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Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Solving Wireless Hardware Issues

With the decrease in price of wireless hardware, they are becoming more popular in mid-sized offices. It is both easy to use and economical. However, it is beneficial only till things are fine. If things go wrong, then troubleshooting becomes a hassle. Following are few of the common problems that can cause a wireless network failure.

Problem with access point
If you have one access point and one wireless client and you have connection issues then you can understand that your client has a problem in connecting to the network. However, if you have multiple access points and multiple wireless clients out of which some are not able to connect to the network, then this indicates that there is problem in the access point. To confirm this, perform a communication test to check if the access point is responding. If it is not responding then either there us a break in communication link or access point is completely dysfunctional.
Configuration Issues
Majorly, networking equipments are quiet reliable and problems mostly happens in network configuration rather than hardware malfunction. Configuration problems can lead to weak signal strength. To rectify this, you can change channels on access point to see if switching to a different channel helps.

Service Set Identifier (SSID)
If you go to a different place, where you use the wireless network on your device, when you come back to your place you will not be able to access your wireless network if you forget to reset the SSID back to your own network identifier. This happens because your SSID is not able to specify the correct access point and your device will simply ignore the available access point and search for the specified (previous) access point.

Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) Key
If WEP is not configured correctly, you will not be able to ping your access point from a wireless client. In order to make WEP function properly, all settings between access point and client should match exactly. WEP configuration issue can be tricky at times because it gives an illusion of a more serious damage (hardware failure mostly). If it is configured incorrectly, wireless client will not be able to get an IP address from the built-in DHCP server. If the wireless client is meant to use static IP address, it won’t be able to and as a result, client will not be able to ping the IP address of the access point. This gives an illusion that connection does not exists at all.

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