Q

It takes a long time (3-5 minutes) for my computer to recognize the wireless connection (or router).

I have a linksys wireless "b" connection to the Internet for my desktop computer. In the morning, when I first

turn my computer "on," it takes a long time (3-5 minutes) for the computer to recognize the wireless connection (or router). The icons, etc. come up on the screen quickly for all of my programs. But there is a long delay before the computer acknowledges connection to the wireless network. The distance from the router to the desktop is about 20-22 feet in adjoing rooms (no thick walls).

Please advise. What can I do to speed up this initial connection?
I'm guessing that your wireless association is not really slow to connect, but that you're waiting a long time to get through DHCP address assignment for your wireless connection. To determine if this is your problem, when your connection is working, open the network control panel and double-click on the wireless connection to view status. Select the Support tab to see what IP address the connection has been assigned, and jot down the IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway. Next, select the General tab and temporarily reconfigure your wireless connection's TCP/IP properties to use this specific IP address, mask, and gateway. (These instructions are for Windows XP; details are slightly different if you're using another operating system, but the steps are the same.) Save settings and reboot your PC. If your connection comes up faster this time, then DHCP is the culprit. Look at DHCP settings in the wireless router or DHCP server to see if you can find out why, or configure the router/server to assign a static IP address to your wireless client if nothing else improves the situation.

If DHCP is not your problem and your wireless association is really taking a very long time to actually associate, you may be able to improve results by configuring your wireless card to associate with a particular access point instead of probing for any available access point. Details depend on the wireless card and your desktop's operating system, so I'd need more info to help you debug that one.

This was first published in September 2003

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