Sep 072008
 

YOUR WIRELESS NETWORK 

  1. Add a Wireless Repeater/Access Point to extend the range of your wireless network. Of course, extending the wireless network without wires is “desirable” but this effectively cuts your bandwidth in half – whenever possible use a cable, which is dramatically faster and more secure!NOTE: The Repeater/Access Point should be the same manufacturer as your Router.
  2. You may need to replace your 2.4GHz cordless phones with either a 900Mhz or 5.8GHz style cordless phone due to interference.
  3. Choose your router and network adapters from the same company. Manufacturers usually have a proprietary “turbo” mode that only works when using both their router and network adapters. As a side benefit; your overall configuration is usually easier.
  4. Upgrade your 802.11a and 802.11b devices to 802.11g, which is much faster, and is backward-compatible with 802.11b devices.NOTE: A small one room environment (i.e. apartment, dorm room) with no future expansion should use 802.11a.
  5. If you are using 802.11g – do not allow 802.11b devices onto your wireless network. Your network slows down to talk with the slower devices!
  6. If you are using 802.11g – consider getting an MIMO antenna (which allows faster speeds at greater distances.)
  7. Whenever possible, connect computers using a wired connection! Yes, this is an “Anti-tip” because you’re not even using the wireless network – but a direct connection is dramatically faster and more secure!

  YOUR WIRELESS ROUTER / ACCESS POINT

  1. If possible, place your wireless router (or access point) in a central location. Obviously, the closer you are to the access point; the better. But do not necessarily place the device on your roof (or up too high) – 4 to 6 feet off the ground is perfect.
  2. Move the router off the floor and away from walls, TVs, electronic appliances (microwave ovens), and metal objects (file cabinets). These will interfere with your network’s radio signals.
  3. Change your wireless channel. In the US and Canada wireless networks use channels 1, 6 (usual default), and 11. Avoid possible interference with neighboring wireless networks, by changing your wireless router’s channel and see if it improves signal strength or overall speed.NOTE: This doesn’t require any changes to your computer.
  4. Update your Router’s firmware. Most routers easily update their firmware directly from their software. Updates usually only add a new feature, or increase stability and security; but sometimes can improve performance.
  5. Try moving “around” the router’s antenna. Yes, I know this antenna is “supposed” to be omni-directional (meaning it broadcasts in all directions) – and moving it shouldn’t matter. . .but antennas can have strong and weak spots; wiggling the antenna can make a difference.
  6. Upgrade your router’s antenna. The antenna that comes with your device is low powered and omni-directional.  Upgrade to a more powerful (powered) antenna. If your router is near an outside wall, get a high-gain antenna that focuses the wireless signals only one direction.

  COMPTUER 

  1. Optimize Windows – But needless to say if Windows is running slowly, so will your wireless network.
  2. Apply all current Windows updates, and install and update AntiVirus & AntiSpyware software. OK, this doesn’t make your computer “faster.” In fact it can actually slow your computer down – but if you never get “infected” your computer will remain “fast!”

  3. If you’re not using Windows File Sharing – turn it off!
  4. Upgrade your wireless network adapter’s antenna. If your antenna is not “upgradeable,” you’ll be stuck purchasing a new wireless network adapter. NOTE: Portables with built-in WiFi usually have better antennas than the cheaper adapters that most portable own.
  5. Even though it’s more convenient to have a portable computer’s antenna horizontal – it should be oriented vertically (up & down).
  6. Update your Windows Wireless Network Driver. While Microsoft Update, is “supposed” to notify you of updates to your drivers – it’s best to visit the manufacturers website to double-check. Updates usually only add a new feature, or increase stability and security; but sometimes can improve performance.
  7. If upgrading a wireless network adapter, use an adapter card before using a (slower) USB adapter. USB should not be used simply because it’s “convenient” – but if there are no other viable method to upgrade from 802.11a – than use USB.

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