least expensive way to increase range of router

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-27-11, 09:14 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 604
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
least expensive way to increase range of router

I have a linksys router. I would like to increase the range or strength of the wifi signal it puts out. can you tell me the least costly and most effective method? thanks
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-27-11, 09:52 AM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,951
Received 37 Votes on 32 Posts
Originally Posted by kmeyer301 View Post
I have a linksys router. I would like to increase the range or strength of the wifi signal it puts out. can you tell me the least costly and most effective method? thanks
What router is it? You can go into the settings and increase power to the wireless.

Hack Attack: Turn your $60 router into a $600 router

Mike NJ
 
  #3  
Old 01-27-11, 10:14 AM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 21,119
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
It might matter as well...do you want it in a single direction? There are all sorts of homemade directional antenna instructions out there.

Mostly you need to look at placement and antenna orientation. The antenna puts out a signal in a circular/doughnut shape I believe. Things like foil faced insulation, electrical lines, metal heating ducts, etc can affect the signal path.
 
  #4  
Old 01-27-11, 12:35 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 49
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
How far of a distance is it between the router and the receiving computer? Rooms/garage, etc?
 
  #5  
Old 01-28-11, 07:34 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 604
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
the router is a linksys WRT54G
 
  #6  
Old 01-29-11, 05:04 AM
GregH's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 10,051
Received 18 Votes on 18 Posts
One possible solution is to extend your network cables to the router and relocate it to somewhere more central.

Anything else is a crap shoot.
Hacking the firmware with some other companies software could leave your router inoperable if something went wrong and purchasing anything like a better antennae or a wireless repeater could cost as much as a new N router.
Another thing is it takes two to have a party and even if you can do something with your router, your devices would also be a bottleneck.

I know you said minimal cost but the difference I found when I upgraded to N was phenomenal.
I am able to connect to my N laptop outside to a bit over 200 feet from the house and broadcast my web cam on Windows Live.
 
  #7  
Old 01-29-11, 06:26 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 604
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
so are you saying that just by upgrading to an N router that you got more signal range? what if the wireless adapter on the computer picking up the wifi signal is not the newer N model? will I still get the extra range from the new router?
 
  #8  
Old 01-29-11, 08:21 PM
GregH's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 10,051
Received 18 Votes on 18 Posts
Both devices would have to be N to see a performance gain.
 
  #9  
Old 01-30-11, 06:09 AM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Near Buffalo, NY
Posts: 4,239
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Sometimes moving the device a few feet can make a huge difference if the original location has ducts in the nearby walls. Also try orienting the antennas at 90 degrees -- one vertical, one horizontal. If you have Bluetooth or wireless 2.4GHz phones, shut them off and see if the connection improves. (Phones don't play nice with other 2.4GHz signals, especially when they're ringing.)

How far does this signal need to travel?
 
  #10  
Old 02-01-11, 06:03 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 604
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I have another idea. What about using 2 routers. Can I hook 2 routers up to my cable modem instead of just one? It was suggested that I get a get a repeater but that they are expensive. I don't want to go that route. Also moving the router that I have doesn't make for a great signal on both computers that are using router. That is why I had the idea of 2 routers. I can pick up another linksys router like the one I already have. I am assuming this would be possible but would just cause there to be 2 net works or 2 wireless signals available for use. what do you guys think? thanks
 
  #11  
Old 02-01-11, 08:29 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,951
Received 37 Votes on 32 Posts
Just get a booster. They have them for the router, the computer end, one that transmits through the wires of your house...ect.. I would just go into the router sofware and turn up the power as I stated earlier.

Amazon.com: wireless booster: Electronics


Mike NJ
 
  #12  
Old 02-08-11, 03:44 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
As Guitar had asked... How far do you need to go?

These days, IF your computer can do Wireless-N, you can get one of those routers for under $50.

I had a Wireless G about 5 steps downstairs and around a couple of corners. A solution was to literally make a directional reflector with a piece of cardboard and aluminum foil. (Also handy for using as a hat and claiming it's for aliens, etc.) It really did work though. Not great, but enough to get me ok reception another 30' away than I was getting.

Still, it was a bit spotty. In the end, I bought a Wireless-N router, which easily covered the whole space. Unfortunately, my wife's Wireless-G was not helped by this. So I also anted up for a Powerline Adapter to put the 2nd wireless upstairs. It was either that or run wire, which would have been difficult for my location.

But this probably doesn't fall under your requirements for inexpensive, so one last idea - which I haven't tried - is a relatively inexpensive $40 high gain antenna replacement set from Amazon.

Scott
 
  #13  
Old 02-09-11, 11:28 PM
mukansamonkey's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 120
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Many routers can actually be used as repeaters. The trick is that you have to connect the two routers with physical cable. I have a 54G in the garage and a random craptastic Belkin in the office. I set them both to have the same network name, but using two different channels so there's no danger of overlap. I think Belkin calls this an Access Point, all it does is act as an antenna. The 54G does all the DNS stuff, and it's hooked to the cable modem. End result: two separate wireless points, one wireless network. Profit!

An purely wireless repeater has the big disadvantage that half the signal is used for communication between the repeater and the home modem. Also, they're overly expensive. With a router wired as an access point, you can increase the coverage significantly for under $40.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: