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Internet for Beginners/internet signal STRENGTH (not speed)

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Hello,

I would like to understand what an internet signal really is, and how it can diluted to the point where it fails.

I live in an apt complex, and more residents are moving in and using PC's, streaming video, downloading ebooks, etc..... All of us living here are getting intermittent internet signal (in other words no internet for varying periods of time).  The manager is saying the demand on the internet signal is too great, with all the people using it.  He says the internet signal needs to be made stronger. How is this done? I know it is done by having the ISP come out here and do something, but exactly what does the ISP do, to make it so we all can share the internet signal and have enough signal left for every one to use.?

I may need an engineering answer to this question, but I don't know any engineers.

Jim

Answer
To understand this you need to understand how Ethernet and TCP/IP works. You can find more details by researching those two terms. But I can give you a quick overview.

Whenever you send or receive data over a network, either from PC to PC or out to the Internet, what happens is your PC sends out blocks of the data in packets. Those packets include addressing information which tells the system where the data should go and where it was sent from. Each data packet goes first to a switch which reads the address and directs the data packet either to another PC on your network or to a router which then sends the packet out to the Internet. The reverse happens with incoming data. The router sends it to the switch and the switch sends it to the machine it is addressed to.

Your apartment building has a switch somewhere (it could be WiFi or wired) that feeds a router. It is the quality of both the router and switch that is at issue here. The more data packets being sent over the switch and router, the harder they have to work and the greater potential for slowdowns.

Hope this helps,
Scott<>
Blog: http://scottgem.wordpress.com
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