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Laptop Has a Good Signal, but the Speed is Random

post #1 of 5
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All of a sudden my laptop is being VERY weird. Ive been using it in the same spot for a very long time and this week it started to act strange.

Windows says I have 3/5 bars, but the speed will drop as far as 2Mbps. The weird part is that if I touch a side or angle the screen differently or numerous other random things, the speed will climb back to normal and if I put it back it'll either work or go back to super slow.

I have no clue why this would be happening. Everything I can think of that would effect the speed has been in the area for a while now.

Just to cover them anyway, its setup like this: Laptop is on a wooden seat (the back broke off so I use it as a mini desk), behind the laptop is off brand sub woofer w/ a JBL center speaker on top of that. I recently installed a Belkin Wifi-N router. The router has been there for probably a month or close to it and the sub/speaker for a couple weeks.

Unless the speaker and sub can interfere from a few feet away, I dont think its them.

Im getting 200kb/s right now, then I can touch the side of the monitor and it will double to 400kb/s, still no where near my normal 1.3mb/s which I should be getting with wireless working normal.

Any clues? Would a reformat work maybe? I cant see it working. This seems like a hardware issue, but what would be causing it?

Also, the laptops is wifi-g.

I just tried configing the router to do wifi-g only, then I had normal speed, a minute later back to slower speeds, as Im typing its back to normal, we'll see how long this last..

SO CONFUSED!
Edited by pLuhhmm - 2/6/11 at 10:56pm
Phoneix
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Phoneix
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post #2 of 5
You may have a loose wire. The antenna in lappies is usually a wire that sits across the edge of the screen bezel. While opening/closing the lid, that wire may have gotten loose.
It may also be that lately the signal got perturbed. Maybe some other Wi-Fi networks appeared and the signal is jammed. You could try (if the router allows this config) to change the broadcasting channel. They're between 2 and 14 if I recall correctly, but 99% of the routers choose channel 11. Move it to channel 10 and see how it goes. This last tweak worked for me since I'm in the range of 10-15 networks and all but two broadcast on ch 11.
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post #3 of 5
Wireless signal strength is constantly changing, it's just the nature of the beast. I think you should just count your blessings that it worked as well as it did for as long as it did. But if you really must keep the wireless connection, try cleaning off the antennas and removing/reinstalling them and the wireless card.

Maybe a driver removal/reinstall? Highly doubt that would work tho. Wireless just isn't steady. When listening to your car radio, ever notice you have "good areas" and "bad areas"? Ever got static on your favorite radio station while in one of the "good areas"? What causes it? Who knows, could be any number of things (including the alignment of the moon and the stars! lol).

Wireless is handy, but I strongly recommend against using it for anything bandwidth intensive or latency intolerant (gaming).

EDIT - forgot about changing channels. That's a good tip too, and real quick/easy to try.
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post #4 of 5
Have any cordless phones, microwaves, or wireless mice around?

Any of those can cause significant interference.
    
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post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by trueg50 View Post
Have any cordless phones, microwaves, or wireless mice around?

Any of those can cause significant interference.

That meter only tells you signal strength... it doesn't tell you noise levels.
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