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Long range (5+ miles) directional WiFi signal boosting?

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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April 10, 2012 11:54:40 PM

Hello all,

I have a possible project that I would like to work on and need some advice/input. My work blocks things like personal email accounts, gmail calendars, etc. It's very frustrating when I'm working technical coverage (engineer) during a start-up process on the night shift (12am-8am). I really don't get a lot done during this period and I'm just there in case anything goes wrong and it's extremely boring 99% of the time. I just bought a laptop and was trying to get creative as to how to get internet access without going through my work (secure) connection. I've already explored tethering from my iPhone and I'm still considering it, but it will probably severely limit bandwidth or it will cost a fortune.

I work approximately 4.1 miles (LOS) from my apartment. I live on the top floor (3rd floor) and my balcony faces directly towards my office. The only thing between the two are trees mostly. I'm wondering if I can get something like a wifi high-gain, low loss, directional antenna connected to my router. I've found one that claims over 6 miles with low LOS issues:

http://www.buy.com/prod/outdoor-wifi-grid-24dbi-ultra-d...

It's actually relatively affordable if I can pickup the signal from work using just my standard internal wifi adapter in my laptop. Or another small adapter booster to help pickup the signal.

Does this sound feasible? Any flaws in my plan? Will the tree coverage between points cause a massive/small signal loss? Will my existing internal laptop adapter pick up the signal? Will the antenna only work in ideal weather conditions?

Any input would be GREATLY appreciated! :D 
April 11, 2012 6:30:38 AM

to be able to communicate between two locations 5 miles apart would require a directional antenna at each location.

the internal antenna of a laptop might be able to pickup the signal from the directional antenna but cannot send out a strong enough signal which would reach that directional antenna. Usually the max distance for a N-network card outdoors is about 850 ft.

tethering might be an option but you better check with the service provider. Some providers will switch you to a different plan if you use tethering on your phone. Usually an extra $20 to $30 a month
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April 11, 2012 6:28:30 PM

It's all about what you are willing to spend.

You could install your own point-to-point microwave specifically designed for what you want to do.

A pair of Ubiquiti airMAX Nanobridge M units will do what you want. They can use TDMA in a point-to-point situation with an advertised range of 20 km. I use 4 of these and my longest hop is 41 km (26 miles) with perfect results. I use the larger 16 inch dishes. In the TDMA mode, there is near-zero latency and nobody is going to leech off of you either.

They are PoE powered (injector is included) and setup is performed using a built-in webpage type interface similar to any router. This is carrier-class equipment.

Cost: about U.S. $80.00 each on Ebay. Search for "Nanobridge M."

The Ubiquiti site is
HERE. Click on the Nanobridge M picture-link under the words "Airmax antennas."

They are available in 4 versions: 900 Mhz, 2.4 Ghz, 3 Ghz, and 5 Ghz. and no license is required in most countries.

It is also possible to use just one unit as a standard Wifi receiver, AP, or bridge.



Edit:

Quote:
Does this sound feasible? Any flaws in my plan? Will the tree coverage between points cause a massive/small signal loss? Will my existing internal laptop adapter pick up the signal? Will the antenna only work in ideal weather conditions?

Yes, thick tree coverage is a stopper.
No, your laptop built-in antenna is useless in your situation.
Weather is not a factor except if dry trees don't kill the signal, wet trees might. It depends on the density of the trees. Since the Nanobridge is powered over the Ethernet line, it can be located 100M away so maybe a dish on the roof?


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June 2, 2014 3:06:04 PM

tigsounds said:

A pair of Ubiquiti airMAX Nanobridge M units will do what you want. They can use TDMA in a point-to-point situation with an advertised range of 20 km. I use 4 of these and my longest hop is 41 km (26 miles) with perfect results. I use the larger 16 inch dishes. In the TDMA mode, there is near-zero latency and nobody is going to leech off of you either.




So your longest hop from one dish to the next is 26 miles? Or all 4 dishes combined adds up to a length of 26 miles?

I really would like to get faster internet from intown to where I live but want to do it for a reasonable amount of money and time. Also I am completely new to networking of any sort.

If you know of a good page or information on this topic it would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
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