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The most daunting part of upgrading to Windows Vista may be trying to figure out where in the layers of menus the networking and file-sharing options are hidden.

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Lessons Learned in the PracticallyNetworked Forums

In the Practically Networked Discussion Forum Highlights we take a look at some of our members' computer and networking questions and provide you with an easy-to-digest overview of several ongoing or resolved networking issues.  Up for discussion and debate this week is adding in a wireless component to an existing wired network, problems with acquiring a network address with a new laptop, and also inconsistent and slow cable modem speeds.

The Practically Networked Forums Spotlight highlights several of the most active or interesting topics from the more than 20,000 posts in the Practically Networked forums. From here you can follow the links to each discussion of interest to offer your own advice, or to ask your own question to our forum members if you are in need of a little networking assistance.

Practically Networked Forum Statistics For September 4, 2007
Threads: 7,927
Posts: 26,780
Registered Members: 10,630

This Week's Highlighted Topics

Practically Networked Forums > Practically Networked > Wireless Networks

Thread:  Can't connect to Network

Forum member Ozrock is running XP Pro and uses a Netgear WGT624 which is connected to a wired hub. Added in new is a Compex WLA11A USB to my laptop and set the wireless network name and WEP numbers on the Netgear and the laptop. The laptop can see the network name but cannot connect no matter what Ozrock tries - including attaching a Compex NetPassage16 to the wired hub. Is this a WEP issue? Our forum members weigh in with advice to help Ozrock figure it out.


I have a Netgear WGT624 which is connected to a wired hub and everyone has access to the network and each other -- wired. Now I introduce a Compex WLA11A USB to my laptop and set the wireless network name and WEP numbers on the Netgear and the laptop. The laptop can see the network name but cannot connect no matter what I try. I have even taken off the WEP and still can see, but not connect.

I decided to also attach my other wireless router (Compex NetPassage16) to the wired hub to see if the WLU11A (which actually came with the NetPassage) would see the network this way. The wireless laptop did see the NetPassage but had difficulty acquiring an IP address. In the end it said it would connect with Limited or No Access. It does show as connected in 'Network Connections' but without a Network IP number.

It seems that the Laptop WLU11A USB will only work with its NetPassage 'mother' and not the Netgear, which is fine with me, as long as I can get to the network. The problem is how do I get the laptop a Network IP number it will recognize so it will give me full access to my network.

The windows status is a bit misleading. Limited or No Access really means no access at all. It means the WLU11A USB has found the wireless network and associated with it but an IP address is refused by the DHCP server in the WGT624 router. Normally this is caused by using an incorrect WEP pass code, but you seem to have checked this by disabling WEP.

It would be helpful to connect the laptop wired to check you can get an IP that way.


AH HAAAAAAAAA. I went into the NP16 Setup and re assigned the WEP then changed it to reflect that on the Laptop and whammo.. There it was!

All the IP's on both hubs are still the same as in the previous post.  Nothing else was touched except the WEP reassignment.I now have another problem which is not wireless related so will post it in the correct place if I can find it.

An over view is..
All boxes can connect and have access to each other except one box which can access out but won't allow access in, even though they can see the dir structure. The message is something like.. The so and so dir is not accessible. You may not have permission etc. The enough server storage is available for this command.

It is the same message on all boxes who try access this one. I will re post now.

Practically Networked Forums > Practically Networked > Wireless Networks
Thread: Second Laptop Added - Now First Won't Acquire Network Address

Forum member Pete is on a home network with an SMC router; three wired PCs and one wireless laptop. When a new laptop was added in the setup went fairly well, but there is usually always at least one exception. In Pete's case, when the new laptop is connected the older one doesn't want to acquire a network address any more. Using  Network Connection Repair didn't seem to help and right now Pete can only use the older laptop on the network if the new one is turned off. Starting out by asking Pete to ensure the router's built-in DHCP server is not configured for just four IP addresses, our members offer some very useful tips to get Pete rolling with three PCs and two laptops.

I have a home network with an SMC router, 3 wired desktops and a wireless laptop. Just got my son a laptop for graduation. No problem with setup, including WPA - he was able to connect to the network fairly quickly. However, whenever the new laptop is connected, my laptop won't acquire a network address. Network connection Repair doesn't fix it. The only way to connect the old one is to turn off the new one.

The new laptop never has a problem connecting, even when the old one is connected. Any thoughts?
 Sooner Al
Any chance the routers built-in DHCP server is only configured for four (4) IP addresses? Log into the router to see. You also may need to simply reset the router...
Still having the same problem, but with one correction. The new laptop also has difficulty acquiring a network address when the old laptop is up and running.

The problem is somewhat sporadic. I mean it happens most of the time, but sometimes it does not.

I'm using WPA, and I tried a number of different channels, but to no avail.
You should probably verify your allotted DHCP assignment range on your router and maybe troubleshoot with the wireless encryption disabled.

Practically Networked Forums > Practically Networked > Routers/Hardware

Thread: Extremely Inconsistent Speeds when using a router

Forum member Deluxe8520 is on a cable modem connect, which is also connected to a router. Independant of a wired or wireless connection, Deluxe8520 experieces wildly inconsistent speeds - as low as 1mbps up to 12.5 mbps. Deluxe8520 and other forum members offer up some excellent tips on what to investigate to find out what is causing your cable slowdown.

Okay I have a cable modem(max 15mbps down) connected to a router. When I am connected to the router(wired or wirelessly) the speed is extremely inconsistent...average is around 6mbps...but goes as low as 1mbps and as high as 12.5mbps. When the speed decreases it stays there for a while and theres nothing I can do to speed up the connection. I then check the speed with no other apps running and no downloads or streaming in progress.

I know I am the only one connected to the router(I have wpa2 encyption and check the router to see I am the only one logged on). I have no viruses, spyware, or trojans.

I know for a fact its the router and not the ISP because whenever the broadband speed is slow I connect directly to the modem and its 12-15mbps every time.

I would be forever grateful for any help to get my speed over 10mbps consistently when using the router. I am going mad trying to fix this...
Hi! A few questions:

1)Brand name of router and how old is it?

2)Computer brand / model

3)Anti-Virus / Anti-Spyware you deployed on your computer

4)Have you tried to uninstall / reinstall the network card?

5)What possible interference is there?
I ran into something similar myself with a damaged coax cable where the cable modem just would not sync up altogether.
Hey guys thanks for the responses. Well it turns out it wasn't the router after all. Turns out the main cable wire into my house was over 30 years old and was picking up interference. Well the cable guy came and replaced the main cable into my house and now my connection is clocking in at 13-15mbps with the router every time.
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