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PC Hardware Annoyances by Stephen J. Bigelow

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WIRELESS NETWORKING ANNOYANCES

CORDLESS PHONES INTERFERE WITH WIRELESS

The Annoyance:

I lose my wireless signal every time someone runs the microwave or uses the cordless phone. Can’t I surf and make microwave popcorn at the same time?

The Fix:

The problem is radio-frequency (RF) interference between the wireless access point and your wireless NIC. Wireless devices conforming to the 802.11b and 802.11g standards use the 2.4GHz radio frequency band. Unfortunately, that’s the same band used by some cordless telephones. To make matters worse, other appliances (such as microwave ovens) often emit unwanted RF signals in that band.

The best way to deal with unwanted interference is to move the signal source farther away or remove it altogether. For example, try using a conventional, fixed-wire phone rather than a cordless phone, and stash the microwave in another room. If you must use a cordless telephone, try a 900MHz or 5.8GHz model instead. Of course, you can also tinker with the position of your wireless access points and search for locations that may be less sensitive to interference. In any case, correcting the trouble will take some experimenting on your part.

DEALING WITH WIRELESS SIGNAL PROBLEMS

The Annoyance:

I helped a friend install a wireless access point in her office. She’s a psychologist who shares a practice with five doctors, all of whom are wireless laptop users. We connected the wireless router/access point and got it up and running, but ran into signal problems for a laptop ...

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