When wireless routers keep failing

Crazy as this may sound, a wireless router is useless for me to be able to use my laptop. After 2 routers failing, I had Comcast hook up their wireless network router. It worked OK for about 10 days, then went out as in the past. The tech came out and tried 3 new routers to no avail. He was stumped. He thinks there is something in my area that is overpowering them. Even sitting directly in front of the router, the laptops would not pick it up (3 different laptops). Sooo, as I'm very upset, is there a way for me to use wireless on my laptop? I have a "Balance laptop" with built in wireless WLAN 802.11g (no card slot)....help please!

-- Pat

Definitely sounds like you have something interfering with your laptop. First, download and run Netstumbler. This may give you an idea if another access point is in the area with a strong enough signal to cause the problem. Since you have used several different wireless routers and continue to have the same problem, it may not be another wireless access point that is causing your problem, but checking to see if there are multiple access points on the same channel could explain the problem. You could have what is called a "nulling out" effect where the signals mix together but your wireless card in the laptops cant disntinguish one source from another.

Another possible cause of the problem is something wireless near where your access point is located. See if you have any wireless/cordless phones nearby that use the 2.4-Ghz frequency range. These phones use the same frequencies/channels as mode B and G access points. If the phones don't clearly say what frequency they are on, unplug the base station portion of the cordless phone and remove the battery from the phone itself. See if you continue to have the problem. My general preference is to use the 900 mhz phones. The 5 Gigahertz models are getting better but I haven't had good luck with them in the past. Look for anything else in the general area as the access point and see if it is wireless and can be at least temporarily turned off to see if it is the cause of the interference.

If you still don't have any luck finding the cause of the problem, see if you have a friend who is a ham radio operator with equipment that can work with AO-51 when in Mode V/S (if he/she works the ham radio satellites, they will know what you are talking about). They will have a device that is a downconverter that will take the 2.4-GHz signal and convert it to a lower frequency that another radio can pickup. It may take a little work to identify the right frequency but with luck and a radio with a signal meter, you might get a general bearing on where to look closer for the source of the problem.

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