Extending Linksys wireless range?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Ronald Epstein, Aug 7, 2003.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Have a Linksys WAP11 wireless router. Bought
    it so that I could receive broadband on my laptop
    anywhere inside the house or outside on the property.

    I was able to get more power out of the router
    by doing a simple software hack that can easily
    be found doing a search on the subject.

    I also just bought the Linksys Wireless Signal
    Booster that piggybacks on top of the WAP11 and
    actually does what it is supposed to do -- amplify
    a little bit more range.

    I still want more signal strength.

    Radio Shack just began selling these new antennas
    for Linksys routers that are supposed to
    improve performance. Not sure if it will, take
    a look and see for yourself....

    CLICK HERE PLEASE

    These antennas look the same as the ones that
    came with the router, so I am not sure if they
    really are capable of transmitting a stronger signal.

    Don't they make a sort of "network bridge" that
    can sit inbetween your connections and extend the
    range? In another words, some sort of hub that
    goes halfway between your source, amplifying the
    received signal to your target.
     
  2. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    A bridge is something that hooks up wired devices to your wireless network, or to link two wired networks wirelessly. I wonder if you could just get another ap and put it at the edge of your original's good reception. I'm not sure if it can get the info it needs from the other ap without you plugging it in, but I think it might.
     
  3. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    A more accurate update: you can buy the exact same thing you have and set it within range of your original ap and set it to 'wireless repeater mode.'
     
  4. John_Bonner

    John_Bonner Supporting Actor

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  5. Lee L

    Lee L Supporting Actor

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    Ron, if you are interested in getting the max range on that thing, check the following link.
    http://www.freeantennas.com/
    He has some simple designs you can use that focus the power of the antennas you have. This should work great if you have the router at one end of the house. Also, you can use them to keep you signal from spilling out into the street and maximize it towards the back yard.

    A page with some omni info:
    http://www.tux.org/~bball/antenna/

    A directional yagi design:
    http://www.seattlewireless.net/index...irectionalYagi

    There are several different links at the forums at www.dslreports.com they have a Wirelss forum as well as a Linksys specific one.

    Also try www.netstumbler.com , they are not an antenna site per-se but trying to stumble wirelss networks tends to make people build some crazy powerful antennas.
     
  6. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Lee,

    Thanks much for the information. Lots of
    useful tips, but really, I am not the type of
    person that can build his own antenna.

    I am looking for more RANGE.

    I was able to boost POWER on my Linksys just
    by doing a little-known software hack that increased
    the radio frequencies.

    Just looking for ways to increase range.
     
  7. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    there's only two things you can do to increase range without adding in additional repeaters/access points:
    1. increase the power of the signal
    2. use a higher gain antenna

    now there's some legalities that come into play when you use high gain antennas with high power amplifiers, but your better off researching that elsewhere as I'm not familarized with it.

    so then, the easiest and typically cheapest method is to use a higher gain antenna. you can make a directional cantenna for cheap and they work great; or you can buy some nice ones from stores.

    the antenna can be used on either the access point or the computer, or both, to increase the range of reception. this is the most reccomended method since it's cheap and it's pretty easy to setup.

    outside of that you can look into purchasing an amplifier to boost the transmitted signal from the access point. this is a bit spendy though and there's some issues that may be involved with it.
     
  8. John K Carter

    John K Carter Stunt Coordinator

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    Ron, as Rob.M.G. said you have two choices, if you decide to go with better antenna, try here HyperLink Technologies
    HyperLink sells Indoor, Outdoor, Amplified, Directional, Omni Directional Antenna, you name it.

    I will be starting a project this month providing wireless internet access to a Campground/RV Park/Cabin Rental business using HyperLink products.
     
  9. Darren Lewis

    Darren Lewis Supporting Actor

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    Ron, I've got the Linksys BEFW11S4, which is similar to your WAP11 except it has a router and switch built in.

    Wouldn't the Linksys WSB24 Wireless Signal Booster work for you? This is from their website
     
  10. Lee L

    Lee L Supporting Actor

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    It looks like Ron already has the signal booster.

    If you don't want to build something, then you could try the Rat Shack antenna and if it doesn't work well enough, you could try one from these guys: http://www.fab-corp.com , they have all kinds of pre made 2.4 antennas.
     
  11. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    The antennas look great.

    Problem is, not sure which one will be best
    for my Linksys wireless router.

    Anybody actually have one of these indoor
    flat panel antennas? I sthere significant
    signal strength obtained from these?

    And yes, I do have the wireless signal
    booster already. It *slightly* improved
    my signal.
     
  12. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Ron:

    I would think that in your case that having two of them would be best. One of the antennas designed for indoor use to boost the signal when you are indoors and then one of the outdoor antennas for when you are on the back porch, etc.

    Parker
     
  13. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    Considering how cheap they are, I would still urge you to just buy another wap11 and use it as a repeater. That way you will also have another fully functional ap if you have to use it for something else in the future, and you have a lot more leeway in placing it to provide the best coverage as opposed to just using an antenna.
     
  14. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    James,

    I hear you loud and clear....however....

    If I buy another WAP11, doesn't one have to
    be wired into the other?

    Doesn't the WAP11 need a ETHERNET INPUT in
    order to transmit the signal? As far as I know,
    it does not receive and repeat signals out of
    mid air.

    Perhaps I am missing something?
     
  15. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    No what the second Wap11 will do is take the incomming signal then "repeat" that same signal back into the air again at full power. The "input" that the second wap11 will use is the wireless signal from the initial WAP11 and it will "output" what it recieves as "input". It should work fairly well for range extension.

    I use a homemade antenna (aka cantenna) which works very well, especially for the cost and effort to make. if you do a search on "cantenna" you can learn about them. The other antenna I own is a 6db directional panel antenna I bought for 10$, it's not as good as the homemade but it gets the job done when all that's needed is a little stronger signal.

    I like directional antennas since they pick up less interference from the surroundings. things like 2.4ghz phones, microwaves, etc all put out rf waves in the same range as a wireless network so they can add a lot of noise resulting in some signal loss.

    hope this helps you out some.
     
  16. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    It has a wireless repeater setting specifically to act as an extension of your first one which is plugged into the ethernet, or whatever. It's in your manual, there's a setting for it in the ap's network setup page.
     
  17. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Before I buy a second WAP11....

    You guys are absolutely sure of this?

    I can set up a second WAP11 to receive broadband
    signals WIRELESSLY from the first unit and then
    repeat it?

    I just went to the LINKSYS site and downloaded the
    USER MANUAL. Looked through it, and it really
    never uses the term "repeater" in it at all. It
    does have multi-point configurations, but honestly,
    it looks quite complicated to set up.

     
  18. Jeff Blair

    Jeff Blair Second Unit

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    Ron,
    I had a customer that had the same problem. Get a D-Link DWL-800AP+. It is a range extender. You will have to hard wire it to update the firmware. After that, you should be able to put it in the corner somewhere, and it will extend out the range. It works wonders. One PC before it was not getting a signal, after they were getting 4-5 bars. And the good thing is that it is cheap.
     
  19. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    I am 100% sure. It's on page 20-21 of the manual on their website.
     
  20. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    The D-Link DWL-800AP+ sounds like the best
    bet as it is specifically designed for use
    as a repeater. It also looks like it would
    be far easier to set up than a seprate WAP11.

    Thanks, everyone, for your advice.
     

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