Also known as WiFi. This tag should be used when asking home WiFi networking questions or connecting your personal computer to a public network. Questions about enterprise or corporate wireless networks are off topic.

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435
votes
4answers
526k views

How can I get the same SSID for multiple access points?

I need to upgrade my existing wireless infrastructure and this time I want 2 access points to cover my house, since I get blind spots no matter what with a single AP. I have physical cabling to my ...
234
votes
12answers
53k views

Why does my microwave kill the Wi-Fi?

Every time I start the microwave in the kitchen, our home Wi-Fi stops working and all devices lose connection with our router! The kitchen and the Wi-Fi router are in opposite ends of the apartment ...
154
votes
13answers
20k views

How to find a router at an unknown location in a house?

I want to install a WLAN repeater in my father’s holiday house which he rents out to other people. My father is a digital neanderthal and doesn’t know where his router is, therefore I cannot ...
151
votes
9answers
23k views

Is it really possible for most enthusiasts to crack people's Wi-Fi networks?

Can most enthusiastic users (even if they are not professionals) use well-known techniques to break through the average home router's security? Some basic security options are: strong network ...
135
votes
2answers
14k views

What is a “Magic Packet” for waking a computer?

My wireless adapter (Intel Dual Band Wireless-N 7260) has two settings in Device Manager which I cannot explain. Wake on Magic Packet Wake on Pattern Match After a bit of research, I found this ...
117
votes
4answers
31k views

How does Windows know whether it has internet access or if a Wi-Fi connection requires in-browser authentication?

In Windows 7, the notification area networking icon will show an error indicator if there is no internet access , and the error icon goes away once there is a successful connection to the internet . ...
90
votes
10answers
186k views

Does it make sense to keep different SSIDs for 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless networks?

My router can have different SSIDs for 2.4 and 5 GHz and I'm not sure if it's better to have the same SSID or not. Initially I put the same network but I got confused when the MacBook Pro displayed ...
84
votes
10answers
215k views

Make Windows 7 ignore WiFi when ethernet is available

When I dock my Windows 7 laptop, I want it to prefer the wired ethernet connection over WiFi. This is a pretty straightforward thing to do on my Mac - I just reorder my network preferences, and it ...
79
votes
16answers
26k views

Paranoid Parent: “WiFi safe for baby?” [closed]

I am most likely being an overprotective parent but since the birth of our newborn, my wife and I have been wondering about credible studies dealing with Wi-Fi and health concerns. I love my Wi-Fi, ...
71
votes
8answers
117k views

Is it better to use a crowded 2.4GHz Wi-Fi channel 1, 6, 11 or “unused” 3, 4, 8, or 9?

I understand that 2.4GHz Wi-Fi channels overlap, and that the most popular non-overlapping set of channels in the US is 1, 6, and 11. Generally, my signal strength on channels 1, 6, and 11 are much ...
62
votes
6answers
145k views

How do I set my wireless network to be private instead of public?

Trying to maintain good security settings on my laptop, I want my home network to be interpreted as private and the university network at school to be interpreted as public. However, my home network ...
62
votes
3answers
22k views

How do I diagnose and visualize high ping times to wifi router?

I'm seeing erratic and sometimes very long ping times to my wifi router that's just one hop away. Pinging 192.168.1.1 sometimes gives stretches of 400-800ms latencies. There are plenty of things to ...
57
votes
6answers
9k views

If there are 13 Wifi channels, can I only use 13 Wifi devices on the same room?

As wikipedia reference, 802.11 standards (which defines Wi-fi networks) tell us that wireless networks works with 13 different channels on OFDM (depending on the release, a, b, g or n). From this I ...
57
votes
5answers
28k views

Is looking for Wi-Fi access points purely passive?

Say I carry a Wi-Fi enabled phone or laptop through an area where there are WAPs. Assuming that I don't actively try to connect to them or otherwise interact with them, is it possible for the owner ...
52
votes
2answers
133k views

RSSI value of wifi connection - how to interpret?

In Mac OS X you can obtain the RSSI value of your by wifi connection by holding Alt and clicking on the Wifi-indicator icon. My questions are: What range of values can RSSI take? What RSSI ranges ...
46
votes
2answers
90k views

Does a wireless-N (802.11n) network have poor performance when in b/g “mixed” mode?

It seems to be an "old" wives tale that, when using a wireless-N router in "mixed mode" to support legacy 802.11b or 802.11g devices, the performance of 802.11n clients will suffer. Some places ...
42
votes
2answers
16k views

What's the maximum actual bit rate of an 802.11g connection?

Using a wired connection, I get a 38 Mbit/s download speed. When I switch to wireless one (Linksys WRT54GL router with Tomato firmware), the speed drops to 23 Mbit/s even if the distance between the ...
41
votes
7answers
47k views

Do two computers connected on the same Wi-Fi have the same IP address?

Do two computers connected on the same Wi-Fi have the same IP address (for example, my dad's computer and my computer, at home)? If so, how does the outside world distinguishes one computer with the ...
40
votes
5answers
4k views

Is there a cap on simultaneously active Wi-Fi Access points in a single area?

I'm writing an API for controlling an external device. Part of this API is having the device scan for Wi-Fi access points. The API will be implemented across many types of devices, with varying memory ...
39
votes
2answers
33k views

How to launch a command on network connection/disconnection?

I have a wifi connection that requires to authenticate using a web form once the wireless link is established. I know how to automate the authentication with a script that uses curl/curlIE. But how ...
32
votes
10answers
26k views

Can I make two wireless routers communicate using the wireless?

I want to make a setup like this: cable modem <-cable-> wireless router 1 <-wireless-> wireless router 2 in another room <-cables-> PCs in another room Basically, I want to extend my ...
31
votes
12answers
6k views

Which routers do you prefer for DD-WRT or OpenWRT? [closed]

I'm aware of the giant Supported Devices list. I'm wondering which ones you all prefer (e.g., support for Mega install, cheap, reliable hardware, USB port, etc.) I've used an ASUS WL-500G Premium ...
31
votes
5answers
3k views

How do I tell Windows to use 802.11 in preference to 3G?

I have a Samsung NC-10 netbook which I take to work every day. Most of the time I use it just on the train/bus, but I also use it at work and home. It has a built-in 3G card which I want to use when ...
29
votes
4answers
66k views

How does Google Chromecast connect to secured wifi?

Google Chromecast can be set up by going to the setup page on a supported device. But in technical terms, what is actually happening on your device that configures the Chromecast dongle? For ...
28
votes
6answers
10k views

How to put fear of God (law) into Wi-Fi hacking neighbors [closed]

I live in an apartment and some new guys have apparently moved into one of the apartments. They have been shamelessly hacking into my WiFi. Mine was initially a WEP encrypted network and out of ...
27
votes
6answers
86k views

Display list of computers on a LAN in Linux

I'm a web dev who is trying to get a better handle on security. I'm trying to figure out a way (on Linux/Debian based distros) to list all computers on the same LAN my netbook is on. I tried "arp -n" ...
26
votes
7answers
2k views

How can I protect myself while using public wifi hotspots?

I frequently need to access secure resources (gmail, banking, remote desktop, etc) while on public wifi hotspots. What can I do to ensure that nobody can sniff my passwords or my other browsing ...
25
votes
2answers
182k views

Difference between Ethernet splitter and switch

I have one Ethernet port that is wired directly to the router on another level. However, I want to run a desktop and a server both off this one Ethernet port. Can anyone tell me the difference ...
25
votes
2answers
187k views

Is there a PC equivalent for the Android 'Wifi Analyzer' App? [closed]

I'm using the Wifi Analyzer app on my phone a lot at the moment as I need to set up and test some wireless networks. For people unfamiliar with the app, i've posted some screenshots of the app that I ...
24
votes
7answers
32k views

Do cabled connections and Wi-Fi “use” the same bandwidth?

My brother likes to play games online on his Xbox. However, because he is far away from the router, he uses our Wi-Fi instead of an Ethernet cable. I, being closer to the router, use an Ethernet cable ...
24
votes
9answers
3k views

How to identify from a Windows computer the wireless device that is poisoning router?

I live in a house with various other people who all swear that there is nothing wrong with any of their devices. The problem being is that when wireless is enabled on the router, ping sky-rockets and ...
24
votes
4answers
221k views

Make Windows forget a network connection password?

Is there a way to prevent Windows from remembering the network password after it connects? So that upon disconnecting Windows won't reconnect without re-entering password.
24
votes
2answers
45k views

Do different positions of the antenna on a wireless router make any difference?

Often, the antenna of a wireless router can be moved in many directions. Does it make a difference as to which way it points? Should it point toward the device(s) using it? Should multiple antennas ...
23
votes
3answers
193k views

What is the difference between 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless?

I just got a new "dual band" wireless router. The sales rep didn't really understand the difference between the "2.4GHz" and "5GHz" wireless networks that the router supports. Can anyone please ...
23
votes
6answers
18k views

Recommended gigabit 802.11n routers that work with DD-WRT [closed]

I've read this question, and checked out the supported devices list, but am looking specifically for a gigabit 802.11n router that is easy to find and fully supported by DD-WRT. It seems like some of ...
22
votes
4answers
36k views

How does a hacker in a public WIFI actually view your computer?

I've read that they can see what sites your viewing or even access your computer if you're connected on the same WIFI connection but how exactly?
22
votes
5answers
40k views

How does Windows 7 decide which route to take if 2 connections to an internet source exist? (e.g. a Wireless and an Ethernet one to a router)

How does Windows 7 decide which route to take if 2 connections to the Internet exist? (e.g. wireless versus wired)
22
votes
8answers
12k views

Disable WLan if Wired/Cable Network is available

The question says it all. All i want is that my W-Lan connection should be disabled whenever a wired connection is available. What would be the easiest way to do that in Ubuntu/Gnome? In all guides ...
22
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I get a WiFi signal inside a walk-in freezer?

I need to amplify our WiFi signal into a large walk-in freezer. Currently, the signal gets everywhere around the freezer, but does not penetrate the steel walls. What would be the best and cheapest ...
22
votes
2answers
10k views

How do I check the internet usage of a particular device in my room?

I am living with 5 other people and most of our network is consumed in 20 days so we have to spend almost 10-11 days without Internet. I just wish to know what are the ways to monitor the internet ...
21
votes
11answers
108k views

Are routers limited to number of devices?

I'm going to buy a new router, but, I've just realised that for nearly all routers I've looked at (Belkin, Netgear, D-Link) don't state the maximum number of devices which can connect concurrently. ...
20
votes
8answers
87k views

Can you explain how to understand what the 'iwconfig' command displays in Ubuntu-9.04?

I'm having trouble making my wireless connection work, and I realized I don't really know how to use the tools I have, in this case, the iwconfig command in Ubuntu-9.04. Here is what I get: ...
20
votes
7answers
119k views

How to see who is using my WiFi

I have a WiFi router at home and would like to know if there is any way to know who is connected to my WiFi network and using it. My WiFi network is password protected but still there could be a ...
20
votes
2answers
105k views

How do I get a 300Mbps connection over 802.11n?

I just bought a new wireless setup, consisting of a Cisco E2000 router, Edimax 7718un USB adapter for my laptop and an Edimax 7728in PCI adapter for my HTPC (which isn't in a location I can run cat5 ...
20
votes
7answers
10k views

How to extend Wi-Fi signal across rooms?

I moved into a new place and my old Wi-Fi router just doesn't have the range to get into all the rooms. I've been investigating a lot of options and I'm wondering what other folks have done here. ...
20
votes
3answers
17k views

Can other people on an encrypted Wi-Fi AP see what you're doing?

If you connect to an open, unencrypted Wi-Fi access point, everything you do can be captured by other people within range. If you connect to an encrypted point, then people nearby can intercept what ...
20
votes
6answers
37k views

Merging two incoming broadband lines for faster internet

We have a broadband line coming into our building which delivers around 8-10mbps, which is ok but not great, although fibre is available in our area (30-100mbps) its not available where we are just ...
20
votes
7answers
64k views

Why is my laptop favoring the wireless connection over my LAN connection?

When my laptop comes out of sleep, I have to typically wait about 90-120 seconds before my network (wireless or NIC card) 'wakes up'. During that time, I see my wireless connection with 'limited ...
20
votes
3answers
128k views

How to monitor bandwidth use of each device on wifi network

I have in my home a standard Comcast cable internet connection. I have it going from the wall to a cable modem, and from the modem to a late-series Linksys router, which provides wired and wireless ...
20
votes
3answers
3k views

Small WiFi webcam for quasi-outdoor use [closed]

I’d like to have a webcam pointed toward my house, so that I can check (via Safari on iPhone) if I left the garage door open, if there’s a package on my doorstep when I’m off on a business trip, etc. ...