Wireless Connectivity Issues

Client side: Dell Inspiron 6000, 2 GB Memory, Intel Proset 2200BG, Windows XP Professional (all updates applied and latest Proset driver installed).

Netgear Router WGR614V6 Firmware: V2.0.19_1.0.19NA (latest possible), router connected to high-speed cable modem

I'm sure this question has been posed elsewhere but for the sake of ease, I have been struggling with poor connectivity and am about to throw in the towel and purchase new wireless hardware.  I am using WEP encryption and tried all channels.  Surprisingly the Intel Proset reports strong connectivity but I cannot browse the web and a page-load usually results in failure.  My first suspect was Norton Internet Security so I disabled that totally and this made no difference.  I checked that IP and MAC addressed were listed as "Trusted" in Norton.  If the configuration of Intel Proset and Netgear is known to be problematic, I'd prefer to get rid of one of these unreliable components for something more stable.

I have been looking at the Belkin N1 notebook adapter and if I can avoid replace both adapter and router , that would be great.  Is Belkin a good reliable choice for this notebook and do you feel both the adapter and router should be replaced if the Belkin adapter may not be compatible with the Netgear router?

Thanks
eegptAsked:
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hybridrocknrollCommented:
First question I would ask is what objects are between you and your router? Are there any bricks or Metal objects such as Refridgerators or anything of that sort?
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eegptAuthor Commented:
It's in the same room as the router, sitting on my desk along with a Dell LCD monitor and a Logitech wireless mouse.  The Laptop also has a microsoft wireless mouse.  
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hybridrocknrollCommented:
Try this first: Go to Run->CMD->Type nslookup, hit enter-> Type a website (www.yahoo.com) and see if you get it resolved. You should get something to the effect of

>www.yahoo.com
Server: Unknown
Address: (Firewall IP)

Non-Authoritative Answero:
Name:  www-real.wai.b.yahoo.com (or some variation of their server)
Address: 69.147.76.15
Aliases:  www.yahoo.com
               www.wa1.b.yahoo.com (etc.)

This would signify that you're able to get out to the Internet. If you can, then there's a lookup problem that's not resolving the sites. You can try typing in the IP above to see if you can get to yahoo. Just type that IP into your web browser. Hope this helps!
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OHMikeyCommented:
You mentioned poor connectivity and Intel reporting strong connectivity. Is the signal fluctuating? I often end up uninstalling Norton completely when fighting these issues. You never know if it has really flaked out completely. I have seen it block communications when disabled and then problems clear up when uninstalled. Also, can you ping these websites?
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eegptAuthor Commented:
Hybrid:  Tried suggestion and received:
>www.yahoo.com
Server: Unknown
Address: 192.168.1.1

OHMikey:  I pinged after a reboot of the laptop and received a timeout.  Then the Intel Proset beeped indicating it had a strong connection (the register does not degrade, it implies the connectivity is strong).  I pinged again and it was successful, then I just tried the ping again and it failed with a timeout.  This is what I mean, so unreliable.  Also with respect to Norton, uninstalling it and reinstalling it with no network connection is a pain but I know it can, at times, be the culprit.  I am going to open another question on firewalls/antivirus SW as I want to get rid of Norton.
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hybridrocknrollCommented:
It definately could be the Norton. Try completely uninstalling it, and then resolving the name. Another culprit could be a bad connection with you NIC in your laptop. You could also try disabling and re-enabling the Wireless Internet Connection. Sometimes disabling it kind of "resets" the NIC.
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OHMikeyCommented:
That reply from the nslookup is strange. The 192.168.1.1 address is likely your router but the reply should be from a server on the internet. That and the sometimes failing pings makes me lean to the router as the culprit. Have you tried connecting directly to the modem and bypassing the router?
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eegptAuthor Commented:
With an RJ45 direct to the router its fine.  My workstation 690 is connected directly to the router via RJ45 and there have been no issues.  I have a feeling it's the intel proset as I've read other techn issues identifying the adapter as having some serious connectivity issues.  I just bought a Belkin N Notebook Adapter and will try that with the Netgear router.

I've had a long-stand hatred of Norton for the longest, it consumes resources like a pig and the only thing stopping me from using ZoneAlarm or another firewall/antivirus SW is frequency of updates to the definitions.
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eegptAuthor Commented:
Guys, thanks, I installed the Belkin N Wireless Notebook Card, made a couple of switches in the channel and it's functioning at 100% connectivity; what a pleasure and I didn't even have to change the router.  I am wondering if I should remove the Intel Proset from the laptop (if I can)?

Thanks
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OHMikeyCommented:
You can just disable the device in the device manager or netwoking applett. Many laptops also come with a switch to turn it off. As far as firewalls go, I just rely on the Windows firewal along with the one built into my router. I have removed more Norton products from client computers than all other software combined. Stick with just a plain antivirus, in my opinion. Good job with the fix. Knowing that it worked fine when directly connected to the router was a big clue that it was OK.
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