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Message 1 of 9

Can anyone explain this baffling puzzle with BT Total BB?

Hi All,

 

I have been a BT Total BB customer for about 7 years, and still use the model 1 Home Hub (the big white one). It has been more or less fine all this time. Up to last week I have ran 2 laptops, an XBox and an iPad, all wirelessly, from various points around the house with no major issues.

 

Last Monday I bought a new PC. It came equipped with a rather pathetic dongle-based wireless network capability. It simply didn't work. It could see my router OCCASIONALLY, but basicially it flipped from seeing "No Connections are Available" to very very weak signals from the various routers in the street. On the rare occasions when it did manage to connect to my router and let me surf, I got terrible speeds, with web pages taking minutes to appear. I'm taking 200 BYTES ps.

 

It is because of this rubbish network dongle I thought. I took the entire rig back and got a refund. Then I bought another new PC, this time with a PCI Network card: a good one: dual band, 2 ariels. go-faster stripes, the lot. Thing is, this is doing exactly the SAME THING!!

 

So I am now in a position where all my old equipment still works just fine, 5 bars, surfs fine from almost anywhere in the house, while TWO new PCs exhbit a completely flaky network, where networks appear and disappear every few minutes. I can sit the old laptop right beside the new PC, and one works solidly and the others is completely unusable!

 

Is there any rational explanation for this? Is there some capability issue between old routers (mine is the original I got when I signed up 7 years ago), and newer network cards?

 

I appeciate any help or answers! 

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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 2 of 9

Re: Can anyone explain this baffling puzzle with BT Total BB?

I would hazard a guess that you are using Vista?

 

See Wireless Help

 

Look for updates to Vista and wireless card trivers.

 

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Message 3 of 9

Re: Can anyone explain this baffling puzzle with BT Total BB?

Of the 2 older laptops that connect fine, one is Vista and one is Windows 7.

 

The 2 new PCs that do not connect are Windows 7.

 

No idea about the XBox and the iPad.

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Message 4 of 9

Re: Can anyone explain this baffling puzzle with BT Total BB?

Which version of the BT Home hub are you using?

 

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Message 5 of 9

Re: Can anyone explain this baffling puzzle with BT Total BB?

Version 1, the ancient white one. I've had the same hub for 7 years.

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Distinguished Sage
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Message 6 of 9

Re: Can anyone explain this baffling puzzle with BT Total BB?

That is the same as mine.

 

Right, look at the wireless security options and make sure that the box says "new stations are allowed automatically" is selected.

 

The home hub 1 forces MAC filtering on new devices if this is not selected.

 

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Message 7 of 9

Re: Can anyone explain this baffling puzzle with BT Total BB?

Sorry I have no idea how to do what you suggest. Do you mean the settings on the Home Hub? I cannot get logged in as admin, as the password doesn't seem to be "password".

 

Also this setting you are suggesting....would it explain why my network comes and goes? As I said I did manage to connect to it a few times, but it was very slow. Also, my old equipment can see about a dozen other routers belonging to others in teh street, while the new PC mostly see "No connections", with teh odd network appearing periodically then disappearing a few seconds later. BOTH new PCs did exactly that.

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Message 8 of 9

Re: Can anyone explain this baffling puzzle with BT Total BB?

You can reset the password on your home hub by resetting it to factory default. You do this by pressing and holding in the "wireless association" button on the back for about 20 seconds.

 

If you have never changed the wireless encryption on the home hub, then it defaults to WEP 64, which is very insecure, and not normally available on new computers as an option, without overriding some security settings.

 

When you get back into the home hub, change the security to WPA, and make sure you use a passphase which is not easy to guess.

 

See here for more info http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/38115/

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Message 9 of 9

Re: Can anyone explain this baffling puzzle with BT Total BB?

I tend to think that the comments about MAC address filtering and wireless security are a bit misleading - if these things were the problem then it would not work at all as opposed to working sporadically.

I must admit, reading your post I had exactly the same problem moving into a new house last year, my desktop PC in my room would get terrible wireless reception with constant erroring and was practically unusable whilst a laptop sat next to it was just fine. I tried a million different things and eventually bought an external wireless antenna like the one here:

 

Edimax EA-IO7D 7dBi Indoor Omni-Directional High Gain Antenna with Desktop Stand - 1m Cable

 

It solved the problem for me though I am still mystified as to what the problem is - I suspect that there is something in the environment causing interference though I don't know what. My house is of average size and fairly modern with thin walls so I would not anticipate any problems.

 

Some things to try are to move the PC right next to the hub (or vice versa, whichever is easier) and see if this improves things or borrow a wireless router from a friend, turn off all encryption and see what signal strength you get there.

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