Long-time subscriber Art Wood wrote recently with a wireless networking problem. Unlike networking using wired connections with Ethernet cables, wireless networking sometimes works beautifully…and sometimes it either doesn’t, or it has the unusual problems.
Such was Art’s case:
I have a Samsung Wireless allinone PC. My Wife has a Laptop ,there is less than 6ft between Computers, my Wife`s Computer states that her Computer is unable to connect to the Internet because there is a problem with a cable.
I have full bars on my Computer, full bars are indicated on her Computer. I constantly unplug and replug, can you point me in the right direction.
First, I wrote back to Art to try to understand his problem a little more.
I wasn’t sure exactly what his setup was, as some of his comments could be interpreted multiple ways, while others didn’t make sense in the context.
So I asked some questions to get information and to see if they would trigger the solution for Art:
You lost me — you’re wireless, she’s got a problem (computer says unable to connect to Internet because of a problem with a cable) — you unplug and replug, but no joy?
Is she using wireless or does she have a wired (Ethernet) connection to the router?
Have you tried a different Ethernet cable? It could actually be that the cable is bad.
If she’s trying to use wireless and getting the cable message, then the computer isn’t sure that the wireless card is there and has working drivers. Check Control Panel > System > Device Manager for error messages.
You didn’t mention brand of router, how old it is, operating system of computer, or how she’s trying to connect. If wireless, what is her wireless card brand, or is she using wireless built-in on the laptop? Does her wireless work to connect successfully to other routers, say at the coffee shop, or McDonalds, or something like that?
Art wrote back with more detailed information on the setup and the problem they were seeing…
Sorry to confuse you. I have a Samsung all in one Wireless Computer. My Wife has a computer that is wireless.
Occasionally I still have access to the Internet but her Computer states that there is a problem with the router cable. I unplug the Modem & the router power cables then plug them back in, after a few tries we are both able to access the Internet.
I have three Ethernet cables that I am using. The Router is under 3 years old, it is a TP- LINK Model TL-WR841N.
[The article is continued below...]
My Computer is Windows8 , My Wife`s computer (laptop) is using Windows 7. The laptop is only used at home and wireless is built into or on the laptop. Her computer is around 4-5 years old it is a Quasar C60.
After I contacted you I changed the position of the Router. It was initially higher than both computers, because I was unable to see the lights on the Router I moved it so it is now on a level with both computers. I have cable from my ISP into the MODEM, Ethernet cable from the Modem to the Router. Hope this explaination is not as confusing as my first correspondence.
Now, the lights turn on and a solution starts to form…
I wrote back to Art to tell him that there was no way that his wife’s computer would have the ability to know that there was a cable problem between the modem and router.
Her computer is apparently losing its wireless connection and then complaining that there is a "cable problem" because it doesn’t have an Ethernet cable connected to its built-in Ethernet port.
I suggested that he try specifying the wireless channel on your router. Or, if it’s already specified, change it.
I’m thinking that there are two possibilities:
- Interference on the wireless channel from a nearby router (at a neighbor’s house) or perhaps electrical noise that interferes with the signal.
- Her built-in wireless card may be going bad.
If her notebook is close enough to the router (it sounds like it is), I suggested that he just go ahead and use an Ethernet cable to plug it into one of the LAN ports on the router. He would still be able to share files and printers.
Regarding the movement of his router, the location of the router shouldn’t have much effect unless it is located a long way from the comptuers, perhaps with metallic items between the router and computer (e.g., a water heater or furnace) — and unless the router is on one floor of the house and the computers are on another floor.
The radio waves at those frequencies are pretty much “line of sight” straight, although there’s enough power to go through a few walls that don’t have significant metal in their structure.
The wireless router transmission patterns are basically horizontal, with little of the signal going up or down.
Art wrote back to report his solution:
Thank you for the information, I have now installed an ETHERNET cable to my Wife’s Computer, so far everything is running fine. Once again thank you.
I’m always happy when someone writes back to report that the problem has been solved, and how it was solved.