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Signal weak in basement...anything I can do?

Discussion in 'Networking' started by phixgrrrl, Jan 14, 2012.

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  1. phixgrrrl

    phixgrrrl Thread Starter

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    I have 3 computers sharing the connection from my 2Wire modem/gateway. The modem is in my room upstairs; the 2nd computer is in the kitchen downstairs, and the 3rd is in the basement. There are obviously floors and walls in-between. The kitchen computer is fine but the basement's signal is weak to none.
    Does this mean I have to move the modem to the kitchen pc? Or can I boost the signal at all? The kitchen pc is very old and slow so I don't really think it should be the "hub"; it's running XP and the other 2 are running VIsta. Also, the kitchen pc would need an extension cord.
     
  2. dohnutman

    dohnutman

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    I'm assuming you're referring to a weak wifi signal?!?!?!
    If so, it depends on your router and your wireless network adapter. The easiest way is to get a stronger antenna for either your router or network adapter (if is external and has an antenna), or get a wifi adapter with a strong antenna.
    Heres a link to amazon search for antennas
    clicky

    For a really good signal, I recommend a min of 10dbi.
    The higher the dbi number, the better, but again it all depends on your setup.

    Or, if you want a cheap, low tech DIY solution, go to youtube a search for home made cantenna.
    You can also try this
    clicky
     
  3. phixgrrrl

    phixgrrrl Thread Starter

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    Well the model is 2701HG-B 2Wire Wireless Gateway
    http://www.amazon.com/2701HG-B-2Wire-Wireless-Gateway-Router/dp/B001W9ASMS
    It has no antenna.

    My computer is hooked up to it via our phone line (dsl) and the other 2 pcs have a wireless adapter.
    A friend of mine is saying to move the modem to the middle (kitchen) computer or move the basement pc upstairs. Would that really do anything? The kitchen pc is very old and slow running XP.
     
  4. dohnutman

    dohnutman

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    Ok, I'm a little confused when you say your computer is connected via phone line. I hope you're referring to an ethernet cable rather than a phone cable. They look similar but are very different, an ethernet cable is much thicker.
    An ethernet cable has a RJ45 jack(left), a phone cable has a RJ11(right). See image below:
    [​IMG]

    So, I'm going to assume you mean your upstairs computer is connected directly to the 2701HG-B modem/router via an ethernet cable (RJ45) as opposed to phone cable (RJ11) and your kitchen and basement computers are connected via network adapters (hopefully with antennas, in which case you can get a higher dbi antenna to improve reception all else fails).

    However, I don't see why you couldn't move the router to the kitchen, if its convenient for you, do it. Your kitchens computer has no effect on your network performance, regardless of being connected via cable or not, unless of course you're using it download enough content to use up all your bandwidth. The computer connected via a cable to the modem is not a "hub", unless you connects other computers directly via more cable to said computer. All you need to know is, moving the modem to the kitchen should not cause any noticeable disruptions other than the physical space it takes up.

    You can also try this first before you move the modem, i stumbled upon it while doing a little research. Boost signal for 2701HG-B

    Just as a precaution, you should be aware that boosting the power output of the modem might, emphasis on might, damage it if already runs too hot.
    However, if it doesn't hot, then boost away, just don't hold me responsible if something bad happens.
     
  5. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    51,988
    The modem puts out the radio signal, so the computer it is attached to does not matter. Putting the modem in the middle of the house makes sense, if there is a phone line nearby. But you need to keep track of where your filters are so that he phone lines used for phones are still isolated from the DSL lines.

    Boosting the power of the modem will make receiving better, but it will have no effect on the signal from the basement computer to the modem which will stay the same.

    There are also network cards and USB adapters that have antennas on them that are larger than usual and extensible. If you can find one cheap enough, orienting that the right way should get you a better signal, too. (Make sure that the antennas are real, though. I have seen USB network adapters with small antennas that are not connected to anything. When I opened the thing up, I discovered that the antenna was solely for looks and did nothing. I now have a small hole where the fake antenna used to be, but the adapter works just as well as it always did. If they seem too cheap compared to others, that is probably why.)
     
  6. phixgrrrl

    phixgrrrl Thread Starter

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    Yes, I'm sorry...I meant to say my pc is the host, not hub. And yes, it's an ethernet cable connected to the pc, a phone line cable also from the modem to the phone.
    And no none of the adapters have antennas. The pc in the basement is under a desk, the back facing a wall. The adapter is then also in the back of the pc so I dont' know if the antenna would help being so far back and under a desk?
    So do you think moving it would be better or buying a different usb adapter with an antenna would be better? Also, the distance from the kitchen pc to the phone line is a bit far..does the length of the phone line cable matter?
    Thanks
     
  7. dlsayremn

    dlsayremn

    Joined:
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    As Elvandil wrote, maximizing the signal from the basement will be the problem.

    Moving the modem/router to the kitchen (closer) is probably the best solution. but then you need a wireless adapter for upstairs and connection speeds will be lower for that PC.

    Phone line length - When I was with Qwest in MPLS, it was 15 feet from my phone socket to the modem and I had no problems. Just need to be sure it is a good quality line.
    Had a 2701HG-B that I ran at a 4 poweer setting. At the 10 setting, Xirrus on my laptop could read it at about 150 feet away.

    The antenna on the 2701HG-B is parallel to the front of the modem. You could try laying the modem on its side and turn it so that the front of the modem is parallel to the USB adapter on the basement computer. Would maximize the received signal from the basement.
     
  8. TerryNet

    TerryNet Terry Moderator

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    Other than putting the desk and computer in a closed closet I can't think of a worse set up. Test with the path between router and adapter's antenna not blocked by desk or computer and see if you get a decent signal.
     
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