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A. This assumes you otherwise have a working wired network with a wireless AP or an entire wireless network in either infrastucure mode or ad-hoc mode.
B. I also assume you understand your operating system and basic networking. This is not required but will help. I don't assume you know much about wireless issues.
C. All of the following can be tried separatly or together but should only be atttempted with any firewall and WEP/WPA off for testing only. They can be turned back on after you resolved the issue.
1. If you have more than one wireless device, do they all loose the signal at the same general time? If so, look into a issue concerning your AP, if not look into a issue concerning your wireless adapter.
2. Have you changed any thing in your AP or PC/laptop just prior to the issue? If so, change it back and see if that helps. Like you moved your AP or changed a setting in your PC.
3. Have you changed the SSID broadcast to off? If so, turn it back on. XP prefers it on to operate properly and it makes sharing your AP or having a guest over impossible. It's also of no enhancement to security of your system, using encrytpion is.
4. Have you tried to change your AP channel? In U.S., use either 1, 6 or 11. The others will overlap the frequencies of one of these three, so you really only have 3 channels that don't overlap.
5. Move your AP over a few feet left/right/up/down. If possible a whole other room that is closer to your wireless adapters or center of your home.
6. Is the AP directly below or above your wireless device? If so, move the wireless adapter or your AP. The RF signal in typical antenna's don't travel well direct up and down.
7. Move your AP antenna(s) around which will redirect the signal output. i.e. left, right,up or down.
8. Verify your AP firmware is up to date. If not, update to the current level.
9. Verify your wireless adapter driver software is current. If not, use the updated driver from the AP manufacturer.
10. Don't use hacked firmware. Either for "fixed issues" or "additional features", they are not tested to the same standards as the firmware provided by the manufacturers. Also the programmer that created the hacked version does not have access to the inner workings of the device and may end up locking up your device for good. This is a general rule, hacked firmware still requires a skilled programmer.
11. Is your computers operating system updated with current patches from the operating system developer? If not, install patches and or service packs.
12. Electrical items known to create intermittent connection problems relative to the location of your wireless netowrk are devices such as microwaves, cordless phones, baby monitors and any other devices that transmit radio frequncies in or across the 2.4 or 5 GHz frequency bands. If you have your wireless devices near any of these try moving the wireless device or phone etc...
13. If your using both 802.11b and 802.11g devices, try using a fixed speed rather than auto. Keep in mind that you need to pick the slower of the speeds or you'll get one or more of your devices locked out. In this case, 802.11b is the slowest at 11 mips or lower.
14. From command line run a tracert between one of the computers with the issue and a web site. See where the speed bump is in the millasecond response times. This will help point to a cable modem, AP,wireless adapter or your ISP.
15. From command line run a winipcfg for Win9x, ipconfig /all for win2k/xp or ifconfig for linux. See if you have a ip for your computer, DNS, DHCP, Gateway, and is DHCP on or off. You should see a ip for each of the aspects mentioned and DHCP should be on if thats what your ISP has assigned you or off is you have a fixed ip assigned by your ISP.
16. Is there a metal file cabinet or metal door or plastered walls or heat duct between you and the AP? If so they cast a RF shadow and reduce the signal from your wireless adapter and your AP. See if you can move the AP so that these issues are reduced.
17. If you have MAC or IP filtering on at your AP, verify your wireless device is not being blocked by either filter type. Same is true for time and day of week filters.
18. Consider making a parabolic mesh reflector. They can be made out of chicken wire with opening 1/4 inch or less arched partially around the AP with the exposed antenna portion facing the direction of the wireless devices. The reflector is arc shaped like a baseball backstop forcing the signal to go farther out toward the opening in it. Chicken wire shaped as ( and placed behind where you want the signal to go. So it would look like ( AP --> your wireless adapter. More info on this and some pics at »www.freeantennas.com/projects/te···dex.html
19. From the command line can you ping your AP? If so you know you have basic connectivity, if not, you have a dead connection.
20. If you have a firewall on you computer turn it off and see if you can ping your AP. If so can you see dslreport.com? Then it was your firewall. Change the settings in your firewall. Yes it should have been off during the previous tips.