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WLAN troubleshooting operations have become more crucial than ever now that so many businesses are using wireless networks to enable simple, seamless communication among employees. In today's business world, many meetings are held via computer rather than in offices. More employees travel on a more frequent basis to boot. The maintenance of reliable WLAN networks is a must for many kinds of companies, both large and small. Three of the most common problems with WLAN networks involve malfunctioning wireless adapters, incorrectly configured software and weak signals from the router.
WLAN troubleshooting begins with hardware--if your wireless card isn't operating properly, there's no way you can achieve your desired connectivity. Solutions vary based on the type of card you use, but some common tips can be helpful to anyone. Check to make sure the adapter is turned "on" (some external adapters have an on/off switch), and check any LED indicators to ensure that the device is functional. Adapters may need to be re-installed (either internally or through external USB ports).
If the problem is not with the card itself, it may be with the card's software. The next step in WLAN troubleshooting is to check to see if you have the most current drivers for your particular adapter. Once the correct drivers are installed, it is important to ensure that your card is appropriately integrated with your computer's operating system. Windows users should check the "Network Preferences" pane, while Mac OS users should go to "Control Panels" and then "Network." Check first to see that the computer recognizes the card as having been installed, and then look at your wireless settings and configure them to match the network from which you will receive your wireless signal.
The Final Step in WLAN Troubleshooting
If you are certain that your network adapter and network software are set up properly, you may have to go back to the source--the router--to find the problem. Restart your modem and router (typically modems should be powered up first, then routers). Check all cables, connections and indicators to make sure that the signal is being received and dispersed in an appropriate manner.
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