Many thanks for all the replies. I'll check out those suggestions. I did try the WPA-only trick earlier today, but couldn't connect at all with the hub then, mind you I didn't spend much time with that so it might be worth trying again.
I have to say though, I'm beginning to think that this might be a bug or conflict with Vista and Atheros WiFi, since I found a tech help site with some guy asking for help with the exact same problem that I'm having. He's using a Cisco router, but everything else matches my own experience. The tech guy helping him talked him through all sorts of steps, but they gave up in the end due to lack of time. He asked...
"I installed an E1000 router and 2 of my computers see it and can connect to the internet.
One computer says local access only . What do I need to do?"
("..- it's not usually this difficult. Something isn't working quite right...") about three-quarters of the way through.
One of the things that came up, as with me, was Vista's Network & Sharing Center showing 'unidentified network' in the connection diagram, despite contradicting itself by showing BTHub3-8RXJ in the connection listing below (and bearing in mind that the WiFi works with security switched off).
I have a headache
OK some progress: I tried again with the WPA-only option, but had the same issue as previously, namely that the connect attempt times out (according to a Windows message) before the connection can be made (despite only taking as long as it takes to enter the wireless key).
So I tried setting security to WEP, and can now get online with the laptop. This is hardly an ideal solution as WEP encryptation isn't all that secure, but on the other hand we live right out in the sticks, keep good anti-malware practice, and don't have any state secrets or embarrassing revelations on the laptop, so I guess we can live with that.
I'm still open to any suggestions as to what might be the problem with WPA-2 though.
I did not remove the BT stuff from the computer in the end, by the way, since it's installed on one of the desktops, while the problems are all to do with the laptop and its WiFi setup, which is all set up by Vista. Also I've reached that stage whereby if it works, let it be..
EDIT: Meant to add, thanks again for all your suggestions 😉
If you changed the encryption type then you must delete any existing connection setups on the laptop, and re-enter them again, otherwise it will keep using the old settings, which were setup for WEP.
1) Delete existing wireless settings on laptop
2) change home hub to WPA only
3) rescan for wireless networks, and create your connection again.
It will then use WPA encryption.
the desktops are not connecting wireless hence the bt software is not causing a wifi problem like the software does when using wifi on the laptop.
there are numerous posts on the forum where removing the bt software solved the wifi problem
I did all those things each time I made changes to the security settings. WPA still wouldn't fly though. WEP seems to be the only acceptable option.
Much earlier on I downloaded the 'latest' (i.e 2008) driver for the Atheros WiFi but it made no difference to the results.
As to BT software; I will get around to trying removing it, but I need a break away from this stuff for a day or two 😄
Well there's more about this issue: Here's another having similar problems with the Atheros AR5007 802.11b/g adapter + a Linksys router, but he seems to have found a solution that doesn't involve having to use WEP, and there is a link to a much later driver (2011) in the thread:-
The solution found there was to switch the router from 'auto' to channel 9, and use the new driver. So I shall try that in the morning. Of course it could just be the much newer driver.
I'm posting these comments as it does appear that others are having these difficulties, and might find these observations useful.
I think I am having a similar problem, assuming your using win 7 if you hover over the homehub connection on the wireless icon in the right hand corner the connection properties will come up, is it saying that it is WEP security, when you have got WPA2 turned on? I a probably barking up the wrong tree, but I would be interested to see if you have the same problem I have.