Extending WI-FI Signal
I am trying to figure out a way to get good to excellent signal strength all over the house, and out to the shack about 100 ft. away without stringing a bunch of cable. I use an older G router, which has no external antenna. I need to stay with the G technology (2.4 GHz I believe), because none of my devices are compatible with the newer type N technology, which I understand is still in the "beta" stage anyway, and 5.8 GHz probably would have even less penetration range.
One option would be to replace my cheap little router with one with a separate external antenna connected with a jack, rated for greater range, but the ones I have seen in the store are a little pricey, and I don't want to spend the bux and find out that I still can't get a good signal where I want it. Another would be to use a "repeater", but I wonder how well they really work, and whether or not they affect upload/download speed. Both my laptop and the internet "radio" get flaky at anything less than 3 bars. I'd like to be able to get 4 or 5 bars in every room in the house and out in the shack. Large hotels manage to do this, but I don't have a clue what kind of equipment they use.
I'm sure the FCC imposes some kind of limit on output power and range, but I'm wondering if some outfit (Cramer, maybe?) might sell a reliable "bootleg" version that puts out extra power, like the ones commonly available for cordless phones, FM wireless broadcasters and of course, for the chicken band. Legality shouldn't be an issue here as long as I keep the signal strength within the legal maximum at the boundaries of my 100 acres, the closest of which is several hundred feet from both the house and the shack. I haven't been able to find anything on the web, and this sort of thing could easily be a ripoff if not sold by a reliable source. Maybe I am not searching the right place.
A homebrew external power amplifier would help signal strength, but simply boosting transmit power at the router wouldn't do anything to boost reception from the other direction. Perhaps a directional antenna would work if the router had a jack for external antenna, since that would have gain on both transmit and receive.
I'd be curious if anyone else has found a satisfactory solution in a similar situation?
I bought an inexpensive Verizon wireless router off eBay. I can look up the model # for you, but it has an amazing amount of output power. And there is no external antenna. I have it inside my server room, which is in the basement (which, in turn, is surrounded/buried by earth on three sides of the foundation). Still, when people pull into the yard here, they can easily pick up the signal on their mobile computers.
Needless to say, I have the router's security features very well tightened down.
I use a nanostation. Easy to setup and use. Had a few links at 5 miles with them up on towers at 50feet
Yep I second the nanostation and I like the Ubiquiti products in general. I use BulletHP (1 watt) to use as a link for a D-Star project. I use another bullet at home and have coverage the whole house and yard with no sweat.
KYV check out ubnt.com
I'm a Prisoner (FH#1125), Locked up in Hellschreiber.
30 Meter Digital Group #1076 - JT65-HF Addict (currently in treatment)
I am a full time RVer and have had this issue , getting WiFi .
I've tried a few of these , the 1st was the one watt model , now they have a 2 watt unit , as long as you have an acceptable WiFi source .
It has a removable external antenna , I use coax to get it to an external gain antenna .
The site has many of the accessories you may need and the prices are good , I have seen some companies try to sell me $600 - $1,000 to do what this does for $33 .
If your router has an SMA connector (and many do) you can just get a good antenna and stick it up on your tower with your other ham antennae. You can get omnidirectional or a WiFi Yagi. You can also get amplifiers for WiFi, but I'm not 100% sure of their legality.
You do not want to run coax at GHz for much distance at all , unless you do hardline , but then your not getting this done inexpensive .
If you do come up with needing to run data on wire for any distance . than it would be best to eliminate RF and use data cable , but then your running wires , which you did not want to do .
So again use the Alfa I mentioned earlier , for $40 you can go a long way , my old 1 watt unit did about 4 blocks to a free site .
Unless I missed something in your last post, you neglected to mention the name of the device you were describing, nor did you post a link.
Also, just sticking a better antenna on a windowsill or on the upper story of your house will help a lot in my experience. You can stick a mobile mag-mount WiFi antenna like the Larsen Mobile Broadband antennas found in this brochure on a file cabinet on the top story of your residence and see a vast improvement. I've had good luck mounting a small Yagi on a tripod and sticking it out a window.
Thanks for catching that LSR .
It must be old farters , I had copied it , but did not paste , here it is ,
Also my point was as frequency increases , feedline loss can build quickly .
Given the price that device is a great solution IMO.