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Boost WiFi Signal to Laptop

Discussion in 'Networking' started by Tabvla, Feb 10, 2009.

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  1. Tabvla

    Tabvla Thread Starter

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    Can anyone recommend a simple and inexpensive way to boost the WiFi reception signal strength of a Laptop.

    When I am away from the office I often use WiFi Hotspots to connect to the Internet. Some Hotspots are very good and provide a good signal, but the strength of other Hotspot signals is often very poor. If you check the signal strength it is often so weak that connection is not possible or frequently drops out.

    If possible I would prefer not to change the WiFi card in the Laptop but rather use something like an antenna to boost the received signal.

    TiA

    T.
     
  2. Deathblow

    Deathblow

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    Not much you can do from the laptop end other than move closer to the transmitter. There are some things you can do with the wireless hubs to improve or direct the signals better.
     
  3. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Since the antenna is internal, you will have trouble adding an external antenna.

    I'd consider a PCMCIA card with an external antenna connection.
     
  4. Tabvla

    Tabvla Thread Starter

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    Thanks Deathblow and JohnWill for your feedback.

    JohnWill, your suggestion to use a PCMCIA card is a good idea but a little expensive. Best price that I could find for a decent product is around £65 (British Pounds) and that does not include the external antenna.

    However, I would be grateful if you could give me your view of another product that I found, which is a USB Wireless Adaptor with a 4dBi external antenna, which can be replaced with a larger antenna if needed. This product retails for about £12. If it really works then it is a bargain.

    I have attached the specification document and would like to know what you think.

    Product Description :-

    Edimax EW-7318USG Wireless USB LAN Adapter 4dBi Antenna, 802.11b.g 54Mbps

    TiA

    T.
     

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  5. Tabvla

    Tabvla Thread Starter

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  6. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I think I'd go with the first product, since you can use any antenna with it.

    For instance, for a really long reach, I have one of these Hawking [HAI15SC] Hi-Gain 15dBi Corner Antenna.

    I connect it to a cheap Rosewill RNX-G1 USB adapter, and it works really well.
     
  7. Tabvla

    Tabvla Thread Starter

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    JohnWill - many thanks for your advice. I agree that this will do the job for most Hotspots.

    Another question...

    I will be working in France for about 3 months later this year. Mostly I will be working from my apartment. The apartment does not have a landline and therefore no Broadband. The owner of the local Internet Cafe is quite happy for me to use the cafe's Broadband (I am a good customer!!) providing of course that I can pick up the signal.

    The Internet Cafe is exactly 175 metres from my apartment. Do you think the Edimax EW-7318USG Wireless USB LAN Adapter will do the job or will I need something more powerful?

    T.
     
  8. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I think you'll need a directional hi-gain antenna similar to the one I posted. I really doubt you have a chance of receiving that signal at that range with a standard USB adapter.
     
  9. Tabvla

    Tabvla Thread Starter

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    Thanks JohnWill, much appreciated.

    T.
     
  10. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Let us know how you make out. :)
     
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