add antenna to wifi router or remote pc?


I'm wondering whether I should add an antenna to my router, or replace a remote 802.11g device with a more robust device, or both.

I have a d-link di-524 802.11g wireless router and a d-link dwl-g120 usb 802.11g dongle at a remote pc about 30 feet away. The remote pc is a Dell Dimension 4600C, which contains only a single half-height PCI slot, and I chose a USB dongle since there are few half-height PCI

802.11g cards on the market.

The remote PC functions as an HTPC (home theater PC), and therefore sits on a low shelf in my TV cart. The positioning is very unfavorable in terms of interference from all the nearby electronics, and I rarely obtain good signals even though the router is only 30 feet away, and I frequently lose the signal entirely. OTOH, when I bring a laptop home from work and wander around the house, I get good signals on the laptop, so I think that the problem is due more to the dwl-g120 dongle and its environment than to the router.

It would be relatively cheap and easy to add an antenna to the router, but I don't know whether that will provide adequate two-way communication if the dwl-g120 is unable to transmit adequately.

Another alternative is to replace the dwl-g120 with a Hawking HWU54D high-gain USB wireless-G adapter:

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Do you have any opinions as to which will work better? Or should I just buy the router antenna and then try the USB device if necessary?



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Jonathan Epstein
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jaepstein (Jonathan Epstein) wrote in news:

Try using a USB extension lead to position the USB dongle higher up and away from metalwork as much as possible.

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Reflectors for both would be pretty simple.

Is the dongle plugged directly into the computer, or is it on a cable? If it's on a cable, you could simple put it about 1" in front of a flat piece of tin, like a pie plate, oriented as a reflector toward the access point. The orientation of my DWL-122 is important. It is not an omnidirectional antenna. Are you using some signal strength indication to orient the dongle?

You can put a simple reflector on the existing antenna of the access point. Try an EZ-10 from

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You might be able to make a corner reflector for the dongle, but a flat piece works for about 5 points on the NetStumbler scale.

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