Wi-Fi ?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Decapad, Sep 21, 2013.

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  1. Decapad

    Decapad Registered Member

    Dec 15, 2004
    Hi - I am far from experienced with wi-fi on the go. So would love some pro advice.
    My wife teaches at a nearby school. School has wifi but there is always connectivity problems there. I believe it disconnects & reconnects frequently. The signal strength varies all the time. The school is underfunded - so there is no ethernet available or IT dept to help. I have Optimum service at home - so I even tried to use the optimum "hot spot" and the same stuff happens. The signal is low & appears to disconnect frequently. I know the school may be a little "dead" as my wife says everybodies I Phones don't have good reception for anything.
    This drives my poor wife batty - as she tries to use internet to teach the kids and all these problems happen. Now this lap top works fine in my house - so that would appear to eliminate the laptop from being the problem. It is old though - running XP.
    So I am hoping you could recommend a course of action. Is this just the way it is when you leave your house? Should I subscribe to a separate wireless service that is dependable? If so - who? I am in Bronx, NY btw. Is there any device I should connect to the laptop to significantly boost the signal? Perhaps some settings in XP that need to be addressed?

    Thanks as always for your kind help! D:)
  2. NormanF

    NormanF Registered Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    I subscribe to CenturyLink and am running their new modem. I get 100% Internet reception in a rural area and mountains are on all sides! It isn't any worse than Internet reception in a large city with blocks of buildings! YMMV! :thumb:
  3. Techwiz

    Techwiz Registered Member

    Jan 5, 2012
    United States
    Hi Decapad,

    iPhone dilemia:
    Thinking back to personal experience, my mother worked for years in civil service. During that time, the only carrier within her area was Verizon. As an AT&T user, she had no little to no reception while at work. It wasn't until she was back in-town that reception resumed. Do you know what the primary carrier is for that area? I'd consider getting a mobile hotspot with that carrier, which she can use while at school for mobile connections. Depending on the schools location in relation to the cell tower, reception could vary. I'd speak with a representative about coverage maps for that area.

    School WiFi:
    You mentioned the school was underfunded. It would be my guess the school isn't putting much money in providing internet for the students and facility. Worse, it seems they aren't managing their network either. She could address the issue with the school. Depending on the severity, it might be a simple matter of fundraising the money each year. I've had teachers in the past that have spent their own personal time and money to help their students. Certainly not the best option, and it shames me to suggest it. Lastly, you might look at minimizing WiFi dependency. See if you can access and store online content offline prior to class. Then use the WiFi only for stuff that is not accessible otherwise.
  4. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

    Nov 30, 2007
    One option would be a USB cellular modem for the laptop if you can find a provider that has a strong signal inside the school. I'd ask the students who has a cell phone that works well inside and then find out who the provider is. Sometimes the problem is caused by the building blocking the signal - one answer for that is to get a portable "repeater" that could be used in the classroom.

    Regarding the school wifi I'd try to find a network tech who would be willing to volunteer some time to come in and troubleshoot (if the school would allow it).
  5. jonyjoe101

    jonyjoe101 Registered Member

    May 23, 2012
    united states
    get an alfa usb adapter. Either the alfa 36neh or 36 nhr. Both have little antennas that will get you a better signal but you can also connect larger cantennas or flat antennas that will triple the range of the alfas.
    I only use free wifi, and have excellent reception with the alfas, I'm talking over 1000 feet easily. Sometimes I even have to use them in the library because of there terrible wifi.
    If the alfas dont work then the school router is probably bad.
    My netbook builtin wifi might pickup 3 or 4 sites, the alfa will easily pickup 20. They are that good. There are cheaper usb adapters but the alfas are the best.
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