Extending wireless router range

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Jeff Jacobson, Jul 15, 2006.

  1. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    I am trying to connect a computer in my grandma's house (next door) to our home network. All of the computers in our house are connected through a DSL modem with a built in router (Actiontec GT701-wg). (The computers in our house are connected to the modem via ethernet cables and a switch.)

    I installed an EDIMAX EW-7325IG IEEE 802.11b/g PCI Wireless LAN Card in the computer at my grandma's house. It detects the signal from the DSL modem, but the signal very weak and not strong enough to actually connect.

    Is there any way to boost the strength of the signal so that this computer can be connected to the network?
     
  2. Mike Fassler

    Mike Fassler Supporting Actor

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    get a repeater antenna!
     
  3. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    There are a few options. The first would be to increase the signal strength at the source -- a larger stronger antenna. The second would be a repeater somewhere between the source and the desired destination.

    The third would be a larger stronger antenna at the destination computer. These can be purchased or can even be made. One popular version of this can be found online and involves building an antenna out of a pringles can -- but if you go this route you should search for a plan that uses a metal can instead of the pringles can.

    Oh, a fourth option would be to purchase newer wireless equipment that is Pre-N standard as it should incorporate better range technology --- note that there are definitely potential problems involved with using equipment before the 802.11n standard is completed.
     
  4. Rommel_L

    Rommel_L Second Unit

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    I hope you're just using the g-mode in your wireless connections... Change the antenna of your router with a higher gain one. Buy a new router for grandma and set it to bridge mode....
     
  5. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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  6. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    You can invest $5 and assemble your own waveguide "cantenna" from a tin can and hook that up to the router and then point it at grandma. That should give a signal strength improvement of many times what you have now.

    Of course, if you don't want the wireless signal to go only to grandma, you need an omnidirectional antenna. Those you'll probably have to buy, but they aren't that expensive. There are some here, for instance but that's just an example of a vendor I spotted online, I have never dealt with them or anything, so don't see this as some sort of recommendation to buy, just examples to look at.
     
  7. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    Thanks for all of the suggestions.

    It seems that the simplest one to implement would be to replace the antenna on the Wireless LAN card. (The antenna on the DSL Modem/Router is not removeable.)

    What kind of specifications should I be looking for when picking an antenna?
     
  8. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Something like this: http://www.fab-corp.com/product.php?...cat=250&page=1 should do the trick. Antennas come with a dbi rating that indicates how much they amplify the signal, and the higher the better.

    Also keep in mind that for maximum range, you want the antennas at the same height and pointing straight up. An omni-directional antenna (which is standard) will radiate in a "donut pattern" where the antenna is standing right in the middle of the "donut hole", if you can visualize that.

    If your router is upstairs and grandma is downstairs, that will have a nasty effect on signal strength, for instance. Adjusting the antenna so it leans down towards the lower reception point would help in that case.
     
  9. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    Is that fab-corp.com a good place to order stuff from?
     
  10. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    I predominantly order my wireless equipment from them. They are good enough that I would reccomend them to others.
     
  11. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Since I'm not located in the US, I've never given them a try, but glad that Rob could chime in. I just picked them to link to because they had a nice web page with a nice assortment of antennas. [​IMG]
     

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