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Windows 7: Slow wifi (dongles) on my router, but not on another one?


04 Nov 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
Slow wifi (dongles) on my router, but not on another one?

My teenagers both have pretty beefy PCs, both built within the last year. They each have wifi dongles to connect to the router. I have them on their own router.

They've always complained about the crappy speed, dropped connections, intermittent connections, etc. They usually get only about 1-2 Mbps max. I've had them on two different routers (Linksys running Tomato, and now a DLink DIR-615) and they had the exact same problem on both of them. I've carried two different laptops to their rooms and I get a rock-solid 10Mbps download, which is what my connection is capped at. Since my laptops work and their dongles don't, I always assumed something was wrong with their dongles.

Their mom just moved to a new house and got a smokin' broadband connection. My son says he just got over 35 Mbps down, almost 7 Mbps up -- **using his dongle**.

So my laptops work fine on my router, and their dongles don't. On two different routers.
But their dongles work great with Mom's router.

!??

I ran a wifi sniffer (can't remember the name now, it was on a previous laptop) and there are two neighbors with wifis but their signal is much weaker than ours -- and they're not even visible from one son's room.

I asked what security Mom's router uses. It's WPA2/AES. Their current DLink router auto-chooses WPA/WPA2 and TKIP/AES so I'm not sure exactly what they're running now, but I'm 99% sure I ran WPA2/AES on the previous router.

I haven't tried running their dongles on my laptops, but that might be worth a try.

Any guesses or suggestions?

I'm not sure what model dongles they have but I can find out if needed. I'm pretty sure they're both running current drivers. They're both running Windows 7, 64bit I think.

Thanks!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Nov 2011   #2

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Dongles? lol I don't hear that word often.

Could another item be interfering with the signal, like a phone or such?

Is your router set to only use an 'n' connected device, and they only have a/b/g capable adapters?

Router settings could potentially be locking them up.

If their computers work at their mother's, than it likely isn't a problem dealing with their setup, unless it isn't compatible with your setup, but then I guess it wouldn't make sense that they get a slight connection. a tricky one this, for me

Have they tried connecting recently? does everyone have all important windows updates and optional updates for the windows system installed (could always help, especially with compatability)

Is there a chance their computers have your password wrong/aren't actually connecting to your device but connecting to someone else's weaker signal?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

I know, it's a strange word but it's the only thing I've ever heard them called!

The router is set to mixed g and b. I could try setting it to g/b/n but I would think they would fall back to a working level. I'm not sure what the previous router was set to but it was probably g/b too -- it was an old Linksys and I doubt it supported n.

Yes, they've tried connecting recently. It's the same as it's been ever since they built their computers 6-10 months ago. I believe they've updated their Windows 7 but I'll check the next time they're here. (But if that was the problem, I would expect them to have a problem at Mom's too.)

I'm certain they're connecting to the right device -- it's the right SSID. Then I ran the wifi scanner it didn't show any other APs with that name. Which I'd expect, since it includes our last name.

Quote:
a tricky one this, for me
For me too!!

Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Nov 2011   #4

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
 
 

are you running the adapter or windows to connect to the router (i would use the adapter). if everyone has "G", then everyone should be good. Is the room blocking the signal, or anything? could you move the router closer? Are the router's antennas set up according to the recommendation of the manual?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2011   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Not following your "adapter vs. windows" question. The boys have their adapters (dongles) plugged into their Windows boxes.

I believe everyone has G.

Rooms/etc doubtless block the signal some -- router is in one corner of the main floor, one son is currently in opposite corner in the basement -- but my laptop has no trouble with it.

Router manual doesn't have any antenna recommendations. I have the two antennae oriented 90deg to each other.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2011   #6

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
 
 

'n' capable routers connecting with 'n' capable adapters have a far greater range. but if someone only has a max of 'g', then the router can only trasmit 'g' as well (I am lead to believe).

Perhaps I am just not sure what a dongle is, I thought it was an adapter. Your sons have an adapter on their computers, yes? That adapter comes with software that you download off the internet. That software allows you to connect to the interent. It also would display (as well as windows) how many "bars" of connectivity you have. You can set it up to automatically connect to the internet for you, you only provide the password. Or you can set up to connect through windows, but i recommend through the adapter.

does the adapter have a name, ie d'link, netgear, linksys?

You could try to delete their wireless "profiles" in windows and in their adapter software, and reconnect to the internet through the adapter.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2011   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

The adapters IN their computers are are for hardwired LAN connectors only, so I got them wireless "dongles" -- USB wireless adapters, similar e.g. to Amazon.com: Linksys AE2500 Dual-Band Wireless-N USB Adapter: Electronics. I think one of them has a Linksys and the other one has a Netgear, but I'll have to check with them.

They often show a strong signal, e.g. 4 bars, but still have slow speeds and flaky connections.

I've tried deleting and recreating their wireless profiles before, with no improvement. But I'm still not sure what you mean by connecting "through the adapter." Do you mean e.g. right-clicking on the manufacturer's adapter icon in the system notification area, and using that as your connection initiator? I've always just used the standard Windows 7 connection method -- right click on the network icon, select the desired SSID, select "Connect." I would assume they would invoke the same driver code?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2011   #8

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by garyfritz View Post
But I'm still not sure what you mean by connecting "through the adapter." Do you mean e.g. right-clicking on the manufacturer's adapter icon in the system notification area, and using that as your connection initiator? I've always just used the standard Windows 7 connection method -- right click on the network icon, select the desired SSID, select "Connect." I would assume they would invoke the same driver code?
Yes, try deleting their windows profiles, and connect wirelessly through the adapter's software program. it shouldn't be too hard, you could even reinstall it (download the most recent software for the adapter to save on computer, remove the current, then install the one you just downloaded) and that should take you to a prompt to either let windows or the adapter connect automatically. If you do not want to reinstall, then still look up the adapter's settings (and if you can find it in windows) to see about changing it from a windows connection to the adapter connection. It may help, but again this is just a shot in the dark.

The security settings should automatically select the most secure connection accourding to your router's capabilities, so all you really need to do is enter your password to connect to your router. If your router is older and not able to have the most secure connection, yet you enable it on the adapter, then you could have problems there

ps. on that link to the adapter: where I'm from, most people just call them adapters. It may be different where you are, but I appologize that it seems to have added to some of the confusion. I do not often hear that word
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2011   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

OK, it's worth a try. But that still doesn't answer why it works (with the Windows connection) on Mom's router...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2011   #10

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
 
 

]connecting via windows isn't necessarily bad, just different. I suppose some things will work for one, others will work for another. The reason you use the adapter software is because it is more specific to your adapter, while windows takes a more general approach. Perhaps their mother has a different router that is more 'atune' to the windows connection. it could be anything really: The way the computer is set up, one having a critical update that solves the issue and not the other computer, etc.

You could even set up profiles on the adapter for the mother's computer and your computer so they would only have to select the correct profile wherever they are, instead of reentering the password again and again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Slow wifi (dongles) on my router, but not on another one?




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