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Thread: WiFi Adventure

  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger Not Brightest Bulb's Avatar
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    WiFi Adventure

    For 2.5 yrs I have been fighting WiFi problems. We are in the boonies so it's either dialup or WiFi. 1st thing had a 71 ft tower install the transmitter from server is 8 miles away.

    We started hardwired from tower to into back bedroom with Linksys BEFSR41 router. Out of that router hook up to an XP PC we then hardwired from bedroom to front room through a crawlspace and server hooked up a DLink DES 1105 router.

    Well for the 2.5 years nothing but inconsistency of signal and while not much speed still better than dialup. The dialup speed for a download was 2 to 7 kbps we then got what server offered, a 512 kbps pkg which jumped our download speed to anywhere from 35 to 65 kbps. Not much but still faster.

    Through the 2.5 yr period server people have been out at least 5 times to check about signal inconsistency and disconnects. They never could come up with real answers and said it was probably OTA problems. They sent a new service man out last week and he checked everything over and says, wow that's weird 2 routers.

    Long story short he tells me that isn't right so I go and buy an Ethernet 5 port switch from Wally world and remove the front room router and replace with the switch and it's like I have for the very 1st time entered the online world. I could not even view youtube, a 3 minute youtube video would take me 20 minutes to view in 10 second increments. No disconnects, no stalls and I now am downloading at 250kbps.

    Now why on other 5 trips out did the server people not realize something was wrong. I'm caught between a rock and hard place cause they are only place around. Just thought I would dump vent/rant in here as a scary tale turned fairy tale.

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    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    NBB,

    Don't get me wrong I'm not defending the previous techs because they should have checked the two router setup, which if correctly configured would have worked. I think you were just a victim of laziness on the part of the previous techs as well as the current one, i.e. you didn't really need to buy the switch. The second tech could have reconfigured the 2nd router as a different subnet, or as a switch {I have a second router configured as a switch on my system}. [RANT ON]IMHO this is what happens when companies try to pay low wages and expect to get high degrees of knowledge and good customer service out of workers at these wage levels. [RANT OFF]
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Ditto what RG said! Nuff said!
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    3 Star Lounger Not Brightest Bulb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek View Post
    NBB,

    Don't get me wrong I'm not defending the previous techs because they should have checked the two router setup, which if correctly configured would have worked. I think you were just a victim of laziness on the part of the previous techs as well as the current one, i.e. you didn't really need to buy the switch. The second tech could have reconfigured the 2nd router as a different subnet, or as a switch {I have a second router configured as a switch on my system}. [RANT ON]IMHO this is what happens when companies try to pay low wages and expect to get high degrees of knowledge and good customer service out of workers at these wage levels. [RANT OFF]
    Yes, I just had to vent a tad, to be fair 3 out of the 5 service visits were with different techs each time so we had new guys coming and going. Nobody mentioned any type of reconfiguring anything. As I said it was only the last guy that realized something could be wrong with a 2 router setup. Thanks guys for replies

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    To be fair to you NBB, any one of those techs should have looked at two routers and thought "Hmm, that's odd - better investigate that": because for a residential system, it's not the norm - and anything out of the ordinary is more likely to be a source of problems.

    Just for one moment, let me explain the difference between a router and a switch. A Router is used to connect hosts (PC's, servers etc) together on different networks. In your case you wanted your network to be connected via the wireless link to the service provider. A single router should have done the trick, with a switch to connect the other devices to the router if necessary.

    You can also use a router to isolate machines in different network, as RetiredGeek says, using a subnet - this is a "ring-fenced" network that must have a router at the entry point. Machines in a subnet can exchange data between themselves, but must send data via a router to get it to other devices on a different subnet. I suspect that you had two routers trying to send data packets round and round in circles with some very tortuous routes.

    A switch however cannot bridge between networks in the way a router can: it knows nothing about hosts on a different network and cannot route data to them. That's ok: you just want to have all your devices access one router and have it manage the connection to the outside world. I don't know those particular routers, but often residential routers have a 4-port ethernet switch built in too, making the job all the easier.

    As RG notes, you shouldn't have needed to purchase any extra kit, and if it were me, I might consider making noises along those lines to the provider.

    Glad you got it sorted now anyway!
    Last edited by Tinto Tech; 2012-01-10 at 18:27. Reason: UK spelling!

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    3 Star Lounger Not Brightest Bulb's Avatar
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    As RG notes, you shouldn't have needed to purchase any extra kit, and if it were me, I might consider making noises along those lines to the provider.
    Well one problem is that we are in central IL and in an area that was hit with a bad flood 4.5 yrs ago. This area was economically deprived before the flood with no jobs. Then after the flood it got worse. I think any tech talent that is in area (if any) is moving/running out of the area.

    The pay scale is minimum wage as in any area with these problems. If this provider goes completely under then its satellite internet which I do not really want to get into.

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