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Windows 7: Need help in boosting my Wifi signal.

23 May 2012   #1
peter4076

Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Need help in boosting my Wifi signal.

Apologies if question has been asked before.

I have a router in my garden den approx 40 yards down the garden, I have Ethernet cable from the router up to the house terminating into a 4 port powered switch, so that I can connect my laptop, and I am very happy with what I have done so far, but alas my mobile phone & tablet require Wifi, and the signal from the den in the garden through 2 walls & 2 trees and lots of shrubbery and finally when it gets to the living room the signal is quite weak, any ideas, I am willing to change the 4 port powered switch, but to what, I need help in purchasing the right bit of kit, as always your thoughts most appreciated.


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23 May 2012   #2
Slartybart

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem
 
 

I read a neat (and cheap) trick. Build your own reflector using a tin coffee or beverage can.
Cut the top off completely, cut 9/10ths of the bottom off.
then cut down the side (opposite of the remaining 1/10 on the bottom)
Spread the sides open to form the reflector. use the bottom as the base (the 1/10 still connected on the bottom holds it all together)

Point the concave reflector towards the living room.

I know.... it sounds cheesy, but it works! Or spend the money for a real booster.
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23 May 2012   #3
peter4076

Home Premium 64bit
 
 

I really want the boost to come from living room, not 40 yards down the garden, hence I am willing to swap the switch for ?, thanks anyway, also willing to spend some money, NOT mega though.
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23 May 2012   #4
Zepher

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Install another router in the house in place of the switch.
Turn off dhcp in the new router, use the same ssid and password on the new router as the one in the garden.

Basically what the above setup is doing is creating a wifi repeater.
I have it setup here in our house that way since the wifi from the main router upstairs is so weak, that I installed another router downstairs as a repeater. Using the same ssid and password allows your wireless device to swap automatically to the stronger signal.
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23 May 2012   #5
chev65

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

Leave the switch as is and just plug in a dedicated access point using Ethernet cable, then extend the Ethernet cable to the best possible position to install the access point. Ideally you would locate this access point in a position where you have a direct line of site to your wireless devices, I have mine in a weather proof spot up under the eves of my house so there are no walls between the access point and my Garage PC which uses a USB adaptor on a USB extension cord that runs outside the garage for the best possible connection.

I use the D-Link DAP-1522 which is a dedicated access point/bridge, rather than using another router which isn't ideal. Trying to use a repeater and boosting the signal from 40 yards away may not be the best solution here.

It uses a simple switch on the side to change from access point to bridge mode. It's made to do exactly what it's used for. Newegg.com - D-Link Xtreme-N Duo Wireless Bridge/Access Point (DAP-1522) Wireless N300, Dual-Band, Fast Ethernet

This gives me 5 bars with the full wireless N speed of 300 Mbps. Mine uses it's own SSID and password which are different than the main routers SSID. You need to use the Wireless 802.11n "Only" setting with WPA2 and AES encryption to achieve full wireless N speeds of 300Mbps.

It really depends on the layout of the house and current location of the switch, sometimes an access point is best, other times a bridge or wireless repeater may work best. For me the dedicated access point was ideal.
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23 May 2012   #6
Zepher

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Explain why the router solution isn't ideal?
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23 May 2012   #7
peter4076

Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Both sound good, I do have a spare router but it is not N only G, would that make a difference, also not familiar with turning off dhcp! Will look into a bit more, I certainly need a better Wifi signal for mobile phone/tablet, and my friends kindle.
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23 May 2012   #8
chev65

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by peter4076 View Post
Both sound good, I do have a spare router but it is not N only G, would that make a difference, also not familiar with turning off dhcp! Will look into a bit more, I certainly need a better Wifi signal for mobile phone/tablet, and my friends kindle.
With wireless G you can only get 54Mbps max, where wireless N can be 300Mbps when all settings are optimized with good signal strength. So you would be limiting your wireless transfer speeds considerably using an outdated wireless G router. This can effect streaming to a certain extent, especially if you were trying to stream DVD movies or online movies and shows.

There are even more problems related to using two routers in a single home network that you may not be aware of. Disabling DHCP is only one of many settings involved in getting a second router to work correctly when placed into a single network. The following link explains some of the other settings that may be required to get a second router working on a home network. How to Connect Two Routers on a Home Network

I won't get into the fact that when ever I notice dual routers on a single network there always seems to be other problems that manifest themselves. Sometimes it works ok, other times it creates more problems than it solves.

This is why I highly recommend using a dedicated wireless N access point instead. The mounting location for the access point is very important as is the location of the wireless devices in relation to where the access point is located.

40 yards is quite a stretch for any router, let alone one that has to go through trees and multiple walls before hand. I'd go with the access point in this situation. I'd run the Ethernet cable to the place where the access point needs to be mounted. It really depends on the layout of the house/garage/router and where the clients needs to connect from.

The following link shows access points and repeaters or bridges that are actually made to be mounted outdoors. http://hawkingtech.com/products/171-wireless.html
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24 May 2012   #9
Case1

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

I have a WRT160N router. Can someone help me with the optimal settings for this thing? I have 2 comps hard wired into it and my laptop is wireless. I am not sure if it needs to be on WEP or WPA2...things like that. Right now it is setup on WEP.
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24 May 2012   #10
peter4076

Home Premium 64bit
 
 

chev65: Thank you for the detailed explanation, to me it sounds the way to go, so will close this thread, once again thanks to all who made my life that bit easier.
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 Need help in boosting my Wifi signal.




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