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Resolved Question about wireless or wi-fi card

Discussion in 'Networking (Hardware & Software)' started by sandilew, 2015/04/07.

  1. 2015/04/07
    sandilew Lifetime Subscription

    sandilew Well-Known Member Thread Starter

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    Hello,

    I recently bought a USB WI-FI Tower antenna to extend my wi-fi reception so I can use my tablet outside during the Summer.

    The instructions that came with the tower tell me to make sure my computer does not already have a wireless or wi-fi card installed, or there would be a conflict when trying to use this tower. I did not know of that possibility before purchasing the tower.

    My computer is brand new, having had it for only a couple weeks now, and the information that came with it states there is an PH WLAN 892.11 b/g/n 1x1 MCard BT as part of the computer. I don't fully understand if that is the "wireless card" I am being warned about, or something else?

    I know some basics about a computer as I've been using one for quite some time, but when it comes to the "guts" I don't really understand most of it except if it means bigger or faster, etc.

    My question is, do I have a built-in wireless card, or will I safely be able to plug in my Wi-Fi tower to extend my wireless connection? I use a wireless router, but my computer is connected directly to it. My printer, and Kindle tablet are wirelessly connected.

    I hope I'm making sense here, but when it comes to this wireless stuff I really am a dunce.:confused:

    Thanks for any help you can give me,
    Sandie
     
  2. 2015/04/07
    MrBill

    MrBill SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    Unplug the cord to the router. Do Not plug in the one you just got and see if the PC picks up the Router.
     

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  4. 2015/04/08
    Arie

    Arie Administrator Administrator Staff

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    There is usually a switch (in the case of a laptop) or a BIOS setting (in case of a desktop) to switch off the wireless card.
     
    Arie,
    #3
  5. 2015/04/08
    TonyT

    TonyT SuperGeek Staff

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    Yes, your new computer has built in wifi. Do as Arie suggested above or go to Network & Sharing Center > on left Change adapter settings > right click wifi icon > select disable.
     
  6. 2015/04/08
    sandilew Lifetime Subscription

    sandilew Well-Known Member Thread Starter

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    Hello,

    And thank you Mr. Bill, Arie, and TonyT.

    I did unplug my computer from the router, and YES it automatically found the wireless connection, and here I am, on the Internet.

    I understand that you people are far more knowledgeable and experienced in these matters, than I am, but I will be honest with you, I am afraid to "turn off" the wireless connection, because in the directions that came with the wi-fi tower, it did not say you could bypass the built in card in any way. It stated specifically that if your computer had a built in card, DO NOT install the tower software, because it would cause a conflict. So I am thinking it doesn't matter if I am connected wirelessly or not, if I turn the card off, it could still cause a conflict. So I am really afraid I might cause some damage if I went ahead and used this little work-around, especially as I've only had the computer for a little over 2 weeks, and I am terrified of doing anything that might cause a problem, even a slight one.

    I guess I am assuming the maker of the tower knows what problems it could cause, so I will just do as they say. But I have learned something I did not know about before, so I thank all of you for coming to my aid.

    I want to add - if either Arie or TonyT have used either work around to install a tower to amplify the signal, and had no problems, then please let me know. If that is the case, and you have first hand knowledge that either suggestion will work without causing a conflict, then I will try what you have suggested. But I would feel much better if I knew you had first-hand experience with doing this yourself.


    Sandie
     
    Last edited: 2015/04/08
  7. 2015/04/08
    Arie

    Arie Administrator Administrator Staff

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    Post the make/model and we can have a look.
     
    Arie,
    #6
  8. 2015/04/08
    lj50 Lifetime Subscription

    lj50 SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    HP Envy Desktop-700-500Z CTO. P/N K6V70AV. One of two Cards HP WLAN 802.11 b/g/n 1x1 MCard BT or HP WLAN 802.11 ac 2x2 DB MCard BT WIDI. Possibility of an upgrade to a card not listed in the product configurator. HP Envy Desktop-700-500Z CTO
     
    Last edited: 2015/04/08
    lj50,
    #7
  9. 2015/04/08
    Arie

    Arie Administrator Administrator Staff

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    Sorry, I men the details of the USB WI-FI Tower antenna.
     
    Arie,
    #8
  10. 2015/04/08
    sandilew Lifetime Subscription

    sandilew Well-Known Member Thread Starter

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    Hello Arie,

    The tower antenna is Ideaworks USB wi-fi tower antenna, Model RET7183, manufactured for Jobar International, Inc. Carson, CA

    The card in my PC is HP WLAN 802 11 b/g/n 1x1 MCard BT

    I never even thought of asking someone at HP, so a short while ago, I posted the question there too, but so far, have not heard from them.

    Sandie
     
  11. 2015/04/08
    Arie

    Arie Administrator Administrator Staff

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    Yea, the best is to switch off the wireless on the pc you are using it with, so you can be sure you are using the Wi-Fi tower & not the build-in adapter.
     
  12. 2015/04/08
    sandilew Lifetime Subscription

    sandilew Well-Known Member Thread Starter

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    Hello Arie,

    So I can simply change the settings in Network & Sharing by turning off wi-fi connection on the computer, and it will still connect because it is hard wired into the router? Then go ahead and install the tower so I can get signal outside for my tablet?

    Just trying to clarify everything.

    BTW, the response I got from HP was that I should call my DSL provider and ask them for a booster, or router that would produce a stronger signal. My DSL provider (Verizon) did install a new router just last Spring, and said it would make a stronger signal for wi-fi reception, but I was still not able to connect my tablet outside on the patio. I believe if they had something with a stronger signal they would have provided me with it, or should have.

    Sandie
     
  13. 2015/04/09
    TonyT

    TonyT SuperGeek Staff

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    To clarify how to disable the built in wifi:

    Go to Network & Sharing Center.
    On the lft side, click on "Change adapter settings ".
    There will be several adapters displayed. Right click on the built in wifi icon and select "Properties ". A menu will pop up. Click on "Disable ".

    Better reception:

    The best way to increase the range of the wifi router is to use better antennas. The default Verizon DSL wifi router is not very good. It's probably made by Actiontec or Westel. These routers may have removable antennas. You can get replacements. 8 to 10 dB antennas will do wonders.
     
  14. 2015/04/09
    sandilew Lifetime Subscription

    sandilew Well-Known Member Thread Starter

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    Hello TonyT,

    Oddly enough, last spring I had just purchased a new router that was advertised to have a stronger signal strength, but just at that time, my DSL was running so slow I had to call and complain, because I was not able to stream anything because of it, and it went on for days. Nearly 2 weeks actually. Verizon sent out a repair man, and he installed this new Actiontec Router. I told him I had a new router I could use, and he told me they prefer their own routers, so he hooked up the Actiontec, and since then I will admit, I've not had any problems streaming to my TV, which just happens to be in the same room as the computer, and no more than 25' away.

    OK, I've dissabled the wi-fi in Network Connections and will attempt to install the wi-fi tower some time today. It may be a day or two before I can get back to let you know if this worked OK or not, as we are having freezing rain at this very moment, with more rain predicted throughout the day and tonight. And I want to be able to go out to the patio to see if the tower is even working or not, which I can't really do right now. Will get back to you by the end of the week, I promise.

    Thanks for all the help. Every time I have a computer question, I come to you guys first, because someone is ALWAYS so willing to help, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate that.

    Sandie
     
  15. 2015/04/09
    TonyT

    TonyT SuperGeek Staff

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    After reading a bit about that antenna, you should probably NOT disable your laptop's wifi adapter. That product is ONLY an antenna, it does not appear to have it's own wifi adapter. It connects to the laptop via USB cable and somehow interfaces with your existing wifi adapter. You'll probably have to install a driver for it, it probably has a cd bundled with it.

    Which model Actiontech router is it?
     
  16. 2015/04/09
    sandilew Lifetime Subscription

    sandilew Well-Known Member Thread Starter

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    Hello TonyT

    Yes, it is only a wi-fi antenna, that connects to your computer via USB, and it does come with a CD to install the drivers for it to work.

    I don't have a laptop, only a desktop and a Kindle Fire tablet. The instructions that came with the antenna said that if your computer had a wireless or wi-fi CARD built in, there would be compatibility problems, so do NOT install the drivers or hook it up.

    I did post this in the beginning, so when I was instructed to disable the wi-fi connection on my desktop computer, I assumed that anyone giving me that advice had read what I had written earlier, and as I was advised to disable the wi-fi connection, that is what I have done.

    I have NOT YET installed the software for the tower, nor have I plugged the tower into the USB port yet. I could not test it now anyway as the weather is so bad.

    I may just toss the darn thing out and chock it up to a "learning experience" and go buy a small antenna I can plug right into my Kindle that will pick up the signal. It sounds like it would be easier and safer all around anyway.

    Sandie
     
  17. 2015/04/10
    TonyT

    TonyT SuperGeek Staff

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    You won't be able to get an antenna for the kindle. Your best bet is to increase the range of the router by replacing its antenna with larger ones. Or use a better quality router.
     
  18. 2015/04/10
    sandilew Lifetime Subscription

    sandilew Well-Known Member Thread Starter

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    Thank you

    So, are you saying it would be safer not to install the wi-fi tower antenna on my desktop, or is that still a safe possibility?

    Sandie
     
  19. 2015/04/10
    TonyT

    TonyT SuperGeek Staff

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    I don't understand why you would want the usb tower connected to the desktop. What you want is to be able to use your tablet on the patio and elsewhere greater distances from the wifi modem-router, correct?

    Using the tower with the desktop won't increase the range of the wifi-router, it will increase the range of the desktop. I do not believe that the tower is intended to "extend" your entire wifi network, it extends the range of the computer it is connected to. Your desktop does have wifi capability but it does not use wifi since it's connected by wire to the router.

    Your kindle does not get its wifi signal from the desktop, it gets it from the wifi router. What you need to do is increase the range of your wifi router. This is best done in these ways:

    1. better antennas on the wifi router or
    2. better wifi router or
    3. wifi range extender (your best option)

    Netgear Wifi Range Extenders

    Linksys Range Extenders
     
  20. 2015/04/11
    sandilew Lifetime Subscription

    sandilew Well-Known Member Thread Starter

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    Hello Tony,

    I think I must have completely misunderstood what the wi-fi tower antenna that I purchased, was intended for. It was advertised that it would extend my wi-fi reach for up to 1/2 mile, and since I only wanted it to reach the back yard, I assumed it was what I was looking for. I will admit I've had no previous experience with these products, so I really didn't know what I way buying. That seems woefully obvious to me now. The advertisement also never mentioned it would not work with a PC that came with a wi-fi care already installed, so that caught me off balance too.

    After you last post, I now understand much better what you have been saying, and I apologize for being so dense in the first place. I did look at the wifi range extenders, and I will most definitely be purchasing one of those. I am bookmarking the site so I won't forget or lose them.

    Thank you so much for your patience and for explaining to me why my USB wi-fi tower antenna was the wrong product for what I needed. I am so glad that when I suspected there would be a problem with it, that I came here for answers. I believe you have fully answered my question now, and set me on the right track to success.

    Thank you so very much,
    Sandie
     
  21. 2015/04/11
    TonyT

    TonyT SuperGeek Staff

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    Very good.
    Come back to this thread and report the status of your range extender when you get one.
     

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