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make weak signal stronger

This is a discussion on make weak signal stronger within the Networking Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. My girlfriend just got an apartment and it has wireless internet set up around but her signal is always poor.


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Old 04-08-2007, 11:00 AM   #1
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My girlfriend just got an apartment and it has wireless internet set up around but her signal is always poor. Everynow and then it will jump up to 2 bars instead of the normal just 1 but not for long. The internet works pretty good but sometimes it just loses the connection which can be annoying. I need a way to make the wireless signal stronger so it wont cut off on me at random times.

Thanks!

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Old 04-08-2007, 07:36 PM   #2
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Here is the 10 tips from microsoft:

10 tips for improving your wireless network

1. Rethink the location of your router. This may seem easy and obvious, but if you havenít tried it yet, what are you waiting for? In order for the router to broadcast the best signal and receive replies from your computer(s), it should have free space all around. Donít place your router underneath furniture, on the bottom shelf of a bookcase, behind a desk, next to metal cabinetry, or in the far corner of a room if you need to reach other rooms. If possible, place the router on an open table to improve its capabilities. Try keeping it near a doorway if the wireless signal in adjacent rooms is weak. This will require some experimentation, but relocating your router is free and only takes a few minutes.

2. Update the drivers for your network adapter. Especially if your computer is a few years old (as mine was when I experienced a problem in a new home), download fresher drivers. Confused? Fear not. Drivers are simply a special type of software that allows devices - like a wireless adaptor in your laptop - to communicate with the rest of your computer. Go to Control Panel > System > Hardware Tab > Device Manager. Youíll see a list of all your devices, including your wireless network adapter. Right click on the adapter and pursue the driver update, following the prompts. When I updated the drivers for my own network adaptor, I was able to improve my computerís response to the home wireless signal.

3. Reduce wireless signal interference or change the channel. The average 900 MHz cordless phone wonít cause any problems for a home wireless signal, but certain other wireless devices, including higher-end phones, might hamper the signal because they operate in the same section of the S band as wi-fi: 2.4 GHz. You can also try changing the channel by accessing the routerís page and making a switch. See your routerís instruction guide for more details.

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Old 04-08-2007, 08:16 PM   #3
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the thing is that she dosnt have a router. Its just a wireless signal she picks up from the apartment that I think everyone in the little apartment complex gets but hers is always poor. I was thinking more along the lines that she would need something like a repeater but I dont know for sure and if that is what she needs I dont know where to buy one for cheap ($80 or less) or if all of them will work..
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Old 04-08-2007, 09:51 PM   #4
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Can I know the model of the Wireless Network Adapter.
If we can extend by adding more *dpi gain antenna would be great. And hope cheaper to buy a Repeater or an Extender.

If there are many other sources of interference (microwave ovens, cell phones, etc.), and/or other services or WiFi users, operating in both the same vicinity, and in the same frequency range (2.4 - 2.5 Ghz for 802.11g) as the WiFi router, an extender/repeater may make little difference.

You can try D-link DWL-800AP+ extender (repeater), or a similar model from LinkSys, the WRE54G
Both cost aroung 80 bucks.

"Does a lower signal strength always mean a lower connection speed?"

The short answer is no, not unless the S/N (signal-to-noise) ratio significantly increases the BER, or there is packet loss (requiring the data be resent), due to momentary loss of signal (drop-outs), caused by interference or other factors.

*A ratio, measured in decibels, of the effective gain of an antenna compared to an isotropic antenna. The greater the dBi value, the higher the gain and, as such, the more acute the angle of coverage.
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Old 04-08-2007, 09:56 PM   #5
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it is a Belkin USB wireless network adaptor plugged into her laptop. That D-Link is pretty much exactly what I had in mind.. I am not quite sure how it works though. I think i looked at this before and i read that you have to aim it towards the router or something and i am not sure exactly where to aim it. I get the poor signal mainly on one side of the apartment which happens to not the wall beside her neighbor.. Can I just put it anywhere in the apartment where i get the signal?
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Old 04-08-2007, 10:06 PM   #6
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How about this?
Wireless G Universal Range Extender

Did you test all the corner of your apartment to see where you get the best signal and better connection, less drops. Better put your repeater there.

But be reminded if there is some kind of interferences the repeater will not do much difference.

You can make test by using the following freeware.

http://www.netstumbler.com/downloads/

May be you can post the result so I can review for you. (Try to record all results for all the corners.)
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Old 04-08-2007, 10:10 PM   #7
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it says it has to be hooked to a router? is that just access point mode?
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Old 04-08-2007, 10:28 PM   #8
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just read your edit and I will do this next time i go over to her place. I am at home at the moment so it might be next weekend before i can get myself over there again..
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Old 04-08-2007, 11:14 PM   #9
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For your information you can use Wireless G Universal Range Extender as an Universal range extender. It will search your wireless router and connect and extend the signals.
I am not sure if it will be compatible with the wireless device that transmit the signal to the apartment for internet connection. You can ask the vendor.

Good please try and I would know the results also. Keep in touch
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Old 04-08-2007, 11:19 PM   #10
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well, i think i will give this a try. If it dosnt work i will send it back for a refund..

Thanks for the help, i will order it now


edit: i ordered it for $35 from thenerd.net. I am not very patient.. lol
thanks again for pointing me towards that and I hope that it works
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Old 04-09-2007, 12:28 PM   #11
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Hawking Tech has a number of products that will help you increase your wireless range. The root page is Hawking Hi-Gainô WiFi Range Extending Products.

Some of the more interesting products are this Hawking [HSB2] Hi-Gain WiFi Signal Booster, which can be used on either end of a wireless connection to boost the signal power.

Another way to increase your signal strength is by the use of hi-gain antennas. You can choose from omni-directional or directional models, here are a couple of examples.

Hawking [HAI7SIP] Hi-Gain 7dBi Omni-Directional Antenna

Hawking [HAI15SC] Hi-Gain 15dBi Corner Antenna
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Old 04-09-2007, 10:33 PM   #12
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most of those things require me to have a router which is something my girlfriend dosnt have.. Thanks for the info though. I will look more into them
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Old 04-09-2007, 11:16 PM   #13
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also if you are using a wireless card slower than 54g the signal strength can be weak.
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Old 04-09-2007, 11:19 PM   #14
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her signal is always very good when she has her computer at my place using my router..
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Old 04-10-2007, 06:46 AM   #15
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Actually, most of the range extending stuff is for either end. You just need to have a removable antenna to connect them. If you don't have the provision for an external antenna, I doubt you'll do much for the signal strength.

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