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Extending Wi-Fi range

By monkeychef23
Feb 20, 2011
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  1. Hey everyone, hope you are having a great Sunday,

    So my latest issue is getting a wifi signal on my grandfather's laptop. I have it running Ubuntu, and I disabled the internal wireless card for a better, small Edimax dongle. So far it works great, but I am having trouble getting a signal when I get farther away from the router (I get great speeds for a few feet and then it cuts out).

    My issue isn't the fact the the range is terrible. My issue is that I need to find some way to make a router in my grandfather's home, so that he can use it in the house. The complex that he lives in only provides free wifi, not wired networking (idk why).

    My question is, is there some way to make a wireless access point in his house by using a wifi signal from a different source, and then broadcast it throughout his home.

    I hope this all makes sense. If not, please ask me to clarify.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    If you are loosing the signal that close to the router the problem might be that the local Wifi is operating on the same channel. Follow this guide to help you improve the signal, there is a section that shows how to change the channel.

    http://www.microsoft.com/athome/setup/wirelesstips.aspx
     
  3. monkeychef23

    monkeychef23 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 74

    I'm pretty sure the signal is fine, the problem is that I (and my grandfather) have no access to the router at all. Thats why I wanted to find something that could get a signal (maybe a bridge?) and then broadcast it again.
     
  4. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    If the signal was fine you would get connection more than a few feet away from the router.

    If you read the guide in the link I gave you will see it tells you how to gain access to the router through your PC.

    Or, am I missing something here, is the router actually in your grandfathers house, you have not explained where it is so I am assuming it is in his home. Either way if you can only get a good signal within a few feet of the router there is something wrong. Also, if you do not get a signal in your grandfathers home how would you receive the signal in order to boost it?
     
  5. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,026   +51

    There are these devices, but I have not used them in any work I have done.
    http://www.wifirangeextender.org/
    Think your situation is that there is a block of houses or flats where a router supplies 'net access to all in range. But the router is not accessible to the public.
    Also this site; (scroll down a page or so, to the white/blue heading 'Excellent 54MB/s wireless USB adapter');
    http://uk.wifi-link.com/set_usb.php
    *This is a UK site, but it's just for ideas.
     
  6. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    Usefull links from Mike but whatever you use , if you do not have a wifi signal in your Grandfathers house nothing will work.

    Have you done a search for available networks while in your grandfathers house to see if there are any you might be able to connect to. Even if there are other networks within range if they are not public networks they will most probably be password protected.

    Using an Antenna (from Mikes second link) inside the house to pick up the local wifi signal might be your only option. Trouble is you won't know if it is going to work until you have bought it. Is the signal available out side the building as an external antenna might pick this up quite well.
     
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,315   +618

    the classical extension solution is
    Code:
    modem---wifiRouter - - - wireless connection - - A/P - - remote connections
    Very few routers support Bridge Mode which is why you need an Access Point.
    It connects to the existing router and then the remote users connect to the A/P.

    Now if grandpap is connecting to the AP, then the strength of the A/P will predict how far he can move about the house.
     
  8. monkeychef23

    monkeychef23 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 74

    @Mark 56
    My grandfather lives in a very large development, and they recently put wifi throughout the complex (its freaking huge) so they put routers (or A/P as I have recently learned) in places where only they could access them, and so old people won't break them. I have not been able to test a network because I'm a good 1000 (give or take a 100) miles away. When I send the laptop down, I'll log on his computer and try to connect to a wireless signal.

    @mike
    Thanks for the suggestions. If I can't get a signal, I'll look into getting an antenna and hopefully that will help get a signal.

    Thanks for your posts guys. I'm pretty sure I got the information I needed, and thanks for all of your suggestions.
     
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,315   +618

    you can still daisy-chain more A/Ps
    Code:
    router--- A/P1 - - A/P2 - - A/P3 - - 
    without touching the upstream device; just wire your system to the A/P of your choice so you can get it configured and then the WiFi connection to it will be much easier :)
     

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