OT: Wireless Network Strength Dependent On Wired Network?

Brielle Bruns bruns at 2mbit.com
Sat Jun 20 08:21:39 UTC 2009

On 6/20/09 12:47 AM, Neil wrote:

> Now, a former electrical engineer is claiming that if we improve the wired
> network so that the signal comes across better, then computer2 won't drop
> the wireless connection so frequently. (He says that the signal emitted by
> the wireless router will be improved by feeding it a better source signal.)

He doesn't know what he's talking about.  The two signals have nothing 
to do with one another - there is no direct connection between wired 
ethernet and wifi.  You can not just plug an antenna into the end of a 
cat5e cable and expect it to work.

In an easier to visualize path...  if you have an ethernet card, and a 
802.11g card in your desktop, yes, they may be attached to the same PCI 
bus, but the packets still have to come in one interface, be handled by 
the hardware on the card, passed down the PCI bus to the CPU where the 
software handles processing of the data, then passed back down the PCI 
bus to the other card, processed by that card, then transmitted by that 
card over whatever transport it uses.   There's a few conversions going 
on during the path, throwing out garbage data, retransmitting, etc.

If you shut off the antenna of the wifi card, it doesn't affect the 
ethernet card, and it will continue passing data for the computer to the 
LAN.  If you unplug the cat5e, the wifi can still pass data between 
devices that communicate over wifi.

I can go into alot more detail here, but moral of story, is don't let a 
electrical engineer that has no clue about how ethernet and wifi work 
tell you how packets get from one place to another, and how ethernet 
relates to wifi.

Brielle Bruns
The Summit Open Source Development Group
http://www.sosdg.org    /     http://www.ahbl.org

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