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Extending your computer router range
Old 11-06-2007, 03:12 PM   #1
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Extending your computer router range

There was a post on here a while back that I can't seem to find now about buying these special wireless antena's that have better range than that what is on the market today.

I have a Lynksys Wireless G router P54GWWRT. I recently bought a computer for my son that is at the far end of the house about 50 ft.away through multible walls. Dell recommended a better USB connector WUSB54GSC with Speed Booster Technology, to help with the problem of distance. Well sometimes, it works and sometimes it doesn't. So I was wondering what next. There is no was they can be hard wired together.

I see that Lynksys has a new WRT300N , which is a wireless-N broadband rounter that is supposed to 4x the range and 12X the speed, but looking on a message board, it appears that they have a lot of kinks and problems with the new technology. So I was wondering instead it there is a more powerful devise to connect to my sons computer that would work better with the router that I have. I remember someone giving a web side for such thing.
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Old 11-06-2007, 04:22 PM   #2
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Wireless signal booster?
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Old 11-06-2007, 04:32 PM   #3
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Do you need good omnidirectional coverage from your router, or would it be okay to increase signal gain in te direction f your son's computer? There are a couple of do-it-youself ways to increase the antenna gain in one direction without buying new hardware. I believe some of them even work!

The Pringles "Cantenna" is the most famous aproach. Here's a comparison of some store bought and homebrew ideas. No gaurantees!

802.11b Homebrew Antenna Shootout (Pringles Wins!)

Note: Even EEs, Hams, and others who build antennas concede that it's as much art as science. Lots of trial and error, but fun and cheap.
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Old 11-06-2007, 05:54 PM   #4
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Pringles antennas have been used to pass wifi over pretty long distances. If you are just trying to extend it generally in a house there are wireless repeaters (they may use a different name) that will do the job. Also watch out for aluminum studs -- they can interfere with wireless reception, particularly on routers running the older protocols.
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High Gain Antenna
Old 11-06-2007, 06:54 PM   #5
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High Gain Antenna

Linksys offers a high gain antenna set that works with many of it's wireless routers. I bought one for my system and it resolved all the connectivity problems I was having around the house - it even is accessible to the Wii several rooms away. Anyway, I also found that if you place your router higher (I have mine elevated on a shelf)... it seems to work better.

Google "Linksys High Gain Antenna" to find a model that can replace the standard antenna on your router. The originals unscrew and the new ones screw right on - about 30 seconds of install time.

Good luck.
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Old 11-07-2007, 12:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff View Post
If you are just trying to extend it generally in a house there are wireless repeaters (they may use a different name) that will do the job.
You need a wireless 'access point' like the Linksys WAP54G Wireless-G Access Point. It can be set up as a repeater. I've been meaning to get one set up here, but it keeps getting put on the back burner.
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Old 11-07-2007, 01:57 AM   #7
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Try this Hawking Hi-Gain 8dBi Directional Dish Antenna HAI8DD Compatible with 2.4GHz 802.11b/g-Best Computer Online Store Houston Buy Discount Prices Texas-Directron.com in place of your current antennas. Not the optimum way to do it, but should provide you with a good range. Of course you point it toward the other end of the house where your son is. And what was already said about aluminum studs.
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Old 11-07-2007, 11:06 AM   #8
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Have you tried experimenting with the exact location of the router? We did this with walkie talkies, DW in LR with laptop saying "Low, very low, low, good," etc. Mine ended up in a corner of the room, on the floor, behind a door.

If you router isn't hard wired to the computer, can you put it in the middle of the house somewhere?

At what signal strength do you notice a degradation of performance?
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Old 11-07-2007, 12:18 PM   #9
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Judicious use of last generation, inexpensive powerline networking coupled with a wireless router can solve a lot of problems. Particularly if the device you're connecting just needs internet access and wont be transferring large files or streaming video from another in-home device. I bought a bunch of netgear powerline plugs for about $29 a pop a few years ago. Will do 4-11Mb/s depending on your a/c wiring and where you plug them. One for the router and one for anyplace you have a stationary device needing access. Basically makes your entire electrical plant into a bridged network. No problems with range and few problems with interference.

I'm using the netgear XE102, and I see quite a few of them for sale on reputable sites for about $20 a pop. Way cheaper than wireless adapters. Theres a lot of refurbished ones and dont fear them...the original series had a problem with people breaking the case open by accident and exposing some a/c voltage so they were all recalled for..umm...a piece of tape around the seam to keep them from popping open anymore.

For routers, some have much stronger radios than others. I have this one
TRENDnet TEW-611BRP MIMO Wireless Router 108Mbps 802.11g with 4-port Switch (TEW 611BRP, TEW611BRP, TEW-611BR, TEW-611B, TEW-611, TEW611BR, TEW611B, TEW611, Trendware)

(martha, didnt you get this one too?)

And its a screamer. I have no problems connecting at full rate from anywhere in my house or yard. Never bought from that company but its available from others for $75-100. This router not only has a pretty amazing range, but it also has a hardware chip in it that helps prioritize voice and video traffic over file transfers and the like, so devices needing more immediate and real time access to your internet connection will get it. Has a configuration option to turn DOWN the range if you start picking up users from another planet.

802.11n stuff does have an improved range and throughput, but you'll need 'n' adapters as well. The 'n' hardware and drivers still dont quite feel 'there' yet to me. Plus the range and throughput are more like 20% better than the 4-5x some manufacturers claim.
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Old 11-07-2007, 02:35 PM   #10
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More synchronicity. I was just at a friend's house where the powerline ethernet adaptors CFB mentioned were in use and they are great. Excellent for plugging in a desktop without running cable around or relying on wireless. Leave the wifi to the laptops and PDAs that you want to be able to move around.
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Old 11-07-2007, 02:46 PM   #11
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I use a Linksys WAP54G wireless router in the house. I needed more distance to get to a guest house. I installed a Linksys WRE54G Wireless Range Entender. This solution works well, however, I did try the range extender with a router other than Linksys and could not get it to work. My suggestion.... if you are going to use a range extender stick with the same brand as the router.
WRE54G
Wireless-G Range Expander
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Old 11-07-2007, 05:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic23 View Post
I use a Linksys WAP54G wireless router in the house. I needed more distance to get to a guest house. I installed a Linksys WRE54G Wireless Range Entender. This solution works well, however, I did try the range extender with a router other than Linksys and could not get it to work. My suggestion.... if you are going to use a range extender stick with the same brand as the router.
WRE54G
Wireless-G Range Expander
I've experienced the same situation a time or two in the past also. It's just simpler to use the same brand for routers, access points, hubs, and the rest. Also very little $$ difference between brands.

I started with Linksys, then I needed to make some major changes, and switched to D-Link. A few years ago I upgraded the whole network, and switched back to Linksys products. In the not too distant future I'm going to stick one of my old D-Link access points back into the network to get the wireless signal out to my workshop......because I'm too cheap frugal to buy a Linksys for that.
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Old 11-09-2007, 11:30 AM   #13
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Anybody have a handle on how connection strength affects the perceived speed of the Internet?

For example, I don't notice a clear difference in speed when the signal strength is displayed as "very low" compared with "excellent." How is the speed affected by a lower signal strength, and how does that compare with the speed of a typical cable modem?
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Old 11-09-2007, 11:58 AM   #14
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Even the weakest signal is a bit better than the average HSI connection. Thing is, its not steady. What creates perception problems isnt the net throughput, but long pauses that occur when the radios have a weak connection and have to drop, reconnect and retransmit. Steady and slow is better than fast and spotty.

As long as its not droppy, you're probably getting no less than 6Mb/s, maybe 1Mb/s if you're really in a low signal state and either using 802.11b instead of 11g, or the devices you're using renegotiate to an 802.11b connection.
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