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  Topic Review (Newest First)
2010-12-01 03:36 PM
ScaryBob
Quote:
Tomato on a Linksys wrt54gl router
That's a great solution if N protocol is not required. DD-WRT firmware is also very good. IIRC, antenna boosters are available for the wrt54gl and I've seen the router on sale for about $40 recently. Now, if someone would do an N router version...
2010-12-01 02:55 PM
Petee_C I run Tomato on a Linksys wrt54gl router in the basement of a large house. Signal was decent throughout the entire house. I got an iPhone 3gs last xmas, and it sometimes had problems connecting in our bedroom ( maybe twice/month?)

With Tomato, you can adjust the transmit power of the router, I think stock it's about 60% of max strength... I tweaked it a couple percentage points and have gone months now without a problem.....

Funny think about it is... the router seems to 'hear' the iPhone fine, maybe the advantage of having a bigger antenna.
2010-12-01 01:16 PM
ScaryBob In the Apple products, you want the Airport Extreme. However, you do not need an Apple product. There are other wireless N options that will work as well. Cisco, Linksys, Dlink and Netgear all have highly rated routers (depending on who you ask.) Prices are dropping so sales and rebates are common. List prices remain high on the dual band models but they provide the best range and throughput.

A bit dated but offers a balanced perspective - Wireless Routers: Reviews
2010-12-01 12:49 PM
NeilN I took delivery of an Extreme today to replace a Linksys 610N. I believe the 610N is highly regarded but I was occasionally having issues with dropped signals as it has to deal with 10+ competing WiFi networks. I'm hoping when I turn on the extender functionality of my 2 Expresses the issues will go away. I'll let you know how it goes.
2010-12-01 12:37 PM
aleksh
Wi-Fi Signal

I also wanted to mention that I do not think the antenna extender is an option for me as I am using a Bell 2wire router/modem and it does not have an antenna like other routers. Thanks again.
2010-12-01 12:23 PM
aleksh
Wi-Fi Signal and options with imac

Thanks everyone for the great advice. One more question. I just purchased an imac...would buying the Airport Express or extreme help my situation and also give me more networking options for ipad, itunes, printers etc?

Not sure if I need the Airport Express, Extreme, or Back-up?

I think this may be best instead of running wires to a recently fully finished basement. I really screwed up. I should have had the guys install all the wires when it was exposed. They did do the cable and phone but no CAT5. Oh well.

Any help from mac users out there would be appreciated/
2010-11-22 01:45 AM
markf I bought Netgear XET1001 powerline adapters for about $54 shipping in for two refurb units on eBay for a friend.

She had the wireless router in the furnace room (all metal enclosure, must not be great for signals), so to move it to a more central location I bought the adapters and they work great. The router now sits in the middle of the house while the modem is in the basement. They can be moved around, including right by the Blu-ray player for updates when necessary.

I am considering some for myself. It beats running wire, especially if you are not staying in the same home for long. The units I bought are 85 mbps units and they operate well. In my house, my switch is only 10/100, so I'm only losing about 15% of the speed for such and easy solution. All I need is about 20 mbps for video, so in my case it's all good and it works in any room.
2010-11-22 12:34 AM
brettski I had similar problems in my home - modem and router in one corner of the basement and my daughter's computer in her bedroom on the opposite side of the house on the second floor. She was frequently loosing her connection; sometimes at very important times, like when she was completing university homework online.
So I purchased the "Netgear AV+ 200 Powerline Ethernet Networking Adapter Kit 100MBPS W Extra Outlet and Noise Filtering". One of the best "tech" type purchases I have ever made. With Shaw High-Speed Extreme, I average about 13 Mbps download speed in the basement at the modem and router and my daughter is always over 10 Mbps in her second floor bedroom. I'm considering purchasing another for my son's PS3 located on the main floor.
2010-11-22 12:23 AM
mateo_f4
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCDA View Post
Is there an external antenna connection on your existing AP/router? If it's a 'screw on' antenna, you can get an omnidirectional antenna which will provide a substantial signal gain. It may require an adapter or adapter cable depending on the fittings on the antenna and AP. A 4 or 5 dbi gain antenna can make a huge amount of difference in coverage.

As others have suggested, run hard ethernet wiring wherever possible - keep wireless for you mobile devices. I have cable throughout the house, but need wireless for my notebook and other RF equipment like barcode scanners and such that I support for my company.
I would agree with adding external antennas. If you have a router that allows you to assign Tx & Rx to each antenna, I would recommend running an Rx antenna up to your second floor (generally, the Tx from the router is not the issue, it's the lower strength Tx of your devices that is). I did this with my Linksys (running DD-WRT) and it's an awesome improvement.
2010-11-21 10:52 PM
WestCDA Is there an external antenna connection on your existing AP/router? If it's a 'screw on' antenna, you can get an omnidirectional antenna which will provide a substantial signal gain. It may require an adapter or adapter cable depending on the fittings on the antenna and AP. A 4 or 5 dbi gain antenna can make a huge amount of difference in coverage.

As others have suggested, run hard ethernet wiring wherever possible - keep wireless for you mobile devices. I have cable throughout the house, but need wireless for my notebook and other RF equipment like barcode scanners and such that I support for my company.
2010-11-21 03:46 PM
99semaj For my house, I invested in a structured cabling system to get two Cat6 in every room, but that's not desirable or practical for everyone. I got into this practice when i lived in an urban area where I was competing with no less than a dozen wifi networks in range, which is guarantee for trouble.

Now that I live on a rural property, i no longer have wireless congestion, but I still opted to wire the house. It's the best solution.

I do maintain a wireless network for my iOS devices, and the best thing to do there is to get above grade. Nothing saps a wifi signal like Earth!
2010-11-21 02:34 PM
scotta
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesK View Post
You might consider a repeater.
aleksh, the OP, said in the first post:
Quote:
- Buy a wireless range extender for 2'nd floor...but these can be hard to hook up and unreliable...maintaining 2 networks
A range extender is the same as a repeater.
2010-11-21 01:36 PM
JamesK
Quote:
Any help appreciated.
You might consider a repeater. The Asus WL-330gE portable access point can be configured as a repeater, but it doesn't do 802.11n. They're not too expensive and you may find them on sale.
2010-11-21 12:47 PM
ScaryBob I have everything wired but appreciate that it isn't always easy or desirable. I see some likely scenarios.
1. Move the wireless router back to the second floor. Use Powerline or CAT5e/6 to the basement. (An unmanaged switch and CAT5e/6 could be used to connect devices in the basement.)
2. Simply repositioning the router location in the basement could improve reception at the far end of the second floor.
3. Switch everything over to wireless-N.
4. Turn off the wireless on the basement modem/router and use CAT5e/6 or Powerline to feed a wireless router/access point on the second floor.

It is desirable to keep everything in the office wired, especially if there are networked devices such as printers.
2010-11-21 11:32 AM
Tikker yup, I'd look at running at least 1 ethernet run to the topfloor and add a wireless ap up there

should give you full coverage
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