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Troubleshooting a Linksys Wireless Network Card

written by: Brian Nelson•edited by: M.S. Smith•updated: 10/26/2010

A wireless network can be useful for many reasons. However, to make it work you have to get the configuration right. Getting the correct Linksys wireless network card settings on PCs is easy, once you know what you are doing.

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    Check and Change Linksys Wireless Network Card Settings on PC

    Networks are composed of several components. Each piece of a wireless network must be configured correctly in order for the network to function properly. Often, knowing what the correct wireless network settings are is a function of knowing what the configuration already is set to on other devices.

    To check the Linksys wireless network card settings, open the network adapter properties page. Wireless network settings on Windows 7 can be found in several ways. One method is to click on the wireless network status icon in the system tray and then click on Open Network and Sharing Center. Another method is to open the Network and Sharing Center from the Control Panel.

    linksys-wireless-adapter-settings Once there, click "Change adapter settings" even if you don't plan to change the configuration. You can always click Cancel to leave the network properties as they are. Choose the Linksys wireless adapter and select Properties in the Connection Status Window. This brings up the Network Connection Properties window. Choose the Configure button underneath the name of the adapter. This will bring up the properties of the actual network adapter hardware.

    Verify each of the property settings by highlighting each item. Once you have checked all Linksys Wireless network card settings, you can record them for later use in troubleshooting or restoring wireless configurations.

    To change a settings, highlight the desired item and select the desired setting from the right-side of the window.

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    Troubleshoot Linksys Wireless Network Card Settings

    One of the things that makes configuring a wireless network difficult is that a single incorrect setting can cause a complete network failure, preventing the wireless card from connecting at all. The first step in troubleshooting any wireless network card is making sure that all of the proper settings are correct, and also that they match the wireless router configuration.

    SSID Setting on Wireless Networks

    The first setting to troubleshoot is the SSID. The SSID setting is nothing more than an identifier for the wireless network. There is no guarantee that only one wireless network will be available in any particular location. The SSID provides a way to identify which wireless network you want to connect to. The catch is that unless the SSID matches exactly, the adapter will not connect.

    It is a little bit like being a crowded room with a sign that identifies which people you are looking to connect with. If you are holding a sign that says, "Broncos Stadium Tours" and there are tourists looking for tours of the Broncos' stadium, you will connect. However, if there are tourists following a guidebook's instructions to tour "Invesco Field at Mile High" (the official name) they won't connect because they are looking for something else. (Keep in mind computers do not understand "close enough".)

    The other common wireless setting issue is unmatched security settings. The original wireless networking protocol transfers all data in the clear. This is unacceptable for modern networking. Current networking standards offer multiple security protocols, and even more confusing, multiple ways of implementing them. You may find it useful to understand the various wireless network security types, however, the most important thing is to ensure that they match on both adapter and wireless router configurations. For example, if the router is set to use WPA-Personal, then the adapter must be set to the same.

    Finally, many users of USB wireless network adapters have problems with their wireless network dropping because their settings allow the USB port to be turned off in order to save power. Click the Power Management tab of the Adapter Properties window and un-check the box that says, "Allow computer to turn off this device to save power" in order to avoid this issue.

    After verifying that the Linksys wireless adapter settings are configured properly, check the signal strength of the network.