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WiFi Extender
Old 05-13-2013, 05:34 PM   #1
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WiFi Extender

Any suggestions for a WiFi Booster/Extender? If it matters, this is a
city wifi system and not a self-generated within the house system. The
city has had a system for a few yrs and it has worked inside for us fairly well.
Now the city is "improving" it and moving access points around and it looks like we can get outside access but not inside access. Supposedly, some folks have been able to get improved reception w/ a wifi extender.
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Old 05-13-2013, 05:38 PM   #2
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It's been a long time since I played around with any of the range extenders, and they didn't work so well back then (way back in the 20 oughts). But what I found to be true pretty much across the boards is that it always worked best when the extender was the same brand as the access point. Not sure if this would be true in a city-wide configuration, but it wouldn't hurt to find out what they are using. Cisco to Cisco, Netgear to Netgear, etc. Good luck.
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:41 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
Any suggestions for a WiFi Booster/Extender? If it matters, this is a
city wifi system and not a self-generated within the house system. The
city has had a system for a few yrs and it has worked inside for us fairly well.
Now the city is "improving" it and moving access points around and it looks like we can get outside access but not inside access. Supposedly, some folks have been able to get improved reception w/ a wifi extender.
Is it a clearwire - like system [wimax] ?

I have clearwire here... it is wireless to a clearwire receiver, and the receiver has an ethernet jack for output. In my case, the cable goes to a standard wi-fi router, so the signal is back to par.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:06 PM   #4
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Try sticking your wifi antenna in a Pringles can and aiming it at the source. Maybe find the source by observing signal strength on an Iphone while slowly rotating the Pringles can.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:59 PM   #5
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Try sticking your wifi antenna in a Pringles can and aiming it at the source. Maybe find the source by observing signal strength on an Iphone while slowly rotating the Pringles can.
Don't forget to hop on one foot, and stick your tongue out.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:55 PM   #6
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Don't forget to hop on one foot, and stick your tongue out.

How to Increase the Range of Your Wifi: 6 Steps - wikiHow

While holding a coat-hanger over your head
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:31 AM   #7
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Don't forget to hop on one foot, and stick your tongue out.
It may sound like a joke, but it isn't.

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Old 05-14-2013, 09:42 AM   #8
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It may sound like a joke, but it isn't.

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Not that I'd let that stop me...
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:43 AM   #9
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I had pretty good luck with this one:

Alfa AWUS036NHR - High-Gain 2000mw 2W 802.11 B/G/N Wireless USB Network Adaptor - Wireless-N 802.11n Wi-Fi - 150Mbps - 2.4 GHz - 5dBi Antenna - Long Range - Realtek Chipset - Strongest on the Market - NEWEST VERSION

Amazon.com: Alfa AWUS036NHR - High-Gain 2000mw 2W 802.11 B/G/N Wireless USB Network Adaptor - Wireless-N 802.11n Wi-Fi - 150Mbps - 2.4 GHz - 5dBi Antenna - Long Range - Realtek Chipset - Strongest on the Market - NEWEST VERSION: Computers & Accessori

But is was more for travel, hooking up to my laptop when the hotel Wi-Fi was too weak to reach my room.

If I were in your situation, though, I would think about setting up a directional antenna outside, pointing at the source. Then connecting that to your household router. There are directional antennas available on Amazon. If you can get line-of-sight, the range is quite high. Obstacle geometry is harder to overcome.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:20 AM   #10
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If this was a Cisco System, why not contact Cisco directly or through one of their business partners and ask for a proposal to address the problem. They might give you more than you want, but at least you will get some recommendations that the City can possibly utilize in some fashion. Likewise, if the system is with a non-Cisco system.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:51 AM   #11
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I'm not into this kind of stuff but my wife is. She has one of those high tech phones and recently got an added "hot spot" for her tablet through Verizon. I think the cost is $20/month and includes all the phones on the plan. Now she has instant Wi-Fi wherever she goes. In a car it's best to have the phone plugged in for constant charging as this "hot spot" eats up the battery.
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Old 05-18-2013, 02:50 PM   #12
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You might want to look into some products by Aerohive that are made for enterprise class hardware and wifi demands...

802.11n Enterprise Wireless LAN Access Points | Aerohive Networks

The Aerohive access point can act as your bridge between the outside and inside.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:52 PM   #13
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Thanks to all for your input. I have been trying out (30 day free return)
a Netgear WN2000RPT extender. It has a bimodal review spectrum on Amazon with a peak at 5* (VG) and another at 1* (Poor). I guess my limited experience is that there is a narrow window when it helps. In some cases, both the direct signal and the extender signal work. In some cases, neither works. In the intermediate cases, the extender works and the direct signal doesn't.

I suppose that makes intuitive sense. If the direct signal is strong enough, you don't need the extender. If it is too weak, the extender is working with garbage and produces garbage. If the signal is weak but not awful, the extender can make it better. It is interesting to watch the incoming signal strength light which mostly is amber (fair) or red (poor) and on very rare occasions (hardly ever) is green.

kramer, thanks for the Alfa suggestion......for that price,it would be great if it worked. Also thanks for the directional antenna idea ( at least ,it sounds more elegant than a Pringles can ).

mister shankly, thanks for the Aerohive idea. The enterprise label and the price scared me initially, but if the alternative is a forever monthly charge for cable, maybe it's not so crazy an idea. Be nice to figure out how to get a free trial though.
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:35 AM   #14
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If this was a Cisco System, why not contact Cisco directly or through one of their business partners and ask for a proposal to address the problem. They might give you more than you want, but at least you will get some recommendations that the City can possibly utilize in some fashion. Likewise, if the system is with a non-Cisco system.
LOL, sorry, I thought you might have been working with the city in some capacity to improve the inside signal performance in offices or stores, but you are just trying to tap into the City's wifi which works OK outside your residence, but not inside.
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