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Windows 7: Best way to troubleshoot poor wifi on Windows 7?

22 Jun 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Best way to troubleshoot poor wifi on Windows 7?

Hi all,

I'm having an ongoing wireless problem with my Windows 7 PC in that speeds are a lot slower than expected and I even get intermittent 'connected to network but no internet access' problems.

I have two computers on my network: a Windows PC, and a Macbook. With the laptop my download speed is regularly 17mbps. But my PC can barely pass 7mbps. I ran speedtest with the laptop on the floor next to the PC so I know they both have the same line of sight to the router. My laptop also never drops the connection.
This tells me that the router cannot be at fault and that it's setup correctly.
I have the latest drivers for my PCI wireless adapter. Windows is up to date.

So.. where do I go from here? Is it possible that the wireless adapter just isn't very good? (I bought it as it had good user reviews). Although it barely managers a signal strength higher than 2 bars (which according to Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector is about -85dbm Very poor!).
Is it likely that some adapters work better with some makes of router? I have a Netgear router and the adapter it TP-Link.

Or could it be an issue within Windows? If so where would I start looking?

Thanks in advance for any help!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Jun 2012   #2

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit

I would suspect its the wi fi adapter. The signal strength is not high enough for proper operation.

Some adapter come with an antenna, or have provisions to add one, so one thing to look at.

The other thing to seriously consider is that the adapter you got is defective. If its returnable, I would return it either for a different model or exchange for another same model.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2012   #3

Windows 7 x64

IIRC the 2.4GHz band has 13 channels. of which only 1,6 and 11 are not overlapped. If you have neighbours with wifi enabled devices close by their devices will interfere with your signal.

It may be as simple as changing your channel, or have you already tried this?

In any event, I would download and install the following and look at the traffic in your area.

inSSIDer – Discover The Wi-Fi Around You | MetaGeek

Setting your router to the channel that has the least amount of traffic will be a good starting point.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Jun 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

thanks for the replies.

TypeR, I've already tested all the channels and have settled on the fastest. It's different to the other routers I can see.

I uninstalled the adapter yesterday to reinstall from scratch. It's a TP-Link, but Windows wants to automatically install it as a Qualcomm Atheros device. Can't be right, can it?!

Anyway, it hasn't improved anything - the signal strength fluctuates between 'poor' an 'fair' which seems to imply somethings wrong. If it can't be a software issue, then maybe you're right Fireberd, and it's a dodgy adapter.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Best way to troubleshoot poor wifi on Windows 7?

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