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Troubleshooting wireless network connectivity

Given the myriad issues that can prevent a user from connecting to a wireless network, it's helpful to have an established plan-of-action for troubleshooting. These 11 steps in wireless

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connectivity troubleshooting will assist value-added resellers (VARs) in diagnosing their customers' wireless woes.

Helpful steps in troubleshooting your wireless connectivity problem

When you encounter trouble connecting a wireless host (desktop, laptop, PDA) to an office network, these debugging steps can be helpful.

  1. Recheck physical connections.
  2. Verify that your wireless adapter is connected properly.
  3. Verify that the router's LAN port is active.
  4. Check the wireless adapter's IP address.
  5. Use the "ping" command to verify reachability.
  6. Make sure that firewall protection on the host is disabled.
  7. Check that the router and adapter use the same SSID, channel, wireless mode, and security settings.
  8. To find and fix a wireless security parameter mismatch, temporarily disable security.
  9. on both the adapter and router.
  10. Debug 802.1x.
  11. Resolve any 802.1x Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) mismatches.
  12. Remove any RF interference.

Get the expanded list of steps on wireless network connectivity troubleshooting.

About the author
Lisa Phifer is vice president of Core Competence Inc., a consulting firm specializing in network security and management technology. Phifer has been involved in the design, implementation, and evaluation of data communications, internetworking, security, and network management products for nearly 20 years. She teaches about wireless LANs and virtual private networking at industry conferences and has written extensively about network infrastructure and security technologies for numerous publications.


This was first published in September 2006

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