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Wi-Fi guide

  1. Apr 28, 2010 #1
    I'm not sure if this is the right subforum. This seemed most appropriate.

    I have a router & modem at home which I use to get a wi-fi signal across the house. The problem is that the computer is situated at one end of the house. Thus, when I'm in my bedroom, which is at the other end of the house, I get very low - no signal at all. On the other hand, when I'm standing below the room on the ground floor(I live on the first floor), I find that I can get a signal. I certainly am not going to be using the wi-fi whilst standing downstairs. Is there some way I could reflect all of the signal going the "wrong way" to the other end of the house?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 28, 2010 #2


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    Easiest way is to add another wireless hub at the other end of the house and run a cable back to the router.
  4. Apr 30, 2010 #3
    I first thought of placing another hub in the middle of the house to relay the signal. That is, this hub would NOT be connected by cable, but would simply receive and transmit. On further inspection, I guessed that this wouldn't be very much help as it would receive the weak signal and transmit only that, in effect doing nothing.

    Are there any options besides running a cable? I don't want to drill holes in the house because I don't think the landlord would approve.
  5. Apr 30, 2010 #4
    Depends upon your budget.

    Wifi distribution should ideally be in the cente of region of distribution.

    You say you have router and modem.

    You could move one or both to the centre of the house, this is the cheapest option.

    Next cheapest option would be to place a wifi repeater or range extender at the edge of the good signal. D-link, Netgear and Hawking make these. They are about twice the price of a router.

    Other option is to use a pair of homeplugs. You connect one to the router and plug it into a mains socket (not a trailing lead). This transmits the interent signal across your mains wiring.
    This transmitted signal can be picked up by a second (or third etc) unit plugged in anywhere else on your mains. The rover unit is then connected either by wireless or local cable to the pc.
    This solution as half as expensive again as a single repeater.
  6. Apr 30, 2010 #5


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    You might be able to use HomePlug Powerline or HomePNA (some are phoneline, and some are TV coax cable) and use existing wiring. Not as fast as 10/100/1000 but usually faster and more reliable than WiFi (especially if you're in a heavily congested area):
    http://www.homeplug.org/kshowcase/view [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  7. May 1, 2010 #6
    Thanks all for your help. I'm going to check if the internet wiring can be adjusted so that the hub is at the center of the house. If not, I shall try extending with wires.
  8. May 1, 2010 #7


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    Remember the signal is digital, if the 2nd hub receives enough signal to operate then it re-broadcasts a perfect quality full-power version.

    The device you want is called a relay - this is important because it must re-send the wireless data unchanged, including the ID of the original router. Some regular WIFI hubs can operate in relay mode - check the specs on the box.

    Otherwise you can operate it as a separate hub with the first as the gateway - this might cause issues if you move from one to another as your computer has to disconnect and reconnect to a new network.
  9. May 2, 2010 #8
    You could just try to get a piece of cardboard and put aluminum foil around it (satellite dish).
    Then get a rubber band and try and angle it towards the part of the house you like.
    It may boost your signal a little bit. It should resemble this:


    Good luck and hope it helps.
  10. May 2, 2010 #9
    Sounds good and is along the lines of what I was hoping for, but how effective is this? How much is "a bit"?
  11. May 2, 2010 #10


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    If you want to reflect most of the signal that is getting out from your end wall back into the house, then you will need a large area of reflector on the outside wall (basically, wallpapering the whole of the inside of the wall of the room with the router in it. If everything went 'just right' you would double the range in the direction you want. The experiment could prove to be an expensive failure, though, and a lot of trouble. I should be inclined to take an ethernet cable near to the centre of the house and put your router there.
    Remember though, if you frequently want to transfer big files around the place, a wired connection will be significantly better.
  12. May 2, 2010 #11
    Just to clarify something.

    You said you have a modem and a router. Are they separate?

    You can run a phone extension (cheaper) or an ethernet extension to the centre of the house.
  13. May 2, 2010 #12
    That is a lot of aluminum foil!!! lol
  14. May 2, 2010 #13


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    I had the same difficulty. The two places I use my laptop are at opposite ends of the house (actually one inside, one outside).

    I used three solutions, as needed:

    1] I had a second wireless router kicking around so I checked with the manufacturer and set it up as a "bridge" so it relays my connection.

    2] At another time, I bought a pair of high-gain antennae that replace the shorter antennae on my router. They reach farther.

    3] I moved my router(s) to location(s) where interference was minimized - line of sight is ideal - even if it means suspending it in an awkward place. There are techniques for ensuring you're making the best use of its signal strength.
  15. May 2, 2010 #14


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    Another access point would receive the weak signal then transmit its own, stronger signal.
  16. May 3, 2010 #15
    I see. Thanks Russ! I didn't know that.

    @ Dave
    I can't use your solutions 1 and 2, for I have no unused spare parts lying around in the house.

    Can you please tell me what those are?

    Yes, my modem and router are seperate. I could do that, but then how would I connect the modem/ router back to the computer? Wouldn't I need extension cables for that also?
  17. May 3, 2010 #16


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    I meant you could buy another router. What's it worth to you?

    Better if you just Google "maximizing wifi router signal strength" and implement the ones you can.
  18. May 4, 2010 #17
    If you go to best buy, you can get directional antennas for routers. They are only like $20. Also, if you log into your router, there is usually an adjustment for output power, turn it up all the way for max range.
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