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Wasn't sure where to put this, so I put it here.

I've had the same Router for all my wireless life. The Linksys WRT54GS. Man, It's great, I love it and I'm fine with 802.11g, believe me.

I've had a Macbook for 2 years, it always has 5 reception bars on the Airport area in the menubar, never dropped internet and up to 900kbps on downloads. Sometimes over 1Mbps.

Most importantly though always 5 bars. So recently I bought a 15 inch Lenovo Thinkpad Edge. Great computer overall but the wireless is stuck at 1 bar in Windows 7. Download speeds very between 400 and 600 kbps and from time to time the connection just drops.

I was wondering what I could do to make it more reliable like my macbook was as well as faster. And truthfully the one bar of Wi-Fi in the Windows 7 notification area is playing on my nerves.

I'm pretty good with understanding directions, know how to login to the linksys router config, as well as change settings in Windows, such as the beacon interval of the wireless card and things like that.

Thanks for any help in advance.

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That also depends a lot on the quality of the radio transceiver and antenna placement. –  Keith Apr 15 '11 at 7:51
    
Have you tried using InSIDDer to check if you are using a channel with the least interference? –  paradroid Apr 15 '11 at 10:07
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@Keith Theoretically if the old Macbook was in the same place and the router was always in the same place, shouldn't the signal strength and quality on the Lenovo be at least similar to that of the Macbook @paradroid Yah, I tried the tool by MetaGeek out, it didnt really help me out, I've been experimenting with channels a bit. All of them only result in one bar, but from my experience 4 and 8 are the best ones for me. Maybe something needs to be changed in the wireless card's properties. Beacon interval or TX Power Level or something? –  Nicholai Apr 15 '11 at 16:22
    
It sounds like there's something wrong with the device - you shouldn't see such a dramatic difference between the two. It might be as simple as an antenna wire being disconnected. I'm not familiar with that model, but Thinkpads usually have a small removable panel on the bottom that covers the WiFi card. Making sure all antenna leads are connected is a good start, and making a warranty claim would be the next step. Lenovo is really good about warranty work, too. –  Chris Jul 18 '11 at 3:39
    
The macbook was probably lying to you about how much signal it has... they used a similar algorithm for showing how many bars of wifi your have on a macbook that they did with the original faulty iphone 4 antennas. And yes, I get that the throughput on the mac was a little better... but 900kbps is still pretty sucky for a 5 bar connection. The 1 bar ibm readout is probably more accurate. –  Joel Coehoorn Dec 4 '11 at 20:38

2 Answers 2

Try uninstalling the driver in the Device Manager, then let Windows Update find the driver automatically. This seems to have done the trick on my 520.

It's simple, but apparently effective.

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You can also try installing the driver through "Lenovo System Update", or simply by going to lenovo.com. It helped my laptop A LOT. (It's a T500. From 30mbps, the speed went up to 90mbps, my internet connection's speed!) –  Shiki Dec 4 '11 at 20:59

First, I'd borrow a USB wifi adapter and run it on the Lenovo. If the performance is much better, you may have a failing adapter in there. If the Lenovo is still under warranty you could even get the card replaced.

Also, maybe just try another channel. I've had luck with this approach under similarly weird circumstances.

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