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How to Boost Wireless Signal in Home?

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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November 11, 2004 11:28:09 AM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

Hi,

I have a Linksys wireless router connected to a cable modem on the main
floor. 3 computers in the house share the internet connection via
wireless. 2 work fine without problem and both are located close the
the router. However the 3rd one receives very low signal and from time
to time, the signal keeps dropping. The 3rd one is the furthest away
from the router and it is on the 2nd floor.

I wonder if there is a way to boost the signal strength so that the 3rd
one can get better signal. I'd prefer not moving the location of the
router.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Terry
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
November 11, 2004 11:28:10 AM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

I have tried to find ways to boost the signal, but to be completely
honest, my Linksys works great from a first floor in the house to an
apartment above the garage with no issues.

Might be something in the floor causing the degradation in signal. Make
sure your wireless cards are linksys, I have found that using other
brand cards than router will potentially be a problem. Also, you can
try running cat-5 upstairs and linking another router for the second
floor. I know that is less attractive but it might work if you have
something between the floors causing the problem.

Also, try buying a key fob that gives you signal strength to test it
throughout the house. You can then try and move your antennas to get a
better signal and test out easier (or take a laptop if you have one and
have someone look at signal strength when you move the antennas).
Hope some of that helps!
JJ
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
November 11, 2004 11:28:10 AM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

On Thu, 11 Nov 2004 08:28:09 -0600, Terry
<gobeyondgobeyond@Rem0ve.Yahoo.com> wrote:

>I have a Linksys wireless router

Model number and version?

>connected to a cable modem on the main
>floor. 3 computers in the house share the internet connection via
>wireless. 2 work fine without problem and both are located close the
>the router. However the 3rd one receives very low signal and from time
>to time, the signal keeps dropping. The 3rd one is the furthest away
>from the router and it is on the 2nd floor.

I'll assume that the 3rd computah works well when moved to the 1st
floor. If there's something wrong with the unspecified model radio on
the 3rd computah, boosting the signal at the Linksys router will not
help. Before engaging in remedial exercises, it would be wise to drag
a known working laptop around the 2nd floor and check the coverage.
If the laptop works well, but the 3rd computah does not, then you have
some kind of radio related problem in the 3rd computah. This is
fairly common with PCI wireless cards, where the antenna tends to be
buried behind the metal case, against a wall, and under a table, which
is by far, the worst possible location for any radio signal.

>I wonder if there is a way to boost the signal strength so that the 3rd
>one can get better signal. I'd prefer not moving the location of the
>router.

Linksys sells an add on power booster that allegedly works with some
models of Linksys routers. They've discontinued the product and
reports from the field show that it's not worth the effort. Not
recommended.

If your 1st floor router is at one end of the house, it might be
possible to attach an external panel or patch antenna and redirect
some of the RF in the general direction. This will work but realize
that antennas do not generate RF, they only redirect it. If you
increase the gain in one direction, you lose it in another.

Methinks the cheapest and best solution is to add another access point
on the 2nd floor. Run a CAT5 cable from the LAN port of the 1st floor
router to upstairs. You can use a router instead of an access point
if you disable the DHCP server and ignore the WAN port. The added
CAT5 cable goes to the LAN port. To avoid interference between
radios, use different non-overlapping channels (1,6,11) but the same
SSID.

If you find that running the cable is a bit much, then you can check
into WDS (wireless distribution something) which makes the 2nd access
point act as a repeater. The advantage is no added wiring. The
disadvantes are many. Both your unspecified existing router and added
router need to be "WDS compatible" which really means the same brand
and model. WDS cuts your bandwidth in half (or worse). You still
need a good strong signal through the floors between the two radios.
I don't recommend this unless you're desperate.

Incidentally, my guess(tm) is that your existing wireless router is in
the ideal location for where all the wires come together and probably
the worst location for RF (under a desk). That's what happens with an
all-in-one unit that combines the router and wireless function. The
router wants to live on the floor where the wires are, while the radio
should be located as high as possible (bookshelf) for best coverage
and view. That's why I usually suggest a seperate router and seperate
wireless access point, which allows you to move the access point
around for best coverage.


--
Jeff Liebermann jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 AE6KS 831-336-2558
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
November 11, 2004 8:27:55 PM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

Terry <gobeyondgobeyond@rem0ve.yahoo.com> wrote:
> I have a Linksys wireless router connected to a cable modem on the main
> floor. 3 computers in the house share the internet connection via

The signal pattern from the antenna is like a doughnut. You can improve
the signal to the upstairs PC by turning the antenna at an angle, so it is
pointed broadside at the antenna upstairs. Do the same wiht the antenna
upstairs.

You might also add reflectors to both antennas.
http://www.freeantennas.com EZ10 is quick, the others require some talent.

Moving the router higher helps a lot. On top of a computer desk hutch
instead of down lower makes a difference.

--
---
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley (Lake County) CA USA 38.8-122.5
!