How can I improve my cellular or WiFi signal (with and without Internet)?

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How have you improved your cellular or WiFi signal (with and without
Internet) at home and while away from home connecting to hotspots?

This was just now posted to comp.mobile.android but maybe people here on
alt.internet.wireless have improved solutions to offer since the problem is
universal so everyone here has solved it in some way or another.


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You have a point in that every house used to have a WRT54G so they are
still ubiquitous, and are sold used all over at less than the price of a
Starbucks' Caramel Macchiato.

Like everything, there are pros and cons, where certainly these ubiquitous
routers are basically free.

The cons are that they're not N or ac or 5GHz, but that's not too bad a
price to pay.

They work fine as wired repeaters using the original Linksys firmware, but
all the ones I have can't be set up as wireless repeaters due to the
default firmware not having that feature.

Certainly you can reflash with DD-WRT or Tomato firmware, but then it gets
problematic in that some WRT54G routers don't carry enough ROM, but by now
usually there is a tiny version of the alternative firmware.

So, the cost here is just in the research effort of figuring out the
technical solution that fits your particular version of WRT54G.  

This thread has two separate questions, where that solution above won't fit
the op's question but it would fit the wifi part of the secondary question
(but not the cellular part of the secondary question).

Here's my summary of good answers:

Q: With just a phone on foot or in a car, how can I increase my WiFi or
cellular signal strength?
A: I don't think there is a good solution that is viable, but you can strap
the phone to a parabolic antenna which isn't practical in most cases.

Q: Is there a wired transceiver I can plug into my phone?
A: Nobody seems to be aware of one (they exist for computers but not for
phones).

Q: With just a phone & laptop (but no Internet at home) how can I connect
to a hotspot that is just a kilometer or two away?
A: Buy a 2.4GHz 802.11 transceiver that plugs into the laptop and is
powered either by the laptop or by an external power supply.

Q: With just a phone & laptop (but no Internet at home) how can I connect
to a hotspot that is more than just a kilometer or two away?
A: Buy a 2.4GHz 802.11 transceiver that is powered by a POE (power over
ethernet) and place it to receive the cellular signal by LOS (line of
sight) & set the transceiver up as a router to hand out DHCP addresses.
Then plug the one RJ45 outlet on the transceiver to as many laptops as you
like.

Q: At home, how do I increase my phone's cellular signal?
A: If you have Internet coming to your WiFi router, you can substitute for
low cellular signal by using WiFi calling if your carrier and phone allow
it. Some carriers even give you a wifi-calling-optimized router for free.

Q: What's another way to increase my phone's cellular signal at home?
A: You can ask your carrier to send you a signal booster.

Q: What's another way to increase my phone's cellular signal at home?
A: You can ask your carrier to send you a small home tower which connects
to your home router.

Q: At home, how do I increase my WiFi signal to cover the whole house?
A: Lots (and lots) of ways, so we have to take them one by one.

1) Wire an output from the router to your distant location
2) Add a powered switch if you have more than four output wires
3) Buy a new SOHO router that has 802.11 ac and 5GHZ  
4) Add a wired SOHO router to the existing router (aka a wired extender)
5) Add a wireless repeater to the existing router
6) Add a wired transceiver with a directional antenna (usually parabolic)
to the existing router.
7) ?

How have you improved your cellular or WiFi signal (with and without
Internet) at home and while away from home connecting to hotspots?

Re: How can I improve my cellular or WiFi signal (with and without Internet)?
On Sat, 25 Feb 2017 04:59:27 +0000 (UTC), in
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https://youtu.be/8BloeK3Xmz0
"How to steal your neighbor's Wi-Fi"

Re: How can I improve my cellular or WiFi signal (with and without Internet)?
On 2/26/2017 1:09 AM, Valeska Kowalczyk wrote:

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My neighbor leaves his WiFi unlocked. It's been that way for 16 years
now. But he's very inconsiderate in that it's only a 5 Mb service (yes I
measured it). But still, it does come in handy when mine goes out...


Re: How can I improve my cellular or WiFi signal (with and without Internet)?
AL wrote:\
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The situation is one-sided because all name brand home routers are poo.
(
http://youtu.be/Zw0TKDuv_g4

http://youtu.be/Zw0TKDuv_g4
).

Your neighbor's $75 name brand router suffers from three faults.
[a] weak power output (17.5 dBm)
[b] what little power there is is wasted in omni directions (1.5dBi)
[c] low sensitivity (-80 dBm)
(http://superuser.com/questions/298290/wireless-router-signal-strength-stats )

You could easily buy a $75 radio with these three benefits.
[a] strong power output (27 dBm)
[b] concentrated in one direction (30 dBm)
[c] high sensitivity (-95 dBm)
(http://dl.ubnt.com/datasheets/rocketm/RocketM_DS.pdf )

The eirp of the neighbor's $75 name brand router is likely about 19 dBm
(17.5 dBm in power output plus 1.5dBi in antenna gain) or about 80
milliwatts (which is poo).

The eirp of a good $75 radio can easily be 36dBm or 4 watts (where the
antenna alone can easily give you 30dBi (1 watt) and the transmitter itself
can easily generate 27 dBm (1/2 watt) so you're really only limited by the
FCC legal limit.
(http://wiki.robotz.com/index.php/FCC_Regulations_on_WiFihttp://wiki.robotz.com/index.php/FCC_Regulations_on_WiFi )

Even that FCC legal limit is only for one access point, so, you can put
five of them in series or parallel your house if you wanted to and it would
be perfectly legal.

The net of all this is that typical name brand home routers are poo.
If you want to connect to them, it will be a one sided connection where
your antenna gain and receiver sensitivity will count far more than your
transmit power will.

Re: How can I improve my cellular or WiFi signal (with and without Internet)?
On 2/26/2017 10:08 AM, Valeska Kowalczyk wrote:
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Ah. I'll just mosey next door and tell my neighbor to shape up his free  
unlocked WiFi to improve my unauthorized use then?

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Me buy? My WiFi works fine. The neighbors is just a handy backup. Though  
sometimes the grandkids mistakenly hook up their phones to it thinking  
it's mine.

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It's free poo though.

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My house?? Language problem again?

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I'm betting you don't have a clue what I said. Ah. I'll bet this is spam  
(I didn't look at the links). Where's nospam when you need him...


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