Yes, but it probably won't work or fit. It's called a "passive repeater" or "passive reflector". You align a big plate of flat metal so that the angle of incidence and angle of reflections are equal an pointed at both the hotspot and your client radio. If it were light, you would place a big flat mirror in the window, where you could "see" the hotspot from where your radio is located. The problem is that the losses, beamwidth, and aesthetics involved all suggest this would be a horrible idea. Some alternatives:
Use a USB dongle wi-fi device. Hang it out the window. Officially, you can have 5 meters of cable attached which should get you somewhat away from the window. Longer cables are possible with USB hubs and amplified cables. If the signal is still a bit weak with USB dongle due to the relatively small antenna, use a reflector:
Buy a "game adapter" or "wireless client" wireless radio. This would hang in the window. Instead of a USB cable, this uses an ethernet cable that would plug into the ethernet port on your computer. If you have more than one computer, this is a nice way to go because you can plug in a cheap router (which may be a wireless router) and allow more than one computer to simultaneously surf the web.
If your wireless device happens to be a PCMCIA or PCI card with an external RF connector, you can build or buy an externa antenna and run coax cable to the wireless device. The cable is VERY lossy so you're probably not going to go much farther than perhaps 3 meters. However, it's fairly cheap and easy.
"Range Extender" or "wireless repeater". This will work and leave you wirelessly connected. I consider them to be RF polluters but they will solve you problem. Unfortunately, the standards for implimenting repeaters is not well defined. You'll probably discover that it only works with some hardware. If you go this route, make sure you can easily return or exchange what you purchase.
I deduce that the machine is a laptop? Is this correct? Incidentally, you can have more than one wireless device configured in a laptop. I have one here with a built in Intel 2000BG card and I'm playing with a Netgear WG511T PCMCIA card. I have to use "enable/disable" to switch cards. It takes a few seconds to switch, but it works well enough.
However, this gives me the oportunity (while waiting for XP to install on the worlds slowest laptop) to mention that all 802.11 type wireless is bridging. You can't just say "as a bridge" because literally everything involved is a bridge of some sorts. What we're both suggesting is something that has ethernet in, wireless out, and can talk to an access point in infrastructure mode. That could be a wireless bridge, wireless client adapter, wireless client bridge, game adapter, CPE (customer premisis equipment), and various combinations of these buzzwords. See the FAQ section at: |
my best guess as to the various bridge mutations available. I'm sure I forgot to include at least one or two types.
The 5 meter "repeater" cables at Fry's Electronics ar less than $10 each. The USB dongle could be in a coffee can, which Jeff doesn't like much, but I can't see a reflector being better. A friend of mine was shooting a couple of blocks with a 3lb Yuban coffee can and a five meter cable on a USB dongle. Two smaller cans gave better gain, but the 3lb can wasn't as fussy about the direction. The smaller can would drift off target when mounted to a tripod. He just put the large can on the back of a sofa pointed toward the window.
Bob Alston's coffee can
Dold's coffee can
used the turnpoint calculator to decide where to poke the hole.
There are also many haphazard designs on the New Zealand page, using USB dongles.
Or if you used a standard sized usb adapter, instead of a dongle, you could easily use the freeantenna reflectors, since it has dipole antennas.
You could run them both, if you wanted to share your connection.
Do you wander through the GUIs to switch cards, or with DevCon bat files?
Yep. I've built a wireless bridge/repeater and a wireless router with two cards in one machine. As I recall, it works as long as both cards don't try to connect to the same access point at the same time.
GUI juggling on the system tray or in the Network CPL window. I wasn't trying to be efficient.
I tried to connect simulatenously to the same router with both wireless cards. That actually worked. However, Windoze apparently (not sure) would only allow one route to the default gateway and would always select the one I enabled last. The other card just sat there with no traffic. I should play more with multiple wireless devices to see how they work, but I had to deliver the laptop to a customer today.
I had the same problem with weak signals. The best way to fix this is with a range expander/ repeater. The one I bought at Staples was wireless g range expander made by linksys. It is 99.00 + tax. My signal went from very weak to excellent on one laptop; the other went from very weak(no signal) to 'very good' signal. I would recommend Staples because you'll have no trouble returning it if it does not do the job. linksys model wre54g wireless g range expander. (use the auto- config button on it to set it up)