View Full Version : poor wifi signal - laptop

05-08-2009, 07:25 PM
one of the locations i work has no phone line, and now internet access, it would appear from my laptop wifi access that i am right on the edge of a hotspot so the signal is not good enough..

there is no external annetna port on the lap top, any suggestions how i could attach a high gain anntena? usb?

05-08-2009, 07:39 PM
You need to determine if it is the signal strength that is weak or that the hotspot provides low speed to users ..... Try to look at your network connections or your bottom right at those icons for such icon.

For example my one is secured but I have 256k speed broadband. That was what I signed up for.

And just a matter of interest this hotspot you are using it is provided for free as a public hotspot or are you just stealing :p that the user didn't password it?

05-08-2009, 07:40 PM
You could add in a wireless card with a larger antenna.....

05-08-2009, 08:07 PM
You could get a USB adapter with a high gain antenna

05-08-2009, 08:21 PM
the hotspot is tomblozone( spelling some thing like that) in central auckland - prepaid - woudnt consider stealing some one elses signal as id be pissed if they did it to me.

can any one suggest a good usb adapter with a high gain antenna then - i have asked in several computer shops and perhaps it was the language barrier but they had no idea what i was talking about ...

05-08-2009, 08:23 PM
Nomad - not sure i follow there. the difference between low speed and...

when i am at home... i get a full signal from my wifi netork - signal huge... so i was assuming it was just about signal strength

05-08-2009, 08:34 PM
No Offence here...but Computer Shops are run by asians therefore...:p

Maybe this?


05-08-2009, 08:37 PM
You need to check through the software, it gives an indicator. 1) Signal Strength and 2) Speed.

The icon is at the bottom right of the screen, expand the area to see all icons if necessary.

If you are getting a good signal connection then my guess is that by buying new hardware won't help you. For example the hotpot may just be overloaded or maybe it is just a slow one.

I am not in Auckland but I would be certain that you know who that hotpot is because anyone can set up one and scam.

Regarding what is best Wifi card or USB adaptor. Don't know. Cellphones and laptops are equipped with them and you see seldom people buying their own anymore. In the past we had the same debate with network cards (via cables) but these days computers have them builtin and they appear to be fine. It is not necessary to go out and spend $100-300 on network cards anymore like 3Com or Intel. It is my opinion that Wifi has been a common product. My view is that if it is indeed a connection issue is go for a card that has a better technology for reception, that maybe someone can suggest.

05-08-2009, 09:07 PM
mmm cause the way it was explained to me is

a) wifi internal laptop antenna(low gain) are limited in range they can pick up
b) things like concrete and steel around are wonderful at bloating out signal.. this particular site had excerllent tv and wireless coverage until to large buildings went up either side, now tv is crap via sky only .. and no wifi.. - seems its a signal issue rather than hardware...

05-08-2009, 09:23 PM
You buy another to try but I would first find out if it is a signal issue first. May save the headache.

If you do have concrete involved is a normal antenna going to cut the mustard or is it still going to be mediocre. Best to buy from a place that does refunds.

05-08-2009, 09:35 PM
ok see your point... so for example i am getting a full green bar or in the icon at bottom right is all bars greenin my on my WLAN card utility its showing a speed of 54.
below my wirless gateway signal is a neighbours - also at 54 but the signal is strenght bar is a 1/2 of one 3rd the length and brown - or the first small bar bottom right screen. and intermittent - the speed stays at 54... seems the hard ware is fine.. if i move towards the neighbours those bars increase... this is exactly the problem i am experancing at that site...

05-08-2009, 09:40 PM
If you are getting less bars .. yeah that can be a reception issue. But in my experience when you have a less than ideal reception the 54 speed usually drops too.

But either way, you could get another device with a beefier antenna and try it out I cannot say for sure if that device is able to perform in your environment. Maybe there is too much concrete and steel and that you are too far away regardless of what antenna you have.

I would just go out and buy and try out and if fail, return it.

You could google for antenna improvements that might help or even home remedies.

Ps. My footnote would be that if you are only getting 1/2 strength that should be still pretty good from 54. I mean I am on a 0.25 connection (256k). As an acid test buy the new one, try it out and if no good return it and you will then know for sure. As an example ADSL tend to be a great 4-6Mbps only in the city. Many metro suburbs only get 2Mbps.

05-08-2009, 10:49 PM
I'd get a mate with a known good laptop hardware to try it out round your house. save buying something you may not need,

I think its more likely to be crap reception. read somewhere that all sorts of things interfere with wifi , whole apartment blocks are disabled by one families baby monitor..from slahdot-

"Baby monitors and wireless TV transmitters are responsible for slowing down Wi-Fi connections in built-up areas, according to a report commissioned by British telecoms regulator Ofcom. The research smashes the myth that overlapping Wi-Fi networks in heavily congested towns and cities are to blame for faltering connection speeds. Instead it claims that unlicensed devices operating in the 2.4GHz band are dragging down signals. 'It only requires a single device, such as an analogue video sender, to severely affect Wi-Fi services within a short range, such that a single large building or cluster of houses can experience difficulties with using a single Wi-Fi channel,' the report claims."

05-08-2009, 10:57 PM
thats why you go N 5ghz might cost a bit more but it will be worth it

05-08-2009, 11:12 PM
thats why you go N 5ghz might cost a bit more but it will be worth it

That's one option if you wanna improve reception. If you buy from a place like DSE they have a good return policy. To be nice you should return on same day if not work to your satisfaction.