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Telefonica internet wireless (or should I say toothless?)

Telefonica internet wireless (or should I say toothless?)

Old Jul 7th 2005, 3:17 pm
  #1  
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Default Telefonica internet wireless (or should I say toothless?)

Today I received the PCMCIA wireless internet kit from Telefonica. Followed the instructions, plugged it in and I was away within 5 minutes. Hooray! Took the notebook out on the balcony, about 7-8 metres from the router, and then came the first disappointment - no network found. Bum, that's definitely one of the things I wanted it for. OK, took it into the lounge, 4-5 metres from the router. No network found.

Took it back to its original location, now there was 100% signal strength! Great, there's only 4 inches between the computer and the router, what good is that?

Then I picked up the computer and slowly walked away from the router, having first moved it away from the wall just to be sure. Out of the room, into the corridor, and before I'm 3 metres away the signal strength plunges to 0...

Ok so this is a concrete building, but then so are 90% of the buildings in Spain. What use to anyone is a wireless interent connection that doesn't even make it into the next room???

If anyone has any tips or advice, I'd be very grateful.

cheers, Jim in Cantabria
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Old Jul 11th 2005, 8:48 am
  #2  
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Default Re: Telefonica internet wireless (or should I say toothless?)

Jim,
Your best bet is to take this query to a technical forum to find out what the issue is - it's probably something to do with your router. Search google with the name of your router (brand + model + "technical problem troubleshoot". That might well turn up a mention of any problems with your router.

On a general point, most routers have a signal field which is not spherical - many are doughnut shaped, for example, so might have good coverage on the same level, but little above or below.

Try experimenting with the alignment of any arials/transmitters sticking out of the router box and, indeed, the box itself. You may find that altering the orientation of something gives you coverage out onto your balcony, where you will finally be able to work and sup cocktails in the sun just like the marketing BS.

Keep the router away from solid walls to give as much line-of-sight chance for the field to spread.

If, after trying the above and doing some research to see if you've been sold a poor product, you might be able to get a better result by using your own router (they're not that expensive now) from a reputable firm (again, more searching for reviews) or getting a wireless relay to leapfrog the connection out to the rest of your house.

FWIW, I currently have a wireless 3Com router as part of a package from ya.com, which gives me coverage throughout our 250m2 concrete/brick house on the ground floor and basement.

Another bit of advice which comes a bit late, but is usually applicable to most countries, is never buy anything but basic telephone services from the state-affiliated telephone company. BT users seem to get a raw deal, too.

cheers,
coralsoft

Originally Posted by jimadept
Today I received the PCMCIA wireless internet kit from Telefonica. Followed the instructions, plugged it in and I was away within 5 minutes. Hooray! Took the notebook out on the balcony, about 7-8 metres from the router, and then came the first disappointment - no network found. Bum, that's definitely one of the things I wanted it for. OK, took it into the lounge, 4-5 metres from the router. No network found.

Took it back to its original location, now there was 100% signal strength! Great, there's only 4 inches between the computer and the router, what good is that?

Then I picked up the computer and slowly walked away from the router, having first moved it away from the wall just to be sure. Out of the room, into the corridor, and before I'm 3 metres away the signal strength plunges to 0...

Ok so this is a concrete building, but then so are 90% of the buildings in Spain. What use to anyone is a wireless interent connection that doesn't even make it into the next room???

If anyone has any tips or advice, I'd be very grateful.

cheers, Jim in Cantabria
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Old Jul 11th 2005, 12:43 pm
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Default Re: Telefonica internet wireless (or should I say toothless?)

Thanks for the tips, Coralsoft. After a fruitless hour on the phone to Telefonica this morning I decided to return the kit to them and am now debating whether to order a new one or to buy a third party router and card.

Turns out this building only has concrete pillars, the walls are hollow brick, and the signal gives up after only one of these. Plus we are in a flat, so the doughnut aspect should also not create any problems.

I see your point about not buying technology from telephone companies, but on the other hand if you're not very technically minded, you at least have the reassurance that everything should at least be compatible and reasonably user friendly. Plus you only have a one-stop shop for technical problems - ok that one-stop shop is useless, but it's marginally better than the one offered by Wanadoo, for example, in my experience.

My telephone 'conversation' with Telefonica was a classic this morning, I had to explain my whole story to three different people, each of which asked for my telephone number each time (what, you mean the one currently on your screen?) and then after I'd finished explaining the whole thing again, they each forwarded me to another person without warning. Each time with a 1-5 minute wait listening to their mega-irritating tune.

All I wanted was to try to find out the address where I should send the package to, but the 4th person I was connected to was the person for cancelling my subscription to ADSL. Er, no. She then put me on hold for about 15 minutes, when I gave up.

Thank God for hands-free phones, otherwise I'd have gone mad.

Jim
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Old Jul 12th 2005, 9:20 am
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Default Re: Telefonica internet wireless (or should I say toothless?)

Originally Posted by jimadept
you at least have the reassurance that everything should at least be compatible and reasonably user friendly.
Jim
You think their sales and marketing departments are not aware of that perceived benefit?

Their offerings and service levels are invariably weak because they know they'll drag in the punters because of who they are. Find a comparatively small provider who has to perform well to continue and you'll see that they get much better reviews. They can't afford to lose customers or get bad-mouthed and they can't afford to waste money on sorting out problems, so they take efforts to ensure they don't happen.

Check out other offerings and you should find a decent bit of kit bundled in. A local PC support geezer would be worth knowing, to save you a lot of wasted effort, if that's cost-effective for you.

cheers,
coralsoft
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