Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management. Follow him on Google+. He publishes on and aNewDomain and volunteers with the Alexandria Film Festival. He is also on Linkedin. To subscribe to emailed updates about additions to this web site click here.

Wireless Access, Not Evil

By Dennis D. McDonald

I move around a lot with my laptop while I'm working at home, thanks greatly to my home wireless network. A Linksys router sits in my home office, connected to a Verizon DSL modem. On the office desk is an old Dell laptop, permanently on and hooked up to the Internet via a Linksys wireless card. A 20' network cable is plugged into the back of the router; my wife plugs in her iBook when working in the office or our bedroom. In my daughter's bedroom sits a Wireless G Network Bridge connecting her iMac via radio to the router.

Usually it all works. Recently, though, I noticed the signal dropping to my laptop on a regular basis while working in the basement during the day. (This is where I go to avoid our barking dog.)  I traced the dropped signals to my 2.4 GHz  telehone handset, one of 5 in our house, all connected via radio to the base station in the kitchen. I use the handset to make outgoing calls. As it cycles through channels it causes the laptop to lose signal, which is a hassle.

I'v purchased a cheap 900 MHz Radio Shack wireless phone to replace the 2.4 GHz handset. So far so good; no dropped signals as it doesn't interfere with the laptop's built-in wireless card. Plus, I've ordered  special "high gain" antennas for the router, to see if i can also boost signals within the house. We'll see if that helps, too.


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