Wireless Troubleshooting Guide

Intermittent Connectivity, Slow Connection

  • Make sure you have a strong signal, move to an area with a stronger wireless signal.
  • Radio Frequency (RF) interference can be a major cause for poor wireless performance. Devices such as cordless telephones and microwave ovens are sources of RF interference. Other unauthorized wireless routers operating on the same frequency range can also cause RF interference. If possible, log and identify the devices are in use around the area when the connectivity issues occur.
  • The access point (AP) is a shared medium and acts as a wireless hub. Therefore, a large number of users on an individual AP degrades performance. Move to a less busy area.
  • Obtain and install the most recent version of the wireless network adapter driver.

Repeated Authentication

  • Make sure you have a strong signal, move to an area with a stronger wireless signal
  • Obtain and install the most recent version of the wireless network adapter driver.
  • Disable any power saving features on the wireless card. If you have an Intel Pro/Wireless adapter, please see the Intel’s support website on how to disable this feature. http://support.intel.com/support/wireless/wlan/sb/cs-006205.htm

Signal Strength

  • Poor signal strength leads to intermittent connection. Obstacles, such as walls, metals can absorb or reflect RF energy and can reduce signal strength. Move to an area with a stronger wireless signal.

AP Load

  • The access point (AP) is a shared medium and acts as a wireless hub. A large number of users on an individual AP may degrade wireless performance. Move to a less busy area.

Wireless Card Driver

  • Some performance issues can be fixed by installing an updated wireless card driver.

Radio Frequency (RF) Interference

  • RF interference can be a major cause for poor wireless performance. Devices such as cordless telephones, microwaves ovens and bluetooth devices are sources of RF interference. Other unauthorized wireless routers operating on the same frequency range can also cause RF interference. If possible, disable any bluetooth devices or cordless phones temporarily when troubleshooting performance issues.

5Ghz Channel

  • Some areas offer 802.11n coverage (2.4 and 5 Ghz channels). 5 Ghz is less susceptible to RF interference. If supported, set your wireless card to prefer 5Ghz channel. Refer to the list of wireless locations for the 802.11h in coverage.

Updates and Hotfixes

  • Make sure that you have installed the latest security patches or hotfixes available from the manufacturer included updates and patches for your wireless client utility.

Power Save Mode

  • Power Save Polling (PSP) may cause connectivity issues with some wireless devices. Disable any power saving features on the wireless card when troubleshooting performance issues. If you have an Intel Pro/Wireless adapter, please see the Intel's support website on how to disable this feature. http://support.intel.com/support/wireless/wlan/sb.cs-006205.htm

Wireless Card Driver

For additional troubleshooting information, please contact the IST Help & Solutions Centre and report the following:

  • Description of the problem
  • Date, time and location when attempting to connect to the wireless network
  • Laptop’s wireless MAC address
  • OS Platform
  • UMnetID


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