What is the house made of?
Roy Am> I have a Netgear DG834gtUK router. some areas of the house suffers from
What is the house made of?
Roy Am> I have a Netgear DG834gtUK router. some areas of the house suffers from
"No signal" is hard to measure or improve. I have no signal from my home wireless when I am at work. That would be hard to boost enough to make it work.
"low signal" can be improved quite nicely for free.
I use a glue stick to glue the foil to the paper before I cut out the template. When you cut out the "windsurfer" part, leave the tabs sticking out farther than the drawing shows. I spend more time trying to tape the little tabs in place than anything else.
I have a Netgear DG834gtUK router. some areas of the house suffers from very low or no signal. Is there any easy way to rdctify this situation. 4 wireless laptops connects to router via PCMCIA wireless adapters Some802.11b and some 802.11g.
Help would be much appreciated.
I beg to differ. 4 laptops implies a rather spacious house. A followup indicated that there was foil backed insulation in the walls turn each room into an RF isolated screen room. The same followup indicated that the wireless router was in the garage, while the area lacking coverage was in a possibly disconnected house. Installing a single repeater might improve the signal in one area, but would probably not cover all the various 4 or more rooms which I presume are on the opposite side of the house.
I find it difficult to recommend solutions that sound like "buy this contraption and all your coverage problems will be solved". In my never humble opinion, RF repeaters, range extenders, and WDS bridges are RF polluters of the worst kind. Details on request or you can use Google to search for my past rants on the subject. Most often, I can produce better and more reliable by working with the antennas, choice of equipment, or topology. I save the repeaters for the last resort.
My guess is that the garage is at one end of the house and that the topology requires that the signal pass through multiple walls. Possibly, there are windows that will allow the signal to pass. As a rule of thumb, the signal will go through one wall without much difficulty. Two walls will cause problems. Three or more walls are a waste of time. The construction material is also important. Concrete and foil backed insulation tend to be fatal. As Clarence Dold suggested, I would first experiment with improving the signal in the direction of the house using reflectors and possibly replacement antennas. Unfortunately, the DG834GT only has one antenna, so you cannot replace one antenna with a directional antenna pointed at the house, while retaining the original antenna for garage coverage.
Before you resort to a repeater, methinks it best to add a 2nd access point to the system. Under ideal circumstances, that would require a CAT5 cable from the garage to the house connected between a LAN port on the DG834gt to the added access point. The access point need not be any particular brand or model. Unlike repeaters, range extenders, and WDS bridges, adding access points do not have "compatibility" problems with different chipsets and brands. The access point can also be a wireless router converted into an access point by disabling the router section. Instructions on request.
The exact location or number of added access points is largely dependent on the layout of the house. 4 laptops implies a two story house, which may be difficult to cover with a single access point. However, this added access point will be closer to the client radios and therefore will probably have a more reliable connection.
If a CAT5 cable between the garage and the house is impossible, then power line networking can be used. See:
The problem with power line networking is that it is somewhat slow, doesn't work through the usual two phases found in home AC wiring, and may not be available in UK 220V 50Hz devices. It is also susceptible to local interference from everyone on the single transformer. I recently fixed a HomePNA system that would die whenever a well pump motor was running. The fix was easy enough (ferrite clamp on filter) but finding the cause was a problem. I would run the CAT5 if possible.
If the 2nd access point is on a different channel (1, 6, and 11), there's no interference with the main wireless router. Why is a 2nd access point worse than a repeater? Store and forward repeaters retransmit everything heard on a given SSID thus doubling the number of packets floating in the air. Since only one radio can transmit at a time, this cuts the maximum thruput in half (or worse). An access point on the same channel as the main router will also compete for air time but is more selective about when it transmits as it only belches traffic to the connected client radios, not regurgitating every packet.
Oops. You're correct. It does plug into the wireless router at one end doing the same thing as what I suggested. I thought it was a repeater.
The router is in my garage (16'x16') which has been converted to my study.
I just realsised that when the conversion was carried out, I chose the best insulation product for the walls ceiling and floor (Polyurathane foam, Aluminium foil backing).
Nice and warm but I assume it is not much good for the signal to travel through!!!
Probably the easiest solution is to put a WiFi Repeater (aka Range Expander) in a part of the house that has signal, which can relay signal to parts of the house that don't have signal; e.g, Netgear 54 Mbps Wireless Access Point Model WG602 in Repeater Mode.
Another option is the Netgear 54 Mbps Wall-Plugged Wireless Range Extender Kit Model WGXB102 .
That's not a repeater. Regardless, in my own not so humble opinion, a 2nd access point is no better than a repeater, and arguably worse.
That's essentially what the WGXB102 is, an Ethernet Bridge and a Range Extender (access point), connected by power line networking.
I have a Netgear DG834G sited at the front of the house, on an upstairs2nd floor. I am in a 'heavy duty' wooden garden building at the back of the house, some 15 foot away from the rear house wall, and at ground level.
In between me - line of sight - and the router, there are 3 brick walls (the bricks are known as 'clinker' as they contain metal particles I believe) and 1 thick wooden 'wall', the wall to the garden building.
I have a Draytek USB wireless adapter plugged into the front of the PC... signal low, but a 'respectable' 12.0 Mbps
Of course, bear in mind that the actual thickness of the wall will increase with angle, so a 14 inch wall will have considerably more 'cement' to pass through if the angle is greater.
This house is 'solid', in that it was originally built to a very high specification back in the late 1950's, and doesn't have the timber frames found in many modern homes in the UK (England) these days.
Quite possibly an exception rather than a rule I would imagine, but it works, and it works well enough to surf the net, email et al. In fact, this reply was sent using said connection.
Thanks everyone for their input.
Just to clarify my situation:
Having reviewed what people have said in this NG, my best solution may be to locate thewireless router in the house (I have tried it before and the signal is great everywhere except the garage). Then perhaps have a wired router in the garage which is not too difficult.
Many thanks. Rohit
I beg to differ. A directional antenna improves the signal strength in both transmit and receive. An increase in transmit range also creates an increase in receive range. Although it does help substantially, there is no requirement that the client antenna also be directional in order to derive benifits from a directional antenna at the access point.
Directional antennas also much of their gain by borrowing signal from what would otherwise be useless directions. For example, if the desired coverage pattern is all at the same elevation, there is no need to send signals into the sky or into the ground. This is the way a high gain omnidirectional antenna works. It borrows signal that would normally go up or down, and sends it out horizontally. The net improvement in range is at the expense of vertical radiation angle. No corresponding change in client antennas are required.
Not perhaps, but required. When increasing transmit power at one end, there must be a corresponding increase in transmit power at the other end or the exercise is futile. Let's pretend that instead of the usual 80 milliwatts (+17dBm) of insipid power, one purchases a 1 watt amplifier for the access point. That's a 13dB increase in transmit gain which should correspond to a 4 times increase in range. Sounds great?
Well, it doesn't work that way. The range in one direction will increase 4 times, but the client radio is still transmitting at only+17dB. The receiver at the access point hasn't been improved by this exercise. Therefore the access point receive range remains the same as before the power amplifier and no net improvement in range is achieved.
The addition of a power amplifier also creates a situation resembling an "alligator" or an animal with a big mouth and small ears. It can talk much furthur than it can hear. The above 1 watt amplifier example can be heard in an area 16 times as large as the area in which it can effectively communicate. In my never humble opinion, that's a jammer. That's also why I detest Tropos Networks and other mesh network vendors deploying 1 watt poletop radios. If the clients also had 1 watt laptops, then the range in both directions would be equal and all would be well, but they don't.
There is one situation where a tower top amplifier is workable. That's on a tower, with a long length of very lossy coaxial cable. The addition of a receive preamplifier to the power amplifier improves the overall receive sensitivity by eliminating the coax loss from the receive equations. However, the overall receive sensitivity will probably not be better than that of the original access point because they typical all digital receiver is already operating at the noise floor of the technology. (Exact details and equations on request).
Another situation where an amplifier is workable is a point to point link. However, to insure equal range in both directions, there has to symmetry which requires that there be an amplifier at both ends of the link.
Methinks repeaters suck. See previous article in this thread. MIMO is especially good for high reflection environments such as indoors. However it's currently impossible to add an external antenna to a MIMO system.
My order and sequence would be (in order).
I can't really tell without have a look at the layout and premsis. My guess is almost anything with over about 6dBi of gain will work. That includes coffee can antennas, biguads, and panels. The reflectors in:
You don't sound like you're going to build anything so I suggest:
I've only seen three types of repeaters.
One is extremely dumb and will store and forward literally anything that it can decode. No filtering by any criteria. Fortunately, these are long gone. Unfortunately, some repeaters (DWL-900AP+) can simulate this abomination by using ANY or a blank for the SSID.
The 2nd type is one that filters by SSID. It will regurgitate anything that it can decode for a specific SSID. That also includes broadcasts, ARP requests, multicast, beacons, management frames, flow control frames, and such. The SSID filtering is crude and not very effective at limiting useless traffic. It would be really nice if there were additional filters available, such as by MAC address or IP address, but I haven't seen that. Neither have I seen one that only rebroadcasts traffic that is connected through the repeater.
If the repeater were a true wireless bridge, which only passes traffic to devices that appear in a bridging table, that would work the way you describe. However, that's difficult bordering on impossible because the repeater only has one bridge port. There's no way to tell if a MAC address is appearing at an input or output to the bridge as the input and output are one and the same in a repeater. If the wireless bridge worked on two different channels, one for input and one for output, then it would work as you describe. However, none of the commercial repeaters or range extenders work like this. I have built what I guess could be construed as a wireless repeater out of two WAP11 wireless bridges back to back on different channels. That's what it takes to only pass unicast traffic to the connected endpoint. Nobody sells those (yet).
The 3rd type is a WDS bridge. These are limited to compatible chipsets but work very well. All unicast traffic is directed and the bridge only repeats traffic destined to the other WDS device. That's because the MAC addresses of all connected WDS repeaters are pre-programmed into each WDS device. This is the least obnoxious repeater and operates the way you describe.
The common range extender store and forward repeater does not work like that. It will repeat any traffic it can decode for a specified SSID even if that traffic is not destined to a device that goes through the repeater.
That will work with two radios and two channels. There's also no reduction in wireless thruput as the system is full duplex. Nobody makes such a product and few (except me) bother to implement it due to the cost of two boxes. There are several mesh network vendors that also make multichannel, full duplex, poletop radios. For example:
No they're not. There's no input or output port distinction on a wireless repeater. It can't tell whether to forward a packet based on its MAC address as in a real bridge. Instead, the repeater has to use some other criteria to decide whether to regurgitate a packet. Except for WDS repeaters, they just retransmit anything they decode for a given SSID. Are you perhaps thinking of a WDS repeater?
Ah yes. Convenience is a good thing. Incidentally, I've tinkered with the Dlink DWL-G710 range extender. It has horrible thruput problems when in the 802.11b compatibility mode. It's bad enough that the access point has to switch between 802.11g and 802.11b in the802.11b compatibility mode. Getting the DWL-G710 to switch at the exact same time seems to be a problem. When I tested the thruput with a DI-624 the packet loss with an 802.11b client (Orinoco Silver) was terrible. Turning off the compatibility mode prevented connections to 802.11b clients, but at least sorta worked with 802.11g clients.
Are you sure you still want to recommend using repeaters?
Adding a 2nd access point does have it's limitations but nothing as bad as the excess traffic, chipset compatiblity, and 802.11b compatibility mode problems that I've itemized. If the 2nd access point is on the same channel as the main wireless router, then there is a possibility of mutual interference. However, if they are isolated by an aluminium foil back insulation RF barrier, methinks they could survive on the same channel. I installed a 2nd access point in a long thin house, with one radio at each end of the house. The two access points can barely hear each other and do not interfere much. Works fine. Of course, using different channels is the right way to do this and totally eliminates the interference problem. The only downside is that one must run a CAT5 cable between the boxes, or as you suggested, use power line networking to extend the system.
This all depends on the type of repeater. A dumb repeater is of course the worst case. But in a connection-based system like WiFi, a repeater need only repeat traffic where there is a connection.
Consider a home WiFi system with access point A and repeater B, with two clients X and Y, where X is connected to A, and Y is connected through B. The access point A does send and receive traffic for both X and Y, but the repeater B need only repeat traffic for Y.
With two access points, each would have only one client, and thus A would only send and receive traffic for X, but with both on different primary channels, two of the available three primary channels would be taken up, which is considerably less friendly to other users of the band (e.g., neighbors). Plus there is the problem of connecting them together with some sort of wired connection, the basic problem that wireless is intended to solve.
In effect, a WiFi access point and a repeater are like two access points that share the same channel with a wireless link between them. True, the extra wireless traffic will slow overall network throughput, but for most home803.11g networks the speed loss won't be much (if any) of an issue, especially in return for the wireless convenience.
This why I said that in my own not so humble opinion, a 2nd access point is no better than a repeater, and arguably worse. I should have made it clear that I was only talking about typical home networking, principally the sharing of a broadband connection.
p.s. I recall two situations in the past year or so where I was called in to help people that had home 802.11g networks with two access points. In both cases the access points were on the same default channel, thus interfering with each other. In one case I switched the 2nd access point to a different channel. In the other case I switched one of the access points into a repeater. Both cases resulted in improved operation, fully satisfying the people involved. In the case of using two primary channels (probably 6 and11), those people were taking up twice as much spectrum. I only did it that way because (a) they had a large amount of property with no nearby neighbors and (b) neither existing access point had a repeater mode.
In general, what a better antenna does is concentrate the signal in a given direction at the expense of other directions. That's why you'll often see them referred to as "directional" antennas. To be really effective, you may need them on both ends (wireless clients as well as the access point), which can be inconvenient. If you want a stronger signal in general, then you need more transmit power, again perhaps on both ends. That's why it often makes more sense to (a) relocate the access point; (b) switch to units with longer range [e.g., new MIMO technology]; (c) add a repeater; or (d) add another access point.
Yes but antennas don't have "power" as such but rather take from one area to provide gain in another.
You'd probably get good results by just locating the router somewhere near the middle of the property instead of the usual corner where the phone/cable comes in.
Is ther no simple solution such as fitting a more powerful ariel to boost the signal?
My router model is Netgear DG834GTUK
Thanks for the advice. It seems that an antenna which expands the horizontal at the expense of vertical may be the answer for me.
My router is positioned such that the devices are no more than 2 metres above or below it.
What type of antena do I need? I am not familiar with the jargon. Dougnut Omni directional?
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