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Standard User dsf58
(newbie) Sun 04-Mar-12 22:11:30
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WiFi Internet Access in Nursing Home


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My Mother has recently had to go into residential care. The home we chose claimed wi-fi throughout - great for Skype and BBC Listen Again / IPlayer etc. But..

The room is, I think, in its own dead spot. I get the "4 or 5 bars", but with a yellow triangle superimposed and the message "No Internet Access". Moving to a different part of the building (sometimes) solves the problem.

The home is part of a group and there is no IT support on-site

Using the Xirrus Wi-fi Monitor reveals that for the home there is a single SSID that has 4 BSSIDs (all WPA/PSK, TKIP) associated with it.

Cisco Linksys:nn:nn:nn 802.11g Channel 10
Cisco Linksys:nn:nn:nn 802.11g Channel 2
Cisco Linksys:nn:nn:nn 802.11g Channel 9
Draytek:nn:nn:nn 802.11n Channel 6,2

(nn:nn:nn is different for each line above)

Windows 7 Home Premium (by default) only offers the first of these (with a RSSI of -66dBm)

Any suggestions as to what I might do before I start pestering head office or buying extra kit? Please keep any suggestions relatively jargon free - just because I quote stuff (and have got wi-fi working at home) above does not necessarily mean I understand it - I just expect that it might be useful to others! In particular I do not really understand the difference between repeaters, extenders etc.

I am told that the router is in the telephone switch cupboard and is not accessible - so hard wiring is not possible.

TIA
David
Standard User Pipexer
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 04-Mar-12 22:52:30
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Re: WiFi Internet Access in Nursing Home


[re: dsf58] [link to this post]
 
I would suggest, in the first instance, you run an "ipconfig /all" on the laptop and determine whether it's picking up an IP address and DNS settings etc.

If it is connecting and you have a couple of bars, it would suggest the signal strength is OK - it could be a case of the wireless access point in there is misconfigured etc.

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Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Mon 05-Mar-12 11:43:28
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Re: WiFi Internet Access in Nursing Home


[re: dsf58] [link to this post]
 
Connected but no internet access generally means they is a login / terms and condition page where you need to sign in.
When it is connected to the wireless open a webpage to anywhere, and it should redirect to a landing page.

If all that fails I'd suggest buying mum a MiFi dongle assuming 3G coverage, and this should give her private internet access.

Andrew Ferguson, andrew@thinkbroadband.com
www.thinkbroadband.com - formerly known as ADSLguide.org.uk
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.


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Standard User philippercival
(committed) Mon 05-Mar-12 11:58:49
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Re: WiFi Internet Access in Nursing Home


[re: dsf58] [link to this post]
 
It may be worth asking the home if you can connect a homeplug to their router and then put the second in your Mother's room. This would give her a better connection for things like skype and Iplayer.

If the internet is vital to her life (it would be to mine) then you could also have a phone line installed in her room and have it activated for broadband.
Standard User dsf58
(newbie) Mon 05-Mar-12 13:05:11
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Re: WiFi Internet Access in Nursing Home


[re: dsf58] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by dsf58:
>> Moving to a different part of the building (sometimes) solves the problem. <<


Thanks for the thoughts to date. However the fact that I can get a connection (with Skype, Internet browsing AV update etc. - even iPlayer) if I move to another part of the building would imply that it is not a log-in problem - but something to do with the strength of the signal (?) - although I am confused by getting 4 or 5 bars - which to me implies that I am getting a connection through to the router, but the yellow triangle implies no internet connection?

The Windows trouble-shooter option ends up telling me to reboot the router - to which I do not have access (and which I suspect is like the old PC support default advice to "switch of and then back on again" - i.e. they don't know!).

I will check the ipconfig /all option when I next visit.

In the end I could see if the home would let me put in a dedicated line - but that is additional expense and the home advertises wi-fi throughout - before doing that I want to rattle their cage. But I want to make sure first that there is not a configuration tweak on my mother's laptop (selecting a channel?) that will solve the problem. I would also like to be able to push them towards a solution that is likely to work.

David
Standard User john2007
(legend) Mon 05-Mar-12 14:33:55
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Re: WiFi Internet Access in Nursing Home


[re: dsf58] [link to this post]
 
Can't they move your mum to a room where wifi works. If they claim wifi throughout and use it to tout for business the nursing home really ought to be sorting this.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Mon 05-Mar-12 15:07:56
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Re: WiFi Internet Access in Nursing Home


[re: dsf58] [link to this post]
 
How big is the place, if more than the usual 2 or 3 bedroom place, then there is probably multiple access points, and just one has fell over, i.e. switch it off and back on to reboot it

Have seen this in hotels, and a quick reboot has helped, do ask in most places first.

Andrew Ferguson, andrew@thinkbroadband.com
www.thinkbroadband.com - formerly known as ADSLguide.org.uk
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User dsf58
(newbie) Mon 05-Mar-12 17:00:50
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Re: WiFi Internet Access in Nursing Home


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by MrSaffron:
How big is the place, if more than the usual 2 or 3 bedroom place, then there is probably multiple access points, and just one has fell over, i.e. switch it off and back on to reboot it

Have seen this in hotels, and a quick reboot has helped, do ask in most places first.

Thanks

(c. 70 Beds in a modern building over three floors with wide straight corridors. BTW in a very dead area for good TV reception - no channel 5 or freeview (yet) - and variable mobile phone reception! Which limits ultimate alternatives.)

Well I was wondering along these lines (multiple APs - although I have been told "the kit" is in the telphone cupboard, which is three breeze block and one partition wall away on the same floor) - hence the details of the Xirrus WiFi Monitor output in the OP. Although the ones I detect are I guess (by definition) working! (I add the RSSI (dBm) to the quote below)

Cisco Linksys:nn:nn:nn 802.11g Channel 10 -66dBm
Cisco Linksys:nn:nn:nn 802.11g Channel 2 -72dBm
Cisco Linksys:nn:nn:nn 802.11g Channel 9 -77dBm
Draytek:nn:nn:nn 802.11n Channel 6,2 -72dBm


Presumably the above implies multiple access points?

When there are multiple access points for a single SSID, is it possible (in Win 7 Home Premium) to specify which channel you want to use for connection? I am wondering if the channel that connects by default might be "too buzy" - possibly have a fire alarm system on it or something (or another resident permanently streaming video!)

Asking them to reboot the router/what-ever is however something to "put on the list".

thanks again
David
Standard User dsf58
(newbie) Mon 05-Mar-12 17:07:36
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Re: WiFi Internet Access in Nursing Home


[re: john2007] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by john2007:
Can't they move your mum to a room where wifi works. If they claim wifi throughout and use it to tout for business the nursing home really ought to be sorting this.

Possibly, but the room is otherwise ideal with a good view over open countryside (rather than onto a steep bank or the local ugly PFI hospital) and is close to the dining room etc. (I chose it!)

The delivery of advertised service is the lever that I will use, but when your Mother is in the home you don't want to get a reputation for being an awkward *** (it could impact on their attitude to my mother), hence I would like to apply "helpful pressure" with some suggestions for improving the situation. If it sounds as if I have "some clue" it is also less likely that I will get fobbed off.

David
Standard User manonbus
(regular) Tue 06-Mar-12 14:17:27
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Re: WiFi Internet Access in Nursing Home


[re: dsf58] [link to this post]
 
Download INSSIDER from http://www.metageek.net/support/downloads/
on to a laptop

This program will show Signal strength, Channel number, and Router Name ( The SSID) available in a location

Take the laptop near to the router in the cuboard - the resulting increase in signal strength will identifiy the router name.

Return to your mums room and use inssider to find the strongest /best spot to locate her computer. With a bit of luck this may be all you need to do,

(Round my house the signal strength can vary by a factor of 4)

If all this fails ask the home to move the router away from the phone box to a seperate cuboard - if not ask them to move the router nearer the front of the cuboard (and away from the phone lines which will at the back of the cuboard)

It is of course possible that your mums room is at the edge of the building and is picking up a neighbours signal on the same channel. Inssiders display will then show two signals on the same channel which are of equal strength.

Hope this helps
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