No or very low airport signal at home

I have an iBook with an Airport Extreme card inside. When at school it is fully functional but when I get home the airport is either very weak or not detected. Why is this?

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When you option+click on the airport menu icon, does the information differ between your iBook and say, another computer on that wireless network? if transmit and/or rssi are drastically different then its probably definitely the iBook

by rab777hp

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Hi! Have you verified that other wireless devices do get a strong signal at home? If not, that might be worth verifying. Is the iBook's ability to get a signal in your home affected by whether or not the iBook is right next to the router, or in another room? I have a brick house and had problems when the router was downstairs, but it improved when I moved it to the main floor.

I don't know what kind of router you have, but updating to the latest firmware is always a good idea and could potentially affect performance. Also, do you have wireless phones in your house? Sometimes they can affect wireless performance, and so changing the wireless to a different channel can help.

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(This applies to rab777hp too) My router is around a year old but works with my MacBook and eMac. There is no fault with the router. I don't have any wireless phones in my house. I have the latest firmware. The signal does not improve when closer to the router. It works fine at school but very badly at home.

by QEII Student IT

What router is this?

by rab777hp

What brand/model routers are involved? I would say borrow another router to test at home. If you can replicate the problem, then you absolutely know the problem is the laptop. If you can't, and another router at home works, then that points to your router. Changing the wireless channel could be a good test. A clean OS install on the laptop could rule out software. It's a matter of ruling things out -- determine that the problem is one device or another, and then tackle that device.

by rdklinc

My router is a NETGEAR dg834g but it works with all other computers including other iBook G4s. I am certain it is the iBook that is the problem

by QEII Student IT

Then I'd try swapping out the Airport Extreme card with a known good one. Sometimes they do vary, and I've seen ones that have weak signals. It's weird that it works at school, but perhaps the router is a different brand/security setting/etc., or otherwise something about that router just makes it happier. If that doesn't work, the only other answer is to replace the Airport cable/antenna in the screen assembly, which is a painful procedure, so hopefully just swapping the card will do it.

by rdklinc

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Sounds like your home router is the problem, not the NIC in your iBook. It may be old and needing replacement.

What router do you have and how old is it?

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