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Thread: Reliability of Wireless Internet?

  1. #1

    Reliability of Wireless Internet?

    Hello, all.

    I'm currently on my way to getting wireless internet, however some of my friends claim it's far too slow and disconnects frequently. I'm afraid of spending $250.00 on equipment, and the internet will disconnect every 10 minutes or be too laggy.

    Could you please provide some details into how reliable wireless internet is? And personal experiences with it? I'll be using it for gaming the majority of the time, so I can't afford for this stuff to cut out on me every two seconds. I know there are issues with it regarding interference from things like microwaves and other common household appliances, so I'm kind of worried about that stuff too.

    Any help would be vastly appreciated.

    Last edited by Gutsman; 05-16-2005 at 01:18 PM.

  2. #2
    Some people do have issues with wireless, but if you stick to the well known makes there shouldn't be much of a problem.

    Interference from some devices such as microwaves can have an effect, but it is much more likely that your building environment will affect things. Lots of steel in your location will drastically cut down on signal strength, but you can always experiment with antenna placement or alignment.

    Keep off the default channels - every man and his dog use these, so it's little wonder that interference can occur if more than one network is in the same area.
    Go for a tried and trusted 802.11G network with WPA encryption. Keep to the same manufacturer for your AP and NICs and you should be fine. Any of the newer 'turbo' or 'pre-N' systems may work, but I'd avoid them until some standard has been ratified.

    Make sure you take all the usual security precautions (change the SSID, don't broadcast it after setup, don't allow wireless setup, use WPA encryption & MAC address filtering) and you should be fine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    To The Right Of The Left Coast
    I think deddard pretty much nailed it. No use repeating what he said.

    I've had wireles for a while now and the only problems I have are infrequent and caused by the cordless phones in the house (2.4Ghz).
    Pop Pop
    "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."
    Albert Einstein

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Milwaukee Wi
    Also it should be noted that the distance from the AP to the Nic can make a difference
    The further apart they are the weaker the signal and the slower it can be ,
    Also walls and floors will cause a weaker signal .

    If you intend to have the systems in different rooms and on different floor levels in the building then Keep the AP in a central location
    (Away from those 2.4 phones and micro wave ovens )

  5. #5
    I intend on having my router on the top floor, and my receiver in the basement, which is obviously the bottommost floor. The only things I am suspicious about as far as interference goes is the microwave and my cordless phone.

    Ok, hypothetical situation: I'm gaming away, and someone uses one of the aforementioned devices, or both, will my game suddenly end due to the interference? Or will I just experience some other type of annoying effect?


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Wyncote, PA, USA
    First of all, for $250.00 you could get a router a NIC and a repeater and still have enough left over for a nice pizza or two......

    You can get bumped off. You will have to play with the channels and see what channel gets the lowest amount of interference and the most performance.
    No two moments are alike and a person who thinks that any two moments are alike has never lived.

    A.J. Heschel

  7. #7
    I'm in Canada though, eh? Prices here are much steeper. My whole setup is probably going to run me like $200.00 at least.

    Thanks for the advice on playing with the channels. I'm guessing there are plenty of them to choose from?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    West Australia
    personally i'm not unobjectionable to the idea of a masonry drillbit and lots of cat5...
    thats infinitely more secure and faster

    but thats not really helpful. sometimes interference can play a part in affecting a network but the worst i've seen is a microwave putting an 802.11G to a 802.11b for 5 minutes (defrosting food) it never did it again.
    3... Is that in Hex?

  9. #9
    My experience with an home wireless net maybe can be useful, as I believe to be a very common one. I started with this idea because I did not want to have cables installed and works to be done around. So I places the wireless firewall (Netgear) in my office below the basement level and connected the PCs of wife and of the two kids upstairs, each to a wireless adapter. So signals had to travel across two ceilings and a couple of divisory regular bricks walls; the direct distance in meters being no more than 15 or so. As I live in a country home and next neighbour is half mile away I did not set any encription which had delayed transmission.

    Quality of received signals as you know, can be monitored under two points of view:
    a) strenght (which appeared to be very low, at the minimum of the scale)
    b) noise (that beyoind a certain level obliges the system to repeat sending packets not understood many times until correctly received and thus impacting on speed of actual data transfers - also noise was very high regardless microwave owen in the kitchen was on or off)
    What was more disappointing was the unpredictable behaviour of the architecture; sometime worked (slowly) and sometime not at all. For example I noticed it worked quite fine on rainy days, probably even affected by humidity rate in the air.

    It is worth to say that after inquiries wit Netgear support it appeared that my model of firewall did not support a booster that I was trying to place in the middle floor to try resolving the problem. Distances of transmission published - which are far much more than my 15 meters - I read on site, are only true if no obstacle is in between and devices are in sight each other.
    To conclude, we called a professional that in a couple of hours and for a very reasonable sum, cabled the home utilizing same tubes used to pass through our telephone lines. Now kids play HalfLife and Doom3 with remote multiplayers without loosing a byte at full ADSL speed. Wife listen to distributed music and has finished blaming me quity every evening.
    I still have my wireless too that I use (rarely) to connect Internet from the portable computer only

    My conclusion is, unless you live in an really impossible environment, place cables for your fixed PCs and use wireless just for moving around with your portable


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