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MacMermaid 03-30-2014 10:00 AM

WiFi Boosting
 
I would like to know how to boost my WiFi signal to reach my barn about 300 feet from my house. One of the salespeople at Apple said I would just need another linksys router. Sound right or would I need something else? How would I set it up?

JohnCL 03-30-2014 10:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MacMermaid (Post 1575227)
I would like to know how to boost my WiFi signal to reach my barn about 300 feet from my house. One of the salespeople at Apple said I would just need another linksys router. Sound right or would I need something else? How would I set it up?

Are you looking for the cheapest route, or the best route? I currently have a setup that I shoot WiFi for 2.7 miles, but it takes extra hardware of course. You are at your limit for a CAT5 run at 300ft, so if you ran cable you could not guarantee reliability.

I would not use another router in your situation. It would likely be in the same general location as the first one and not really help.

exncite 03-30-2014 05:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MacMermaid (Post 1575227)
I would like to know how to boost my WiFi signal to reach my barn about 300 feet from my house. One of the salespeople at Apple said I would just need another linksys router. Sound right or would I need something else? How would I set it up?

Not sure about the 300 ft range, but I use in my house and it works great. Upstairs I've gone from 1-2 bars to 5. Service is great with this company. Might want to just call them and discuss your situation. (Lots of different models.) If a clear view, it might work.

Amped Wireless - Extending your Wireless Life, High Power Wireless Solutions

Good luck.

RadDave 03-30-2014 09:59 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by MacMermaid (Post 1575227)
I would like to know how to boost my WiFi signal to reach my barn about 300 feet from my house. One of the salespeople at Apple said I would just need another linksys router. Sound right or would I need something else? How would I set it up?

Well, you might want to provide some more information: 1) What is your router using for its wireless output (i.e. 802.11 b/n/ac)?; 2) Where is your wireless router located relative to the barn, i.e. a clear connection or walls in-between?; and 3) What options do you have between your house & barn, i.e. can it be wired or wireless?

Depending on your current router, the signal length will depend on the protocol used by your router (see the attached chart) - e.g. w/ the 'n' technology you might be able to get the signal to your barn but at a lower strength - I'll stop here and let you respond - there might be some options on either end (i.e. your house & barn) that could work (or may not)? Dave :)
.

pigoo3 03-30-2014 10:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnCL (Post 1575235)
I currently have a setup that I shoot WiFi for 2.7 miles...

Holy Smokes John...whatta you got...your own personal satellite up in the sky!;)

- Nick

JohnCL 03-31-2014 08:52 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by pigoo3 (Post 1575390)
Holy Smokes John...whatta you got...your own personal satellite up in the sky!;)

- Nick

Nick, check out the hardware here.

Attached is a picture of one antenna going up.

MacMermaid 03-31-2014 02:51 PM

Well, first of all Thanx for the responses. More than I anticipated! I am not very savvy at this sort of thing obviously though I can figure things out with a little help so please bear with me while I collect all questions and suggestions.

First, It will have to be wireless as there is a building in between but only 10' or so high so thinking it shouldn't be a problem. It does have metal siding but with a flat roof. Was thinking that if I put the existing modem and existing linksys router in the second floor window it might help but still only get a faint signal. I'll be checking to realize a more definitive distance.

John, the pole/antenna option could no doubt set my whole hamlet afire with service so the up to 300' option may have to suffice. Cost wise it may also be out of my range.

Dave, Where do I look to figure out the wireless output info. This router has been around a while. It's doubtful the literature for it is. Can I find that info on the router itself?

My neighbor used a sort of 12' x12" pad type equipment attached to the side of his house that received the signal from his satellite dish and bounced it off down the road to the neighbors. I could never get any information about it as I suppose he was trying to corner the market.

I've been trying to figure this out for a while so really appreciate everyone's help. I know there must be a way to do this and not for an arm and a leg.

JohnCL 03-31-2014 02:57 PM

First off, the metal building will kill your signal. That is your biggest obstacle.

Your neighbor was using a patch antenna if it was a 12x12 square. It's more of a directional antenna pointing in a specific direction. It is not an omni-directional, those are the "stick" type of antennas.

Without knowing your budget it is hard to recommend equipment. There are plenty of options out there, but it comes down to what you want to spend. The repeater kit that I spoke of is around $400, but it is pretty powerful for only 300'. It uses 15db gain antennas.

pigoo3 03-31-2014 03:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnCL (Post 1575432)
Nick, check out the hardware here.

Attached is a picture of one antenna going up.

Hey John...I think that you're light-years ahead of the rest of us!;)

- Nick

MacMermaid 03-31-2014 04:02 PM

John, what is your equipment recommendation than for the wireless, up to 300' setup while being budget wise?

JohnCL 03-31-2014 04:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MacMermaid (Post 1575479)
John, what is your equipment recommendation than for the wireless, up to 300' setup while being budget wise?

I would do a point to point bridge using patch antennas. This is the type of antenna that your neighbor used to get service from down the road. This type of setup would give you two antennas, two bridges, and cables for each end. The bridges are easily configured in a web browser, and you can be up and running in a couple of hours. The biggest time takers are running the cable and mounting antennas.

You will need line of sight for this type of setup, but you mentioned you have access to a second floor, so you could get above that one building you mentioned and shoot over it. The max range on something like this is like half a mile, so your 300' is nothing for it to handle.

I would not even try to get the existing router (that you said was around a while) to do that kind of range. That is an exercise in futility! :-)

This type of setup puts you in a ~$300 range for all of the hardware. It is no big box store type of setup so it is a bit pricier, but you get what you pay for. The system that I push just shy of 3 miles has not been down once going on 3 years and that is with the electronics up on towers in the weather.

JohnCL 03-31-2014 04:38 PM

There are also some USB based solutions that integrate a WiFi card and antenna in one package. The antennas are pretty high gain, so the distance still wouldn’t be an issue. In a scenario like this you would mount the antenna at your barn and then you would be able to pull in the signal from the router in the house. These would be cheaper by a hundred or so, and that is always good! It has been a while since I used anything like this so I would have to do some digging for you.

The antennas used in laptops and desktops just don't have the muscle to pull in strong signals, so that is where equipment like this really shines.

Hope this helps some....

RadDave 03-31-2014 05:47 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by MacMermaid (Post 1575475)
Well, first of all Thanx for the responses. More than I anticipated! I am not very savvy at this sort of thing obviously though I can figure things out with a little help so please bear with me while I collect all questions and suggestions.....

Dave, Where do I look to figure out the wireless output info. This router has been around a while. It's doubtful the literature for it is. Can I find that info on the router itself?

Hello again - appears that John is giving you the advice needed for reaching your 300' goal. I'm assuming that you have a Linksys router from your post about discussing the issue w/ Apple - check the model & website for information on the protocols being used, i.e. Wi-Fi standards now are 802.11 b,g,n & ac - the chart that I posted previously indicates that w/ the 'n' standard, the outdoor range (w/ 'line of sight') could reach your barn, just not sure at what signal strength and quality?

The quality of the signal will depend on many factors, e.g. range (as discussed), strength of the signal (which obviously deteriorates w/ distance), and the S/N (signal/noise ratio). Using my MBPro, and opening the Wi-Fi icon (top right) w/ the 'Option Key' pressed brings up the first image attached - my protocol is 802.11n and the RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indication - info HERE) is -70 w/ my laptop in the den (one room from an Apple AirPort Extreme router w/ a stud wall; closer to zero means the strongest signal); next to my router the RSSI is -36 and outside about 100 ft away goes to -88.

The S/N ratio can be determined by several means - one that I use is an app 'Wi-Fi Explorer' - see the second image below - the highlighted network is being detected by my laptop in the den w/ a 68% strength (jumps to over 90% next to the router) - just another way vs. the RSSI measurement; also, notice that the app provides the S/N ratio which is 33 dB at the moment - the last pic attached shows the 'quality' of a signal relative to this ratio.

SO, if indeed your router (or a new one) using the 802.11n protocol were installed in your second floor window w/ 'line of sight' to your barn, you could use these OS features/apps and simply look at the measurements discussed as you walk outside your house and toward the barn; as your signal strength drops and your S/N approaches the lower values in the chart, then likely a 'no go' using just a router - good luck and let us know how John's suggestions work out for you. Dave :)

.

MacMermaid 04-03-2014 10:23 PM

Before I start to try to wrap my head around all the info, thank you, don't think I mentioned that this existing service is cable and not a satellite dish. Here's my sad signal strength indicator info when I'm at the barn.

linksys

0:1e:e5:3e:91:a4
Channel:6
RSSI: -91
Transmit Rate 1

MacMermaid 04-03-2014 10:30 PM

John, would cable be necassary in the 2nd, less expensive option that seems doable to me? The building in between is not on my property so not sure about running cable over someone else's and would prefer the wireless option anyway.


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