1 year in Afghanistan + Afghan wireless... boost signal?

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1 year in Afghanistan + Afghan wireless... boost signal?

Postposted on Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:53 am

Hi all,

Deployed to Afghanistan for a year - I am paying for internet that is provided by the Afghans (80 bucks a month) it is wireless internet and it is slow as snot. I am used to wired internet - since I am here a year, I am in permanent dorms. The dorms are basically two story metal boxes with a connecting hallway. The wireless repeaters are in the ceiling of the hall. If I close my door to my room my signal drops to 1 bar. There is a hole in my wall that leads into the outside hall, what would be the best thing to buy for my laptop so I can run it up the wall, through that hole and into the ceiling of the hall to get a direct signal from the wifi repeater?

Basically, when I am not out running around doing my job and I get a chance to sit on my ass in my room, I would like faster internet. Oh, btw, they are using PPPOE... so I can't even use my Iphone unless someone can tell me how to use my computers wifi for that too.

Thanks all,

Slow in Afghanistan.
M17X Alienware Laptop... collecting moon dust in Afghanistan.
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Re: 1 year in Afghanistan + Afghan wireless... boost signal?

Postposted on Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:45 am

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Re: 1 year in Afghanistan + Afghan wireless... boost signal?

Postposted on Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:07 am

You could get a usb wireless adapter and then attach it to a long usb cable.
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Re: 1 year in Afghanistan + Afghan wireless... boost signal?

Postposted on Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:03 am

Last edited by Anonim1979 on Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 1 year in Afghanistan + Afghan wireless... boost signal?

Postposted on Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:18 am

Don't build crappy homebrew antennas.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... al+antenna
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Re: 1 year in Afghanistan + Afghan wireless... boost signal?

Postposted on Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:40 am

okay, another question... if I get a USB Wireless Adapter - can I put it on a really long USB cord and still get signal from it? Or does it have to be plugged directly into my laptop>?

I am thinking of getting a 15-20ish USB cable and plugging the adapter into the far end of it and poking it through the hole into the ceiling where the router is... and then the other end into my laptop. Will that work though? I know, crazy - but this internet is major suckage.
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Re: 1 year in Afghanistan + Afghan wireless... boost signal?

Postposted on Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:47 am

dractul wrote:okay, another question... if I get a USB Wireless Adapter - can I put it on a really long USB cord and still get signal from it? Or does it have to be plugged directly into my laptop>?

I am thinking of getting a 15-20ish USB cable and plugging the adapter into the far end of it and poking it through the hole into the ceiling where the router is... and then the other end into my laptop. Will that work though? I know, crazy - but this internet is major suckage.


The signal goes to the adapter. It has nothing to do with the cable. So you should be just fine. I used one for years on an 8ft cable. Just read reviews on each adapter as they can vary in quality.
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Re: 1 year in Afghanistan + Afghan wireless... boost signal?

Postposted on Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:48 am

Schaaaawing!~ Sweet! thanks for the good news. I was going to buy a Linksys adapter.. dual band N. o.O
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Re: 1 year in Afghanistan + Afghan wireless... boost signal?

Postposted on Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:48 am

If you have a server here in the US, you could probably do a VPN with it and compress all traffic running through the VPN. It would hurt your latencies, but it would increase throughput.
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Re: 1 year in Afghanistan + Afghan wireless... boost signal?

Postposted on Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:53 am

Shining Arcanine wrote:If you have a server here in the US, you could probably do a VPN with it and compress all traffic running through the VPN. It would hurt your latencies, but it would increase throughput.


Bottlenecks are wireless connection and satellite ISP. Unless that VPN includes a fiber run from the states, it won't improve performance.
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Re: 1 year in Afghanistan + Afghan wireless... boost signal?

Postposted on Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:15 pm

Contingency wrote:
Shining Arcanine wrote:If you have a server here in the US, you could probably do a VPN with it and compress all traffic running through the VPN. It would hurt your latencies, but it would increase throughput.


Bottlenecks are wireless connection and satellite ISP. Unless that VPN includes a fiber run from the states, it won't improve performance.


It seems like we are talking about two different things. What do you consider a VPN to be? I consider it to be a Virtual Private Network which is a virtual cable an existing network connection that joins one computer to a network in some other place. That connection can be encrypted, compressed, etcetera. The compression aspect of it seems to be what would suit the original poster best here, in that he could make his throughput speeds higher.

He could probably get a cheap Linux VPS and configure it to act as a VPN server; the cheapest rate I can find is $25 per month, but there might be cheaper places if he shops around:

http://www.asmallorange.com/hosting/vps/

Edit: I just noticed that the principle issue is the signal strength, rather than the bandwidth. If that is the case, then there is no need for a VPN setup. If the bandwidth is too low after the signal strength issues are fixed, a VPN setup would probably help with that.
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Re: 1 year in Afghanistan + Afghan wireless... boost signal?

Postposted on Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:30 am

So, thanks to the ideas I gathered here, I am now semi-happily sitting at 9 bars for my wireless as apposed to 2 **** ones. :)

Basically, a 25 ft USB cord, a D-link 125, a hole in the wall to the outside world (as apposed to our metal boxes we are living in) and I now have decent net. It only took me 55 minutes to download 60mbs. Thanks all.

Oh 9 bars, 5 from the system tray icon, and 4 from the d-link commander software.
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Re: 1 year in Afghanistan + Afghan wireless... boost signal?

Postposted on Sat Apr 10, 2010 4:10 am

Shining Arcanine wrote:
Contingency wrote:
Shining Arcanine wrote:If you have a server here in the US, you could probably do a VPN with it and compress all traffic running through the VPN. It would hurt your latencies, but it would increase throughput.


Bottlenecks are wireless connection and satellite ISP. Unless that VPN includes a fiber run from the states, it won't improve performance.


It seems like we are talking about two different things. What do you consider a VPN to be? I consider it to be a Virtual Private Network which is a virtual cable an existing network connection that joins one computer to a network in some other place. That connection can be encrypted, compressed, etcetera. The compression aspect of it seems to be what would suit the original poster best here, in that he could make his throughput speeds higher.

He could probably get a cheap Linux VPS and configure it to act as a VPN server; the cheapest rate I can find is $25 per month, but there might be cheaper places if he shops around:

http://www.asmallorange.com/hosting/vps/

Edit: I just noticed that the principle issue is the signal strength, rather than the bandwidth. If that is the case, then there is no need for a VPN setup. If the bandwidth is too low after the signal strength issues are fixed, a VPN setup would probably help with that.


Those are compelling reasons to use a VPN, but I believe the performance benefit is overstated. Why?

Compression:
Ever stick a jpg in a zip file? If you did, odds are the compressed file wasn't much smaller than the original. This is because there are limits to how much information can be compressed without losing integrity (otherwise we'd just keep going until it's a bit), and many multimedia standards incorporate compression into their format. This means that the type of traffic most in need of resource reduction is unable to take advantage of it. Encrypted data (everything SSL) is off the table as well.

Transit Path:
The guy is using a satellite ISP. Being Afghanistan, his hub is probably in Europe/Asia Minor. Where do you put the VPN? If it's in North America, you lose the advantage of localization. Instead of a 800 ms link to Yahoo Europe, you end up with 1100 to the US. Even if you just happen to know a reputable hosting provider in Istanbul and somehow manage to get a server in a colo next door to the hub, you've only managed to get "not worse" performance. You mentioned latencies but ignored their effect on throughput. When dealing with intercontinental traffic, additional hops cannot be dismissed; tacking on a extra 300 ms RTT will certainly have noticeable effects beyond a single hit to page load time.
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Re: 1 year in Afghanistan + Afghan wireless... boost signal?

Postposted on Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:49 am

THANK YOU for your service! God bless you and all of your battle buddies.
Retired!
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Re: 1 year in Afghanistan + Afghan wireless... boost signal?

Postposted on Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:20 am

Hey thanks for the well wishes... I have another questions.. will post a new thread.
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