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How Windows Vista Handles Wireless Networking

Each new version of Windows has made significant improvements in the operating system's networking capabilities. Back in the days of Windows 95 and Windows 98, networking was a complicated affair for technical experts only; you could set up and configure a network from within Windows, but it took a lot of work. Things got much better with Windows XP, where networking became more or less a plug-and-play operation—albeit one that required a lot of user interaction and didn't always work as promised.

With Windows Vista, things again have changed for the better. Microsoft completely rewrote the networking stack in Vista, which means that networking not only is more reliable, it's also much easier to set up. In fact, in most instances you don't have to do much setup at all; Windows Vista recognizes your network and equipment, and automatically configures the system as necessary. (At least theoretically; networking in Vista can still be counterintuitive at times, and occasionally things don't work quite as promised.)

Full story: informit


New acer laptop with Vista Home Basic automatically found
and configured wireless for my Motorola wireless router,
the wired phone line and my cellphone as a wireless
USB modem. In two months it has not failed once.

It took days of configuring and jumping through hoops
to get this far with Win XP. Totally painless.

There are some aspects of Vista that I despise but wireless
setup and configuration is not one of them.
I don't know whether it's crappy wifi drivers or not, but in Vista I've found it wont connect to a lot of wifi networks unless you change the channel. Which most people will answer that there is probably some kind of interference, however the same machines using XP will connect to that network just fine and stay connected much more reliably.

So somehow Vista seems much more sensitive to anything that "may" be causing slight interference, like i assume wireless phones or door bells etc, or from other peoples wifi networks. Infact it's so bad that our new Vista laptop will connect via wifi in the same room, but take it into the bedroom and it fails to connect (even though it does detect the network still), however the older XP laptop can connect all over the house and outside etc.
It is not Vista, but your Vista driver that is causing that behavior.
Update your wifi drivers. My Vista system did the exact same thing, until I updated the drivers.

Try the microsoft update site first, as these generally work better than the ones from the hardware manufacturer.(In my Experience)

Make sure that the drivers you are using are Vista drivers and not the XP drivers.