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Old 08-06-2005, 07:15 AM   #1
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Birmingham, Alabama (USA)
Distribution: Slackware
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Wireless Signal Strength and Quality

Now that I have my laptop working within my wireless network, I need to see if I can improve my signal strength. My wireless router sits on top of a 6' tall bookshelf. I have a small desk for my laptop that is about 2 feet from the bookshelf. Even within that close range, the best signal strength that I get is in the 70s and 80s. If I remember correctly, there was a time when I had my network setup where I had my laptop FURTHER away from the router (The router was on my desk which is only 3.5 feet tall) and yet my signal strength was 99 or 100. At that time I could go from the main floor of my house down to the basement and still connect (with decent strength) to the router on the main floor. Currently, If I bring my laptop to my bed room, which is about 35-40 feet away (on the same floor at my office that has the router), I have 0 signal strength. Is my network card configured incorrectly? Do I have my router in a bad spot? Any suggestions?
Old 08-06-2005, 08:44 AM   #2
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It could be anything from RF interference (such as a cordless phone) to metal in the walls. It could be the NIC, it could be the driver, it could be the firmware.

Experiment with placement and other radio frequency equipment first.

Old 08-06-2005, 09:13 AM   #3
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Akron, OH
Distribution: Slackware 14.2-stable, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
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Also make sure that the wireless router is broadcasting at full strength ... some routers will allow you to select the broadcast strength.
Old 08-06-2005, 10:45 AM   #4
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Scotland
Distribution: LinuxMint16 & Ubuntu 12.0.4 LTS
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You don't mention which utility you're using to check the signal strength.

I take them all with a huge pinch of salt. I can be in XP in my front room, some 20 feet from my wireless AP and Windows/IBM is telling me I have a 44% signal. Without moving anything I can reboot into Slackware or SuSE and get 80% or 90% signals.

Maybe the least inaccurate check is to use,

ifconfig -a
Agreed though, with your laptop sitting next to the AP you should be getting a better signal reading than you're getting. They always say put the AP as high up as possible, but away from walls if possible.

Let us know how you get on.


Old 08-06-2005, 11:16 PM   #5
Registered: Feb 2005
Location: Denver, CO
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Originally posted by dkpw
Maybe the least inaccurate check is to use,

ifconfig -a
You did mean

iwconfig -a
Old 08-07-2005, 08:30 AM   #6
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Birmingham, Alabama (USA)
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 351

Original Poster
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root@todd:/home/todd# iwconfig -a
-a No such device

root@todd:/home/todd# ifconfig -a
eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:06:25:2B:52:06
inet addr: Bcast: Mask:
RX packets:14399 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:17832 errors:1 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
RX bytes:12141562 (11.5 Mb) TX bytes:3537487 (3.3 Mb)

lo Link encap:Local Loopback
inet addr: Mask:
RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
RX bytes:0 (0.0 b) TX bytes:0 (0.0 b)

According to the wireless networking applet on my Kicker panel, here are my stats

Link quality: 100%
Signal Strength: 3%
Noise: 76%


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