The ranting of an IT Professional

Aug 14 2008   7:42PM GMT

Troubleshooting wireless networks

Jason Tramer Jason Tramer Profile: Jason Tramer


Wireless networks are getting more and more common and with good reason, they are damn useful, particularly when you get a lot of guests or vendors who visit your office. However they can be an absolute pain in the butt to troubleshoot. Part of this is because in a 9 times of 10 the person installing it buys the cheapest linksys or d-link wireless router they can find and installs it with the standard settings so you end up have 15 networks in proximity all with the same name and all on the same channel. It also  seems that some people  don’t see the correlation between the 2.4 ghz router they bought and all those cordless phones in their office that say 2.4 ghz on them. Plus why don’t some people realize that security could be important. To quote one of my co-workers “God bless the people who don’t realize they should put some form of security on their wireless networks because otherwise I would have to pay for internet at home”, great for your neighbours, bad for your network.

So there is a bunch of stuff that can go wrong but how do you make it right? Well I like to use a little tool called Net Stumbler. A great tool which shows you all the networks in proximity, their names, which channel they are on, their signal strength, whether or not they are secure and what type encryption they are using. Take it from me, it is a god send when troubleshooting wireless network issues.

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  • Suzanne Wheeler
    I wonder what my neighbors think when they see the Mad Scientists Local #317 in their view of available networks? I see a belkin and a linksys in my list usually, and sometimes the nursey's connection that has an odd name. At least they have basic security, though. No free connection for me!
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