Attempt at More Details...
I'm not really the computer savvy person, so I'll try to answer your questions.
The router says on it that it's a Netgear Advanced Cable Modem Gateway CDG24G. I don't know how to tell if the rounter and/or computer are "Wireless N" or "Wireless G."
Yes, there is one other computer on the network; it is an older desktop: Sony Vaio running Windows XP. It doesn't have the connectivity issues that the cheesy little laptop has. It is WIRED to the router.
Nobody else is sharing my connection (not that I know of, anyway).
I don't know about "system, hardware settings," but I went to "Control Panel\System and Security\Device Manager" and I didn't see the router (if that is what I'm looking for) on the list. By what route, exactly, would I find the device listing to which you refer? I know I've seen the listing on other operating systems before, where there are question marks and exclamation points on the various devices, but I'm not finding that list on this one.
The only thing I have in the USB plug-in slots is a mouse and sometimes a flash drive. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't know a wireless USB adapter if it bit me.
The only modems I could ever recognize were the old dial-up ones. I'm looking around the room, and I don't see any modems that I recognize. The router is attached to the cable box for the TV (and the power source and the other computer). I use my laptop about 10 feet away from the router. I did find the answer to the signal strength: it always says five bars, "excellent." That is, until it completely drops the connection, at which point it gets no bars and a big red X over the icon.
I want to find these answers to pass on to you since they seem to be important, but you will have to tell me where to look because I just don't know. While I'm thinking about it, I want to mention that the laptop (wireless) and the desktop (wired) are not configured to network with each other. My life is complicated enough.
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