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5 Bars ‘till connected then 1 bar

I am hooking up a wireless router for my granddaughter who lives next door. Her computer works when it is in my house. When I moved it to her house. I see 5 bars signal strength. As soon as I connect to the network (Wep) It drops to 1 bar. If I disconnect, it goes back to 5 bars. I purchased an ‘Extender’ at 40 feet even the extender which is suppose to have a 300’ range stays at 1 bar.

Any Ideas would be appreciated. Wireless networks and I do not get along well.

Thanks

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Aug 17 '09 at 20:06

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marked as duplicate by Diago Aug 17 '09 at 22:08

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3 Answers

Windows reports the signal strength using the reception strength before connection.

After the connection, Windows can then use reception and transmission strength in order to calculate the value and displays the lower value between both.

Windows cannot determine the transmission strength before connection (as that would require sending a message to the router and wait for a response. That would create flooding quite easily in public places [thousands of devices sending packets trying to determine network strength]).


You have to understand that while your router may carry a signal to your machine, the emitter on a machine is typically less powerful than the one on your router. In order to communicate, both the router and your machine must be able to transmit and receive information. Which means that while your machine may easily read whatever the router is sending to it, the opposite might not be true.

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This could be due to the walls in your house and your grand daughters house. The farther the houses are apart, the more distance the signal has to travel and it could be getting weak because of this. Also, the material that the walls of the houses and whether or not there are any bushes/trees in between will affect signal strength. For instance, Brick/Cement/Metal will cause the signal to be much weaker than if it's just glass/wood/drywall.

If the houses are close enough, you may want to try running a Lan cable across from one house to the other, then hook up a Wireless Access Point on the other end for her to connect to at her house.

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Could it be detecting the repeater initially, but connecting to the original (further away) access point when it actually connects? I'm not sure what you would need to kick to resolve the issue if that were the case though.

Some other potentially useful information you might like edit into your question:

  1. Where is the wireless access point relative to the range extender? Right next to it? any walls between? In the next house?
  2. Where is the problem site relative to the range extender and access point?
  3. Are there any other 2.4GHz devices (wireless video senders for example) operating in either house?
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