptop product documentation for details.

Hiro H50193 Wireless USB Network Adapter and External Antenna - High-Gain, OMNI Direction, 2dBi at TigerDirect.com


2. Use a USB wireless network adapter with external antenna. USB Wi-Fi adapters hook onto the back or side of a laptop with a short USB cable. The external antenna on these adapters improves signal range, and the antenna can be adjusted/pointed for fine tuning. To use this option, the laptop must have an open USB port available. Additionally, other network adapter(s) on the laptop should be disabled to prevent interference.

F5D7050 Belkin Wireless G USB Adapter


3. Check transmission power settings. Some network adapters support adjusting their transmission power. If available, this setting can be adjusted through the adapter's driver interface program, along with the other settings for wireless profiles and Wi-Fi channel number. The transmission power should be set to "maximum" or "100%" to ensure the strongest signal possible. Note that if a laptop is being run in a power saving mode, this setting may automatically be lowered and decrease the adapter's range and signal strength.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1
 
 

Well are there any adjustments anyone would recommend me making to the properties I listed above? I'm not sure what most of them mean and I don't wanna find out the hard way by messing something up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-Bit
 
 

Those settings are within the network settings, you can't increase the signal through them, i already said.
Messing with them won't increase the signal. You could do what dirt rider said, and find the interface program for the card, but otherwise you can't do anything. you might just have a weak card.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2010   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1
 
 

For the sake of knowledge, could you or anyone else explain to me what some, if not all, of those properties mean and how it would effect my computer by changing them? Like Jumbo Frame, for instance. It has the option, but it is set to disabled. I'd like to learn this stuff too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2010   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-Bit
 
 

I don't know exactly what they mean, but what i do know is that those are settings you should only mess with if you know what you're doing. Maybe someone else here can help you with figuring those out.
you could also try your best friend, Google.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2010   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1
 
 

Hopefully someone will take the time. Probably not though.. And I have tried Google, but it didn't help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Please help me improve my wifi range




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