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problem with neighbour's wireless connection

fredandsarah
Newbie
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎05-02-2009

problem with neighbour's wireless connection

I'm having a problem with my wireless connection ever since a neighbour also got wireless broadband.
I have a DSL-2640B wirelss ADSL2+ modem router which I got from Plusnet, and an Edimax IEEE 802.11g turbo mode wireless LAN USB adapter.
I have my connection set up so it doesn't connect automatically, but I type the password into a Ralink Wireless Utility window when I want to connect. I want it this way so that I can choose not to be connected to the internet if I don't want to be. I usually have no problems getting a very good signal.
Now I find that my Ralink Wireless Utility window sometimes also shows the neighbour's wireless connection.( I presume she doesn't have it on all the time.)  When her connection is displayed, my computer is already connected to it when I go to log on. Presumably she has no password protection on her connection. I've told her about this and suggested she get some protection, but as far as I know she has done nothing about it.
Sometimes I can simply log on to mine and the link switches to my connection. But sometimes this doesn't happen and I can't make a connection. I've tried rebooting, but sometimes I have to do this 3 or 4 times before I can get a connection. Her signal is too weak to be usable, and mine is also usually weaker than it is when her connection is not listed.
When I've tampered before with my connection, I've got things into a mess and had a lot of trouble getting the connection back, so I want to know what I can do about this without creating other problems.
I'd be very grateful for any help.
15 REPLIES
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 19,302
Thanks: 2,173
Fixes: 353
Registered: ‎11-01-2008

Re: problem with neighbour's wireless connection

Sounds like you are both on the same wireless channel, you should be able to change yours in the router config panel.

Customer / Moderator / If it helped click the thumb / If it fixed it click 'This fixed my problem'

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,576
Thanks: 3
Registered: ‎13-04-2007

Re: problem with neighbour's wireless connection

Download netstumbler free from
http://www.netstumbler.com/
This will show you who is on and what channel they are using
VileReynard
All Star
Posts: 11,206
Thanks: 307
Fixes: 11
Registered: ‎01-09-2007

Re: problem with neighbour's wireless connection

There are only 3 channels to try - 1, 6 and 11.

fredandsarah
Newbie
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎05-02-2009

Re: problem with neighbour's wireless connection

Many thanks for all these replies which are all helpful, especially combined together.
It seems like a good idea to analyse the problem first with netstumbler, and that should give me some idea what I need to change it to.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎10-08-2007

Re: problem with neighbour's wireless connection

When I read the title of the thread I thought you meant this type of problem  Crazy
paulby
Grafter
Posts: 1,619
Registered: ‎26-07-2007

Re: problem with neighbour's wireless connection

It's nothing really to do with the channel that's causing you to connect to your neighbour!  You need to stop your PC from automatically connecting to an available network.
To do this you to need right click on your wireless icon,  select properties and then go to the wireless networks tab.  (Or go to Control Panel >  Network Connections, right click on your wireless connection and select "properties")
In the list of preferred networks under "Automatically Connect to available networks in the order listed below" select your neighbour's network then hit  "Remove" and "OK" (see screenshot attached).
This assumes you're using Xp.  There will be a similar set of steps for Vista that will disable automatically connecting to an availble network.
fredandsarah
Newbie
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎05-02-2009

Re: problem with neighbour's wireless connection

Thanks, Paul03
Yes, I'm on XP
I tried following what you said, but I don't have that middle tab with "Wireless networks" at the top so I can't find the list of preferred networks
paulby
Grafter
Posts: 1,619
Registered: ‎26-07-2007

Re: problem with neighbour's wireless connection

Are you sure that your're right clicking on the *wireless* connection and not the standard Local Area connection?
Try going to Control Panel > Network Connections and right clicking on the Wireless Network icon.
Alternatively, right click on the wireless icon in the system tray and select "View Available Networks" then click on "Change the order of preferred networks" (see screenshot).  That should now bring up the screen in my previous post.
The above assumes that you're using the standard Windows wireless networking tools and not a third party tool.
Superuser
Superuser
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Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: problem with neighbour's wireless connection

Quote
The above assumes that you're using the standard Windows wireless networking tools and not a third party tool.

I think that might be the problem ...
Quote
Now I find that my Ralink Wireless Utility window

Try disabling the Ralink utility and using the Windows wireless tools as Paul03 suggests...
fredandsarah
Newbie
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎05-02-2009

Re: problem with neighbour's wireless connection

Thanks again, Paul03 and also MisterW. I think you have guessed correctly that I must be using a third party tool. When I right click on the wireless icon in the system tray I get a message that says "Windows cannot configure this wireless connection. If you have enabled another program to manage this wireless connection, use that software" and refers me to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/871122
I'm a bit reluctant to dabble with disabling Ralink as I think I did this once before and couldn't get my connection back. Without it, I couldn't ask for help either.  Also I haven't had the problem for about 5 days so I suppose I'm hoping it has gone away. I'd still like to be sure of what to do if it causes problems again though.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,576
Thanks: 3
Registered: ‎13-04-2007

Re: problem with neighbour's wireless connection

Dont disable the Ralink utility as being a OEM util its designed for use with its own product. Keep your eye on netstumbler and see who is on in the area. You will often find that people only go on once a week or that someone has had a problem and changed their channel
paulby
Grafter
Posts: 1,619
Registered: ‎26-07-2007

Re: problem with neighbour's wireless connection

@fredandsarah
You could have a look in your Ralink settings to see if there is an option similar to that in the Microsoft tool which allows you to not connect automatically to an available network (i.e. remove it from your preferred networks).
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 6,971
Thanks: 1,001
Fixes: 61
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: problem with neighbour's wireless connection

@fredandsarah,
Having had a quick look at the Ralink Utility manual , I think you need to create a 'profile' for your network and activate it.
Hopefully that should make the Utility attempt to connect to your network rather than the first available network.
Hope that helps.
fredandsarah
Newbie
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎05-02-2009

Re: problem with neighbour's wireless connection

Many thanks everyone. I'll try creating a profile and see if that helps. Meanwhile, I've still had no recurrence of the problem so it's just possible they have changed their channel anyway. I'm keeping my fingers crossed about that.