Improving Wireless Network Performance in a five story home?

Town house is in Manhattan and is five stories high. Belkin Pre-N wireless router is connected to Time Warner's RoadRunner cable-modem. Both are on fifth floor (rear room). There is a Siemens Speedstream Powerline Ethernet Adapter plugged into an electrical outlet and connected to the router via ethernet cable.

There are five notebook computers in the house. No desktops. No computers are hard-wired to the router. They all connect to the Internet wirelessly.

There are two notebook computers on the fifth floor (front and middle rooms). Both are MACs with built-in Airport cards.

There is one notebook computer on the fourth floor (rear room) with a built-in 802.11g card.

There is one notebook computer on the third floor (front room) with a Belkin Pre-N wireless network adapter card.

There is one notebook computer in the first floor kitchen (rear room) with a Belkin Pre-N wireless network adapter card. There is a Siemens Speedstream Powerline Wireless Access Point plugged into a nearby electrical outlet in an attempt to strengthen the signal to this the furthest room from the router.


The computers on the third and fourth floor seem to have no performance problems and show a signal strength of between 85 and 100%.

The computer in the first floor kitchen area has experienced inconsistent and unstable Internet connections. On Friday when I left it's signal strength was excellent . No problem. An hour later there was NO signal. Using the Belkin Wireless Client Utility a SCAN was done which resulted, strangely, NO SCAN RESULTS. Not our network nor any of the others that are usually available. A half hour later the excellent signal strength returned.

On the fifth floor in the middle office (the room on the other side of a wall from where the router is, a MAC iBook w/Airport card could not connect to the Internet. It was brought into the room where the router is and still could not connect. Hooking it to the router with a length of Ethernet cable we were able to connect.

There is a wide open area where the stairs go down from the fifth floor to the first floor. You can actually see the floor of the first floor looking down this open area from the fifth floor landing. I'm thinking about moving the router down to the third floor landing so that it will be equadistant to the first floor and the fifth floor. Intuition tells me that this is a good idea.

When the signal drops occur no one is using a cordless phone or microwave oven in the house. Is it possible that a cordless phone operating on the 2.4 Ghz frequency on the other side of the brickwall that separates this house from the one next to it could be the culprit? Or is this very unlikely.

I'm thinking that wireless signals don't travel down as good as they travel out. Am I onto something?

Any comments will be appreciated.


Reply to
Loading thread data ...

You might be better off moving your wireless router to the center of the house (3rd floor). Why not experiment by moving the router to different locations and seeing how strong of a signal you get at each computer (you don't need to have the router connected to the internet to do this).

In addition, you might want to change channels on the router, in case there is interference from one of your neighbors.

If nothing else works, you could get a wireless repeater to increase your coverage. You may have to shop around to see what works with the Belkin wireless router (most repeaters only work with a limited number of other routers and/or access points from the same manufacturer). One inexpensive option that worked for me was a pair of CompUSA Wireless G routers that can be configured as repeaters. They were on sale for $2.99 each after rebate on Jan 1-2.

Mike Schumann

Reply to
Mike Schumann

After moving router to 3rd floor, position antennae to the horizontal position (rather than vertical). This might help a bit in sending signals up/down rather than horizontally.

Reply to
Alan White

Thanks so much for your help. I plan to move the router out of that rear room on the 5th floor to the stairwell (atrium) area in see what happens. One thing I did do last night is change the channel number on the router. I had a Siemens SpeedStream Powerline Wireless Access Point down in the kitchen, but checking I found it was on channel 6 while the router was on channel 2. I needed a pass word (long forgotten to change the access point's channel, so instead I changed the router's to channel 6. I'll know today what effect that had (if any).

Thanks again.

Reply to

You know, I was wondering about that (antennae horizontal rather than vertical). Think I'll try that when I take it out of the rear room.

Thanks, Alan. Good suggestion.

Reply to
dejola Forums website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.