What could be the problem with my wi-fi connection? (Details of the setup and symptoms inside
September 15, 2011 11:24 AM Subscribe
What could be the problem with my wi-fi connection? (Details of the setup and symptoms inside)
posted by philipy to computers & internet (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I moved a PC that previously had a wired connection to my router to another room, and so got a USB wi-fi adapter to connect wirelessly.
That wireless connection works intermittently and slowly, and I suspect that the reason for that is the connection is flaky, and is possibly stopping and restarting with great frequency. The reason I'm guessing that's happening is that when I look at the processes running, I often see many instances of ipconfig.exe starting up and quickly finishing. Oftentimes I see 4 instances of ipconfig in the process list at once. I also see nbstat.exe and arp.exe frequently active. (In this case not sure if they are being rerun from scratch, or just consuming CPU.)
I'm not sure what all those processes do, but googling and Wikipedia suggests they are somehow involved in the PC trying to assign itself a network address.
Other symptoms which may be relevant...
There are times when the PC seems to be connected to the router ok, and can see the router config screens etc, but still can't actually reach the internet. (Other PCs including the one I'm typing on now connected to the net fine while that was happening.)
Even when a web page is loaded more or less ok, the browsers often indicate they're still loading something, as if some page elements haven't made it through yet. (Tried in Firefox and IE, with unpredictable but similar results.)
The router is a "Belkin N Wireless Modem Router". I've had it a while and it has been working with no hassle with a variety of devices used by us and our visitors. (Assorted laptops, desktops, varied handheld devices). Still working fine wirelessly with my iPod Touch, and by wired connecton to a new desktop.
The PC that's having this problem is an old Vaio desktop, running Windows XP SP3. As I said it was on a wired connection until yesterday, and Windows is fully patched and updated.
The new thing in the mix (which therefore arouses my suspicion) is the wi-fi adapter. It describes itself as a "Belkin Enhanced Wireless USB Adapter" and has an N150 logo also. It claims to be compatible with previous wi-fi standards (n/g/b).
So, given that setup and the symptoms I'm seeing, what are the possible sources of the problems and what could I do to investigate further?
Is this likely to be caused by faulty hardware in the wi-fi adapter? Or some problem with router or adapter settings? Or something else that I wouldn't know to look into?
Help from Mefites that understand this stuff would be greatly appreciated!