14 Replies Latest reply: Dec 30, 2012 7:48 PM by Allan Eckert
teresa80 Level 1 (0 points)

I'm trying to figure out what is interfering with my wireless connection.  My macbook air picks up the signal and operates fine; however, the dell laptop and my iphone 4 will pick up my network, then lose it, etc.  I spoke with Apple support and they seem to think there is something interfering with my wireless connection.

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 (98,254 points)

    Do you know what frequency range the microchip is using?

  • teresa80 Level 1 (0 points)

    I put the microchip #  in google search and come up with nothing.  So it is possible for the chip to interfere with my wireless connection?

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 (98,254 points)

    If it operates in the 2.412 to 2.472 GHz range, yes. More likely, you are picking up interference from another network in your area, or a cordless phone.

     

    The Mac is not having problems because it is likely using the 5 GHz band.  Very few networks there....for now.

  • Allan Eckert Level 9 (50,716 points)

    I doubt that since the vast majority of the chips are totally passive and are only activated by an external device is used to activate them. So without the external device to activate the chip, it is only going to sit there and do nothing.

     

    Allan

  • teresa80 Level 1 (0 points)

    I did find this.... 134.2 KHz or 125 KHz

  • teresa80 Level 1 (0 points)

    So if I am getting interference from a neighbor's network, etc., what can I do?  I tried moving my extreme to another part of the house, but got the same results.

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 (98,254 points)

    Are you using a utility like WiFi Explorer to get a look at the visible competition around you from other networks?

     

    It's a few dollars, but a good thing to have. Most modern routers allow users to "hide" their networks, so the utility may not pick these up, so it is very possible that there are other network around you that WiFi Explorer or other utilities cannot "see". 

     

    Cordless phones....which cause plenty of problems for wireless networks will not be picked up by utilities like this.

     

    Mac App Store - WiFi Explorer

     

    Keep this support document from Apple handy as well, since it has some suggestions for things that you can try to minimize interference....which is a lot more of problem now that it was a few years ago since there are so many more wireless networks in operation now. Unfortunately, there are no quick easy answers since we have only a limited number of channels available for wireless networks...the same as we had years ago.  You get the idea.

     

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1365

  • Allan Eckert Level 9 (50,716 points)

    I use iStumbler to find out what channels the other networks are using and then set mine to one that is different.

     

    In my case most everyone was on channel 1 so I selected channel 11 so that I was as far away from them as possible. It worked great for me.

     

    Allan

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 (98,254 points)

    iStumbler is not bad considering the price....free.  But, in order to get SNR figures, you have to use the Inspector feature under the Edit menu and then do the math on the dBm readings.

     

    WiFi Explorer does this for you right up front.

  • Allan Eckert Level 9 (50,716 points)

    I don't get into iStumbler enough to bother with SNR.

     

    I only look at which channels have traffic only.

     

    I haven't heard of WIFI Explorer.

     

    I will check it out.

     

    Allan

  • Allan Eckert Level 9 (50,716 points)

    Rats! For the way I use iStumbler I will stick to it rather then paying for WIFI Explorer.

     

    It truns out that someone else had recommended it but when I saw the cost, I didn't figure it was worth it for my use of it. I mean why pay for a tool to be used annually when a free one works for you.

     

    Allan

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 (98,254 points)

    I never was very good subtracting negative numbers from other negative numbers, so for $3, I'll let the app do the work. iStumber asks for a $20 "donation" by the way.

     

    Try explaining to a casual user how to calculate SNR from the raw dBm values on the forums sometime.

     

    We sure could use a lot more help here. Please visit often.

  • John Galt Level 8 (45,978 points)

    Allan Eckert wrote:

     

    ... For the way I use iStumbler I will stick to it rather then paying for WIFI Explorer.

     

    Try NetSpot: http://www.netspotapp.com

     

    $free

     

    Rats!

     

    I thought we were talking about dogs...

  • Allan Eckert Level 9 (50,716 points)

    RATS! = explative for me.

     

    Allan