Wireless.. A dream come true or a nightmare in the making?

Published on: Author: Mike Hall Leave a comment

Wireless.. we used to dream about having wireless things. With wireless, the promise was that we could float like a butterfly, unfettered by annoying cables. The reality is that wireless can sting like a bee.

Wireless keyboards and mice are a blessing. To get crumbs and bits out of a wireless keyboard is easy. Just turn it over, no having to free up cable  Not enough room on the desk to do stuff other than typing? Just lift it away and put it somewhere else. The only problem is that they work on the 2.4GHrequency.

Why is this a problem? Mainly because wireless Internet also works on 2.4GHz. A wireless router works between 2.412 and 2.467 GHz, but at which end does a Microsoft wireless keyboard operate? Is it below 2.412 and or 2.467GHz, bearing in mind that the keyboards have two frequencies? Microsoft don’t tell you, but they may work close enough to Channel 1 or 11, such that wireless routers set for either might suffer interference.

OK, so is it a good idea to switch to 5GHz? Dual band routers are available as are wireless PCIE and mini PCIe cards, although the cards are not particularly cheap. We are told that 5GHz is good for data streaming, but cordless home phones operate at 5GHz, and they are known to interfere with wireless Internet.

Now we get to the crappy part..  

Taking into account the above, how are we supposed to diagnose wireless Internet problems? Is it caused by interference issues? Is it a hardware issue with the wireless adapter? Is it a hardware issue with the wireless router? Working it out by process of elimination is not cheap. Changing settings proves almost totally fruitless. Forums dealing with wireless Internet connections dropping off are full of dissatisfied users. I am a dissatisfied user.

In the Toshiba forums, some have had success sending the laptops back to get the wireless adapter cards changed, and some haven’t. Reviews on wireless routers show differing results, one person says its ok, while another thinks that its crappy. It applies to all makes. I have also seen posts where wired connections were causing the connections to drop, and I have even tried turning over completely to wireless connections.

Presently, the Toshiba is running on a D-Link G132. If the connection stays up, this will pinpoint the adapter in the Toshiba. I am making no guesses and will not hold my breath. If it is the internal adapter, it is easy enough to swap out. For now, I have had enough of troubleshooting wireless anything..

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