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In Need Of A Wifi Card/Access Point/(Router?)! Very Slow Wifi Connection - High Speed Internet Package?!

So here is the deal,
I recently bought a used computer, I was and still am very happy with it as it was not very expensive, but the parts inside are quite good.
Although, it didn't have a Wifi-Card. This didn't seem like a big problem in the first place as I thought we had like cable internet, I was thinking about D-Lan in the first place. We've had problems with this before, and as expected it stopped working after like 10 minutes...

So to solve this I led a cable directly to the router. This caused the problem that an ugly cable was in the way of the stairs.

My parents would like me to buy a Wifi card as they don't want the cable hanging in the way anymore.

I told my parents about the internet connection problem, and they are willing to buy an access point + maybe a router for me to boost the connection upstairs, as I had like no internet or 100 kbps on my previous laptop.

The access point he'd like to buy is an Engenius ECB300. It can reach speeds up to 300Mbps.
Here comes a detail about the access point of which I don't know what it means:
" It has a transmission power of 800mW (29dBm) on 11g.
It has a transmission power of 400mW (26dBm) on 11n."

Well, we have 11n... :l.

Now you have heard my story, here are some of my other concerns as I am not an expert when it comes to connection speeds:

- This is our "speed package" that we bought from our provider - 150 / 15 Mbit/s (if I'm correct this is 150Mbps)
Note: This already was the most expensive package, we can't upgrade any further.

- Do we need to upgrade our router as well? Downstairs, directly facing the router, we can't reach speeds higher than 4Mbps... Normally the wifi speeds are about 1Mbps.

Upstairs, with the ethernet cable in my PC directly connected to the router I download with about 1-2 Mbps depending on the site in downloading from (some sites have download speed restrictions). In some cases I reach 4 Mbps and in rare cases 10Mbps.

So, as we have a 150Mbps package, this must be the router right? If so, to which one should we upgrade?

- Is an access point with speeds up to 300Mbps even useful if we can only reach a max of 150Mbps with our package? Or is it still a good idea to buy it because a lot of the speed gets "lost" anyway because it has to travel from the router to the access point which is 2 floors above the router.

- Which Wifi card would be a good choice for me? I'm running Windows 7 for the ones that would like to know (I read somewhere that very old cards can not run on Windows 7).

Extra information:
It would be wonderful if I could download with speeds around 6-10 Mbps all together, I hope that someone can help me out with this in my opinion complicated problem :P.

The access point costs €115 where I live, I guess that the router must be as expensive? The only thing I know about Wifi cards is that they are not that expensive in general.

Any "cost saving" would always be greatly appreciated! ^^.

~ BnG

Ps: Happy Newyear!

Pss: I'm sorry if I made some mistakes here and there, I'm from The Netherlands ^^.
17 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about wifi card access point router slow wifi connection high speed internet package
  1. Additional info:
    The router we have atm is a Cisco EPC 3925.
    It states that it the max downloadspeed is "theoretically" 160Mbit (which is 20Mbps if I'm correct)
  2. Best answer
    Hi,

    I found some of your post a little hard to follow, and i live in the uk so things are a little diffrent, however I can advise the following.

    I think the d-lan you reffer to is powerline ethernet? Its a shame if this doesn't work for you as this would be the cheapest and most effective solution. Make sure you are not plugging these in to a surge protected socket as this will cause an issue.

    Have you considered buying an Ethernet cable long enough to neatly run under the carpet/tack to the skirting boards etc up to your room?

    I think the reason the power is different between G&N is that G only uses one "spacial stream" (antennae), N can use up to 4. (in this case 2). It sounds like when N is turned on the single amplifier is having to power both antennae and hence the power drop.

    If your exiting access point is wireless N. was your previous wireless card N or just G? If you are going to have to buy an external wireless card for your laptop anyway you may wish to just buy that first and see how it goes as wireless N can go faster at distance than G can.

    I'd recommend this as a cheap but credible bit of kit:
    http://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-TL-WN8200ND-Wireless-detachable-antennas/dp/B00ATXJN60/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1388494530&sr=8-1&keywords=TL-WN8200ND

    I'd avoid a wireless extender if you can help it.

    Does power line not work anywhere in your house? you could always set up an access point or run a cable closer to your room running off power line..
  3. You could also try swapping the antenna on your existing router for a directional one and pointing it at your room. http://www.tp-link.us/products/details/?categoryid=2473&model=TL-ANT2406A#spec
  4. There is some issue if you can only get 4mbps on a ethernet cable. The length of the cable will make no difference. You should test to the speed test sites because real downloads may be limited by the site you are downloading from. The speed test site if you pay for 150m should test very high if you do not get 75m I would be calling the ISP and have them check your connection. Many times you can actually get 150m test results...even though there is no real site that will allow you to download that fast.

    If you can get 50m of actual download speed on a wireless I would be surprised. You can in special cases get more but in real houses even with the best equipment the interference from neighbors and the construction of the house greatly degrades these magic 300m or 450m numbers.

    So after you get your connection working so you can download via cable a high speed and get acceptable wireless performance when you are in the same room then you can go on to the harder issue of getting signal to your room. As suggest above direction antenna and nic cards that you can place antenna on may be a good option. Even though they don't like the ethernet cable can you run it part way and put a AP on the end of it that is closer to your room. You could also use a ethenet cable and extend a client bridge device from your room toward the router.
  5. bill001g said:
    There is some issue if you can only get 4mbps on a ethernet cable. The length of the cable will make no difference. You should test to the speed test sites because real downloads may be limited by the site you are downloading from. The speed test site if you pay for 150m should test very high if you do not get 75m I would be calling the ISP and have them check your connection. Many times you can actually get 150m test results...even though there is no real site that will allow you to download that fast.

    If you can get 50m of actual download speed on a wireless I would be surprised. You can in special cases get more but in real houses even with the best equipment the interference from neighbors and the construction of the house greatly degrades these magic 300m or 450m numbers.

    So after you get your connection working so you can download via cable a high speed and get acceptable wireless performance when you are in the same room then you can go on to the harder issue of getting signal to your room. As suggest above direction antenna and nic cards that you can place antenna on may be a good option. Even though they don't like the ethernet cable can you run it part way and put a AP on the end of it that is closer to your room. You could also use a ethenet cable and extend a client bridge device from your room toward the router.



    I took the 4mbps to mean 4Mbps = 32mbps over wireless which would be spot on for actual throughput of 802.11g.
    1Mbps sounds a bit slow, however if there is a device which has a weak signal and can only get 1mbps the access point may drop everyone to 1mbps. be aware of this.

    Google a free tool called "inssider" it will let you easily measure signal strength and check there are no other networks competing for the same wireless channel as you.
  6. bill001g said:
    There is some issue if you can only get 4mbps on a ethernet cable. The length of the cable will make no difference. You should test to the speed test sites because real downloads may be limited by the site you are downloading from. The speed test site if you pay for 150m should test very high if you do not get 75m I would be calling the ISP and have them check your connection. Many times you can actually get 150m test results...even though there is no real site that will allow you to download that fast.

    If you can get 50m of actual download speed on a wireless I would be surprised. You can in special cases get more but in real houses even with the best equipment the interference from neighbors and the construction of the house greatly degrades these magic 300m or 450m numbers.

    So after you get your connection working so you can download via cable a high speed and get acceptable wireless performance when you are in the same room then you can go on to the harder issue of getting signal to your room. As suggest above direction antenna and nic cards that you can place antenna on may be a good option. Even though they don't like the ethernet cable can you run it part way and put a AP on the end of it that is closer to your room. You could also use a ethenet cable and extend a client bridge device from your room toward the router.



    http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/3200266124

    I took the "connection point" closest to where I live ^^. I think that my speeds do get restricted because most sites I download from are "sharing" sites which won't allow you to download with higher speeds than (number) because they want you to buy their premium package...

    The speedtest results give the "actual" speeds. I do still have the cable though.
  7. Urumiko said:
    Hi,

    I found some of your post a little hard to follow, and i live in the uk so things are a little diffrent, however I can advise the following.

    I think the d-lan you reffer to is powerline ethernet? Its a shame if this doesn't work for you as this would be the cheapest and most effective solution. Make sure you are not plugging these in to a surge protected socket as this will cause an issue.

    Have you considered buying an Ethernet cable long enough to neatly run under the carpet/tack to the skirting boards etc up to your room?

    I think the reason the power is different between G&N is that G only uses one "spacial stream" (antennae), N can use up to 4. (in this case 2). It sounds like when N is turned on the single amplifier is having to power both antennae and hence the power drop.

    If your exiting access point is wireless N. was your previous wireless card N or just G? If you are going to have to buy an external wireless card for your laptop anyway you may wish to just buy that first and see how it goes as wireless N can go faster at distance than G can.

    I'd recommend this as a cheap but credible bit of kit:
    http://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-TL-WN8200ND-Wireless-detachable-antennas/dp/B00ATXJN60/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1388494530&sr=8-1&keywords=TL-WN8200ND

    I'd avoid a wireless extender if you can help it.

    Does power line not work anywhere in your house? you could always set up an access point or run a cable closer to your room running off power line..


    Well, I did indeed put the DLan in a surge protected socket, but this didn't cause the problem in general. All of my family members tried it and everytime it just stopped working from some point.

    We tried running the cable through the wall, but our house has "solid" cables which can't be pulled to put another wire through that same hole (unlucky :l).

    Are you saying N is faster than G? I thought it was the opposite? We looked on my father laptop which said it was a "N" connection, this means the network itself is a N connection or that his wifi card has a N connection?
    (+ so I should buy a N "based" wifi card as it will be faster?)

    The TP-Link extender is an "extra" antenna you put on your router which should make the connection better/ the router faster? I was doubting between an extra antenna for your wifi card, but I didn't see any way to connect this to your wifi card :l.

    "you could always set up an access point or run a cable closer to your room running off power line.."
    You mean connecting the ethernet cable to an access point? If we would buy an access point it would probably be on the same floor as I'm sitting, would it still be very useful?

    --------------------------------------
    This is just a "guess":
    Would the connection be "great" if we would buy the TP-Link you provided us with + the access point I put a link out for in the first instance?

    --------------------------------------
    My last question :$ (I know I'm asking a lot of questions):
    Most wifi cards say 10/100/1000 (something), Does this mean they go up to 160/300Mbps making about every wifi card a suitable card for my computer? (I am buying it for my desktop which doesn't have a wifi card yet).

    ~ BnG
  8. The problem you now have is you don't know how good or bad wireless will work in your room. Since it appears your limitation is the site you are downloading from even a poor wireless connection may be better than the site allows.

    Best option is to borrow a laptop or something that has wireless and run test to the speedtest site to see if you can actually get better speeds in your room.

    When you look at putting wireless on your computer you have 2 real options...3 if you include internal cards. You can go with USB based cards. I generally like the ones that have USB cables so you can place them away from the computer. Many people like this card
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833704053

    Still you should get similar results from any USB device and you can put a 15ft extension on any USB device.

    The other option is to use the device you have linked and use it as a "client-bridge". There are cheaper devices than this that have that function the one you link is more because it has repeater capability. BUT this implies you already have a wireless card in your PC to pick up the repeated signal. The key advantage of a "client-bridge" over a USB solution is the client bridge connects via ethernet and can be 100m away from your machine. So you could put it say just outside your room if you do not get a signal inside the room. Pretty much a client-bridge is the same functionally as USB but can go more than the 15ft.

    You key is to first test the wireless signal level in your room with the speedtest site on a borrowed machine. You may get lucky and go with a simple USB solution.
  9. I agree with bill001g but here are a few responses to your post.

    "We tried running the cable through the wall, but our house has "solid" cables which can't be pulled to put another wire through that same hole (unlucky :l). "
    - I was suggesting tacking the cable to the outside of the wall, going neatly arround door frames etc. This would be by far the cheapest and best thing to do. And you can use up to 100m of cable. if you are open to that kind of thing though, you could run the cable through, floor, ceiling, or outside the house possibly as well.

    "Are you saying N is faster than G? I thought it was the opposite? We looked on my father laptop which said it was a "N" connection, this means the network itself is a N connection or that his wifi card has a N connection?
    (+ so I should buy a N "based" wifi card as it will be faster?)"

    -Yes N is faster than G, I was trying to avoid going in to too much depth on this but here goes.
    there are 2 possible radio frequencies you can use for wifi
    2.4ghz, and 5ghz,

    wireless b/g/n all run in 2.4ghz
    wireless a/n/ac all run in 5ghz (wireless n can optionally be run in 5ghz on some devices but not all)

    because 2.4ghz goes through walls etc better you are only interested in B/G/N

    b = 11mbit
    g = 54mbit
    n = N comes in different speeds but to keep it as simple as possible it depends how many antena your access point / wifi card have.
    1 antenna = max 150mbit
    2 antenna = max 300mbit
    3 antenna = max 450mbit
    4 antenna = max 600mbit
    to get to these speeds though requires a number of optional features to be turned on.
    see the data rates table on wiki.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11n-2009

    As long as your router/ wifi card can get a medium level signal and both have 2 antenna you should be ok with wireless N.

    "The TP-Link extender is an "extra" antenna you put on your router which should make the connection better/ the router faster? I was doubting between an extra antenna for your wifi card, but I didn't see any way to connect this to your wifi card :l."

    - you would unscrew the "omni-directional" antenna on your router and replace it with this assuming they are the same connector type, The card i suggested says the antenna are detachable so you could in theory put 2 directional antenna on there too.


    "Most wifi cards say 10/100/1000 (something), Does this mean they go up to 160/300Mbps making about every wifi card a suitable card for my computer? (I am buying it for my desktop which doesn't have a wifi card yet)."

    - that doesnt sound right, 10/100/1000 sounds like you are looking at wired "ethernet" cards. this is fine for connecting up with a cable but wont give you wireless. Something like thiss will http://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-TL-WN951N-Wireless-Advanced-Low-profile/dp/B0034CL2ZI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1388602239&sr=8-1&keywords=wireless+n+pci
  10. bill001g said:
    The problem you now have is you don't know how good or bad wireless will work in your room. Since it appears your limitation is the site you are downloading from even a poor wireless connection may be better than the site allows.

    Best option is to borrow a laptop or something that has wireless and run test to the speedtest site to see if you can actually get better speeds in your room.

    When you look at putting wireless on your computer you have 2 real options...3 if you include internal cards. You can go with USB based cards. I generally like the ones that have USB cables so you can place them away from the computer. Many people like this card
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833704053

    Still you should get similar results from any USB device and you can put a 15ft extension on any USB device.

    The other option is to use the device you have linked and use it as a "client-bridge". There are cheaper devices than this that have that function the one you link is more because it has repeater capability. BUT this implies you already have a wireless card in your PC to pick up the repeated signal. The key advantage of a "client-bridge" over a USB solution is the client bridge connects via ethernet and can be 100m away from your machine. So you could put it say just outside your room if you do not get a signal inside the room. Pretty much a client-bridge is the same functionally as USB but can go more than the 15ft.

    You key is to first test the wireless signal level in your room with the speedtest site on a borrowed machine. You may get lucky and go with a simple USB solution.


    Oke :D
    So I'll try to borrow a laptop and run a speedtest, I'll post the results later today with what I am planning on doing qua buying equipment for an excellent connection ;).

    So you are saying it is best to buy a regular internal wifi card with such a client-bridge to connect to it for an "extended" signal? If so, how do I know which regular wifi cards are "reliable" (when choosing PC parts it is also quite important to choose the correct brand).

    If this won't work/ is too expensive I should go with the USB wifi card which I just plug in one of the Usb3.0 ports of my MB on the back side of my PC, right? ^^
  11. Urumiko said:
    I agree with bill001g but here are a few responses to your post.

    "We tried running the cable through the wall, but our house has "solid" cables which can't be pulled to put another wire through that same hole (unlucky :l). "
    - I was suggesting tacking the cable to the outside of the wall, going neatly arround door frames etc. This would be by far the cheapest and best thing to do. And you can use up to 100m of cable. if you are open to that kind of thing though, you could run the cable through, floor, ceiling, or outside the house possibly as well.

    "Are you saying N is faster than G? I thought it was the opposite? We looked on my father laptop which said it was a "N" connection, this means the network itself is a N connection or that his wifi card has a N connection?
    (+ so I should buy a N "based" wifi card as it will be faster?)"

    -Yes N is faster than G, I was trying to avoid going in to too much depth on this but here goes.
    there are 2 possible radio frequencies you can use for wifi
    2.4ghz, and 5ghz,

    wireless b/g/n all run in 2.4ghz
    wireless a/n/ac all run in 5ghz (wireless n can optionally be run in 5ghz on some devices but not all)

    because 2.4ghz goes through walls etc better you are only interested in B/G/N

    b = 11mbit
    g = 54mbit
    n = N comes in different speeds but to keep it as simple as possible it depends how many antena your access point / wifi card have.
    1 antenna = max 150mbit
    2 antenna = max 300mbit
    3 antenna = max 450mbit
    4 antenna = max 600mbit
    to get to these speeds though requires a number of optional features to be turned on.
    see the data rates table on wiki.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11n-2009

    As long as your router/ wifi card can get a medium level signal and both have 2 antenna you should be ok with wireless N.

    "The TP-Link extender is an "extra" antenna you put on your router which should make the connection better/ the router faster? I was doubting between an extra antenna for your wifi card, but I didn't see any way to connect this to your wifi card :l."

    - you would unscrew the "omni-directional" antenna on your router and replace it with this assuming they are the same connector type, The card i suggested says the antenna are detachable so you could in theory put 2 directional antenna on there too.


    "Most wifi cards say 10/100/1000 (something), Does this mean they go up to 160/300Mbps making about every wifi card a suitable card for my computer? (I am buying it for my desktop which doesn't have a wifi card yet)."

    - that doesnt sound right, 10/100/1000 sounds like you are looking at wired "ethernet" cards. this is fine for connecting up with a cable but wont give you wireless. Something like thiss will http://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-TL-WN951N-Wireless-Advanced-Low-profile/dp/B0034CL2ZI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1388602239&sr=8-1&keywords=wireless+n+pci


    I was suggesting tacking the cable to the outside of the wall, going neatly arround door frames etc. This would be by far the cheapest and best thing to do. And you can use up to 100m of cable. if you are open to that kind of thing though, you could run the cable through, floor, ceiling, or outside the house possibly as well.

    - I like the idea, but my parents want to cable out of the way :P (they find it ugly). And as the cable runs down 2 floors, there is no possible way to keep it out of sight.

    As long as your router/ wifi card can get a medium level signal and both have 2 antenna you should be ok with wireless N.
    - Our router has only got 1 antenna :$. So in this case I should buy the TP link?

    you would unscrew the "omni-directional" antenna on your router and replace it with this assuming they are the same connector type, The card i suggested says the antenna are detachable so you could in theory put 2 directional antenna on there too.

    - So it is as simple as just buying the antenna and removing the ones from my router and replacing them by the TP-link ones which will enhance the connection (make it faster in general)? And is there a way to see if my router is "compatible"? Is there like a list with compatible routers? Or can I find it on the back side of my router?

    So because of bill's and your help, I think I know the basics of how to enhance the network now. But is there a way to determine which "letter" connection your wifi-card will have? Because now I know N is faster, I'd like to get N if possible :P

    I will post another post with the equipment my parents and I are probably going to buy as soon as I've ran the speedtest ^^ ( I will also post those results).
  12. BnG said:
    Urumiko said:
    I agree with bill001g but here are a few responses to your post.

    "We tried running the cable through the wall, but our house has "solid" cables which can't be pulled to put another wire through that same hole (unlucky :l). "
    - I was suggesting tacking the cable to the outside of the wall, going neatly arround door frames etc. This would be by far the cheapest and best thing to do. And you can use up to 100m of cable. if you are open to that kind of thing though, you could run the cable through, floor, ceiling, or outside the house possibly as well.

    "Are you saying N is faster than G? I thought it was the opposite? We looked on my father laptop which said it was a "N" connection, this means the network itself is a N connection or that his wifi card has a N connection?
    (+ so I should buy a N "based" wifi card as it will be faster?)"

    -Yes N is faster than G, I was trying to avoid going in to too much depth on this but here goes.
    there are 2 possible radio frequencies you can use for wifi
    2.4ghz, and 5ghz,

    wireless b/g/n all run in 2.4ghz
    wireless a/n/ac all run in 5ghz (wireless n can optionally be run in 5ghz on some devices but not all)

    because 2.4ghz goes through walls etc better you are only interested in B/G/N

    b = 11mbit
    g = 54mbit
    n = N comes in different speeds but to keep it as simple as possible it depends how many antena your access point / wifi card have.
    1 antenna = max 150mbit
    2 antenna = max 300mbit
    3 antenna = max 450mbit
    4 antenna = max 600mbit
    to get to these speeds though requires a number of optional features to be turned on.
    see the data rates table on wiki.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11n-2009

    As long as your router/ wifi card can get a medium level signal and both have 2 antenna you should be ok with wireless N.

    "The TP-Link extender is an "extra" antenna you put on your router which should make the connection better/ the router faster? I was doubting between an extra antenna for your wifi card, but I didn't see any way to connect this to your wifi card :l."

    - you would unscrew the "omni-directional" antenna on your router and replace it with this assuming they are the same connector type, The card i suggested says the antenna are detachable so you could in theory put 2 directional antenna on there too.


    "Most wifi cards say 10/100/1000 (something), Does this mean they go up to 160/300Mbps making about every wifi card a suitable card for my computer? (I am buying it for my desktop which doesn't have a wifi card yet)."

    - that doesnt sound right, 10/100/1000 sounds like you are looking at wired "ethernet" cards. this is fine for connecting up with a cable but wont give you wireless. Something like thiss will http://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-TL-WN951N-Wireless-Advanced-Low-profile/dp/B0034CL2ZI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1388602239&sr=8-1&keywords=wireless+n+pci


    I was suggesting tacking the cable to the outside of the wall, going neatly arround door frames etc. This would be by far the cheapest and best thing to do. And you can use up to 100m of cable. if you are open to that kind of thing though, you could run the cable through, floor, ceiling, or outside the house possibly as well.

    - I like the idea, but my parents want to cable out of the way :P (they find it ugly). And as the cable runs down 2 floors, there is no possible way to keep it out of sight.

    As long as your router/ wifi card can get a medium level signal and both have 2 antenna you should be ok with wireless N.
    - Our router has only got 1 antenna :$. So in this case I should buy the TP link?

    you would unscrew the "omni-directional" antenna on your router and replace it with this assuming they are the same connector type, The card i suggested says the antenna are detachable so you could in theory put 2 directional antenna on there too.

    - So it is as simple as just buying the antenna and removing the ones from my router and replacing them by the TP-link ones which will enhance the connection (make it faster in general)? And is there a way to see if my router is "compatible"? Is there like a list with compatible routers? Or can I find it on the back side of my router?

    So because of bill's and your help, I think I know the basics of how to enhance the network now. But is there a way to determine which "letter" connection your wifi-card will have? Because now I know N is faster, I'd like to get N if possible :P

    I will post another post with the equipment my parents and I are probably going to buy as soon as I've ran the speedtest ^^ ( I will also post those results).


    "Our router has only got 1 antenna :$. So in this case I should buy the TP link?"
    Unfortunately there is no guarantee if its going to work of not, so to avoid spending too much money without needing to, I would lust buy one of the TP-link wireless cards and perhaps the directional antennae.and see if you can make it connect, if you can get an ok connection I would then replace the cisco router with a one which has 3 antennae. If you cant get it to connect I would then buy one of the extenders you were discussing.

    "So it is as simple as just buying the antenna and removing the ones from my router and replacing them by the TP-link ones which will enhance the connection (make it faster in general)?"
    The antenna which is on there at the moment sends out the signal in all directions, which means the strength of the signal is spread out in all directions, A directional antenna mainly sends the signal in the direction it is pointing, which means there is a lot more power going in that direction, which will hopefully be enough to penetrate the walls, Unfortunately I am not experienced in the connector types but I think your router and the cards i've linked all use the same screw on connectors known as "RP-SMA Female / Male". Its not my area of expertise but there doesn't appear to be any consistency between whether the antennae are male or female, so you might need to check your equipment manufacturers website to see if you need an adapter. Here is an image that should help you figure out what you need http://nosparts.net/images/400-smaExamples.jpg,

    "s there a way to determine which "letter" connection your wifi-card will have"
    If you are buying one it will clearly say on them, usually in a list like b/g/n, or a/b/g/n/ac, if you are looking at a computer which has one already in it may or may not say somewhere in the device name, or in the settings. But if you look up the model number online it should say. If it mentions N at all you can guarantee it will be G/N compatible.


    Remember if you buy a wifi card and you cant get a signal, don't despair you needed a wifi card anyway, you're just going to have to put in another order for a repeater.

    Oh by the way, you mentioned your house has 3 floors? Is one an attic conversion? Normally the way they get power for conversions or extensions involves bolting a terminal box on to an existing power circuit, these boxes have been known to screw up power line adapters / d-link. You might want to try using them on the middle floor if you haven't already, see if there are some sockets on a different circuit (you or your parents might know this from the circuit breakers and which sockets they are connected to). If you can find a reliable socket then this might be a good place to put a range extender which runs off powerline.
  13. Urumiko said:
    BnG said:
    Urumiko said:
    I agree with bill001g but here are a few responses to your post.

    "We tried running the cable through the wall, but our house has "solid" cables which can't be pulled to put another wire through that same hole (unlucky :l). "
    - I was suggesting tacking the cable to the outside of the wall, going neatly arround door frames etc. This would be by far the cheapest and best thing to do. And you can use up to 100m of cable. if you are open to that kind of thing though, you could run the cable through, floor, ceiling, or outside the house possibly as well.

    "Are you saying N is faster than G? I thought it was the opposite? We looked on my father laptop which said it was a "N" connection, this means the network itself is a N connection or that his wifi card has a N connection?
    (+ so I should buy a N "based" wifi card as it will be faster?)"

    -Yes N is faster than G, I was trying to avoid going in to too much depth on this but here goes.
    there are 2 possible radio frequencies you can use for wifi
    2.4ghz, and 5ghz,

    wireless b/g/n all run in 2.4ghz
    wireless a/n/ac all run in 5ghz (wireless n can optionally be run in 5ghz on some devices but not all)

    because 2.4ghz goes through walls etc better you are only interested in B/G/N

    b = 11mbit
    g = 54mbit
    n = N comes in different speeds but to keep it as simple as possible it depends how many antena your access point / wifi card have.
    1 antenna = max 150mbit
    2 antenna = max 300mbit
    3 antenna = max 450mbit
    4 antenna = max 600mbit
    to get to these speeds though requires a number of optional features to be turned on.
    see the data rates table on wiki.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11n-2009

    As long as your router/ wifi card can get a medium level signal and both have 2 antenna you should be ok with wireless N.

    "The TP-Link extender is an "extra" antenna you put on your router which should make the connection better/ the router faster? I was doubting between an extra antenna for your wifi card, but I didn't see any way to connect this to your wifi card :l."

    - you would unscrew the "omni-directional" antenna on your router and replace it with this assuming they are the same connector type, The card i suggested says the antenna are detachable so you could in theory put 2 directional antenna on there too.


    "Most wifi cards say 10/100/1000 (something), Does this mean they go up to 160/300Mbps making about every wifi card a suitable card for my computer? (I am buying it for my desktop which doesn't have a wifi card yet)."

    - that doesnt sound right, 10/100/1000 sounds like you are looking at wired "ethernet" cards. this is fine for connecting up with a cable but wont give you wireless. Something like thiss will http://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-TL-WN951N-Wireless-Advanced-Low-profile/dp/B0034CL2ZI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1388602239&sr=8-1&keywords=wireless+n+pci


    I was suggesting tacking the cable to the outside of the wall, going neatly arround door frames etc. This would be by far the cheapest and best thing to do. And you can use up to 100m of cable. if you are open to that kind of thing though, you could run the cable through, floor, ceiling, or outside the house possibly as well.

    - I like the idea, but my parents want to cable out of the way :P (they find it ugly). And as the cable runs down 2 floors, there is no possible way to keep it out of sight.

    As long as your router/ wifi card can get a medium level signal and both have 2 antenna you should be ok with wireless N.
    - Our router has only got 1 antenna :$. So in this case I should buy the TP link?

    you would unscrew the "omni-directional" antenna on your router and replace it with this assuming they are the same connector type, The card i suggested says the antenna are detachable so you could in theory put 2 directional antenna on there too.

    - So it is as simple as just buying the antenna and removing the ones from my router and replacing them by the TP-link ones which will enhance the connection (make it faster in general)? And is there a way to see if my router is "compatible"? Is there like a list with compatible routers? Or can I find it on the back side of my router?

    So because of bill's and your help, I think I know the basics of how to enhance the network now. But is there a way to determine which "letter" connection your wifi-card will have? Because now I know N is faster, I'd like to get N if possible :P

    I will post another post with the equipment my parents and I are probably going to buy as soon as I've ran the speedtest ^^ ( I will also post those results).


    "Our router has only got 1 antenna :$. So in this case I should buy the TP link?"
    Unfortunately there is no guarantee if its going to work of not, so to avoid spending too much money without needing to, I would lust buy one of the TP-link wireless cards and perhaps the directional antennae.and see if you can make it connect, if you can get an ok connection I would then replace the cisco router with a one which has 3 antennae. If you cant get it to connect I would then buy one of the extenders you were discussing.

    "So it is as simple as just buying the antenna and removing the ones from my router and replacing them by the TP-link ones which will enhance the connection (make it faster in general)?"
    The antenna which is on there at the moment sends out the signal in all directions, which means the strength of the signal is spread out in all directions, A directional antenna mainly sends the signal in the direction it is pointing, which means there is a lot more power going in that direction, which will hopefully be enough to penetrate the walls, Unfortunately I am not experienced in the connector types but I think your router and the cards i've linked all use the same screw on connectors known as "RP-SMA Female / Male". Its not my area of expertise but there doesn't appear to be any consistency between whether the antennae are male or female, so you might need to check your equipment manufacturers website to see if you need an adapter. Here is an image that should help you figure out what you need http://nosparts.net/images/400-smaExamples.jpg,

    "s there a way to determine which "letter" connection your wifi-card will have"
    If you are buying one it will clearly say on them, usually in a list like b/g/n, or a/b/g/n/ac, if you are looking at a computer which has one already in it may or may not say somewhere in the device name, or in the settings. But if you look up the model number online it should say. If it mentions N at all you can guarantee it will be G/N compatible.


    Remember if you buy a wifi card and you cant get a signal, don't despair you needed a wifi card anyway, you're just going to have to put in another order for a repeater.

    Oh by the way, you mentioned your house has 3 floors? Is one an attic conversion? Normally the way they get power for conversions or extensions involves bolting a terminal box on to an existing power circuit, these boxes have been known to screw up power line adapters / d-link. You might want to try using them on the middle floor if you haven't already, see if there are some sockets on a different circuit (you or your parents might know this from the circuit breakers and which sockets they are connected to). If you can find a reliable socket then this might be a good place to put a range extender which runs off powerline.


    When I used my old laptop, I got about 300-800 kbps when downloading.
    I just downloaded a game from steam with the ethernet cable and at first it didn't go above 400 KB, but after like 10 min it started going from 1MBps to 2 MBps and after that rapidly to around 4-6 MBps.

    So after going through all the post, I think I should do something like this:
    - FIRST - Buy a wifi card (non usb) and see if I can make it connect to the router.
    - Second - If I can't get it too a high enough speed: Buy and extender / client bridge for the wifi card to extend the signal and hopefully improve it. (Could someone send me a link with an example of such an extender, because I have no idea about what to think of something like this :P).
    - Third - Buy the TP-link directional antenna's for the router (hopefully they will fit) + will I have to point it directly at my room/ pc? It will have to go through 2 floors...
    - If this still doesn't give me enough speed, buy an access point (the engenius one I posted in the first post).

    Have you maybe got an idea which speeds would be like "minimal / regular / optimal" for my internet package? I have a max internet package with 150Mbit downloadspeed and 15Mbit uploadspeed.
    I'd say my DL speeds should be:
    Minimal: 1MB-1.5MBps
    Regular: 3-4MBps
    Optimal: 6 MBps

    Am I right around these numbers?

    And about the floor problem, I don't exactly get what you are saying, but I'll try to ask my dad about it :P It would be quite nice if D-link would finally work...
    I think that you mean something like this:
    Install drivers and stuff, connect the cable in your PC, run it to a socket not on that connection-disturbing circuit and see if it works. If this is the case, what do you mean with the "range extender"? Won't I need a wifi card for something like that?

    IF this is what you are saying, I have had an experience with D-Lan that it worked on the 2nd floor when my father connected his PC, but at the same time didn't work on the floor I had my PC + in both sockets I tried connecting the D-Lan cable in.
  14. use speedtest.net to test your speed, erm its hard to say. id expect at least 10Mbps on ethernet cable, but sources like downloads may not go that fast.

    I'd get wireless kit that is rated up to 300mbps at least to get the best out of your connection.

    Erm let me try and explain... instead of computers think of a guy sat in your room trying to shout down to a person where the router is, if he cant hear the person sat next to the router they cant communicate.

    one solution would be to have someone stand half way between your room and the router and repeat everything you are saying back and forth. This is what a repeater does.
    The problem with this is that the guy in the middle (repeater) can only listen to one person at a time, and talk to one person at a time, he cant even talk and listen at the same time. So this can add significant delay over talking directly to the router.

    What i was saying was if you can have a device which sits in the middle and talks to your computer on wifi, but talks to your router over the powerline, then this problem is eliminated as they both have an independant channel of communication. You could do this by connecting a wireless access point to a powerline ethernet adapter, but you can also get powerline ethernet adapters which have a wifi access point built in. for example:

    http://www.amazon.com/ZyXel-PLA4231-Powerline-Wireless-Extender/dp/B00B7DG8WS/ref=sr_1_15?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1388698004&sr=1-15&keywords=802.11n+powerline

    you would need one wifi one for the middle floor, and one normal one to put by the router
  15. Urumiko said:
    use speedtest.net to test your speed, erm its hard to say. id expect at least 10Mbps on ethernet cable, but sources like downloads may not go that fast.

    I'd get wireless kit that is rated up to 300mbps at least to get the best out of your connection.

    Erm let me try and explain... instead of computers think of a guy sat in your room trying to shout down to a person where the router is, if he cant hear the person sat next to the router they cant communicate.

    one solution would be to have someone stand half way between your room and the router and repeat everything you are saying back and forth. This is what a repeater does.
    The problem with this is that the guy in the middle (repeater) can only listen to one person at a time, and talk to one person at a time, he cant even talk and listen at the same time. So this can add significant delay over talking directly to the router.

    What i was saying was if you can have a device which sits in the middle and talks to your computer on wifi, but talks to your router over the powerline, then this problem is eliminated as they both have an independant channel of communication. You could do this by connecting a wireless access point to a powerline ethernet adapter, but you can also get powerline ethernet adapters which have a wifi access point built in. for example:

    http://www.amazon.com/ZyXel-PLA4231-Powerline-Wireless-Extender/dp/B00B7DG8WS/ref=sr_1_15?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1388698004&sr=1-15&keywords=802.11n+powerline

    you would need one wifi one for the middle floor, and one normal one to put by the router


    So basically you are suggesting to do all the wrote down above, but exchange the access point from engenius for 2 of those wireless extenders? Would a 300Mbps be enough (I'd like to keep it <100$ if possible ).
    Will this be a problem: We have the ground floor, middle floor, 3rd floor where I'm sitting. We can probably put 1 extender in on the 2nd floor, but the socket nearest to the electricity "door" (I don't really know the English word) is about 4-5 meter away + it is only 1 socket (Only 1 device can be plugged in). Do you think this will be a problem?

    The wireless extenders sound like quite a good way of improving the internet, would we still need the directional antenna? Because the wireless extenders would be quite close to the router.

    And putting 1 extender on the lowest floor and 1 on the floor I'm sitting won't work right? They won't be able to connect?

    What I would buy according to your advice:
    - Wifi card for my PC + external extender for the Wifi card to improve connection (I don't know how it looks like though).
    - The 2 wireless extenders for the 2nd and first floor
    - (The extra directional antenna? Or wouldn't this be useful because we would already have the wireless extenders?)

    ~ BnG
  16. hi. I think you are using the word extender to mean different things so it's a little confusing ^_^.

    If it were me I'd buy the following:
    1:ID buy the USB Wifi card for your PC and see if this can connect to your existing equipment.
    if it cant...
    2:buy a kit like this http://www.tp-link.us/products/details/?categoryid=2244&model=TL-WPA4220KIT
    connect the wireless one to a socket in the room below yours on the 2nd floor. If you need more sockets you can use a multi-plug extension just dont use a fancy surge protected one. this should give you a wireless signal which reaches your bedroom. Connect the other power line adapter to your existing router.


    That is all you should need assuming the powerline works ok.

    You wont be able to do it cheaper unless you go slower or run a cable.
  17. Urumiko said:
    hi. I think you are using the word extender to mean different things so it's a little confusing ^_^.

    If it were me I'd buy the following:
    1:ID buy the USB Wifi card for your PC and see if this can connect to your existing equipment.
    if it cant...
    2:buy a kit like this http://www.tp-link.us/products/details/?categoryid=2244&model=TL-WPA4220KIT
    connect the wireless one to a socket in the room below yours on the 2nd floor. If you need more sockets you can use a multi-plug extension just dont use a fancy surge protected one. this should give you a wireless signal which reaches your bedroom. Connect the other power line adapter to your existing router.


    That is all you should need assuming the powerline works ok.

    You wont be able to do it cheaper unless you go slower or run a cable.


    This makes a lot of things more clear to me :P
    So I'll just buy a USB wifi card and hope it works. If not, I'll give option 2 a try.

    Because I like to perfect the connection as much as possible, I'll buy the Directional antenna for the router + the engenius access point. It doesn't harm the connection right? It can only improve it!
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