Increasing Receiver Range

Ok long story short, I get a wireless connection from a coffee joint outside my apartment(they offer it for free for everyone to use for their enjoyment). The signal is pretty weak(Very Low to Low). I cannot actually walk in there and install a new antenna on their router(LinkSys) or set up a repeater or anything like that. So what should I do instead?

How can I increase my receiver's range?

The signal strength improves when I move the computer across the room. Unfortunately, it's a desktop, and I live in an apartment meaning there

is only 3 feet of room to move across.

I know I cannot improve the signal strength without moving closer to the signal but would special antennas or anything like that help?

I also heard there are repeaters out there that don't require modification to the settings in a router? Is this true?

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Why not get a USB wireless card. These usually come with cables and if that cable is not long enough you can get longer ones at most PC stores. Then you can position the wireless unit where you get the best signal even if it is away from the desktop.

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David Goodenough

Others here have more expertise in this than I but perhaps you should look into the Linksys Range Expander. I think you don't need to physically attach it to the router but instead can simply plug it into an electrical outlet at the strongest signal source and that may give you a stronger signal (I don't know if there is a need to configure the router and/or the range expander though...that could be a gotcha).

Thought it may be worth look> Ok long story short, I get a wireless connection from a coffee joint

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Try the Hawking HWU54D Wireless G adapter. I got one and it does increase the range. Unfortunately, the drivers only work in Windows. Now I'm looking for the same thing but with Linux drivers.

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Consider a different scenario, which happens to be quite likely in this case. It may be that the only place in the house where a good signal is likely just happens to be right at a second story window facing the building where the AP is located. A repeater placed there may or may not need a high gain antenna, and it is very likely that even with a high gain antenna there will be no other location in the house where it works well.

The easy way is to put the repeater at that location. Then the client can be anywhere within range of the repeater, which will likely provide coverage to just about anywhere in the house.

There are two problems with a repeater that need to be checked first though. One is that they tend to not work with an AP unless it is the same brand. Hence it is important to know what that AP across the road is.

The second point is that if a high gain antenna is needed, some repeaters have integral antennas that cannot be changed, and should be avoided in that circumstance.

It also happens that some are convenient, but less functional. For example the Linksys WRE54G repeater is not nearly as functional as a Linksys WRT54G with third party firmware. The WRE54G is smaller, looks nicer, and costs more money though.

Reply to
Floyd L. Davidson

A repeater would only work if you could mount it somewhere about half way between you and the access point.

Try making or buying a directional antenna. Mount it near the window (or better yet outside your window) and point it at the coffee shop. If you get a weak signal with your computer antenna this thing will get you a big gain. Here is a link about making a high gain antenna from common cans.

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One of these antennas pointed at the access point will work from blocks away.

William Lee

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Well Floyd, I guess you just answered a question that has been puzzling me for a while. I have tried two repeaters and could never get them to function properly. I did not pay much attention as to what brand they were (didn't think it mattered). I think the last one I tried was a D-link DWL-G710.

Anyhow, I replaced my old Netgear router (MR814) with a new Linksys wireless router (WRT54GX) and the SRX technology really improved the signal strength and internet performance to the other end of my house.

"Floyd L. Davids> There are two problems with a repeater that need to be checked

(Barrow, Alaska)

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Ken, I bought one of them and could not get it to work. (D-Link G54) I wanted to use it in motels but it never could get it to repete any of them. They do require configuration. (least mine did)

It has been my experience that motels will buy cable service and a wireless router thinking it will cover all their rooms but with all the metal studs in the walls it seldom covers much more than six or seven rooms away. I always ask if there are rooms available near the access point. The best connections I have found are the motels with Ethernet ports in each room. (much more secure too)

Anyhow, Someone else told me that most range expanders (repeaters) have problems working with access points that are not of the same manufacture. That may explain why I was having problems.

I had a wireless setup at my home (802.11b) and it had problems reaching the garage at the other end. I replaced it with the new 802.11G wireless router from LinkSys (the one with the three antennas) and the signal improved greatly.

I think most wireless systems offered today have problems going thru all the walls required to cover an entire house. They work great in a large room like an auditorium or warehouse where there is basically a line of site to the access point but if they need to go thru very many walls the signal drops off quickly.

"Ken" wrote:

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