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I have the following situation:
I have a Win7 laptop from work. I have successfully used it with a few different wireless networks, so I know that the wireless card etc. in it work.
I have a WiFi router at home that I use on a regular basis with my personal laptop (also Win7), an Android phone, and occasionally other laptops, so I know that the router, configuration, etc. work.

Now, the problem:
If I bring my laptop home from work and try to use it with my wireless at home, it doesn't work. The most confusing part is that it does work about 1 in 5-10 tries (so if I try to open a webpage and press refresh a few times, I eventually get it, though often without images etc.)
If I connect the laptop directly to the router via Ethernet, it works fine.
So the problem seems to be somewhere with the configuration of my laptop and my router, but I am at a loss for what it could be. Any hints would be appreciated.

A few details that may or may not be relevant:
Wireless security is WPA-2 AES
Router is a LevelOne WBR-3406TX capable of b/g WiFi.
The laptop that doesn't work is a Lenovo Thinkpad T430, capable of WiFi b/g/n. I don't know details of card etc. offhand, but can check if needed.

I am not sure, but I feel like Dropbox never has a problem, but the web browser and the VPN connection have the problem. It may just be my imagination.

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migrated from serverfault.com Feb 4 '14 at 15:15

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

1 Answer 1

I have WiFi incompatibilities like that all the time. Sometimes a driver update works. Some times certain computers just can't connect (well) to certain access points/routers. I've had issues with Apple hardware in particular; we had to buy a second wifi router here just for Apple at some point...

Best bet it to update drivers on your PC and firnmare on the wifi access point.

Another thing you can test; since you mention that Dropbox works fine, would the problem perhaps be DNS related? That's another thing that I run into with home routers: the DNS is unstable. When I change the PC's DNS to google's ( or OpenDNS or whatever, it often solves problems.

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Drivers and firmware are as updated as they can get. The same DNS works for the other laptop. –  baruch Feb 4 '14 at 8:28
If I ping, I get about 50%-75% loss –  baruch Feb 4 '14 at 8:31
Are you comfortable using a tool like Wireshark? That would allow you to see where your packets are going. –  Halfgaar Feb 4 '14 at 9:02
I did that. I only tried accessing google.com once, so multiple tries might get different results each time, but the DNS query worked fine, and then the requests to Google itself (don't remember the exact IP) mostly were unanswered, ocasionally getting an ACK. –  baruch Feb 4 '14 at 9:06

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