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Alexander: Home Wi-Fi connections can be elusive

  • Article by: STEVE ALEXANDER
  • Star Tribune
  • March 20, 2012 - 4:23 PM

QAll of our laptops and PCs work well with our home Wi-Fi network. But we're having trouble accessing the network with two new Apple products, a laptop and an iPhone 4S.

The laptop is so slow on Wi-Fi that we can't use it. The iPhone either doesn't connect to the Wi-Fi network or is unable to download information. Any thoughts?

KAREN LONE, MINNETONKA

AThere are several possible answers to the Wi-Fi problem.

Some types of wireless routers need software updates to work properly with newer iPhones and computers. Go to the manufacturer's website and search for updates for your router's model number.

Try turning off the wireless router and restarting it; this sometimes works wonders.

Read what other iPhone owners have to say. For a sampling of their issues and solutions, see tinyurl.com/6tyusyj.

You might have a weak Wi-Fi signal caused by passage through too many walls in your home. Since not all computers and phones have equally good built-in Wi-Fi antennas, a weak signal may elude them. Try moving your Apple products closer to the wireless router.

Alternatively, try boosting your home Wi-Fi signal by moving your Wi-Fi router (to the extent its cables will allow) to a different location, preferably near a doorway.

Your Wi-Fi signals might suffer from radio interference. Apple says (see tinyurl.com/768ejl7 and tinyurl.com/yfduryb) that localized interference can be caused by microwave ovens, satellite TV signal leakage, cordless phones and certain types of computer monitors. One way to reduce interference is to switch your wireless router to a different channel.

QI recently received a used Windows 7 PC as a gift. But my existing Microsoft Wireless Keyboard and Mouse 6000 v3.0, which worked well on Windows XP, freeze on the new computer. I tried moving my USB radio transmitter and changing the settings, but nothing works. What can I do?

MELODY BOLD, DELHI, CALIF.

AMicrosoft recommends downloading new software that improves performance by automatically detecting which keyboard and the mouse models you have. You can find the IntelliType 8.2 software for your keyboard at tinyurl.com/778zo2g and the IntelliPoint 8.2 software for the mouse at tinyurl.com/7arssnn.

Note: Under the "select an operating system" menu, be sure to choose the version of Windows 7 that you have, either 32-bit or 64-bit. If you're not sure, you can check by going to Start, choosing Control Panel and clicking the System icon. Look for "system type."

E-mail tech questions to steve.j.alexander@gmail.com or write to Tech Q&A, 425 Portland Av., Minneapolis, MN 55488. Include name, city and telephone number.

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