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  • Question

    troubleshoot an intermittent wireless connection

    • Answer
    •  There are several possible causes of intermittent connection problems. We've listed a number of known causes below, and provided some potential solutions for you to discuss with the customer.
      range - ie the computer is too far away from the router
      obstructions - eg thick stone walls, glass or
      interference - other equipment in the house using 2.4GHz
      refresh the connection
      power cycle
      update wireless drivers
      third party wireless software conflicts
      update your operating system

      range

      In general, the further your computer is from your wireless router, the lower the signal strength will be. When the signal strength is low, there's a higher chance that you'll experience dropping connections, and the speed of the wireless connection will decrease. The range is affected by obstructions and interference.


      obstructions

      Obstructions between your computer and wireless router make for lower signal strength; different materials have different effects. We've listed a number of obstacles you may have in your house, and suggest that you try and relocate your router where possible to see if the situation improves:

      very high - metal
      high - concrete
      medium - marble
      medium - bricks
      medium - stone walls
      medium - water - (i.e. enclosed in a fish tank)
      low - glass
      low - plaster
      low - wood

      interference

      The following items can cause problems with wireless interference:

      other wireless routers, eg a neighbour's
      cordless phones
      baby monitors
      microwave ovens
      computers - if obstructing wireless cards
      wireless keyboards or mice
      Bluetooth devices
      any other items using the 2.4GHz frequency range
      The further away the source of interference is from the wireless router, the less chance there is that it will cause an issue.

      Changing the channel of your wireless router can often help. You'll find more help with this in one of the articles below:

      Livebox 1.1
      Livebox 1.2 (Mini)
      Siemens wireless router
      Netgear DGN1000

      refresh the connection

      If the connection drops, you may need to refresh the connection.

       Messages like 'limited or no connectivity' may be received, or AirPort icons will blink between grey and black.

      The tips below may help:

      internal cards on laptops

      Try turning the wireless switch on the laptop off for a few seconds, then back on.

      USB wireless adaptors

      Unplug the wireless adaptor for 20 seconds, then plug it back in.

      Apple AirPort

      Click the wireless fan, and select turn AirPort off, wait a few seconds, then click turn AirPort on.


      power cycle

      Turning your router and computer back on again will fix all sorts of intermittent connection problems. Follow the steps in one of the articles below:

      Livebox 1.1
      Livebox 1.2 (Mini)
      Siemens wireless router
      Netgear DGN1000

      update wireless drivers

      If you're using an inbuilt wireless adaptor, it may help to contact the manufacturer to see if any driver updates are available, which may improve wireless connectivity.

       There are no driver updates for any of our wireless adaptors.


      third party wireless software conflicts

      If you're using third party wireless software, (ie not Windows wireless manager, or Apple AirPort) this may be causing the intermittent connection problem. We strongly advise that you use Windows to manage your wireless connection, and disable the third party wireless software. The manufacturer of your computer should be able to assist with this, if you're unable to locate an option to disable the software.


      update your operating system

      We strongly recommend that you update your operating system with the latest service packs. This is not only for security reasons, but also because many wireless connectivity issues are fed back to Microsoft and Apple, and then improved with new releases. If you're using service pack 1 or haven't installed a service pack on Windows XP, we strongly suggest you update.

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    • View Answer at http://help.orange.co.uk/orangeuk/support/personal/353093
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