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Old 05-12-2012, 03:09 PM
Joey P Joey P is online now
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Why am I getting such a short range from a new wireless router

To make a long story short, I just put in a new wireless router here at work. It's a Netgear N150 WNR1000v3. It's getting almost no range at all. For example, if I stand 40 feet away from it, but still maintaining a line of sight with it, my signal drops by half. Right now, I'm about 10 feet away and my signal says Fair (as opposed to excellent). There's technically some drywall directly between me and router, but there's a doorway about 2 feet over. Getting more then 40 feet away and losing line of sight contact is sort of hit or miss. It'll bounce between fair and poor, sometimes jumping back up to excellent. But the only time I can really get excellent on a regular basis is to be within a few feet of it and even that doesn't seem to be a sure thing.

At the moment, I'm trying to decide if it's the (new) router or if it's my phone. Now, I use a similar router (same brand, might be an N300, not sure off hand) and my phone at home with less/no problems and the router is in the basement there.

I don't have any laptops to test this out but I'm going to have one employee connect her iPhone to it for a day or two and see if she drops her connection around the store. I'm also going to power cycle the router (which I didn't want to do since it'll drop the connection to our credit card machine).

Our last wireless router, I barely ever used and it was in a completely different physical location so I really can't compare it to that one. I think I'll have to pay more attention to the signal strength I'm getting when I'm at home. Maybe it's flipping back over to 4G more often then I realize. I just don't use my phone for the internet that often at home.
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:42 PM
astro astro is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
To make a long story short, I just put in a new wireless router here at work. It's a Netgear N150 WNR1000v3. It's getting almost no range at all. For example, if I stand 40 feet away from it, but still maintaining a line of sight with it, my signal drops by half. Right now, I'm about 10 feet away and my signal says Fair (as opposed to excellent). There's technically some drywall directly between me and router, but there's a doorway about 2 feet over. Getting more then 40 feet away and losing line of sight contact is sort of hit or miss. It'll bounce between fair and poor, sometimes jumping back up to excellent. But the only time I can really get excellent on a regular basis is to be within a few feet of it and even that doesn't seem to be a sure thing.
.
I'd be careful about relying on a smart phone's signal strength indicator re wireless strength. They are often wildly inaccurate even on premium phones. A decent notebook on wireless would be a better gauge of signal strength.

If you continue to have problems with the router just replace it vs spending hours tweaking. Consider replacing it with a completely different brand. Netgear units have always been sort of hit or miss for me. The new Linksys units have had some excellent reviews.

Last edited by astro; 05-12-2012 at 07:43 PM..
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:56 PM
Joey P Joey P is online now
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Originally Posted by astro View Post
I'd be careful about relying on a smart phone's signal strength indicator re wireless strength. They are often wildly inaccurate even on premium phones. A decent notebook on wireless would be a better gauge of signal strength.

If you continue to have problems with the router just replace it vs spending hours tweaking. Consider replacing it with a completely different brand. Netgear units have always been sort of hit or miss for me. The new Linksys units have had some excellent reviews.
I rebooted the router and it may have gotten a bit better, but I think part of the problem may be that the little signal gauge (I got 2 bars!) at the top may just not refresh that often. So, I walk to an area where the signal is just shy of dropping and then I walk back to where I'm 15 feet away and it still shows "2 bars" when it should be at a full signal. I found that there were times when the little gauge at the top showed almost no signal, but if I went to the wireless settings it said "Excellent"...so there's that.
Also, I've never been terribly impressed with the Droid Bionic in general and especially the way it handles handing 4G and Wi-Fi back and forth as I walk in and out of a wi-fi signal. I've got 7megs down at work, but if a page is taking 30 seconds to load, there's no reason why it shouldn't just hop over to 4G and finish loading. Often times, I've found myself just turning off the wi-fi signal and refreshing the page.
It truly pains me to say I may consider getting an iPhone when my contract renews. But we'll see what Droid has going on in another year or two.

Last edited by Joey P; 05-12-2012 at 07:58 PM..
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:49 AM
kanicbird kanicbird is online now
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I had a problem with a old Netgear router. If I 'giggled' the external antenna it would get up to full strength, otherwise it was very short range. It would work for a bit then go back to the short range. I assume it was a bad connection at the antenna, I don't use that one anymore.
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:55 AM
kanicbird kanicbird is online now
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Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
Also, I've never been terribly impressed with the Droid Bionic in general and especially the way it handles handing 4G and Wi-Fi back and forth as I walk in and out of a wi-fi signal. I've got 7megs down at work, but if a page is taking 30 seconds to load, there's no reason why it shouldn't just hop over to 4G and finish loading. Often times, I've found myself just turning off the wi-fi signal and refreshing the page.
It truly pains me to say I may consider getting an iPhone when my contract renews. But we'll see what Droid has going on in another year or two.
I didn't know that leaving a usable WiFi signal to go 4G if 4G is faster was a option on Droid, it is not on a iPhone. It would seem like something the carriers would not want. With the iPhone if you are connected to wifi it uses wifi as long as it's in range even if the wifi is at dialup speed. The only way to tell it to use 3G (no 4G yet with iPhone, though ATT lies about it), is manually as you described or leave the range of the wifi signal.

A few times with the iPhone I needed to do exactly what you described, to DL something I needed to turn off wifi to connect on 3G
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:11 AM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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Are you on the same wifi channel as someone else nearby? Try changing channels.
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:12 AM
J Cubed J Cubed is offline
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There's a free Android app called "Wifi Analyzer"; install that and take readings around the house. You may find that another network is using the same channel as your new router. Or that you need to adjust the antenna orientation to get a signal in the places you actually occupy. It's also possible that you're using the 5 GHz N protocol, which does have a shorter effective range.
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:42 AM
Joey P Joey P is online now
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Originally Posted by J Cubed View Post
There's a free Android app called "Wifi Analyzer"; install that and take readings around the house. You may find that another network is using the same channel as your new router. Or that you need to adjust the antenna orientation to get a signal in the places you actually occupy. It's also possible that you're using the 5 GHz N protocol, which does have a shorter effective range.
I tried that and it more or less verified what I already thought, I'm getting about half my signal when I move 30-40 feet away from the router.
I did change it to (what the app decided was) the strongest channel though.
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:30 AM
Jaclofo Jaclofo is offline
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i Have a Netgear Router N300, and it doesn't even have an antenna. Compared to my olde router that had an antenna, the signal on my non-antenna one is lost after about 50 feet!!! What happened to the antenna??
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:51 AM
astro astro is online now
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Originally Posted by Jaclofo View Post
i Have a Netgear Router N300, and it doesn't even have an antenna. Compared to my olde router that had an antenna, the signal on my non-antenna one is lost after about 50 feet!!! What happened to the antenna??
The antenna is on a wire ribbon that is now inside the housing.
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