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Improving a WiFi connection that you do not fully control.

This is a discussion on Improving a WiFi connection that you do not fully control. within the Modems/Cable/DSL/Satellite forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I have found myself in a bit of a hard spot. The options I have available to me are my


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Old 12-29-2019, 07:56 PM   #1
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I have found myself in a bit of a hard spot. The options I have available to me are my current option: using a jet pack for cell tower internet. Or connecting to an XFinity WiFi on Demand "hotspot."

I have everything figured out for my MIMO device for cell tower internet.

But I am wondering if anyone can help me figure out how to get a better signal strength from an XFinity Wifi on Demand hotspot that I do not have control over?

(This means I do not know where the XFinity WiFi router is, who owns it, and how fast the connection speed is absent WiFi.)

The info I have gathered so far: XFinity WiFi on demand exists on everyone's comcast branded modem/router combo unit they have installed in their house/condo/business/and so forth. Which means if you own one of these router modem "PC MINI TOWERS" then you are actively providing comcast the opportunity to sell their wifi on demand using your modem you are renting and paying for, and using your electricity to power to sell an expensive plan to other people. Yes you are fronting a lot of cost for Comcast and they give you NOTHING in return. No discounts. NOTHING 0. Zip. Zilch.

SO please keep in mind that I do not have control over: The WiFi origin, position, power, walls, or location. Basically meaning I am trying to find a signal BLINDLY.

I am wondering what options I have available for purchase to be able to connect to XFinity WiFi on demand to make the connection more stable and more consistent. And if there is anyone who has had experience in this field to be able to connect to such a device reliably.
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Old 01-02-2020, 10:11 PM   #2
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Are you getting any wifi signal at all?

Assuming that you do, about the option that I can think of would be a directional antenna. It would be a matter of trial and error to pin point the source of the signal, but it would help a bit.

As for speed, reliability, and usage, I have no idea. Most ISP's that offer free wifi such as this, the speed is severely limited (in my experience).
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Old 01-03-2020, 05:05 PM   #3
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I can receive a signal that remains at 2 bars for Xfinity WiFi hotspot. The connection speed I already tested has 15Mbps Down and about 7 Mbps up. I could easily just log into that account and pay the subscription fee every week or month or so but I only get those two bars. I do experience service interruption when I am using it though. The first hour I tried Xfinity WiFi I did lose connection about twice. I am wondering if I should invest in a directional panel, or if I should just have extended antennas connected to my PC tower. (PC Tower has an Aurous X470 Gaming 7 WiFi motherboard.)

I wonder if there are options to enhace the reception.

I should also mention that I have purchased a set of antennas for my Jet Pack to connect to cell towers and honestly it did not enhance my connectivity to the cellular network. However finding a TS9 Female to SMA Male connector is like trying to find a needle in a hay stack. They have SMA Female to TS9 Male but not vice versa. It has seriously drove me off the deep end. (I like having the ability to quickly switch between things a lot. Versatility is what I look for now in any product I buy.)
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Old 01-04-2020, 07:27 PM   #4
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Lots of things can interfere with wifi. If you have a solid and consistent 2 bars, that is not likely the cause of the disconnects.
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Old 01-05-2020, 05:34 PM   #5
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I did a little bit of walking around my apartment complex. Let me lay it out a bit.

My apartment complex is in the Shape of an L. The long side is the north part of the units, and the short side is the East units going south instead of north. (so a Mirrored L turned 90 degrees counter clockwise.) I am located on the short side of the L towards the corner, but not in the corner unit. I am inside the middle unit.

To the north of me I have a strip mall that is shaped like a U, or a box missing its top that completes itself with the street.

To the south of me is an apartment complex that is on what appears to be raised ground. We have a cinder block wall on the south end of us blocking out the view of our apartments from theirs.

My apartment is lowered to match the grade level of the strip mall to the north of us.

To both the East and West of our apartment complex we have nothing but street without any buildings in either directon for a good 400 feet to the East, and about a good thousand feet to the west.

Upon walking just two steps outside of my apartment door I can see several wifi connections. The Xfinity signal goes from just 2 bars to 4 bars. If I walk down the long part of this L complex I get a stronger signal.

And what I think is happening is the radiation is bouncing off the walls of my complex from the other side of the wall. Which is why I get such a high concentration of the signal. If I walk just 2 steps to the left of my door, which would be just left of the corner in the L shape? I get 7 wifi networks that pop up. The further I walk from my unit the more wifi units pop up. So the radiation is definitely bouncing off the walls.

While WiFi hunting: the three main connections that always seem to pop up are, which I will name; connection 1, 2 and XF for Xfinity. Connection 1's signal is reachable at my desk inside of my apartment. It also stays at a consistent 1 to 2 bars and never dissappears. It never goes higher than 2 bars. This is while I am outside of my door to my apartment following the long part of the L of this complex all the way to its end to the west. Which could mean it is either just north or just south of me. It could be a business router, or residential.

At my window I can get reception from connection 2 and XF. Both of these connections never drop out as I walk all the way west to the end of this long L. XF stays at a consistent 1-3 bars with its strongest reception at the west end of the L, but not past the L. (Remember the L is mirrored and rotated 90 degree's counter clockwise for North South being up and down.)
Connection 2 varies too much between 1 and 3 bars and dropping out a handful of times.

I will have to walk around my complex during the day on one of my days off to confirm which connection seems to be concentrated the best around my unit.

I think the best option for me is to get a ladder and sit atop the roof with my phone to see if I can get a better signal, or buy myself a good 40 foot pole from home depot, set it up just outside my apartment and attach some antennas to it.

The control for my WiFi hunting had my Jet pack, with the antennas placed in the window, facing out the inside corner of the L from my window. Throughout my hunt my WiFi signal to my jetpack never fell below 5 bars. So this may suggest this WiFi signal is probably deep within the apartment complex to the south of me, or coming from one of the businesses behind me.

This is just Day 1 of my WiFi hunting quest. And I am wondering if I should buy one of those WiFi "cones" you see on boats and such and attach that to a pole. I may want to stick with the 8dbi for a wide angle instead of a narrow 38 degree angle in my options.

(This is fun!)

I think what I am going to do next is attempt to send out a signal from my spare router as a means to try and attract people to e-mail me to set up a means of paying for a wifi password. (This will be fun.)
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Old 01-05-2020, 07:42 PM   #6
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About an hour later searching for a better way to find WiFi signals I actually found an app hat does exactly what I was trying to do with pen and paper. However it seems to be picking up a lot more networks than just broadcasted ones. am also picking up a lot of no name networks that have wifi available, but do not broadcast its SSID publicly.

So far I am having a fun time hunting down where these wifi signals are coming from.
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Old 01-10-2020, 07:36 AM   #7
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Answer to end this thread:

There is a website called WIGLE.net This website hosts an android app by the name WIGLE WIFI WARDRIVING. This application takes over your phone's wireless networking abilities to keep notes on WiFi signals coming from anything nearby no matter how weak the signal is. It can be used to help pinpoint the direction of a WiFi hot spot. It can also be used to sniff out personal home WiFi routers that are currently broadcasting their BSID's to the public at any given moment.

Use this WiFi hotspot finding app at your own risk. This app is not to be used to gain access to a security encrypted network. it is only to discover a WiFi network in your area. I used this device to locate a good area for me to set up my WiFi antennas to connect to an XFinity WiFi hotspot nearby and I am now currently PAYING for my WiFi connection directly to the company providing this.

You can use this application on your phone as well but remember that you do not need to sign up to use this app. it functions completely on its own without having to upload this information it gathers to the server they have provided.

Explanation of the APP: On the main screen it will list all WiFi networks nearby with a color coded number next to their BSID names. This number is how strong/weak the signal is. Red means it is very low. Bright neon green means you are pretty much standing right next to the router. 2 means you are next to the signal origin and 99 means you are pretty far away from it.

Clicking on a BSID name will show a map of the spots where it gets a good signal.

Walking around with this app running will help you locate a good area of where to place an antenna. But walking around further will help pinpoint which direction you should point, face, or place your antenna to catch the signal.

I was able to figure out where I should place my antenna to catch the Xfinity WiFi without a connection drop over a weekend trial.

Any WiFi antenna with a lengthy wire is desirable in this situation. You can purchase a window unit that attaches with a suction cup and has an 8dbi signal rating to catch a BSID broadcast for WiFi. or you can get some cheap little antennas used for "jet packs" with a connector to magnetically hang on your window to catch a better signal.

You can also set up most Linksys made WiFi routers to become a WiFi repeater and have that setup next to your window or on it. However this option you may experience an even slower connection speed to the origin point of the WiFi. This is with my own testing over the last two days and I can tell you that having a WiFi router setup as a repeater only makes the connection speed worse, but can easily split up that WiFi connection to all of your WiFi devices.
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