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Improving range of 802.11b

Discussion in 'Networking' started by Jezzza, Apr 27, 2004.

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  1. Jezzza

    Jezzza Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
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    Hi all

    I am wanting to improve the range of my 802.11b WAP and have been thinking carefully about how I could do this. Basically I have a network setup upstairs, and I like to use a laptop around the house to access this, in adition to my PC that is upstairs. I have got an 802.11b WAP which does this fine, it is connected to my switch and my laptop can use this with no probs.

    The problem is the range doesn't cover the whole house, and its not very good at all in the garden (which would be very nice to be able to have). I was thinking about buying another 802.11b WAP and using them in bridging mode, but I think that is only for connecting together two networks wirelessly? What I was hoping for was to be able to walk around the house with the laptop and when the signal gets weaker it just uses the stronger signal instead. Like a mobile phone works. Any ideas on this? One thing I thought of:

    WAP upstairs connected to network, WAP downstairs connected to a new switch. Two extra WAPs connected to network upstairs and the one downstairs. Disadvantages of this solution are huge:

    * Means buying THREE more WAPs and another switch
    * Means having to select which WAP to connect to depending on where you are in the house (I don't think there is a way to do this automatically by signal strength?)

    If anyone can think of a better solution short of wiring up the whole house pls let me know :) I did wonder about connecting the WAP to my house arial (yes it is encrypted btw) :D
     
  2. kiwiguy

    kiwiguy

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    Install a high gain antenna on the existing WAP.
    What you currently have is actually fairly normal performance for Wireless.
     
  3. Davey7549

    Davey7549

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    Feb 28, 2001
    Messages:
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    Jezzza
    Another option is a wireless repeater which could handle blind spots in your coverage. They do not require physical hook-up to the Wap just power and configuration. A extended range antenna is also another option as mentioned.

    Here is a short Article on extented range repeaters.

    Hope that offers more ideas.

    Dave
     
  4. Jezzza

    Jezzza Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Messages:
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    Thx guys :)

    I considered this, and found the following device:

    HA2401GI-250 on http://www.hyperlinktech.com/web/ha2401g.php

    The site looks very professional, and I've asked them for a quote to meet my specific needs anyway just in case. Thing is though, specifically to Kiwiguy since you live here, would it be legal to run one of those in NZ? I wonder if I should be asking the goverment about it, don't want them knocking on my door asking what these illegal radio waves are coming from my house :D Also a little bit concerned about health with something like that. People used to panick about mobile phones causing cancer, some still do panick.

    As for Wireless repeater, thats actually the kind of thing I was originally looking for (but didn't know what it was called so had trouble finding it :D). I am thinking though that if the above device is legal, it could actually give me VERY good coverage. Theres also a little guide I read on the web about using a Pringles packet, but I'd rather use something a little more professional :D
     
  5. gurutech

    gurutech

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    Apr 23, 2004
    Messages:
    2,960
    Some people are still scared to use a cell phone at a gas station. I use mine all the time, never had a problem.
     
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