I have a friend who is looking to extend his wireless signal throughout her house. Her house is a bit old and the signal gets weak/non-existant near the edges of her house, so she is forced to stay inside.
I know there are antennas out that that will extend the range of the signal but how good do they work, really?
Unfortunately I'm not sure what router she has but I believe it's a linksys if I'm not mistaken.
Can anyone provide me with some information on good, maybe universal, antennas that will extend the range of her signal? Or how well they work and if it's worth buying one? Or perhaps another method?
Antenna are a key componet in delivering wireless. Most combo units come with a 2dbi antennas. Replacemnet antenna is the 5dbi up are out there depend on your unit. It's been a while since I actuall looked at performace vs dbi. But if I reclall for every dbi gain in increase your siginal doubles, kind of like the richter scale. I don't recommend combo units, for the problem you are having. Most stand alone AP come with high gain antennas as standard. and you are tied to where you service is in most cases.
Another issue is the built in 11b/g cards used in notebooks. Most are junk compaired to PCMCI cards.
Example: My notebook has a Ralink 2500 11b/g min-pci radio card. It is pretty worthless. Only works sometimes if in the same room, line of site (20ft max). That is with my AP with dual 5dbi High gain antennas power set to max power. My PCMCI card will cover my whole house going through 4 walls, 50 feet on low power.
The bottom line is it may be the wireless card in the LT and not the wireless router. Any 2.4 ghz phones can cause havic on wireless system. As well has walls, ref, stoves, outer walls, Al siding ..... Another thing to consider is that different chip sets do not play will with each other. Yes they all are 11b/g spec. They do connect but it may be a range difference of 100%.
So if they have an internal wireless card in their LT and they are getting crappy reception, you're saying, if you want better range, purchase a PCMCIA card instead of wireless antennas for the router?
What about desktop computers? Are the PCI cards equal to that of a PCMCIA card ( I assume so, but just checking)
With pc's You have to be careful with the antenna being blocked by the case. Some have the antenna on a pigtail which is good. You also have a lot of devices that generate rf noise inside a pc. You can also use the USB type, I don't like things on the USB ports, due to some latency issues, as long as its on a seperate controller (2.0) should be fine, far exceds the bandwith needed. But I prefer wired for desktop if at all possiable.
Another note: it is allways better to have all wireless using the same chipset.
I have a USR 5450 AP with a USR5410 PCMCI card. This is a solid setup, even though its almost 2 yrs old. Here is a old article (The 11G shootout) that explains what I was taking about. You will notice that the USR PCMCI card seam to play well with all chip sets. But remember this is 18mo old and may not be complete acurate with todays chip sets.
For some reason you don't see may article on the USR hardware. It is seames more toward small bussiness i believe.