I'm a college student living within the dorms provided by the university. I connect to a public network that I share with my neighbors by a router that has been set up by the university itself. Such routers have been set up every 30 feet within the building, and they all have the same name.
When I connect to the network, I sometimes get an 'Excellent' signal. And then all of a sudden, it shoots down, often disconnects, and I have to patiently reconnect. I've tried moving my laptop around the room to see where I can get a stable signal, but alas, I'm so frustrated that I'm about to hammer the modem outside, quite literally.
I don't know much about how these work, but I think when the signal shoots down, my laptop is automatically connecting to the other router 30 feet away which has a lower signal strength because it has the same name? Maybe I'm wrong, but what could it possibly be?
I've tried tinkering with my WiFi card's Advanced settings and they are currently as -
802.11n Channel Width for band 2.4 - 20 Mhz Only
802.11n Channel Width for band 5.2 - Auto
802.11n Mode - Disabled
Ad Hoc Channel 802.11 b/g - 1
Ad Hoc Default Wireless Mode - 0.802.11b/g
Ad Hoc Power Management - Disabled
Ad Hoc QoS Mode - WMM Disabled
Fat Channel Intolerant - Disabled
Mixed Mode Protection - CTS-to-self Enabled
Roaming Aggressiveness - 3. Medium
Throughput Enhancement - Disabled
Transmit Power - 5. Highest
Wireless Mode - 6. 802.11a/b/g
I'm currently running Windows 7 Professional with Service Pack 1 (64-bit) and my network adapter is an Intel WiFi Link 5100 AGN.
Once again, please do keep in mind that I do *not* have any admin-access to the router I use, and cannot change its settings. The issue must be handled from within my laptop.
Any help regarding this is appreciated. This problem is not just with me but with over 20% of the population of my university, yet, they do nothing to fix it.
Based on your description it sounds as if there's some kind of interference issue. Have you tried moving closer to the AP with your laptop to see if it maintains connection? (just to rule out its not some interference issue)
Is it an open access point your connecting to? (Doesn't have any encryption; requires no password to access)
The first thing I would try is a different wireless adapter (completely disabling the internal adapter). It would be preferable if you get a USB adapter with an external antenna on it. Use it for awhile, and see if it will keep a stable connection.
When your computer drops the connection from your preferred AP, it will start scanning for other APs in the area. Since you do have more than one access point within range that has the same name, the computer will automatically connect to it, whether its your preferred AP or not since they have the same name.
A agree with the suggestion about an external wifi kit. One thing to realize is that the actual signal strength reported in Windows is NOT reception strength. It's based off of transmission. So all it means is that your wifi card can successfully transmit to the AP not the the reception is good. You may simply need to get closer or get a better antenna.