Wednesday, July 4, 2012

8 Tips for Troubleshooting a Commercial Wireless Network

8 Tips for Troubleshooting a Commercial Wireless NetworkWhen a commercial wireless network goes down, the whole company suffers. Many companies rely solely on the Internet to run their businesses, so if no one can connect, work will not be done. In some cases, this can cause the company a large amount of money in a very short amount of time.

The key to troubleshooting a commercial wireless network problem is to know where common problems occur. That way you can check those first and hopefully be able to get the employees back to work quickly. Here are 8 things to check while troubleshooting wireless network connection.

Check the wires and wireless network adapter. Make sure all the wires are plugged in to the router correctly and that the power cord is connected to the power source. The lights of the router should be glowing and the cable/DSL modem should be on. Also check that the wireless network adapter is switched to 'on.' If you have Windows, go to the device manager and check that your wireless network adapted is on. If you have a USB wireless adapter try removing it and replacing it so Windows can re-detect it.

Check the signal strength: There are many things that could cause the signal of your wireless access point to affect the performance of your network. Some appliances can cause interference with your wireless network. For this reason, keep cordless phones, microwaves and other electrical equipment a mile away from the wireless router. Another thing you can do it try changing the channels on the access point, this could help your signal become stronger.

Make sure you have the correct device driver installed. If you don't have the right device driver for your wireless network adapter it can cause all kinds of problems or your adapter may not work at all.

Install a repeater.If all you are looking for is a performance boost, install a repeater. This will receive the signal and boost the range of your network.

Change the position of your access point antenna. This can sometimes improve the performance of your commercial wireless network. Play around with the position and see if you notice a difference. Try to put it in a place where it avoids obstacles and reflective surfaces, like near the ceiling.

Change the antenna of your access point.Changing the actual antenna can increase signal range and performance.

Check Your Network Settings:In order for your PC or laptop to get on the wireless network it needs to be able to connect to an IP address from your wireless connection. If it can't grab the address, you will not connect. First, make sure your Internet connection is up by using this command prompt in Windows (windows key + R then type CMD enter). Then type in ping enter. This is the address for your wireless connection if you have a linksys connection. Once you ping your address, you should expect a reply back from your computer. If you get an error that says "request timed out" or "destination unreachable" that means there's a problem with the communications link.

Double check your WEP/WPA encyption keys.Wireless encryption varies depending on which type of network you are on. If you're on Windows XP, on the Association tab of your wireless network properties, make sure your network key was entered correctly and is the right one for the network you're attempting to connect to.

There is nothing more annoying than setting up a wireless network at work then having to deal with the problem of being unable to connect. Following these tips will make troubleshooting your commercial wireless network problem much easier so you and your employees can get back to work. If your network is down, don't be too quick to blame the equipment or the computer installation tech. Odds are you have a tiny problem that has been overlooked and can be fixed quickly and easily.

Chad King is CEO and President of KingPin Computers, a certified computer repair company based in Cleveland Ohio that specializes in PC and laptop repair including spyware and malware removal, software and hardware installation, data backup and recovery for residential and commercial customers throughout Northeast Ohio.
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