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  #1  
Old 05-05-2005, 04:54 AM
Tony_Gamble Tony_Gamble is offline
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How far should a wireless router reach?

I've started a new thread as I think that Thomas and I have got as far as we can on that PDA to router thread.

I'm happy that my ASUS 716 now has reliable access to my Belkin Router and I can do what I wanted, which is to rapidly scan my incoming e:mails without the need to fire up my XP Pro driven laptop.

Also with the help of Thomas, and others, I now understand the programming of the Router and that of the wireless software in the laptop.

What I now need to establish is whether my Belkin Router is working at optimum power and what I should expect from it. I found a review of the model I am using.

http://www.adslguide.org.uk/hardware...f5d7630-4a.asp

Towards the end of this review the writer comes to the conclusion that the Belkin is defeated by four walls. I live in an apartment built in 1902 and in those days they did build thick walls.

I'm finding that two walls and thirty feet of air defeats my Router. Is that what I should expect?

I should add, at this stage, that Thomas has been helping me with changing channels to avoid the other wireless signals I can 'see'. There are people on channels 6 and 10. I was on 7 and Thomas recommended me to move to 1. But I still cannot find the router once I start walking along a corridor from the room where it is based.

All ideas welcome.

Tony




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  #2  
Old 05-05-2005, 10:04 AM
Edmond_Terakopian Edmond_Terakopian is offline
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Re: How far should a wireless router reach?

Hi Tony,
I have a Draytek route which travels quite happily through two sets of brick walls and a good 15 meters. I get a full strength signal at this range.
Can you change the location of your router and perhaps locate it in the hall, which will make it more central?

Edmond

PS - I have mine located 2 meters off the ground.

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  #3  
Old 05-05-2005, 10:47 AM
Tony_Gamble Tony_Gamble is offline
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Re: How far should a wireless router reach?

Edmond,

You've met 'management' !

She's tolerant about all my photographic and computery foibles - but I don't think the tolerance stretches to little monsters with four green eyes and two little black ears in the hall.

Nice idea. I think I'll delegate the broaching of it to you!!!!

And be well clear at the time.

Tony

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Old 05-05-2005, 04:07 PM
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ThomasSapiano ThomasSapiano is offline
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Re: How far should a wireless router reach?

[ QUOTE ]
What I now need to establish is whether my Belkin Router is working at optimum power and what I should expect from it. I found a review of the model I am using.
...
Towards the end of this review the writer comes to the conclusion that the Belkin is defeated by four walls. I live in an apartment built in 1902 and in those days they did build thick walls.

I'm finding that two walls and thirty feet of air defeats my Router. Is that what I should expect?

[/ QUOTE ]

The problem with obstructions is that it is very difficult to appear what level of attenuation they are generating. Buying a more powerful access point or larger antenae will cut through obstructions better, however there is no guarantee that it will be sufficient to get through your walls.

While simple sheetrock walls in newer houses don't hurt RF communication very much, thick brick, reenforced concrete, steel structural members, etc. can take a significant dent out of things. Unfortunately older houses were built to be a lot stronger than newer construction, and that means that many of those things are often in play.

[ QUOTE ]
I should add, at this stage, that Thomas has been helping me with changing channels to avoid the other wireless signals I can 'see'. There are people on channels 6 and 10. I was on 7 and Thomas recommended me to move to 1. But I still cannot find the router once I start walking along a corridor from the room where it is based.

[/ QUOTE ]

From that description it sounds like it is the walls that are your problems. There are a few things that you can do:
    [*] As the previous poster mentioned, try to get the router up as high as possible. Often getting obstructions like furnature, papers, etc. out of the way can give you sufficient power to eek out a little extra range. If that isn't feasable, try moving the unit around and try it out - RF communication is complex, and often a few inches here or there can make a significant difference.[*] Try placing the access point in other rooms - ideally as central as possible. Note that, while not ideal, it doesn't necessarilly have to be visible. If you have any wooden cabinets (keep it away from metal though) in the main hallway, it might function well inside of one and out of sight. Since your router has the DSL modem built in, all you need is a phone jack nearby [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] Often these units work well on top of bookshelves as they can be crammed up against the back where people can't see them.[*] Naturally, you can look into a more powerful wireless router - there is no guarantee that this will be sufficient, however it is really the only way to squeeze more range without moving things around. If you do go this route, try to find one that has removable antenae as it will give you much more lattitude in pushing things further. If the increased power alone is insufficient, you can then look into directional patch antennae - they are very subtle (they basically look like smoke detectors with a wire comming out of them) and can do a lot to punch through obscructions.[*] If there is any way to run Ethernet cable between the rooms, you could get a second innexpensive access point and wire it to the first. If you configure it correctly, your devices will seamlessly roam between the two radios as you move around the appartment. You can alternately use wireless distribution if the wires are a problem, however that adds some complexity (as the second AP needs to be placed where it gets a good signal from both the first AP and your devices).[/list]

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Old 05-06-2005, 04:27 AM
Tony_Gamble Tony_Gamble is offline
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Re: How far should a wireless router reach?

Some good pointers there, Thomas.

As I joked to Edmond, we strive to have a wirefree home. (Photographers must be notorious for moving waste paper bins and trying to hide the flex that comes out of table lamps - so much better than forgetting and then spending an hour in Photoshop).

Edmond has seen our living room and I bet he did not realise we have a TiVo. TiVo needs constant access to a phone socket and the socket in our living room is on the wall diametrically opposite to the cabinet where the TiVo is hidden. I get the link with a Thomson wireless modem that uses the mains circuit as its link across the room. In fact I am on my second device as the first was defeated when we installed broadband on the phone.

Thomas's suggestions have got me thinking that if my next challenge is to get a wireless router signal in the living room then, rather than spending money boosting the signal from the study at the other end of the apartment it might be simpler/cheaper/quicker to buy another ASDL wireless router and put it in the cabinet next to the TiVo.

I assume I'd need to power down the one in the study to release the phone connection to Pipex - but that's not a big inconvenience. The first question is as to whether the new router can work and share the Thomson wireless modem to get at the living room phone socket - and I suppose the quick answer is to try with the one I already own.

Having said that I'll still look into more powerful wireless routers and special aerials as it is all useful information to accumulate. I see no way of running an Ethernet cable from one end of the apartment to the other.

But, lots of ideas and, for which, many thanks.

Tony

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  #6  
Old 05-06-2005, 05:53 PM
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ThomasSapiano ThomasSapiano is offline
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Re: How far should a wireless router reach?

[ QUOTE ]
Thomas's suggestions have got me thinking that if my next challenge is to get a wireless router signal in the living room then, rather than spending money boosting the signal from the study at the other end of the apartment it might be simpler/cheaper/quicker to buy another ASDL wireless router and put it in the cabinet next to the TiVo.

I assume I'd need to power down the one in the study to release the phone connection to Pipex - but that's not a big inconvenience. The first question is as to whether the new router can work and share the Thomson wireless modem to get at the living room phone socket - and I suppose the quick answer is to try with the one I already own.

[/ QUOTE ]

Yes, the DSL modem in the study will have to be shut down when using the one in the living room. DSL modems can not share the line at the same time, so only one of them may be switched on at any given time. Asside from that, my only question would be whether the Thompson modem will be capable of channeling the DSL connection through the powerline - most of these devices don't have the bandwidth to do that. I can look up the specs for you, however as you say trying it out is going to be the fastest way to get an answer [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

[ QUOTE ]
Having said that I'll still look into more powerful wireless routers and special aerials as it is all useful information to accumulate. I see no way of running an Ethernet cable from one end of the apartment to the other.

[/ QUOTE ]

No problem, I figured it might be difficult in an older building [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

One possible option would be to look into HomePNA bridges - basically several companies (including Linksys) make devices that allow you to bridge an ethernet connection through your phoneline (much like you are using your powerline for the TiVo). I have no idea how well it would work with old wiring, and they usually aren't easy to find - however if you can find a shop that has them with a decent return policy it might be worth a look. For more information you can look at this site.

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  #7  
Old 05-07-2005, 04:56 AM
Neil_Turner Neil_Turner is offline
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Re: How far should a wireless router reach?

My wireless signal is still at 30% as I sit here in the downstairs conservatory on the back of a 1930s house and the wireless router is sitting on a desk in the study upstairs on the front of the house. That has got to be 100 feet and at least three pre-war brick walls away! The unit is a Netgear all in one modem/ethernet switch/router with a three inch aerial.

My next door neighbour (detached house) can seee my signal and borrows it when he needs it too.

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