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Laptop with weaker wireless signal then new laptop


I have bought 10 used Laptops my client is disappointed because the distance that they can travel away from the wireless access point is shorter then the distance he can move away with his new Laptops.

The older Laptops are Toshiba with windows XP and use external wireless card (Belkin Model F5D901 http://www.belkin.com/us/support-search?search=F5D9010 )

The new Laptop is Dell N5010 with windows 7.

 I have them pretty much right next to each other. However, it seems my newer laptop can't pick up wireless signals as well as the other laptop.

I'm on 1-2 bars for my older Toshiba laptop and it cuts off frequently whereas my newer DELL laptop has a strong 4 bar signal and can detect the neighbors' wireless too.

I have bought these 10 new Laptops and am stuck with them is there anyway I can improve their wireless range ? and also can someone let me know why this would be happening ?

IP4IT Staff
IP4IT Staff
5 Solutions
The laptops use a different wireless NIC. Also, the new one most likely has an "n" type NIC, while the other with the PCCard NIC still uses the older "g" standard. Apart from being faster, the "n" standard also has better range.

Apart from that, the antennas inside the laptop will also make a difference. The antennas usually are placed inside the displays of laptops, which gives better coverage than the "cramped" placement inside the PCCard.

Get "n" type NIC's, if possible internal if the laptops have an internal mini PCI slot, and if the antennas are already builtin. Otherwise get USB wireless NICs of the "n" standard.
John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Try a different external wireless card to see if a different card will improve the distance.

Also XP is slower than Windows 7 anyway and that may be contributing to the issue.

... Thinkpads_User
Thomas GrassiSystems AdministratorCommented:
Why not test this

Put the Belkin Model F5D901 in the windows 7 computer see if you get the same results.

As Rindi stated above the G and N standards should be looked at.

The Belkin Model F5D901 is G standard and that is much slower than N

As Think Pads suggested get another WiFi card with N standard to test.

But only after testing the card in Windows 7 to see if it is the card for sure.
You told us the model number of the Dell, for which you don't need a new wireless adapter, but not for the Toshibas, which apparently DO need new adapters.
AkinsdNetwork AdministratorCommented:
Check the power properties on the laptop

This is a navigation example from Lenovo running Win 7

- Control Panel
- Power Options
- Change advanced power settings
- Wireless Adapter Settings
- Power saving Mode
- Maximum Performance

Most laptops come with power management applications.

Your main goal is to give the wireless card maximum power possible when plugged in or on battery.

Downside is your batteries will drain faster.

The amount of power available determines the strength of the signal
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