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Standard User mittenkrust
(member) Tue 11-Oct-16 16:31:03
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Weak signal in student house


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Again I ask for friends, they live in a old building and router was at back of building in living room (I assume the living room used to be kitchen as theres a modern extension which is now a kitchen and front would be a living room and dining room in past)

There is a single bedroom at back at property above the current living room and a room downstairs and upstairs in middle and 2 at front on both floors.

It was that the back room got a strong 5 bar signal before, and middle rooms got 3 bars and front ones 2 bars max but mostly 1 bar if not none so they moved the router to the front door where theres another socket but means a cable is running to nearest socket which is a safety risk and also means the tenant in back room has nothing who conveniently also uses a desktop so even worse signal.

I originally thought just a cheap range extender and put router back in living room might work, haven't tried it yet but I was thinking the distance to the nearest electrical socket in hallway is next to the rooms which would get no signal.

I MIGHT be lucky and put it upstairs on the landing but thats a risk.

I was thinking best thing would be a powerline with a built in range extender

Any objections? If not whats the cheapest.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Tue 11-Oct-16 19:08:33
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Re: Weak signal in student house


[re: mittenkrust] [link to this post]
 
Range extenders pick up a wireless existing single and rebroadcast it, halving the available speed in the process too, i.e. better range but speeds can be lower.

if you using a powerline to feed a range extender sounds like running it in a wireless point mode.

Ideal world you want - Ethernet cable to a better location where you install a dual-band wireless access point, i.e. those near can use higher speed less congested 5GHz band and others the 2.4 Ghz. Sample kit ASUS RT-AC51U at £39.99 and while its a router you can switch it (as with many Asus routers) into an access point mode.

If on a really tight budget you can even re-use a wireless router that does not have an access point mode by following a guide such as http://www.coolwebhome.co.uk/wap/configuring-wap.html

Given the problems with congestion on 2.4GHz spending money to improve wireless on just 2.4GHz only kit is money wasted in my view.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User mittenkrust
(member) Fri 14-Oct-16 18:38:45
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Re: Weak signal in student house


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
The current router is 5Ghz compatable but my friends wireless card is only 2.4 so would need a new one anyway.

I vistied him today, moving the current router a foot along helped with connection with laptop but desktop still weak which I expected as had similar experiences myself in past or at least desktop picked up 2 or 3 bars signal but either came up as limited or pages loaded very slow I assume as signal is getting blocked by furniture.

My ideal solution is put router in living room and a range extender in hall for the 2 rooms that have a problem as neither of them care too much about speed just a stable connection leaving 3 rooms getting good signal and speed.

I would assume greater stability on line too.


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Standard User 69bertie
(regular) Fri 14-Oct-16 19:07:38
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Re: Weak signal in student house


[re: mittenkrust] [link to this post]
 
Is the desktop using a USB dongle? If so, get the user to buy a NIC card complete with aerial. I bought a Gigabyte GC-WB867D-I Network Card. Compared with the USB dongle I was using this really has a rock solid connection WIFI connection. I connect at 866.7Mbps, which is a good 400Mbps up on the dongle used from the same location.

Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Fri 14-Oct-16 19:11:44
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Re: Weak signal in student house


[re: 69bertie] [link to this post]
 
Looks to be a good choice (on Amazon at £29) for an internal card, as got an external antenna, so can position them so the metal PC case is not an issue.

5GHz is generally more stable than 2.4 GHz, but can sometimes have a shorter reach, but until you try different hardware it is hard to know.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User mittenkrust
(member) Sat 15-Oct-16 00:21:53
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Re: Weak signal in student house


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Its an internal card, only has 1 aerial though and not sure age as it came with a prebuilt though the prebuilt is only a month old and has upgraded the power supply as he likes to online game with it.

Its the type that the aerial can be removed though so may be worthwile looking at homeplugs I just thought that worse in one way as still means router is in a bad place (dangerous)

Right now he internet on the desktop by bridging the laptops wifi by ethernet but that takes up a lot of room on his small desk and of course costs electric and he has to pay for it

The desktop signal is so bad it only works at one angle and even then its 1-4 meg when the laptop gets 40 meg.

I did expect this sort of problem before, happened to me in past and other friends, I assume the main issue is the pc is right next to a large built in wardrobe (meaning either the bed goes against the heater but then light in his face first thing in morning or his pc next to jeater as thats where the window is meaning nice view but then weak wifi)

Actually I do remember from personal experience and when helping my other friend before the wifi works better if not perfect when the side of case is off.
Standard User mittenkrust
(member) Sun 30-Oct-16 15:36:16
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Re: Weak signal in student house


[re: mittenkrust] [link to this post]
 
I have managed to get a unused router (EE hub) for my friend, but how simple is it to setup for boosting signal? do I need to flash firmware?

My friend did order a new card from Ebay but had problems collecting as wanted DPD pickup and the shop refused to give him parcel and its not back to sender yet to be resent out.

At best right now he gets 4 meg if pc is in awkward location,. but its a unstable 4 meg.

I did have a WR710n to test but I think its faulty as it never seems to work as once its set I can't connect to it to check without resetting it (or I can if I use ethernet but the point of it is a wireless range extender)
Standard User ukhardy07
(knowledge is power) Sun 30-Oct-16 18:10:15
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Re: Weak signal in student house


[re: mittenkrust] [link to this post]
 
You would need to get an ethernet cable between the main hub and the EE hubs location.

It will not wirelessly pickup the original signal and re-broadcast it.

Setup and configuration is easy, the hard part is getting a cable between the two hubs.
Standard User eckiedoo
(fountain of knowledge) Sun 30-Oct-16 18:40:35
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Re: Weak signal in student house


[re: mittenkrust] [link to this post]
 
Keep in mind that most desktops/towers are fully enclosed in metal boxes/Faraday cages, hence the generally poor signals, if the WiFi aerial is inside the case.

Hence you removing a panel improving the performance.

Only my most recent desktop/tower has WiFi built-in; but with the aerial mounted directly centrally on the outer face of the metal front panel, with a full-size plastic trim panel covering all of that face. (HP Pavilion, 64 bit)

Its WiFi performance is better than I had anticipated; but still not up to the general level of laptops.

The laptops and netbooks I have opened up, tend to have the WiFi aerial/s mounted behind the top edge of their displays, so usually surrounded by plastic only.

The WiFi module tends to be below the keyboard, with a miniscule co-ax cable from there via the hinge area and up behind the display to the aerial/s.

I have noted with the main laptop when surveying WiFi in and around my house, that it is generally better to have the laptop display towards the source router, both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.
Standard User mittenkrust
(member) Mon 31-Oct-16 16:33:12
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Re: Weak signal in student house


[re: eckiedoo] [link to this post]
 
This case is the odd one out in my experience, maybe as its a prebuilt so different materials.

The card that came with it had a single removable aerial, that one got a slightly better signal if case removed but the biggest improvement was laying case on its side.

I had a (cheap) spare card I tried on it and that if anything was the opposite, with side of case off it got a worse signal.

When I was here last night though I noticed a strange turn of events, around 10pm I noticed the speed spike up to about 1.2 megabytes a second on a download and stayed stable, I thought it was just a fluke as about 10 minutes later the speed dropped to nothing and had nothing or at best 0.4 megabytes a second, and no browsing was working, then around 11pm it suddenly shot up to 1.8-2.1 megabytes a second download and was stable, I left about 12.15 to go home and by morning it was back to constant disconnections if got anything at all.

Did mange to get 3 meg in one position but every so often it said "limited" at which point you had to manually disconnect and reconnect the wifi and it wiorked again for a while.

So theres me thinking, he lives next to a VERY busy road (near motorway and main road into city centre) and at nighttime the road is quiet to the point its a car every few minutes.


Would that affect it?

Or is it more likely his flatmates are in bed and they are getting the main signal, I notice when I check admin page even for tenants who are away for the weekend it lists as CURRENTLY connected ipads/iphones and laptops and only like 1 disconnected laptop.
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