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Wireless Laptops dropping connection

Posted on 2010-08-19
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Last Modified: 2013-11-21
Hello everyone,
My work network has been having some wireless issues.

We have a Linksys WRV4400n wireless router as the gateway, server 2008 R2 as the domain controller handling the dhcp, a cysco 1300 seiries airnet (configured with the same SSID and pass phrase as the 4400n for range)  and several laptops (all windows 7) that are mobile within the office during working hours. The encription is WPA2 Personal and AES encription.

Problem is that the laptops (not all - just a few) will drop the wireless signal for a second or 2 and get it back. When the connection is dropped the application that is getting data from the server freezes up and goes to a white screen.

My questions are this:
1. Does Windows Server have something within a role or a feature that must be configured in order for the wireless computers to get a better connection.
2. Would lowering the Security setting on the wireless router to WPA Personal enable for stronger connection signal to the laptops. Would lowering it down to WEP??

Anyhelp on this would be greatly appreciated!!
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Question by:brianhancock1
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by:Will Szymkowski
ID: 33480860
Do you have any other wireless connections in your current range? If you have another signal in the same range (also using the same channel) you can get cross talking. Try updating the drives first on the laptops with issues, then try changing the Channel. From my experience the security has no impact on Range or speed.
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by:brianhancock1
ID: 33480982
The 4400n and the airnet 1300 have the same SSID and pass phrase (same security as well), but one is chanel 1 and the other is chanel 6.

if one is dropped then the other should pick it up, right??

what do you mean update the drives??
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Will Szymkowski earned 250 total points
ID: 33481033
Sorry, I meant update the wireless card drivers on the machine in question.
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by:SLynch1223
SLynch1223 earned 250 total points
ID: 33481136
I found that you should keep the devices on the same channel if you're extending the wireless signal.  This way, the laptops will connect to which ever is stronger and shouldn't skip a beat when switching connections.  Also, I have seem connections get dropped while using WPA2 before.  Downgrading to WEP may provide a better wireless network, but then security becomes an issue sine WEP is so easy to crack.  If you have to use WEP, you should at least have a whitelist.
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Expert Comment

by:Patrick Tallarico
ID: 33481185
Do the two wireless routers overlap in their broadcast range?  If so, could it be that the laptops that are experiencing the problem are connecting to one wireless router, then dropping that for the other?
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Author Comment

by:brianhancock1
ID: 33481283
yes the 2 routers overlap each other.

I will put them on the same channel and see how they react. I was under the impression that they had to be on seperate chanels in order to function or they would drown each other out and not work at all... Do you currently have networks with the devices on the same chanel??

I also thought that the higher security the shorter the range?? Maybe if I drop back to WPA Personal??
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by:SLynch1223
ID: 33481306
Yes, I have 3 routers, all of different makes, on the same channel.  The all have the same SSID, Channel, Security, ect.  The only difference is that I have their IPs hardcoded.  Since they are all setup to look alike, my laptops see them as one big network.  I am only using WEP though which has actually had no problems so far.
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by:brianhancock1
ID: 33481340
Thanks! I will try in the morning and let you know how it works out.

Thanks again for the quick responses!!
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