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Thread: Suggest Wifi Booster (Router in Basement; PC Upstairs!!)

  1. #1
    Xtreme Enthusiast LUCI5R's Avatar
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    Suggest Wifi Booster (Router in Basement; PC Upstairs!!)

    Ave,

    I've got a major wifi signal problem going in the house. Thing is, My Wireless Router, Generously provided by Verizon FiOS, (Actiontec MI424-WR) is downstairs in my Office Area sitting next to my PC (Wired Connection). But we use our Laptop upstairs in our Bedroom and have a Kids PC in the Kids bedroom. They both have Wireless Adapters, but get the crummiest/sh*tiest signal ever!!

    Downstairs in the basement you get AWESOME wifi signal - like I can actually walk downstairs with my laptop in my hands & watch the signal/download speed increase in front of my eyes. Anywhere downstairs you get full strength signal, just as you get on a wired connection. The problem is upstairs.

    I don't want to replace my Router cause it's fine - but I saw on Amazon that you can buy something called a Wifi Booster that boosts the signal strength.

    I've never played with a Booster and have no knowledge of it - so can someone recommend a Wifi Booster, a brand/model that I should go far, that will boost the signal such that I get a better signal upstairs in the house?

    Thanks!!
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  2. #2
    Xtreme Member jimmyxxx's Avatar
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    I have never hear about that boosters.
    I think is better to buy a very long LAN cable and put another router upstairs.
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  3. #3
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    I have a very similar issue with my home. Downstairs router and medium to poor upstairs reception. I have tried 2 different boosters, both times I have been unable to configure them properly even with calling tech support. You can certainly try to get a booster for yourself and give it a shot. Try to get the same brand as your router (ie Linksys).

    I'm at the point where I want to move my router upstairs and run a LAN cable down to my desktop PC. LAN cables (even 50-100 feet) are very cheap online.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Xtreme Addict RejZoR's Avatar
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    The trick is in antennas placement. Vertical antenna position is for stuff thats mostly in the same level as router. But if you want to cover devices below and above router level you should place them vertically, each away from another.

    Like this:



    There is also possibility to boost antenna power rating (for example on WRT54GL with Tomato firmware). Though i have antennas in vertical position and my sister still has excellent signal one floor above me like 20m away. It depends on many other factors anyway...
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    You can also buy a Linksys, Buffalo, or ASUS router and flash it with a DD-WRT firmware, and if you don't mind buying two, you can create a WDS network with your wireless routers using the custom firmware. One router becomes the primary connection, and the other router grabs the signal and repeats it. This is a better signal then using a wifi booster.

    You can try removing one of the ants. (if the router has two) and replacing it with a higher DBi replacement that is aiming upstairs.

    A Wireless repeater from Linksys would also be a good choice, these usually just plug into a wall socket and repeat the signal.
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    A bigger antenna would be a pretty cheap and effective solution.
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  7. #7
    Xtreme Enthusiast LUCI5R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrokenWall View Post
    A Wireless repeater from Linksys would also be a good choice, these usually just plug into a wall socket and repeat the signal
    I'm actually looking for an easy, straight forward solution - just something to boost the signal - not really looking to buy routers, flash them with firmwares and all other such shennagins. I'm sure they work great and all, but really, honestly, just looking for a better wireless signal on the 1st floor.

    I saw this Linksys Wireless Repeater that plugs into the wall at Amazon.Com, I think that's what you're talking about - right now I'm seriously considering it. Just want to make sure it really works - well, if it doesn't - will just RMA it back.

    Any other suggestions on a Wireless Repeater?

    Thanks Guys!
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    I use the linksys repeater/extender, works great.

    http://www.linksys.com/servlet/Satel...=7813839789B14
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    Don’t you think that you should reconsider the location of your router?

    You have a wired connection at the location of the wireless router, and are looking for wireless connectivity through the floor of a building. I would suggest moving the router upstairs, get a gigabit switch and run RJ-45 to your office downstairs.

    For the same (or lesser) cost as a repeater, you could have a solution that gives the choice between gigabit wired and close at hand wireless, and very fast access (though Ethernet) to your files in your work computer.

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    You could try a 600mw access point http://www.engeniustech.com/datacom/...ls.aspx?id=241
    That should give you a signal ~1/2 mile away, so the upstairs bedrooms shouldnt be a problem.

  11. #11
    Xtreme Enthusiast LUCI5R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highoctane View Post
    I use the linksys repeater/extender, works great.

    http://www.linksys.com/servlet/Satel...=7813839789B14
    This one's actually around $78 and read some really positive reviews from people in the exact same situation as myself! Looking really good. Your personal experience definately gives it a boost. I think I'll go for it!!

    @Xytrius: I had thought about that, but I have a wife who hates wires running around - trust me - with my wife, I like to keep things as Wireless as possible.

    Thanks!
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  12. #12
    Xtreme Enthusiast LUCI5R's Avatar
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    Ok, I'm resurrecting this thread.
    Ordered & got that Linksys Wireless G-Range Extender. Didn't do jack for me - instead - turned down the Internet Speed! It was better without that unit plugged in. Hopped over to Newegg Customer Reviews and found that half the people had similar problems. So I RMA'd it back for a Full Refund.

    Looking for another solution now.

    I'm willing to look into both a better/effective Antenna - but someone please give me some recommendation/suggestions.
    Also, BrokenWall - I'm willing to look into the solution you're talking about. Can you give me some details about what I have to do?

    Edit: I have the Actiontec MI-424WR Router - Can you recommend a higher DBi Antenna at Newegg that will help me and work with my Actiontec Router?

    Thanks guys!!
    Last edited by LUCI5R; 08-22-2008 at 04:10 AM.
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  13. #13
    Registered User H2omg's Avatar
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    Being both the family tech, and a Geeksquad employee, I have a fair bit of experience in dealing with wireless systems. Unfortunately, there are a large amount of variables which can play into the quality of service of your wireless network. Some things you won't have control over, such as building materials of your house, external interference from other wireless networks in close proximity, and other wireless devices which operate on the same 2.4 Ghz frequency. Some things you will have control over, such as router placement, antennae positioning, and the wireless channel you are using.

    While repeaters can work, in my experience getting them set up is the biggest obstacle. Once set up, however, they can be fairly effective, depending on how many networks there are around you. The best way to get the most from your repeater is to get it set up while plugged into the router via ethernet. Then, using a laptop with a program such as netstumbler, find the sweet spot in your house for it's placement. More often than not, you may need an extension cord and some creative placement to hide it. Regarding wireless channels, in the US (for what reason I forget) only three of the given eleven channels are actually separate. Channels 1, 6, and 11 do not overlap one another, but any channels in between will. Finding which of these three channels has the fewest other networks on it is your best chance at increasing signal strength and quality.

    Generally speaking, the easiest and cheapest way of improving your speed and quality is by using a better/more powerful router and avoiding extra devices. You may even want to try using a powerful wireless N router. However, that will be a costly upgrade as you will need to replace the wireless cards in your computers to receive the full benefit. Also, if it turns out you do have many other wireless networks in your area, going with a dual-band wireless N router may be a good choice as well.

    I hope I have been somewhat helpful to your situation. Unfortunately, the best way to give good wireless advice is by actually surveying the situation first-hand.
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