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  1. #1
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    Can't see 5GHz-band network on laptop; can see on smartphone

    I recently replaced my failing Linksys wireless router with a new LinkSys AC 1900 dual band wireless router and all seems to be working fine except that I do not see the 5Ghz network as being available for use on my laptop BUT I do see it on my Smartphone as being an available network.

    I am totally out of my wheelhouse on this one and would appreciate any suggestions. I would like to take advantage of this 5Ghz network on my laptop to ascertain if it will stream U-Tube better than the other network where most U-Tube presentations seem to have to buffer the stream frequently.

    Thanks in advance,

    Steve Gardella

  2. #2
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    Is your Notebook's Wireless/Wi-Fi adapter the 802.11g or 802.11n type? The newest is 802.11ac. I have a dual-band Router and only the 2 newest Notebooks with 802.11n can see the 5GHz connection plus the 2.4GHz but have to make a choice each time I connect. My 2 older Notebooks are only 802.11g.

  3. #3
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    Buffering video may be a function of slow internet access, not slow Wifi. If you only have a couple of devices on your network I'd plumb for slow internet.

    cheers, Paul

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    My laptop has 4 devices listed in the Network sub-directory of the Device Manager. 2 of the devices are Bluetooth, both of the remaining devices are Qualcomm network adapters (1) Atheros AR956x wireless network adapter showing Ad Hoc 11n BUT its value is Disabled; (2) Atheros AR8171/8175 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (NDIS 6.30). 95% of all that is gobbeldy-gook to me with the remaining 5% leading me to suspect the AR956x is the particular adapter about which you asked. I am curious, and slightly troubled, that it is showing an "Ad Hoc" 11n for which the value is set at "Disabled".

    If any of that info I provided above makes sense to you please let me know if it is good or bad and if I should do something about it. I can live with the slow connection speed though I have been thinking about changing ISP's for a faster one.

    Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post.

    Steve Gardella

  5. #5
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    Atheros AR956x wireless network adapter = wireless adapter.
    Atheros AR8171/8175 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller = wired adapter.
    I'm assuming the laptop is connected wirelessly, so the fact that is is disabled is odd. I suggest you run the following command then post the results here.
    Start > Run > cmd
    ipconfig /all

    To copy the output, right click in the Command Prompt (black box) and select Edit > Select All. Right click on the highlighted text to copy it.

    cheers, Paul

  6. #6
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    Try disabling the Bluetooth adapter or the Bluetooth feature of the wireless adapter. See if it offers any improvement.

  7. #7
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    Hi Steve,

    Quote Originally Posted by SDGardella View Post
    My laptop has 4 devices listed in the Network sub-directory of the Device Manager. 2 of the devices are Bluetooth, both of the remaining devices are Qualcomm network adapters (1) Atheros AR956x wireless network adapter showing Ad Hoc 11n BUT its value is Disabled;[...]
    Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the Atheros AR956x supports dual-band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz).

    Here's a quick list of the radio frequencies used by 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac:

    a - 5 GHz
    b - 2.4 GHz
    g - 2.4 GHz
    n - 2.4 and 5 GHz
    ac - 2.4 and 5 GHz

    So, although the 802.11n standard includes both 2.4 and 5 GHz, a wireless network adapter is not required to support both frequency bands.

    Quote Originally Posted by SDGardella View Post
    If any of that info I provided above makes sense to you please let me know if it is good or bad and if I should do something about it. I can live with the slow connection speed though I have been thinking about changing ISP's for a faster one.
    Try running a few tests to gauge the quality of your current Internet connection. It's best to turn off any other network devices (e.g. tablets, phones, media players, etc.) that could skew the results:

    First, get a raw speed rating (run it 2 or 3 times and average the speeds)...


    Next, run a network quality test...


    (In order to run a more complete network quality test you'll need to have a Java runtime installed. If you don't already have the Java plugin installed, and/or aren't familiar with using it, it's best to install it, run the network test and then uninstall the plugin to avoid any security issues.)


    A few tips regarding streaming video:

    • Network latency is often more important than network speed. Data over networks are sent in packets (chunks of data). Each packet takes time to assemble, be transmitted by the sender (e.g. YouTube) and be received by the recipient (your computer). In between all of this is a little extra overhead of each side saying it's ready for the next packet, it got the packet, and so on. The time spent between packets is the latency. The shorter the latency, the smoother a video plays back. Video buffering helps smooth out the rough edges. The video buffer is like a kitchen sink... if the faucet (your network line) can't keep filling the sink fast enough to compensate for the drain (your computer) taking water away, eventually the sink will dry up temporarily cutting off the steady flow of water down the drain pipe.
    • You may need to manually adjust the video resolution because the auto-detection isn't always able to compensate for all network situations. People generally notice frequent buffering more than lower video resolution. It's all about perception -- a lower resolution video that plays smoothly is less annoying than a video that pauses a lot to refill the video buffer.
    • Depending on the video resolution, your laptop may not be able to keep up with the network data transfer and playback. Bring up the Windows Task Manager and see what the CPU and network loads are like when streaming a video.


    Wireless network adapters can connect via "infrastructure" or "ad-hoc" mode. Infrastructure mode is used when connecting to wireless access points like those provided by wireless routers. Ad-hoc mode allows one computer to connect directly to another computer without the need for a dedicated access point. It's fine to leave ad-hoc mode disabled.

    Chung

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