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Wireless tips

HerschelHerschel Registered User regular
edited December 2006 in Help / Advice Forum
So, the family got my grandma a laptop for Xmas. I've been charged with teaching her and setting her up with the internet. :P

My parents live next door to my grandmother, so I'm trying to have her laptop use my parents wifi network from across the street.

Unfortunately, it seems that it might just be a little too far away -- the laptop detects the network, but the signal was too low to connect. The router at my parents' place is kind of cheap, so I ran out and bought a Linksys WRT300N. That seemed to help -- the laptop can now get on the network, and that's where I'm typing this message. But the signal is still low, the connection is slooow and disconnects intermittently.

So, network gurus, any suggestions? Are there any settings for a router to maximize range (changing the frequency channel or something)? Are there any good routers that people would recommend for range? Do those "range extenders" work? Or should I just give up and get DSL for her? :D

Thanks!

Herschel on

Posts

  • MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    I've never used a Wireless Access point thing or signal booster, so I can't give you an idea on how well they work. It should be the same as any hub though. D-Link sells one for around ~$40.

    Malkor on
    14271f3c-c765-4e74-92b1-49d7612675f2.jpg
  • RuckusRuckus Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    First, get Net Stumbler (you can google it) and see if there are any other networks in range. Net Stumbler will tell you which channel they are using.

    Do not use this channel. Pick something else.

    Second, some WAPs default their broadcast power to 1/2 or 3/4, so you may be able increase the range in by maxing the broadcast power.

    Third, you can tell most WAPs to only maintain connections at 5.5 or 11MBs. Most Highspeed connections still don't exceed 10MBs so you won't likely see a performance hit, and it tends to increase connection stability.

    Fourth, there are two options for extending range with additional hardware. You could by a rangebooster, I've heard various things about them, from Worked Extremely well to Completely Useless, with the Extremely well coming from another network technician and the useless coming from more of a common user. The other option is a different antenna for the device. Most WAPs use a mini screw on connector that is pretty common, and you can buy specific antennas meant to boost the transmit range of the device. The model I think you purchased is actually a multiband WAP (probably b/g/n), so each antenna will likely be handling different traffic.

    Ruckus on
  • embrikembrik Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Ruckus wrote:
    First, get Net Stumbler (you can google it) and see if there are any other networks in range. Net Stumbler will tell you which channel they are using.

    Do not use this channel. Pick something else.

    Remember the following graph:
    ccmigration_09186a008008883b_09186a0080787f77-100.jpg

    Find one that doesn't overlap on ones in use. If everyone's on 6 and 11, don't just pick something in between. You'll still have interference issues. Pick channel 1 in this case.

    embrik on
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  • RFXRFX Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    I'm not the OP, but I'm having similar problems. According to network stumbler, there are 5 other networks in my range: one is on channel 1, two on 6, and two on 8. Even on channel 11, I'm getting pretty piss-poor performance. I played with my router for a while, couldn't find any way to increase the power. Could there be any other thing I could try? Or if someone is familiar with netgear routers, any idea how I can change my broadcasting power?

    RFX on
  • RuckusRuckus Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Try and sneak your signal in one or two channels off from the weakest channel you get.

    For instance, if the WAPs on channels 1 and 6 both are weak by the time your netstumbler pics them up, setting your WAP to 3 or 4 should let your signal operate with impunity (because your signal should be much stronger than theirs, the overlap should be minimal).

    Ruckus on
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