A disruption in the force happened yesterday. My Linksys WRT54GS wireless G class router would not communicate with any of our wireless nodes. Odd. Let’s reset the router. Nope. Let’s reboot a wireless node. Nope. Hey, let me reset the router again and reboot the rebooted wireless node. I repeated that exercise about ten times before it dawned on me that it would not resolve the problem.
I scanned for wireless networks. And there were two other wireless networks in view: one called homelan and the other called, surprisingly enough, wireless. So I joined the network with the strongest signal, the network known as wireless. The network was not secured. 192.168.1.1, no userid and a password of admin, and in my neighbour’s router.
I checked the router’s channel and I thought that there was likely a conflict. I did not think it wise to do much more in the router so I logged out and used a wired node to get into my own secured network.
When I first set up a wireless network I secured the network by using encryption. First generation was WEP and now I use WPA. I also changed the default admin userid/password and I disabled broadcasting the SSID. The SSID is what lists your network name in the open.
Anyway. I changed the broadcast channel and instantly, all the wireless nodes were able to connect at high signal levels.
I also looked up how to improve the operation of a wireless network. Microsoft has a useful and user friendly, non-technical that is, article here.
So I got 2 out of 10. Here is how I scored with my wireless network (1 point for optimized and 0 for non-optimized).
1. Position your wireless router in a central location.
Nope. I have it in the corner of my home office. 0 points
2. Move the router off the floor and away from walls and metal objects such as metal file cabinets.
Nope. I have the router tight against a wall on top of a metal file cabinet. 0 points.
3. Replace your router’s antenna.
Gee, I kinda like the original antenna. 0 points.
4. Replace your computer’s wireless network adapter.
You have to be kidding, right? 0 points.
5. Add a wireless repeater.
Nope. I haven’t done that either. 0 points.
6. Change your wireless channel.
Hooray. The computer geek finally gets a point.
7. Reduce wireless interference.
Egads. Get rid of my Blackberry? My cell phones? My wireless phones? My microwave? 0 points.
8. Update your firmware or your network adapter driver.
Too much trouble. 0 points.
9. Pick equipment from a single vendor.
Remember, this tip is from Microsoft. Maybe I should convert the entire home computing environment to Apple. But I haven’t done that yet. 0 points.
10. Upgrade 802.11b devices to 802.11g.
Yup. Another point.