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Posted Nov 11, 2009
4:59:08 PM
Wireless connected or NOT

I've had a U-verse wireless setup on my PC at home - running Windows XP Professional 5.1 - for over a year and have had issues with the connection dropping frequently and a very low signal w/ no speed to speak of (drops from 54Mbps to 11Mbps or lower in 30 seconds flat). AT&T tech came out months ago, looked everything over and basically did nothing - said the problem may be because the router is several rooms away.

The dropped connections got even worse recently so DH got a Cisco Systems booster thingy and now the network icon shows that I'm connected with excellent signal strength and speed at 54 Mbps.

HOWEVER, neither Firefox nor IE recognize that I'm "connected" until I run the Windows Network Diagnostics at least once (sometimes 3 times). Occasionally I have to reset by unplugging the 2Wire antenna or run a Repair on the wireless network. But I must say, most of the time now I stay connected once I get there.

DH has disabled the wired network from the DSL days, disconnected the front USB ports (issue with 865pe neo2 motherboard), and installed a new USB card for the 2Wire antenna. None of which has solved the need to run Network Diagnostics before I can actually get online.

 

Oh, two laptops in the house generally have no problems with connectivity.


Does this sound like a hardware or software problem?  Is there a solution for Dummies?

Thanks,
Penny in San Diego

I've had a U-verse wireless setup on my PC at home - running Windows XP Professional 5.1 - for over a year and have had issues with the connection dropping frequently and a very low signal w/ no speed to speak of (drops from 54Mbps to 11Mbps or lower in 30 seconds flat). AT&T tech came out months ago, looked everything over and basically did nothing - said the problem may be because the router is several rooms away.

The dropped connections got even worse recently so DH got a Cisco Systems booster thingy and now the network icon shows that I'm connected with excellent signal strength and speed at 54 Mbps.

HOWEVER, neither Firefox nor IE recognize that I'm "connected" until I run the Windows Network Diagnostics at least once (sometimes 3 times). Occasionally I have to reset by unplugging the 2Wire antenna or run a Repair on the wireless network. But I must say, most of the time now I stay connected once I get there.

DH has disabled the wired network from the DSL days, disconnected the front USB ports (issue with 865pe neo2 motherboard), and installed a new USB card for the 2Wire antenna. None of which has solved the need to run Network Diagnostics before I can actually get online.

 

Oh, two laptops in the house generally have no problems with connectivity.


Does this sound like a hardware or software problem?  Is there a solution for Dummies?

Thanks,
Penny in San Diego

Wireless connected or NOT

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Nov 14, 2009 10:36:28 AM
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If you have two computers that are connecting okay and one that isn't its probably a hardware problem. My best guess is the 2Wire adapter you were supplied with. AT&T is no longer using them because they had a lot of problems with them. If you call technical support they can send a replacement Netopia adapter at no charge, though they may want you to go through some troubleshooting with them first if you haven't called in about it recently.
If you have two computers that are connecting okay and one that isn't its probably a hardware problem. My best guess is the 2Wire adapter you were supplied with. AT&T is no longer using them because they had a lot of problems with them. If you call technical support they can send a replacement Netopia adapter at no charge, though they may want you to go through some troubleshooting with them first if you haven't called in about it recently.

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Nov 15, 2009 6:10:43 AM
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Thanks, Wardawg, for the suggestion. I will call Tech Support after my coffee kicks in.  

 

Another "HOWEVER" arose after I posted the problem.  I brought one of the laptops to the desk where my desktop is and had the exact same problem. Would the 2Wire adapter in my desktop interfer with the laptop?

 

Penny in San Diego

Thanks, Wardawg, for the suggestion. I will call Tech Support after my coffee kicks in.  

 

Another "HOWEVER" arose after I posted the problem.  I brought one of the laptops to the desk where my desktop is and had the exact same problem. Would the 2Wire adapter in my desktop interfer with the laptop?

 

Penny in San Diego

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Nov 15, 2009 11:55:53 AM
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No, the 2wire adapter should not interfere with other computers. If that is the case, it may be wireless interference from a device in that general area of the house (I would still advise that you get the Netopia replacement adapter). There are a number of things that could cause such interference, including (but not limited to) 2.4GHz cordless phones or other devices that operate on the 2.4GHz wireless frequency range, and physical interferences like large appliances and certain types of wall materials. The best thing you can do is check for devices nearby and move them away if possible, and try to make sure that the RG (or this range booster you have) has a clear line of sight to your computer (i.e. as few walls as possible, no electronic appliances in a direct line between them).

 

AT&T also has a device called the Asoka Homeplug (you can request this instead of the Netopia adapter replacement), which will provide you with a wired connection anywhere in the house where you have an open electrical jack, without the hassle of running an ethernet cable all over the house. It is highly dependent on good electrical wiring and a good quality electrical outlet though, so its possible it won't be any more useful than your current set up, but its worth a try if wireless is just not an option where you have this computer set up.

No, the 2wire adapter should not interfere with other computers. If that is the case, it may be wireless interference from a device in that general area of the house (I would still advise that you get the Netopia replacement adapter). There are a number of things that could cause such interference, including (but not limited to) 2.4GHz cordless phones or other devices that operate on the 2.4GHz wireless frequency range, and physical interferences like large appliances and certain types of wall materials. The best thing you can do is check for devices nearby and move them away if possible, and try to make sure that the RG (or this range booster you have) has a clear line of sight to your computer (i.e. as few walls as possible, no electronic appliances in a direct line between them).

 

AT&T also has a device called the Asoka Homeplug (you can request this instead of the Netopia adapter replacement), which will provide you with a wired connection anywhere in the house where you have an open electrical jack, without the hassle of running an ethernet cable all over the house. It is highly dependent on good electrical wiring and a good quality electrical outlet though, so its possible it won't be any more useful than your current set up, but its worth a try if wireless is just not an option where you have this computer set up.

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Nov 16, 2009 9:52:16 AM
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Thanks again, Wardawg!

I spent 3 hours on the phone w/ Tech yesterday morning after I irretrievably lost my connection.  I did bring up your recommendation of replacing the 2wire adapter with Netopia - the Tech finally ordered the Akosa homeplug for me (at no charge) with assurances that this would work.  The Tech, however, didn't suggest that the quality of the electrical wiring would have any affect on the effectiveness of this solution.  Our house is 80+ years old and some of the wiring may be original.  So,I'll try it and see if that solves the problem.

 

I'm curious about the progressive worsening of my internet connect problems.  I've had issues since we acquired U-verse in September 08, the lost connections got worse in early 2009, but I could unplug/replug the adaptor to reacquire the connection, then the lost connections and poor signal got so frustrating in the last month or so that DH bought the range expander, which gave me excellent signal strength with the full 54Mbps speed, but no connection without running Windows Network Diagnositics 1-3 times.  As of yesterday, running diagnostics no longer makes the connection at all. The error message suggest the problem is with the router - but we have NO problems anywhere else in the house with wireless connections on the laptops. The possible physical interferences (phones, appliances, etc) haven't changed since we first got U-verse, other than being a year older.  Any thoughts?

 

Penny in San Diego

Thanks again, Wardawg!

I spent 3 hours on the phone w/ Tech yesterday morning after I irretrievably lost my connection.  I did bring up your recommendation of replacing the 2wire adapter with Netopia - the Tech finally ordered the Akosa homeplug for me (at no charge) with assurances that this would work.  The Tech, however, didn't suggest that the quality of the electrical wiring would have any affect on the effectiveness of this solution.  Our house is 80+ years old and some of the wiring may be original.  So,I'll try it and see if that solves the problem.

 

I'm curious about the progressive worsening of my internet connect problems.  I've had issues since we acquired U-verse in September 08, the lost connections got worse in early 2009, but I could unplug/replug the adaptor to reacquire the connection, then the lost connections and poor signal got so frustrating in the last month or so that DH bought the range expander, which gave me excellent signal strength with the full 54Mbps speed, but no connection without running Windows Network Diagnositics 1-3 times.  As of yesterday, running diagnostics no longer makes the connection at all. The error message suggest the problem is with the router - but we have NO problems anywhere else in the house with wireless connections on the laptops. The possible physical interferences (phones, appliances, etc) haven't changed since we first got U-verse, other than being a year older.  Any thoughts?

 

Penny in San Diego

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Nov 16, 2009 9:59:15 AM
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Actually, I have just thought of one physical change in the last year - Sprint is my cell phone provider and I now have a strong signal in the room where my desktop is, but a year or so ago I couldn't use my cell phone in the back of the house for lack of signal.
Actually, I have just thought of one physical change in the last year - Sprint is my cell phone provider and I now have a strong signal in the room where my desktop is, but a year or so ago I couldn't use my cell phone in the back of the house for lack of signal.

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Nov 20, 2009 4:37:59 PM
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You're welcome PennyiSD, I hope my advice has helped, though I apologize it took 3 hours out of your day for them to decide to send out replacement equipment for you. The Asoka Homeplug is indeed sensitive to poor electrical wiring, though age alone doesn't necessarily mean the wiring wont be capable. Let me know how it goes for you.

 

As far as the progressive worsening of the condition, its probably just due to the 2wire adapter's slow decay. In my own personal experience, this is often the case with electronics - they don't always just stop working one day, most of them have warning signs (decaying performance, intermittently stop working, etc), then eventually just fail altogether. At this point I wouldn't be too concerned about what caused it (such issues are usually difficult if not impossible to locate the source), the Asoka Homeplug will bypass all forms of wireless interference.

You're welcome PennyiSD, I hope my advice has helped, though I apologize it took 3 hours out of your day for them to decide to send out replacement equipment for you. The Asoka Homeplug is indeed sensitive to poor electrical wiring, though age alone doesn't necessarily mean the wiring wont be capable. Let me know how it goes for you.

 

As far as the progressive worsening of the condition, its probably just due to the 2wire adapter's slow decay. In my own personal experience, this is often the case with electronics - they don't always just stop working one day, most of them have warning signs (decaying performance, intermittently stop working, etc), then eventually just fail altogether. At this point I wouldn't be too concerned about what caused it (such issues are usually difficult if not impossible to locate the source), the Asoka Homeplug will bypass all forms of wireless interference.

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Nov 21, 2009 11:50:58 AM
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As of this morning I am finally up and connecting!  Asoka works like a charm (once dh sussed out the reason the IP address and/or Gateway weren't being found) and the 82 year-old wiriing in the back of the house is adequate for the job.

Penny in San Diego

As of this morning I am finally up and connecting!  Asoka works like a charm (once dh sussed out the reason the IP address and/or Gateway weren't being found) and the 82 year-old wiriing in the back of the house is adequate for the job.

Penny in San Diego

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