Newbie here, could someone please advise

Hi all,

I am a wireless novice, but relatively technically competent otherwise.

I want to set up a wireless LAN link between two nearby buildings. It's not easy to find out exactly what I need and I hope this group can offer some advice.

Essentially I work from home, in an office in my flat, with wired broadband. I also look after the flat nearby of a friend, who works abroad so isn't there often and doesn't have a landline.

When building work gets too noisy I use his flat as an office. Major building work is planned nearby for later this year and it's going to be pretty horrible. So I want to link to his flat so I can decamp there for the period of the building, and obviously when he's around he'd find the internet useful.

LOS distance between the two flats = 360 feet. There are a few trees which will soon have foliage on them.

What I think I need is two wireless routers, a length of co-ax antenna cable, and to make an external antenna to fit on the outside of my flat. Is this right? Will I also need a receiving antenna on his flat?

Your thoughts would be much appreciated



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As a first guess, both APs would likely benefit from directional antennas coupled w/coax, as high as possible on both buildings, with the second AP able to be configured to run in bridge mode. Of course, directional antenna at your place may make wireless connection there problematic, unless maybe you also install an additional AP there (w/its omnidirectional antenna), with its WAN port connected via ethernet to bridge port on the router with the Internet connection.

Given that a typical "wireless router" is an AP, a bridge, and a router. Given an understanding of how IP routing works, it'd not be difficult to "daisy-chain" them. Bridging and routing operate at two distinct levels of networking, with bridging occurring transparently between cable-ports and wirelessly connected hosts at a given "router"; for routing you'd have to configure 2 distinct subnets, by IP address range, on the two chained routers, and configure the wirelessly bridged routers to have the same LAN IP range but issue IPs from separate subranges of that range via DHCP.

There are many good references on wireless IP setup at Amazon, etc.

Mostlikely your major issue would be getting good s/n past the trees. Alternatively, is there any way to run cat-5 cable between buildings?


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The trees are a big question, but distance is not very far. One can sometimes get through a couple of trees, depending. Maybe one. Maybe not!

If you can run Cat-5, then go for that.

As far as devices, antennas, etc, I see three routes, increasing in cost but with advantages:

1) Single AP/router at your place with a directional antenna mounted outside (via low-loss cable) and then a simple USB adapter on the distant end with a good antenna or in a reflector and a 15' extension cable.

I would consider using this USB adapter with a cheap 5db rubber duck antenna and an EZ-12 refector

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2) AP and external antenna as above, with a wireless ethernet bridge and external antenna on the distant end, using high gain antenna and/ or reflector

3) Same as 1 or 2 above, but mount your router on each end in one or two of these instead of antenna + cable.

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Thanks for your replies. This has given me food for thought. CAT5 is unfortunately not an option. It would be me digging up the public roads in between and I think somebody would object!

I hadn't realised that the directional antenna might not broadcast to my flat...silly me, but some of them have two antennas - I'd just connect the external antenna to one. In any case roaming isn't too important as I have a wired network in my place

The trees are a problem but I guess the only way to find out is to "suck it and see".

Thanks again for the advice and links



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