07-31-2014 06:40 PM - edited 07-31-2014 06:53 PM
Do you recommend one to buy in order to try? And would it also confirm that it is the wireless adapter in my computer if I need to be within 5 feet to get a decent speed? The router is just in the room below my office.
07-31-2014 06:52 PM - edited 07-31-2014 06:53 PM
I would try another Wi-Fi network with a decent connection to see if the laptop receives better wireless connectivity. I've been finding a lot of Windows 8/8.1 machines coming with Atheros wireless cards (the cheap 150M ones) that seem to also ship with sometimes dodgy drivers for the situation. While I don't have FiOS and haven't been able to play around with FiOS and an affected laptop enough, I do suspect someting is up. I too, have seen the "cutting out" and "Slow speed" issue with some machines.
A general observation seems to suggest poor noise handling. The problem is more prone to happening when there is some distance between the router and the client, and this can result in the wireless link getting stuck at 1Mbps, or fail to transmit. Moving the machine closer to the router doesn't solve the problem, but disconnecting and reconnecting does immediately. I've seen this with both an ActionTec MI424WR Rev. F and the ActionTec MI424WR Rev. I.
If you do go the route of getting a new wireless card, I recommend getting a replacement network adapter from Intel that can be installed inside of the laptop. In most cases, the wireless cards are easy to access (read your laptop's service manual) and they are much more convenient for carrying around.
After your suggestion I tried a few more tests, and it seems like I just get really poor range. At best in the room above the router, I usually get 1-2 bars and it runs slow, whereas I need to be within 5 feet or so of the router to get a full 5 bars. Is that normal? and if not is it just that I have a lower quality network card (as compared for example to my wife's who gets a consistant 4 bars in the room above the router and runs the same speed as when I get 5 bars 5 feet from the router) or is it necessarily a defective card?
I have a Qualcomm Atheros AR956x Wireless network adapter.
My wife: broadcom BCM943228HM4L 2x2 wiFi adapter
Do you have any resources where I can go to see the differences between cards/adapters - which one is better and why etc.? I have no idea what I'm looking for and obviously want to buy a decent product. My main use that I'm concerned about is video skype calls and I can't do that now. I did look at my manual and it doesn't seem too hard to install a new network card - though apparently I need to be find some fix because Lenovo and whitelisted some brands. Any help with learning about the differences between network cards would be appreciated (even among the different ones intel offers). I dont want to buy another one for the same quality product that I have now.
And that software from verizon was helpful to adjust channels. I think that helped a little bit. I had been on their website but had not seen that before. Thanks!
Haivng narrwoed down the problem it still could be the network card itself...or the network card's connection to the antenna(s).
I believe the antennas in that model laptop are in the lid of the case. If, for some reason, there's a problem with the connection to the antennas, that could easily be causing the poor signal strength.
I see two ways to go foward. One, as Hubrisnsx suggested, is to replace the network card. The other, is as I suggested earlier, is to take the laptop back to where you bought it and let them look into the problem.
I'd go for option #2. My thinking is that even if the Atheros card is the culprit, I can't imagine it working properly and still getting such poor signal reception. If it's a dud, or it's not connected to the antennas correctly, why not let the warranty take care of it?