- 12-05-2012, 11:25 #1
Improving my Wi-Fi coverage
Since I relocated my PC to make room for a nursery, my wireless connectivity has gone to rats. I only have one phone-line into the house so I don't have much leeway in terms of moving the router to a suitable location, and I'm pretty-well stuck with where the PC has ended up - in the conservatory.
Line of sight between router and PC is currently around 5-6m (not far), but has the TV and various associated devices, one brick wall and two radiators in the way. Using a channel scanner app on my phone I've established that signal strength drops as follows:
Stood by the router, clear LOS: -40dBm
Across the room (4-5m), clear LOS: -50dBm
Other side of the wall (5-6m) but above the radiators (only double glazing in the way): -60dBm
Down at receiver level, blocked LOS: -70dBM
The channel seems pretty clear; it's running on channel 9 and there are maybe four other wi-fi signals in the area (only pushing -80dBm max, usually they don't register) on channels 6, 7 and 11. I'm tempted to go with something in the 1-4 or 12-14 region if it's worth it. I also have a wireless thermostat and cordless phone docking station right by the router, but neither of those devices can go anywhere else in the house and I'm not sure which channels they operate on.
The router was given to me by Orange, who are my ISP by proxy (through a BT land-line). It's a Siemens Gigaset SE572. The receiver is a Belkin Wireless-G internal PCI device.
Part of me thinks the router is just pants, as the drop-off in signal across a 4m clear gap seems a bit steep. I've looked at getting a new one but would a) like some clarification that this is necessary and b) some advice on what to buy (or where from). £50 is as much as I'm prepared to spend and these are on my shortlist:
Netgear WNR1000 N150 Rangemax Wireless Router DSL Cable- microdirect.co.uk
Linksys By Cisco Wireless-N Home BT ADSL2+ Modem Router (WAG120N-UK) - dabs.com
NetGear DGN1000 Wireless-N 150 Modem Router ADSL (DGN1000-100UKS) - dabs.com
If I bought new I'd go for a -N device to future-proof it a bit, and if it worked I'd probably swap out the receiver from -G to -N to get the benefits. However I'm also considering new aerials, range extenders and signal repeaters if they do the job with no particular complications and work out better value.
So, fellow ARRSErs, what do you recommend? If a £50 router likely to solve my problems or is the LOS my main concern? If it's LOS, would a repeater, extender, or new aerial in a better position cure things? If I'm buying something new, what products would you look at?
As ever I appreciate your advice!
BrunoBrunoNoMedals: Watery-eyed dealer of paperwork.
Originally Posted by FORMER_FYRDMAN
- 12-05-2012, 11:32 #2
Have you considered buying an extension kit from Asda for about 5 Quid. You can smartly tack in a wire round the walls from your phone socket and have a gleaming connection for peanuts. leaving you with £45 to go down the boozer with. Or £40 if you have to buy a hammer aswellInsert Witty Comment
- 12-05-2012, 11:32 #3
- Join Date
- Sep 2004
- 12-05-2012, 11:33 #4
Have you considered buying a different house?
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- 12-05-2012, 12:06 #5
You could get a cat5e cable from Amazon or similar for peanuts. In my last UK Q I used a 30 m cable as it was way cheaper than changing routers.It takes years to build up trust, and only suspision, not proof, to destroy it.
Stay safe - check out: http://safecomputing.open.ac.uk/index.htm
- 12-05-2012, 12:41 #6
How about using a powerline adaptor - stick one beside the router and plug the other in where you need an internet connection
Will allow you to connect faster than wireless i.e. connection is across a wired connection. If you really need wireless, plug a wireless Access Point into the 2nd powerline adaptor.
TP-Link TL-WA701ND 150Mbps Wireless Lite N Access Point: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories
- 12-05-2012, 12:43 #7
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
Download inSSIDer from metageek.net Download inSSIDer and Discover the Wi-Fi Networks Around You | MetaGeek Will tell you what channels are being broadcast.
A problem shared is a problem 2 people know about.
"Science is interesting; if you don't like it, you can fcuk off". Unknown editor at New Scientist Magazine
- 12-05-2012, 12:49 #8
- 12-05-2012, 14:20 #9
Cheers chaps. Extra cables (either phone line or Cat5) are not something I want to run with as I want the flexibility to be able to shift things around and, when I do change house (hopefully no more than another year or two) I still get the benefits of the better solution.
I'd looked briefly at the powerline adaptors but wasn't convinced of their usefulness. Do they keep up consistent data rates that are better than wi-fi?BrunoNoMedals: Watery-eyed dealer of paperwork.
Originally Posted by FORMER_FYRDMAN
- 12-05-2012, 14:27 #10
You know too much already and any more information will cause your head to explode. (oh and check your cordless phone channels too).3; 2; 1; Firing NOW.........
3; 2; 1; Firing NOW ........
FFS Pass me the bloody matches.
Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes!