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Windows 7: Wireless Network Connections


06 Oct 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 
Wireless Network Connections

I'm about to display my ignorance, so try not to be too harsh in replying.
I have two computers, one running Windows 7 64 Ultimate, and one running Windows XP SP3. I also have a Netgear WNDR3300 Wireless Router. It is connected to the Windows 7 system by cable to the network adapter. On the Windows XP system, I have a Linksys Cisco WUSB600N Wireless USB Network Adapter. The two systems are networked, and that seems to be working OK, except for the fact that the wireless connection between the XP machine and the router is weak, and is sometimes lost. As you may know, the router is a Dual Band model, with both a 2.4 GH and a 5 GH modes, and both can be oprating at the same time.

I've been told that though the 5 GH mode is much less vulnerable to interference, it also has less range than the 2.4 GH Mode. Right now, both computers are connected to the router at the 5 GH mode. So I was thinking that I might try the XP machine (the one with the wireless adapter) on the 2.4 GH Mode connection. And this rather long winded bit of background leads to my question.

If I leave the Windows 7 machine connected to the router by the cable, on the 5 GH mode, and change the Windows XP machine to connect to the router on the 2.4 GH Mode, will this mess up the network connections between the two machines? That is, though both will still have connections to the router, they will be on different modes, and I don't know if that is workable or not. Any information on this is appreciated.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Oct 2010   #2

 
 

Though some of us seem to be to old to remember when we did not already know everything there is to know about computers, the rest of us willingly admit that we learned what we know from other people, even from sites like Windows Seven Forums. Learning starts with questions, learning what questions to ask is usually the hardest and first lesson. Your questions are always welcome here!

I have networked my computers via cable, with one wireless Dell notebook. Whether wireless or cable the network does not care. So as to your question: "will this mess up the network connections between the two machines?" I don't see how.

The 2.4GH and 5GH Modes only apply to the wireless connection. The wired connection operates off a different network standard, so neither wireless Mode will affect the wired connection. Also important when experiencing weak wireless signals is the placement of the wireless modem. Other electronic devices, for example, can interfere with the signal. A good topic for Google?

Hope this helps.

Cheers!
Robert
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Oct 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by iseeuu View Post
Though some of us seem to be to old to remember when we did not already know everything there is to know about computers, the rest of us willingly admit that we learned what we know from other people, even from sites like Windows Seven Forums. Learning starts with questions, learning what questions to ask is usually the hardest and first lesson. Your questions are always welcome here!

I have networked my computers via cable, with one wireless Dell notebook. Whether wireless or cable the network does not care. So as to your question: "will this mess up the network connections between the two machines?" I don't see how.

The 2.4GH and 5GH Modes only apply to the wireless connection. The wired connection operates off a different network standard, so neither wireless Mode will affect the wired connection. Also important when experiencing weak wireless signals is the placement of the wireless modem. Other electronic devices, for example, can interfere with the signal. A good topic for Google?

Hope this helps.

Cheers!
Robert
Robert--

Thanks. Now that you have said it, I feel silly. Of course, the 2.4 GH and 5 GH are the wireless frequencies, and would only come into play when connecting wirelessly. Must have had a senior moment there.

I'm a little puzzled about the wireless signal strength. I don't have any obvious electronic devices nearby (there is a TV on the other side of the room, NOT between the router and the wireless adapter). But the two are only about 20 feet apart, though they are in different rooms, and on a straight line basis, there are two walls (wood frame and drywall) between them. Most of the time, I get only one (of a possible 4 bars) of signal strength. If I fiddle with the placement of the wireless adapter--move it around, or turn it to face differently--I can sometimes get two bars. But never more than that. Oddly, I also get one bar of signal strength from my neighbor's router, which is diagonally across the street from me, a good 150 feet or so away.

In any case, I thank you for reminding me of what I should have remembered for myself.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Oct 2010   #4

Windows 7 Pro 32 bit
 
 

Some wireless adapters have a power level setting in the config of the adapter. Also if you could get a pci adapter that installs in the computer, that may give you better performance. If you have a laptop you could use your usb adapter, and move around the house to see how the signal is affected.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Oct 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

As for the signal strength, I go through two walls and accross my yard appox 60 feet, one bar or two is about it using 2.4GHz wireless N. But even with the limited signal strength I can stream HD perfectly from my media PC and I get 15Mbps when tested. Two walls pretty much destroys the signal strength although the connection speed should still be decent with wireless N.

It can help to designate the security and the encryption on both the router the adaptor. You need to use the manual wireless connection set up for this.

In general Windows 7 works best using WPA2 and AES "not mixed" and wireless N and G only "not mixed", the 2.4GHz band is best as long as you can find a clear channel that isn't being used by one of your neighbors.

If you aren't sure which channels are clear you can use the Xirrus wifi inspector to find a clear channel in your area.
Xirrus: The Leader in High Performance Wi-Fi - Advanced IT Wi-Fi Networking Tools
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Oct 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RiverCamp View Post
Some wireless adapters have a power level setting in the config of the adapter. Also if you could get a pci adapter that installs in the computer, that may give you better performance. If you have a laptop you could use your usb adapter, and move around the house to see how the signal is affected.
River Camp--

Thanks. I'll check the power level setting. Unfortunately, can't use a PCI adapter--no free PCI slot--which is why I went for a USB adapter to start with. And no laptop to test with. When I initially set the thing up, I had the computer on a table near the door to the room that goes to the room with the router. And from there, I got 3 or 4 bars. But when I moved it across the room (and behind the two walls) signal strength went down. But I'll look into the settings to see if there is a power level setting.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Oct 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by chev65 View Post
As for the signal strength, I go through two walls and accross my yard appox 60 feet, one bar or two is about it using 2.4GHz wireless N. But even with the limited signal strength I can stream HD perfectly from my media PC and I get 15Mbps when tested. Two walls pretty much destroys the signal strength although the connection speed should still be decent with wireless N.

It can help to designate the security and the encryption on both the router the adaptor. You need to use the manual wireless connection set up for this.

In general Windows 7 works best using WPA2 and AES "not mixed" and wireless N and G only "not mixed", the 2.4GHz band is best as long as you can find a clear channel that isn't being used by one of your neighbors.

If you aren't sure which channels are clear you can use the Xirrus wifi inspector to find a clear channel in your area.
Xirrus: The Leader in High Performance Wi-Fi - Advanced IT Wi-Fi Networking Tools
Chev 65--

Thanks for the input. Like you, so far at least, I find the only problem is signal strength. Even with only one bar, speed seems just fine. And maybe my problem is something else. But I'll be copying files back and forth from the Win 7 system to the XP system, and suddenly, one will hang halfway through. Then if I wait a while, I'll get a message that the computer cannot connect with the XP computer. When this happens, the only way I can fix it is to reboot the XP machine, which brings the connection back to life again.

I am using WPA2 on both connections. And I'm using wireless N (at least, I think I am). I'll experiment a bit with trying to use the 2.4 to see if I get better signal strength with it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2010   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by chev65 View Post
As for the signal strength, I go through two walls and accross my yard appox 60 feet, one bar or two is about it using 2.4GHz wireless N. But even with the limited signal strength I can stream HD perfectly from my media PC and I get 15Mbps when tested. Two walls pretty much destroys the signal strength although the connection speed should still be decent with wireless N.

It can help to designate the security and the encryption on both the router the adaptor. You need to use the manual wireless connection set up for this.

In general Windows 7 works best using WPA2 and AES "not mixed" and wireless N and G only "not mixed", the 2.4GHz band is best as long as you can find a clear channel that isn't being used by one of your neighbors.

If you aren't sure which channels are clear you can use the Xirrus wifi inspector to find a clear channel in your area.
Xirrus: The Leader in High Performance Wi-Fi - Advanced IT Wi-Fi Networking Tools
Chev65--

Since I have your attention, let me ask another silly question. When I click on the wireless signal indicator on the System Tray, I get a box that says "Searching for Wireless Connections." Then after a few seconds, I get the three it finds listed, with the one I am currently using highlighted, and at the bottom of the box, a button labeled DISCONNECT. If I highlight the 2.4 connection, the DISCONNECT button turns into a CONNECT button. Makes sense to me. But, the question is, do I need to disconnect from the 5 GH connection BEFORE I connect to the 2.4, or will just clicking the CONNECT button change my connection. I assume (but don't actually know) that I can't be connected to both at the same time. Also, will I need something (password phrase) to log into the 2.4 connection, or will the fact that it is on the same router let it connect without the password phrase?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2010   #9

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

I really have'nt messed with the 5Ghz connection back and forth with the 2.4GHz so can't say for sure but it seems like they should both be using the same password.

I would be more concered that the channel being used is clear, as in not being used by anyone else. It's best to locate a clear channel using Xirrus wifi inspector and designate that channel in the routers settings rather than letting the router find one automatically.

The only way I would use the 5GHz frequency if is there weren't any unused 2.4GHz channels in your area because it seems that the 2.4GHz has better range.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2010   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by chev65 View Post
I really have'nt messed with the 5Ghz connection back and forth with the 2.4GHz so can't say for sure but it seems like they should both be using the same password.

I would be more concered that the channel being used is clear, as in not being used by anyone else. It's best to locate a clear channel using Xirrus wifi inspector and designate that channel in the routers settings rather than letting the router find one automatically.

The only way I would use the 5GHz frequency if is there weren't any unused 2.4GHz channels in your area because it seems that the 2.4GHz has better range.

Chev65--

Thanks. I'll experiment with it a bit. In checking the signal strength, the 2.4 connection consistently shows 2 bars, and sometimes 3, while the 5 shows one, and sometimes 2.

Appreciate your help and advice.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Wireless Network Connections




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