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Need advice getting a USB Wifi Booster

Discussion in 'Networking' started by OM2, May 21, 2018.

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  1. OM2

    OM2 Thread Starter

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    I was hoping someone could advise getting a USB Wifi booster.

    I want to use with my laptop in my car and get Wifi. There are networks I can connect to - but they have a weak signal.

    I can get 300Mbps or 1200Mbps.
    Which would be better to get...?
    300Mbps are cheaper - are USB 2 - so assume quite old?
    1200Mpbs are dual band - but will I need 5GHz bandwidth? These are USB 3.

    Now I can get boosters for caravans that have a slower speed like 150Mbps - but these are reportedly 1500m in distance effective (the specs of one item says this).

    The MOST important thing is the distance for me. Speed, I would sacrifice.

    EDIT: there are some aerials that have a higher DBi. I'm sure this is an important measure. What is DBi? Assuming higher the better?

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
  2. OM2

    OM2 Thread Starter

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    anyone?
     
  3. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

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    What's the brand name and model name and exact model number of your laptop?
    What Windows version is it running?

    Go into the Device Manager, then expand the Network Adapters heading.
    What's the exact name of the wireless device listed there?

    ---------------------------------------------------------------
     
  4. OM2

    OM2 Thread Starter

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    i have a few laptops.
    all on win 10.

    the device i have for network adapter isn't the problem.
    the wifi connection i need to get access to, i know is far away relatively.
    so i wanted to get a booster to get connection to the wifi network. :)

    i ordered a usb wifi booster anyway... but still advice and opinion.
    surely i can't be the only one with the problem of needing to access weak wifi signals?

    thanks
     
  5. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

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    You need help in the "Networking" section, so I requested your thread be moved there.
    Once it's been moved, one of the networking experts there can hopefully help you.

    --------------------------------------------------------------
     
  6. valis

    valis Moderator

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    moved.
     
  7. OM2

    OM2 Thread Starter

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    anyone?


    (thanks for moving thread @valis)
     
  8. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    You need to get a wireless adapter which has the ability to use an external antenna and has high transmit power. I don't know what WiFi booster you purchased, but most likely it will not work.

    There was a wireless adapter from Ubiquiti called the SR71 that many wireless professionals used as it had the ability to use an external antenna and had high transmit power. The SR71 has long been discontinued.

    Doing a search on Amazon yielded this adapter:

    https://www.amazon.com/High-Gain-Long-Rang-Alfa-9dBi-Mount/dp/B0038Q4AIG

    Not sure how well it works but it seems to get good reviews.
     
  9. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    And to your question about gain. It's the amount of directivity the antenna provides in it's radiation pattern. For an omni directional antenna, the higher the gain, the more squished the donut radiation pattern will be extending further out in the horizontal axis. But the vertical axis would get less coverage. There also seems to be some possible signal loss in the middle of the radiation pattern with increased gain. Here's an illustration of this with an omni-directional antenna:

    http://www.l-com.com/content/Article.aspx?Type=L&ID=10175

    The same principle applies to directional antennas except with the higher the gain, the more focused (less spread there is across all axis'.
     
  10. OM2

    OM2 Thread Starter

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    thanks for the reply.

    in the end i got this one: www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B015Z8EWGY
    it was the highest rated
    all others have poor ratings.
    (but... this is my gripe... sometimes amazon reviews can be artificial. only tested twice now. hoping it works ok)

    it's pretty good. it does make a difference.

    the one you sent a link to, i read up about on some guide to wifi hacking.
    (no, that's not what i'm doing)
    there's 1 or 2 specific usb dongles that are recommended - they look like the the one u gave a link to.
    i think i might get one of those as well.

    i wanted omnidirectional - to save have to pin point the wifi signal.

    the bit u mentioned about high gain maybe being a bad thing... very educational

    in usa living out of a vehicle is a life choice for some
    people who live like this use usb antennas to get wifi from *long* distances away. these tend to be pointing ones i guess where they pinpoint signals.
     
  11. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Just because hackers may want to use that wireless NIC I linked to doesn't mean it's the only use for it. The reason war drivers want to use a NIC like that is because of its performance at distance. It has a high transmit power radio. That's what you need for your situation. Wireless is a two way street. It does you no good to pick up a signal from a wireless network when you can't send a signal back to the wireless network at distance.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2018
    OM2 likes this.
  12. NathanielFalardeau

    NathanielFalardeau Temporarily Banned

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    The mbps has nothing to do with the range of what it connect to, it determines the speed which you can download or upload files. You'd be looking more at cisco products, they are most popular for their networking products and they mention their products ranges. A lot of network companies don't mention ranges on their products.
     
  13. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    The bolded part of your response is incorrect. With wireless, the speed at which two wireless devices communicate to each is definitely dependent on the range at which these two devices are from each other.
     
  14. NathanielFalardeau

    NathanielFalardeau Temporarily Banned

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    Yes, the speeds will go down as you get further from your wireless access point. But the speed doesn't determine the range it can reach.
     
  15. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Your statements are making things too simplistic. No one was asserting speed determines the range. The OP desires a specific speed at a certain range. There are ways to achieve this within reason.
     
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