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LAN Problems

What is LAN?

LAN stands for Local Area Network and is a computer network that is set up to connect people over a limited geographical area. For example, a LAN is used to link an entire school or office campus together to help share data and communicate with each other. LANs can be of two kinds: wireless and wired. While wireless LANs use WiFi technology to link computers to each other via a central wireless router, wired LANs use Ethernet cables or USB cables to link computers to a central router. Since LANs are a common way to network these days, you could have come across a few problems related to them. Listed below are a few questions answered by the Experts on issues related to LANs.

My office building has a LAN on two floors. The Ethernet cables connect to a switch on the first floor. From this switch, a cable is routed to an upstairs switch where the upstairs cables are connected. One cable is hooked up to the server. It has been suggested that we should route all cables to a patch panel that would then be connected to the server. Should we do this?

This doesn’t seem right. Ideally, the Ethernet cables on both the floors should be connected to a patch panel in an IT closet that hosts the server. From this panel, a set of cables should connect to a switch. This switch should also have a connection to the server so that network hosts have connectivity to the server. If the cables are only connected to a patch panel, the server and the network hosts will not have connectivity to the network. It is important that they have a hub or a switch in the middle for the network to work properly.

When I turn on my laptop, I get a message from the Toshiba Wireless LAN indicator that says 'hardware radio switch is off'. My home modem is also not accessible. My USB mobile internet dongle works but I’d like to use the home wireless system as well. What should I do?

To sort this out, press the two keys Fn and F8 simultaneously to turn on/off the wireless. Then, if required you can also press the wireless light/button above the keyboard to turn on/off the wireless. After which you can try Fn and F8 again.

I am trying to connect a MX870 printer to two desktop computers (Vista Home Premium OS) with the help of a wired LAN through a router. Despite installing the software/drivers exactly the same on both computers, the printer works well on one computer but I get a popup on the other that reads:"Turn on Enable bidirectional support in printer properties." However, the bidirectional support box is disabled in the port tag of the printer properties and cannot be turned on. What should I do?

Using outdated drivers can cause this to happen. To sort this out, delete the printer from the printer folder. Then visit the canon website below, scroll down and select windows. Choose Microsoft Vista and expand the drivers section. Once you do this, you can re-install the printer by downloading and running the MX870 series MP Driver Ver. 1.04.

I am trying to connect a Sony wireless LAN adapter uwa-br100 and a Sony ex-720 TV. Despite entering the code for connecting my computer into my vizio model xwr100 router, I can’t seem to connect. What do I do?

There are a few ways you could try and do this:

1. Visit http://vizio.home or and click on the wireless menu to view your Network Name (SSID) and Security Key (wireless password)

2. Set the security type to WPA2/WPA, save it and then check again.

3. If the suggestion given above doesn’t work, repeat Step 1 till you can view your Network Name (SSID) and Security Key (wireless password). Then change the security type to none/disabled, save this and check it.

4. If none of these work, try setting the wireless signal/type to G-only or N-only (or G and N), save and check it.

Although a LAN is extremely useful, the disadvantage is that when the network is down it affects the work of all the users connected to it. While you may have come across some of the LAN related problems mentioned above, there could be others that are specific to your own situation. While some of these can be addressed on your own, others may need professional intervention. Whatever you query, direct it to an Expert for an insightful opinion and for guidance on the right steps to take to solve the problem.
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