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  1. #1
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    Question Can nearby cellphone towers block home wifi?

    A cell phone tower was constructed approx 150 to 200 yards from my home. My wifi stopped working on all devices, each of which had been working perfectly. I bought a new router but could not establish a wifi connection.

    Is this a coincidence or could it be the transmissions from the cellphone tower or it's add-on antennae? Any workaround to establish wifi inhome if it is being blocked by the tower transmissions?

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    Are your neighbors having the same problem?

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Reply

    My neighbors are elderly and do not use wireless connectivity.

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    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Have you tried different transmission channels in the Router? If its set to automatic, try setting it to channel 3 and if that doesn't work, set it to channel 11. Download and run Inssider to see all the wireless networks in your vicinity and what channels they are using. Avoid setting your router to any of these.

    Jerry

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Possibly...
    You may have some kind of signal competition going on and your wifi equipment, signal, or strength is loosing out.

    20 Myths of Wi-Fi Interference
    Neighbors maybe Jamming our WiFi signal! Need help proving it
    Natural Wi-Fi Jamming
    wifi jamming

    You will need to do more research on your end.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    Have you tried different transmission channels in the Router? If its set to automatic, try setting it to channel 3 and if that doesn't work, set it to channel 11. Download and run Inssider to see all the wireless networks in your vicinity and what channels they are using. Avoid setting your router to any of these.

    Jerry
    I've tried each available channel with no success.

    Inssider shows "no wireless interfaces found"

    My android smartphone also can not see any available wireless networks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by csc1946 View Post
    I've tried each available channel with no success.

    Inssider shows "no wireless interfaces found"

    My android smartphone also can not see any available wireless networks.
    This is not conclusive. If you are getting interference from the cell tower it will not be visible as a wireless network on Inssider nor will you see it as another network as it is not an 802.11 network even if it is on the same frequency.

    You would need to use a tool like this: http://www.metageek.net/products/wi-spy/ to really know.

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    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Inssider shows "no wireless interfaces found"
    Does this include your wireless router? If it doesn't show up, your wireless router isn't set up properly. I'm assuming you are running Insidder on a PC with a functioning wireless adapter not on one with a wired connection only.

    Jerry

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    inssider 'requires WLAN autoconfig to be started', so I'm told. Sure enough, when I checked, I found the service 'Stopped'. Trouble is, I'm 'not allowed' to start it. Please tell me how I get to control my own computer. I suspect I need to 'run as administrator', but how do I do that?

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    Unfortunately, high-power transmissions can block lower-power signals (such as wi-fi) even if they're on a different frequency. Either the signals or a sideband of them are in-band and cause the receiver gain to be reduced so you can't pick up the signal you want, or the signal 'breaks through' and causes the receiver circuit to saturate (called 'blocking'). There isn't much you can do about it. If you think this is the problem, try to find a friendly 'ham' radio operator with a 'grid dip' meter or (or wideband receiver) to track down and measure the incident signals. In the UK, at least, it is illegal to interfere with other people's radio services. You might contact the FCC for advice...

    Otherwise, invest in some Cat-5 cable and a handful of RJ-45 sockets...

  11. #11
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    Although your problem is most likely blocking caused by the mobile phone mast, there are other possibilities. Any device that uses the 2.4GHz band (such as "microwave ovens, security cameras, ZigBee devices, Bluetooth devices and (in some countries) Amateur radio, video senders, cordless phones and baby monitors" according to Wikipedia) can interfere.

    If the interference is external than the only way to reduce it (other than getting them to relocate their mast - fat chance!) is to screen your house. If your house is made of wood, then this is pretty well transparent to RF - wrap the house in earthed chicken wire (including doors and windows!) or paper the outside walls with earthed aluminium foil... Any mesh smaller than about 4" should work.

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    Bummer about the near proximity cell/mobile tower. If it were me, I would take a laptop and your new router and go to a friend's house, temporarily set up and then test that the laptop and wifi router do indeed associate or see each other. Then you know your settings right on both sides. Then, (if I didn't have any HF diagnostic equipment also suggested here), would grab a metal screen material of some kind and make a hood or box large enough to place both the router and the laptop near each other. The screen or box if electrically grounded create a "faraday cage" and would block all the suspected cell tower emissions. If the laptop/ router combo now can connect, but fail when the screen is removed.... well... definitely the radio tower is interfering. The screen should be properly earth-grounded. In most homes the center screw on the wall-mounted plug boxes (USA) in various homes is earth-grounded... so run a good wire from one of those screws and attach the other end (electrically) to a corner of the screen acting as a "faraday cage".

    Work arounds: Any number of wireless systems that actually re-use the house wiring of the house to send TCP/IP packets around your place. Then you don't have to string RJ-45 cables all over. I think Netgear has a great set of boxes for this. Look for Netgear Powerline Av 200 Wireless-N Extender Kit XAVNB2001 or equivalent. http://reviews.cnet.com/bridges/netg...l?tag=lia;rcol

    Hope this helps. Also, the FCC should definitely get involved here... the tower technicians might be able to adjust the sector antennas to do their work and not direct "side lobes" down toward your house nearby.

    -B

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    Another idea: if you can't use wireless, and hard wired eithernet cabling isn't possible, you might try one of the AC outlet ethernet extenders. Basically, you use a wired router, and run an ethernet wire into one of these devices that plugs into the AC. Then at the other end, you plug into the AC outlet, another device and plug in another ethernet into it.

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    Arrow Starting a Windows service?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dic View Post
    inssider 'requires WLAN autoconfig to be started', so I'm told. Sure enough, when I checked, I found the service 'Stopped'. Trouble is, I'm 'not allowed' to start it. Please tell me how I get to control my own computer. I suspect I need to 'run as administrator', but how do I do that?
    You'll need to tell us what version of Windows you're running, first.

    In Windows 7, I just open the Computer Management control panel, navigate down to Services, and scroll the list to WLAN AutoConfig. Clicking on "More Actions" in the right pane gave me an option to "Start."

    I ran Computer Management from within an Administrator-level account, BTW. If your user account is a Standard User type, you may need to log off and log back on in your Administrator account (which should be in the accounts list, if your user account was changed from the Administrator default to Standard User).

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