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Wireless network connection problems - Can't see the network I want?

tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
Hey all, I was wondering if anyone can help me out with a problem I've been having. In my windows vista wireless network browser I can't see my home local network very frequently, I'll go 'connect to a network' and then refresh a few dozen times, and then it will (sometimes) pop up, connect just fine and be absolutely fine for however long I want to use it. This process can sometimes take almost a hundred presses of the 'refresh list' button on the network browser though!

Has anyone seen a problem anything like this? It's really annoying, espescially because the network is clearly working fine. If I 'Hibernate' the computer rather than just shut it down then it comes back on connected just fine, but whenever it shuts down it just takes longer and longer to find the network again. Here's the problem in steps...

1) Computer doesn't see my network
2) Refreshing network list many dozens of times pops the network up
3) Once it connects it is fine
4) The computer can be hibernated and turned back on with no problem
5) If the computer is shut down it seems to take longer and longer to find the network.

I don't know, is there a different network finder to use than the vista default one? Is there perhaps some way to force Vista to always connect to a network even if it doesn't see the SSID being broadcast? I'm using just a USB network adaptor, perhaps those are renowned for just being crap and I should switch to an internal network card? It's always been a little dodgy, but over the last few months it's become intolerable.

Oh, the other wierd thing is that while there are many networks visible in the room (laptops, iPhone can see all of them in a big list, including others running vista) however many times I refresh it will only ever show one or two at a time. Usually the same ones. It's odd that they aren't the ones with the strongest signal either! On all the others my network has a strong 5 bars, and the others are much weaker.

Any suggestions? I'm at my wits end with it.

tbloxham on
Your puny weapons are useless against me

Posts

  • punkpunk Registered User
    edited August 2010
    Sometimes certain manufacturers will include their own wireless management tool, like Intel's PROSet or Cisco's Valet. There's no guarantee that you'd have a better experience with them.

    Is the issue limited to this particular laptop, or to any device that attempts to connect to your WiFi router? It sounds like it, but I want to be certain. If it's just the laptop, you can probably rule out issues with the actual router. If it's with multiple devices, you could have a problem with the router, or it could be an interference issue, etc.

    Make sure you cover the basics too, like updating the drivers for your USB adapter.

    Also, yes, there is an option under your wireless network properties to force the connection even if Windows doesn't see an SSID. Here is a nice tutorial on how to enable it. On a related note, if you do actually have SSID broadcast disabled on your router, have you tried to turn it back on to see if that makes a difference?

  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Yeah, it's just the one computer, everything else (laptop, ps3, iPhone, visitors computers) sees the network strongly in all rooms. An even this computer is perfectly stable and fast when it is actually connected. Maybe I'll try forcing the network to connect without the ssid

    Your puny weapons are useless against me
  • punkpunk Registered User
    edited August 2010
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Yeah, it's just the one computer, everything else (laptop, ps3, iPhone, visitors computers) sees the network strongly in all rooms. An even this computer is perfectly stable and fast when it is actually connected. Maybe I'll try forcing the network to connect without the ssid

    OK, that narrows it down quite a bit. Let me know what happens with the settings change in Windows.

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