Weak Signal

Discussion in 'Networking Issues' started by hartlbb, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. hartlbb

    hartlbb Network Guru Member

    I am working on a friends network and have a question. He has the old 802.11b wireless (linksys) router sitting in his bedroom. There is no cat 5 cable ran anywhere in the house. Right now he has his kid's and his wife's computer connecting to that router. It's a good size house and the signal gets fairly week throughout as you get further away. It would seem that a repeater is my only option, thoughts?

    Also, does linksys have a repeater? Could I use another wireless router to do this?
  2. Guyfromhe

    Guyfromhe Network Guru Member

    linksys makes a wireleess repeater they also make a wireless bridge, you can also use another WRT54g as a repeater or a bridge with custom firmware.
  3. hartlbb

    hartlbb Network Guru Member

    Custom firmware, is there a whitepaper on this somewhere?
  4. Guyfromhe

    Guyfromhe Network Guru Member

    I don't think anyone has written one, but these forums will tell you everything you need to know about it, theres several flavours of firmware you can use, it's not something thats supported by Linksys themselves it's sort of a hack on their firmware adding features to it these forums are the place for that kind of stuff.
  5. davidsonf

    davidsonf Network Guru Member

    There are a number of things to consider.

    One is looking at the best location for the existing router. It may be convenient sitting where it is, but does that location provide the best possible coverage throughout the house? The answer to that is really difficult for me to say, because I can't see the house (you buy a plane ticket, and I'll be happy to give you a "free" engineering study!). And it might be just as hard for you to say, if you don't have experience with microwave radio equipment.

    Basically you want the router in the center of the coverage area. Some people will mention the highest location, but that is not true (unless you want a long distance coverage). For example, if you have three floors you want it on the second floor, not the top floor. If you have two floors, you probably want it on the bottom floor and not the top floor unless you also want your neighbors to connect with it. The same basic concept applies to horizontal locating too.

    So you might find that running one length of CAT5 cable, or even moving the Internet access equipment (DSL modem or whatever), is all it takes.

    Beyond that, as mentioned there are repeaters (a Linksys WRE54G) and with third party firmware you can do even better, at lower cost too, with a WRT54G router. Whatever, you will find that with repeaters you must stick with the same brand, as a repeater from a different manufacturer is likely to not work with a Linksys router.

    The WRE54G repeater cost more and has fewer features. It also has a built in antenna which cannot be changed. However, it is also very nice looking, small, easily mounted and as a result is preferable in a few circumstances.

    The "trouble" with a WRT54G using third party firmware is just exactly that... if you aren't into doing things like flashing an eeprom (and jumping through the hoops to "debrick" it if things don't go well), then third party firmware is simply a real pain. Likewise WRT54G routers are complex little devices, and these third party firmware products unleash a lot of that complexity. If you like playing with computers, that makes them fun beyond description, and if not they are pure Hell for the non-nerd.

    As someone else mentioned, the messages on this site will provide you with a wealth of background information. Readup on WRE54G, WDS with WRT54G(S) units plus anything about signal strength or coverage in a house. For firmware read about alchemy, satori, hyper-wrt, and then read about dd-wrt. The first and the last are the two you want to consider most.
  6. cr8zy07

    cr8zy07 Network Guru Member

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