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Extending wireless range

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by pal2511, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. pal2511

    pal2511

    3,980
    0
    Sep 15, 2002
    KS
    How can I extend my wireless signal? I see the outdoor antennas but do those only work on certain routers? I am due for a new router anyhow because I have an old G router by Linksys that I have to restart every week or so to keep working...
     
  2. kc8ykd

    kc8ykd

    2,090
    0
    Oct 6, 2005
    michigan
    as long as your wireless router has external antennas that are removable you can easily (and fairly cheaply) replace them.

    you just need to make sure you buy an antenna with a compatible connector.
    what make/model of router are you using currently?

    if you replace the antennas for use with your current router and decide to replace the router later, you should look for a new router with similar connectors to ensure the replacement antennas your purchased will work with it.

    antenna placement and channel selection are key to getting the best performance from your wireless equipment.
     


  3. pal2511

    pal2511

    3,980
    0
    Sep 15, 2002
    KS
    I am using a something something 54g from linksys. It's the older one with detachable antennas but I somehow broke one of them off but I think its still functional :)
     
  4. mserr

    mserr mmm bop

    823
    0
    Dec 20, 2006
    new mehico
    buy your new router, use your old router as an extender. basically you put the 2nd router in a different part of the house that gets signal, then that router acts as another hot spot extending the range of the first routers signal through the second router.
     
  5. kc8ykd

    kc8ykd

    2,090
    0
    Oct 6, 2005
    michigan
    it's probably the same one i'm using as well then..

    you can unscrew the antennas off the back, just slide back the boot that covers the connector.

    did the broken antenna break at the hinge or did the connector break?

    if it's not broken at the connector, you should be able to still unscrew it from the router no problem.


    i'd get the new router, w/external antennas if possible and look at replacing them if you still run into coverage problems.

    here's a list of replacement antennas:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...ifi antenna&bop=And&Order=REVIEWS&PageSize=20

    your current router has "N" type connectors on it for the antenna, the other type being "SMA" (a very tiny connector). you can get sma-n and n-sma adapters as well.

    this would be a decent replacement antenna for your existing router:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...015&cm_re=wifi_antenna-_-33-999-015-_-Product
    (you'd want two)


    using the old router as an 'extender' wouldn't work without changing the firmware, and it wouldn't function very efficiently since it only has one radio in it.

    proper extenders (aka repeaters) have two radios in them, one for the link to the base access point and another radio to service local hosts (which operate on different channels). shoe-horned 'extenders' with a single radio have to split their time servicing the local host and then transmitting that information to and from the base AP, all over the same channel. this could cause significant problems with applications that require low latency or use a lot of packets (like games and other interactive media).


    if you're considering a wifi router change, i'd make the change first and check out coverage and then decide if the antennas need to be replaced.

    if you think you might need to swap antennas after buying a new wifi router, you should look for a new router with replaceable external antennas.
     
  6. hamster

    hamster NRA Life Member

    3,146
    14
    Feb 22, 2010
    Look into some of the alternative firmwares for those routers http://www.dd-wrt.com/site/index or http://www.polarcloud.com/tomatofaq (use the free ones, not paid).


    These will allow you to increase the power output of your router. :) Not to mention they should be a bit more stable than the default firmware.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  7. mixflip

    mixflip

    6,825
    3
    Mar 4, 2009
    Is there a way to boost my laptops wifi connection at work? The (free) source is up on the 4th floor and my office is on the 1st so my signal strength is weak and often gets disconnected if I move a nanometer. Is there a way to boost my connectivity?
     
  8. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

    25,790
    1,052
    Jan 26, 2001
    Indiana
    I've never heard a way of boosting a laptops reception.

    Usually that has to be does from the router end.
     
  9. kc8ykd

    kc8ykd

    2,090
    0
    Oct 6, 2005
    michigan
    mixflip could increase the reception on his laptop by soldering an external connector for an antenna to his laptop's internal wireless adapter, in lieu of using the internal antenna. and then using a nice directional antenna.

    or, he could get a pcmcia or usb wireless adapter with a replaceable antenna and then get a nice directional antenna.

    he'd want to remember to get a directional antenna vs an omni, for maximum benefit.
     
  10. kc8ykd

    kc8ykd

    2,090
    0
    Oct 6, 2005
    michigan

    i wouldn't do this until after conducting a site survey first, to ensure that there are no channel conflicts and that antennas don't need to be replaced. we'd also want to ensure that the signal coming through is relatively clean as well.

    if the music sounds muddled, turning up the volume doesn't always make up for poor speakers.