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  #11  
Old 10-31-2007, 09:30 PM
lanwarrior
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 199

PC-wise, I found out that the wireless card itself can be the cause of disconnect. The Intel 2200BG Wi-Fi card is notoriously incompatible with many routers, especially LInksys's.
 
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  #12  
Old 10-31-2007, 09:39 PM
Jorj Bauer
Server Shogun
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 89
Default Draft hardware

Many of the points in this thread are really good. But there's one that everyone missed: 802.11n is currently DRAFT hardware. It is not final. It is not guaranteed in any way to be interoperable with any other 802.11n (or b, or g) hardware. There are currently two different drafts to which these have been coded (draft 1 and draft 2), and some fixes have been applied to both by various vendors.

If you by anything labelled "802.11n" today, you're rolling the dice.

-- Jorj
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  #13  
Old 10-31-2007, 09:59 PM
unxmully
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Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 171
Default Re: Draft hardware

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorj Bauer
Many of the points in this thread are really good. But there's one that everyone missed:
And is the other one variants of Windows - XP, Vista and the various Windows Mobile versions?

In my house we have four different OSs - OSX, XP, Windows Mobile and Maemo and I've used a range of NetGear hubs and a BT Home Hub.

OSX and Maemo are as solid as a rock. Never drop a connection and always connect within 5 seconds. Good range as well.

Mobile is so-so on connectivity, not brilliant but no too bad. Slow to connect and some dropouts.

But XP is garbage. Dropouts, failures to connect, the infamous 100% signal but no connectivity problem, 3 or 4 hours sulks when it won't connect at all. And all the time my iBook/MacBook running Jaguar to Leopard have never had a problem connecting.

So while there are some cases where compatibility issues cause problems, and I suspect the n standard's a good example, IMO a lot of it's down to Microsoft's inability to get wireless networking working consistently.
 
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  #14  
Old 10-31-2007, 10:25 PM
Mountain343
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 30

I guess I am in the fortunate camp. I've been using SMC routers, wired and wireless, since I first started home networking and I've never had any problems. I absolutely swear by their gear especially since it's one of the few that can handle multiple external stic IPs.

Mac computers, mac laptops, PC desktops and lappies, 5 different PDAs and my wifi enabled camera work great with it without any hiccups.

Hmmm... off to check out that open source firmware. I can never resist tinkering.
 
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  #15  
Old 11-01-2007, 12:13 AM
JPD6825
Intellectual
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 116

Incredible, but I conclude that the router manufacturers have passed off a lot of crap hardware to the public.

My experience sounds very similar. First a Belkin (probably just B) with lousy performance - I couldn't get a connection to my Axim when I was upstairs and the router downstairs.

Then a Linksys - and in spite of their good reputation at the time, I got one of their poor performers. Couldn't guarantee a connection to a PC 15 feet away from the thing!

Then D-Link. Not much better.

Then I took a little gamble on a CompUSA branded b/g router that was on sale as a huge loss leader there. $3 after rebate - and FINALLY, believe it or not - I had stumbled upon a router that actually works! It has now probably been 2 years - and I have no complaints - and can connect from anywhere in my house.

Whew!
 
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  #16  
Old 11-01-2007, 02:28 AM
peter_f
Neophyte
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2

I have a Netgear DG834GT running firmware 1.02.04 and all was working fine. A coule of months ago, Netgear posted a firmware upgrade (1.02.09) so I upgraded. Since then, my ipaq4700 would not connect using WPA-PSK. I sent an email to Negear's tech support and they told me to use WPA2 (yeah right!). In the end, they suggested either just using WEP (which worked) or go back to the old firmware (which I have done) as "this issue is due to the timers that are being used on both the router and the PDA being set different".
 
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  #17  
Old 11-01-2007, 03:08 AM
Deslock
Thinker
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 418

I switched from various crappy Netgear and Linksys routers to a low-end Buffalo router with a chipset that supports the various open Linux firmwares. I went with Tomato because it's a little leaner than DD-WRT.

I'm using one at home and another at my office where there's routinely 10-20 clients connected concurrently using WPA. They're constantly transferring lots of huge files, streaming video, etc. It's rock solid. Under this workload I constantly had to reset the previous routers (and at home even with light use they'd bomb every week or two).

Since moving to Tomato six months ago, I've never reset my Buffalo at home and I've reset the Buffalo at work *once*.

The Buffalo routers each cost $25. With this firmware, they perform like (and have the features of) routers that cost hundreds of dollars.

Additionally, it's worth mentioning that XP and WM clients tend to be a lot more troublesome than OSX, Palm, and Linux. Well.... owners of the Linux laptops with g wifi chips often have to go through hoops (NDIS wrapper) to get things working, but once they do they're fine.

However, even with Tomato running, I occasionally run into Windows users who at some random times can't get online until they ether reset their laptops/PDAs or "repair" their wireless connections (I also had occasional issues with my WM devices connecting). It doesn't happen often (that I'm aware of), but we're talking about a fair number of devices: dozens of Windows laptops, dozens of OSX laptops, 1/2 dozen iPhones, a few WM devices, a couple Palm devices. So even though my story is somewhat anecdotal, it's a large and diverse enough sample of devices that I doubt it's coincidental that only Windows and WM devices ever have problems (maybe Windows' WPA support is a little flakey?)
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  #18  
Old 11-01-2007, 03:10 AM
Deslock
Thinker
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 418

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpd6825
Incredible, but I conclude that the router manufacturers have passed off a lot of crap hardware to the public.
The general consensus is that it's usually the firmware that sucks.
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  #19  
Old 11-01-2007, 04:47 AM
Tracy Daubenspeck
Pupil
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 40

I had nothing but trouble with dlink hardware for several years. I switched to a Belkin 7230 several years ago and have 0 complaints. We use WM devices, an N800, and multiple laptops from different manufacturers with no problems. I think a lot of the issues are firmware on the routers and drivers on the PCs.
 
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  #20  
Old 11-01-2007, 01:14 PM
Jon Westfall
Executive Editor, Android Thoughts
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Posts: 3,233

The worst re-occuring router problem I've have in the past (On multiple routers) is the phantom dying DHCP server. I suspect this is probably the root of 99% of my router problems - my cards and devices can associate just fine, but the router's internal DHCP server just won't respond to queries for an IP address. Rebooting the router generally works (So much so that I've seriously considered putting the router on a timer similar to those you put your lamps on when you leave for a few days) to auto reboot every night! It's especially bad at work where every router we've put in has had the problem. I've varied channels, etc... but the only way I can get the router to work for more than a week continuously is to disable internal DHCP and turn it into an access point.

And FWIW, it's threads like this that make me stick with old routers. Atleast when they don't work, I'm not too annoyed as I'm only out $40 or so.
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