Recipe 14.12. Stopping Hotspot

Recipe 14.12. Stopping Hotspot "Stuttering"


When you connect to a hotspot located near other hotspots, your connection "stutters" by dropping your hotspot connection, making a connection to another hotspot, dropping that one, then connecting to the first one, and so on.


Hotspots sometimes stutter if several of them are located near one another and you're connecting to one with a weak signal. The problem is caused by the Wireless Zero Configuration service, which runs when you start XP and looks for a wireless connection every three minutes. If your current hotspot connection is weak, when it looks for a hotspot to connect to, it may connect to a nearby hotspot instead and you get the stuttering effect.

The fix is to disable WZC after you've made your connection that way, it'll stay with your one connection, even as it fades out and fades in. But you'll want to enable WZC again after you're done, so that the next time you want to connect to a hotspot or your home WiFi network, it will do its job for you.

To temporarily disable WZC:

  1. Select Start Run and in the Open box, type services.msc at a command line and press Enter. This runs the Services Microsoft Management Console.

  2. Scroll down until you see the Wireless Zero Configuration entry. Right-click it, and choose Stop, as shown in Figure 14-15. That will turn the service off; you'll stop the stuttering and jumping.

    Figure 14-15. Turning off Wireless Zero Configuration

  3. When you're done at the hotspot, repeat steps 1 and 2, except you should choose Start after you right-click the Wireless Zero Configuration entry.

Remember that you should turn off Wireless Zero Configuration only after you've made your hotspot connection, or else you won't be able to connect to it. And make sure to turn Wireless Zero Configuration back on after you disconnect from the hotspot.


The Wireless Zero Configuration service sits between XP and your wireless hardware, serving as a mediator. It's one of the main reasons that XP is so WiFi-friendly before XP, wireless connections were usually handled by each different manufacturer's software, leading to compatibility problems and a great deal of confusion when trying to make a connection.

You can also use the service to help solve an occasional problem that WiFi users sometimes face even though they maintain a strong connection to a WiFi router, they have no Internet connectivity. If you have ever used a WiFi network and seen the WiFi icon that shows a connection, but you can't actually connect to the Internet, you've had this problem. Sometimes, you can use the Wireless Zero Configuration service to solve the problem. Turn off the service, as described in this recipe, and then turn it back on. At times, that will jump-start your connection.

See Also

For more information about troubleshooting WiFi connections, see Recipe 14.5.

Windows XP Cookbook
Windows XP Cookbook (Cookbooks)
ISBN: 0596007256
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 408

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