Setup a Linksys 802.11b router and notebook and a bit over a year ago (a bit before 802.11g was quite standard). Worked pretty well - could use the notebook anywhere in the house, and both in the front and back yard.

Over the last several months the range and reliability of the wireless network dropped off badly. I suspect both my neighbors bought 802.11g hubs, as there were two new SSIDs visible when reception was poor. Some of the online reviews suggest that older 802.11b hardware may not co-exist well with nearby active 802.11g gear.

Add to this the fact that the Linksys router would die about once a day (both local and wireless) and would only come back up if power cycled. More than a little annoying.

Taking this as a hint, ordered a D-Link DI-624 802.11g router (based on good reviews), and an 802.11a/b/g mini PCI card for the notebook. The D-Link works well, and has some very useful features not offered by the old Linksys. The D-Link router came first, and once setup the network stayed up without incident. So far so good…

The mini PCI network card for the notebook came last. Opened up the notebook to replace the card, and noticed that one of the two antenna connections to the card was loose.

Oh.

Seems the limited range on 802.11b might just have been due to the loose connection. Had not thought to open up the notebook and look for loose connections.

Oh well. With the new card the range is better, reception is again reliable, and speed (which really wasn’t an issue) is indeed somewhat better. Plus the notebook will now be usable on any 802.11 a, b or g network, which might someday be of use.