Connection Not a Vista or Dell Problem
I’ve had a lot of queries and comments about my sister Mary’s new computer and the problems I had reported with her getting online. I really want to thank everyone who offered suggestions including John, a consumer advocate with Dell Computers.I wish I could say that the problem was solved but we do have a handle on the cause which helps a little bit. Mary can connect to the Internet at her house after the purchase of a new router, but if she brings her laptop over to my home/office she needs to use a direct ethernet connection.
It’s not necessary a Dell problem or a Vista problem which was comforting since both my brother and daughter purchased new Dell laptops last month. Support on the phone from Dell wasn’t extremely helpful but they tried. A follow up exchange here with a customer advocate was a pleasant surprise although he was probably hoping I had figured out the solution. At least he could help others with the same issue and I appreciate his efforts for staying on top of things.It turns out Mary made the mistake of wanting the best. A big WiFi/Starbucks fan Mary checked off the option for best WiFi card, an Intel WiFi 4965AGN. It works fast and furious with her new Linksys WRT350N router for her apartment. Unfortunately, the Wireless-N specification is still very new and in February was still considered a “draft” spec. It turns out the Intel WiFi 4965AGN isn’t backward compatible with my Linksys WRT54GXv2 router. I temporarily disabled 802.11b on my router which helped but not enough to matter.
John from Dell tells me things will get better.
I still think it was dumb for Dell to be selling devices which are “draft” specs. No wonder Microsoft is being sued for their Vista capable hardware program. Apparently, we got some attention because I don’t see the same WiFi card available on the Dell web site. Dell explains the difference in WiFi standards on this page.
“Sorry about that Bill. Unfortunately, n is in draft phase and has just been recently approved for standard. Since it is still draft technically, I read nothing but interoperability problems on forums and tech sites everywhere. Now that the standard has passed vote (as of March 9th), hopefully these problems will be resolved in the next revision, and with it, new firmware from all vendors.”
“802.11n (also called Wireless-N) is a next-generation wireless standard that uses the transmission and receipt of multiple simultaneous data streams (called MIMO for Multiple Input, Multiple Output) to enable data throughput and range that far exceeds the single-stream capabilities of today’s 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g technologies. The final 802.11n standard is expected to be released sometime in 2008.”