Wireless booster

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Wireless booster

Postposted on Thu May 08, 2014 4:13 pm

Hi!
Can anyone recommend a Wi-Fi signal booster/repeater? TIA
bitcat70
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Re: Wireless booster

Postposted on Fri May 09, 2014 7:39 am

I can't recommend any and I've used several.

Buy one locally, see if does what you want. If it doesn't take it back and go for one of the following options:
  • Buy an extra wireless access point and CAT5/6 cable it into the original wireless router
  • If you can't run CAT5/6 try using a Powerline adapter to make the jump using your mains wiring
  • try high-a gain directional antenna and use something like inSSIDer to do a rudimentary channel/site survey of your WiFi dead-spot
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Chrispy_
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Re: Wireless booster

Postposted on Mon May 19, 2014 9:29 am

Very useful suggestions! Thank you!
bitcat70
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Re: Wireless booster

Postposted on Mon May 19, 2014 10:06 am

Yeah it's usually much better to try and boost the range of the existing wifi unit (with better antennas), or make a wired run to the other location and install a second access point there. Repeaters tend to exaggerate interference problems, and greatly lower available bandwidth.
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SuperSpy
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Re: Wireless booster

Postposted on Thu May 29, 2014 3:38 pm

SuperSpy wrote:Yeah it's usually much better to try and boost the range of the existing wifi unit (with better antennas), or make a wired run to the other location and install a second access point there. Repeaters tend to exaggerate interference problems, and greatly lower available bandwidth.



^ Yup. A higher gain antenna will, generally specking, "throw" the signal further, but with a beamwidth trade-off. For a regular omnidirectional antenna, image a donut surrounding the antenna. That's how the signal tends to propagate from a typical omni antenna. A higher gain omni-antenna would propagate more like an 18" pizza crust. It reaches further, but the width is much narrower.

Now, you *could* always get a 1 watt amplifier, and buy an adapter, and a pre-fabbed piece of LMR-400 coax, and buy a large 8db omni to mount inside, but that's like using a sledgehammer to swat a fly, and it greatly increases how far your signal
propagates, and *could* allow an intruder to have fun at your expense.


Some of the easiest things to check would be:

1)run Netstumbler in various areas to see exactly where the signal starts faltering. I haven't run the tool in a while, but it would show every SSID being broadcast, all the channel usage, and your SNR to/from the AP. That info will aid you in deciding if moving the AP, getting a high gain antenna, or even getting a WiFi card with better Tx/Rx sensitivity, before grabbing AMPs and such.

2) Placement of the WiFi unit. How the walls are constructed matters. Different materials reflect/absorb 2.4 and 5Ghz signals. Wood, metal, brick, cinder blocks, all those affect the signal. Can you move the AP to better or more central location?

The upcoming 802.11ad (WiGig) is going to be even worse and it'll only work within a room.

3) If worse case, try to get a system that'll let you use sectorized antennas, and aim those at the areas you want WiFi only.
Hz so good
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Re: Wireless booster

Postposted on Sat May 31, 2014 12:05 pm

Hz so good wrote:1)run Netstumbler in various areas to see exactly where the signal starts faltering.


I think everyone has switched to inSSIDer. Netstumbler was a dead project, last time I checked.

I've also had good luck using Android devices as diagnostic devices.
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Re: Wireless booster

Postposted on Sat May 31, 2014 5:07 pm

Flatland_Spider wrote:
Hz so good wrote:1)run Netstumbler in various areas to see exactly where the signal starts faltering.


I think everyone has switched to inSSIDer. Netstumbler was a dead project, last time I checked.

I've also had good luck using Android devices as diagnostic devices.




Great, now I've got another thing to drool over.

/Good find! Thanks!
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