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Laptop Won't Connect With Some Networks

dleaoh
Aspirant

Laptop Won't Connect With Some Networks

My Dell Latitude E6400 running Windows 7 has an endemic issue of connecting just fine with some networks, but absolutely refusing to connect with others. This can be a real problem when traveling and sometimes being cut off from the Internet, which I really need for business. At home I have had no connection issues with WNDR 4000 and WNDAP 360 routers and an N 300 extender.  I have just installed an Orbi system, and, sure enough, that laptop won't connect with the Orbi. Does anyone have any idea why this machine works okay with some WiFi networks but absolutely won't connect to others? If so, do you have a solution to suggest?

Model: Orbi High-Performance AC3000 Tri-Band WiFi System (RBK50)
Message 1 of 7

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Mikey94025
Hero

Re: Laptop Won't Connect With Some Networks

It looks like the Latitude E6400 was launched around 2008 and therefore has an older wifi card.  Try installing the latest Intel wifi drivers and ensure that the Window's 802.11n settings are optimal for the wireless adapter device, for example: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/network-and-i-o/wireless-networking/000005544.html

 

I used to have an older 802.11n-only wifi-enabled scale that wouldn't connect to my previous router unless the router's 2.4GHz speeds were set lower (e.g., "up to 54 Mbps" vs. "up to 300 Mbps").  The Orbi admin website controls don't offer such detailed 2.4Ghz speed settings but I assume it's running at the fastest possible protocols, at the expense of compatibility for older wifi devices like your work laptop.  It may be that the Advanced Wireless Settings options like "Enable 20/40 MHz Coexistence" matter for your laptop so you can try different values and see if it fixes your connectivity problems.

 

But since you need your work laptop to connect wireless while you travel it's probably worth it to just buy an external USB wireless connector and get modern wifi connectivity for your older laptop.  These external wireless adapters can also upgrade your wifi from 802.11n to 802.11ac speeds.  I purchased a Netgear AC1200 Wi-Fi USB Adapter for my older desktop so it could connect at 802.11ac.  It's only $55 from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Netgear-AC1200-Wi-Fi-Adapter-A6210-100PAS/dp/B00MRVJY1G

 

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Message 2 of 7

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Mikey94025
Hero

Re: Laptop Won't Connect With Some Networks

It looks like the Latitude E6400 was launched around 2008 and therefore has an older wifi card.  Try installing the latest Intel wifi drivers and ensure that the Window's 802.11n settings are optimal for the wireless adapter device, for example: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/network-and-i-o/wireless-networking/000005544.html

 

I used to have an older 802.11n-only wifi-enabled scale that wouldn't connect to my previous router unless the router's 2.4GHz speeds were set lower (e.g., "up to 54 Mbps" vs. "up to 300 Mbps").  The Orbi admin website controls don't offer such detailed 2.4Ghz speed settings but I assume it's running at the fastest possible protocols, at the expense of compatibility for older wifi devices like your work laptop.  It may be that the Advanced Wireless Settings options like "Enable 20/40 MHz Coexistence" matter for your laptop so you can try different values and see if it fixes your connectivity problems.

 

But since you need your work laptop to connect wireless while you travel it's probably worth it to just buy an external USB wireless connector and get modern wifi connectivity for your older laptop.  These external wireless adapters can also upgrade your wifi from 802.11n to 802.11ac speeds.  I purchased a Netgear AC1200 Wi-Fi USB Adapter for my older desktop so it could connect at 802.11ac.  It's only $55 from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Netgear-AC1200-Wi-Fi-Adapter-A6210-100PAS/dp/B00MRVJY1G

 

Message 2 of 7
TheEther
Guru

Re: Laptop Won't Connect With Some Networks

It's possible that your Dell doesn't support WPA2 security.  You can change the Orbi security to WPA-PSK [TKIP] + WPA2-PSK [AES].  WPA is less secure, so you may want to think about upgrading either your laptop or its Wi-Fi adapter. 

Message 3 of 7

Re: Laptop Won't Connect With Some Networks

hi

 

just a suggestion here

 

try going to the laptops wifi and clearing any remembered details for the ssid you are using as the details may be wrong and you may need to re assioate the laptop with the orbi

 

pete

Message 4 of 7
dleaoh
Aspirant

Re: Laptop Won't Connect With Some Networks

Thanks for the good suggestion.  That might resolve the issue at home, but I would like to get rid of the occasional connectivity problems while traveling, so I think an external adapter is probably the best fix for me.

Message 5 of 7
dleaoh
Aspirant

Re: Laptop Won't Connect With Some Networks

Thanks Mikey94025, I think an external adapter is probably the best fix.  Back in the early days of WiFi that's all most of us had, so we lived with it.

Message 6 of 7
dleaoh
Aspirant

Re: Laptop Won't Connect With Some Networks

I'm going to try that just for my own information, but I think the best solution for my issues on the road is an external adapter.  Thanks for your help.

Message 7 of 7
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