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Can I get Wifi through 4 marble walls?

Posted on 2006-04-25
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
Hello. I want to have a wifi connection, to 1 computer, but I'm not sure if a wifi router/transmiter will work under these conditions:

-Between the antenna and the computer, it is 150', through 4 thick marble walls. (old building).

Will ANY wifi transmitters be strong enough to transmit a good signal? How about the "signal boosters" like for example the "Hawking WI-FI B/G Signal Booster"?

Thanks for any input....

-Jon
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Question by:JONATHANHELD
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by:Irwin Santos
Irwin Santos earned 400 total points
ID: 16539103
150' is far distance for WIFI, let alone 4 thick marble walls.

if you have a false ceiling you can plant your router, then connect via WAP (wireless access points).

i"ve been using the following that covers a 300' radius with an EXCELLENT signal in a restaurant.

here is the router

http://www.netgear.com/products/details/WPNT834.php

Here is a matching WAP
http://www.netgear.com/products/details/WPN802.php

I would first apply the above router, and if you are not able to transmit a signal to your furthest point, then add the WAP.
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PCBONEZ earned 1000 total points
ID: 16540248
I doubt that one's gonna work if those walls are solid.
If they are only marble faced you might get lucky but even with that marble is very dense and will dampen the signal.
Even if you connect you may not get much bandwidth....

I would explore other options.
Ideally run a solid cable...
There are also these adapters that let you run through a phone line or even through the AC power lines.
They have fallen out of popularity since WIFI came along because, athough they do work, they don't work all that well and they tend to be expensive in comparison.
.
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16540270
I'm counting on this..

"if you have a false ceiling you can plant your router, then connect via WAP"

The signal doesn't have to pass through, over may work...the Netgear I mentioned above covers a 300' radio with EXCELLENT signal....and after 50+, I'm a happy camper.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16540306
Here's a couple of the AC type.
http://kb.efficient.com/display/1/articleDirect/index.asp?aid=45957&r=0.3195307
http://kb.efficient.com/display/1/articleDirect/index.asp?aid=45959&r=0.668255

I think (at one time at least) Linksys was rebranding these as their own.
.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16540315
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by:baconyi
baconyi earned 300 total points
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there is a wireless router / network adapter that supposedly is 300% stronger than the conventional signals...(if both are used)

Belkin with Pre-N... the router and adapter are both required to achieve thier goal, so using your normal network adapter and just installing the belkin router wont get you the increased signal
again - i dont have it nor know anyone that does, but the company's ad says it can
Billy
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16548867
""supposedly is 300% stronger than the conventional signals""
If there is it is not legal in the USA.
The transmitters have legal power limits defined by the FCC.
The 'conventional' products are already at the legal limit.
So,, Either it's not legal (in the USA) or the ad is bogus.
.
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by:baconyi
ID: 16553797
good to know...
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by:baconyi
ID: 16553860
here is the text about the Pre-N though...

"Pre-N Wireless Networking (Pre-N) – Belkin’s new Pre-N products allow you to share your broadband Internet connection farther and faster than ever. They deliver up to 800%* the wireless coverage and 600%* the wireless speed of 802.11g networking devices—with exceptional data transfer results. Featuring a revolutionary smart antenna technology, Belkin Pre-N provides a breakthrough solution for larger homes or offices that have a wide area to cover and want to run multimedia and high-bandwidth applications.

*Tolly Group, July 2004"

i dont know where i got the 300% part from, i remember reading about that and 300 stuck in my head when i first read about it.
but taking in account of hwat pcbonez said, im not sure how to believe thier information.
Billy
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by:baconyi
ID: 16553877
and here is the link to belkin's site with their 3 Pre-N products if you wanted to read up for yourselves

http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatSectionView.process?IWAction=Load&Merchant_Id=&Section_Id=202570
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16556526
@johnathanheld....what's the word?
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16557986
I read up on the Pre-N products and here's what they are doing.
It's using a proposed new standard called 802.11n. (It's not approved or formalized yet.)

To try to explaing what "n" is.
The normal standards 802.11a/b/g all connect using one channel.
- If you 'drop' it has to reconnect.
The 802.11n connects simultaneously using 3 or 4 channels all passing exactly the same data.
- If you drop one channel the data still flows through the other channels.

I know one of the first thoughts is that it's the same as using multiple NIC's but it's not.
Multiple NIC send some packets through one NIC and the rest through the other.
"n" is taking one packet stream and replicating it to pass the exact same packets over multiple channels.
At the recieving end the multiple channels are converted back into one stream.
If any of the channels drop the data stream is never actually broken because the other channels pass it.

Any distance adantage is playing on the fact that using multiple transmitters (even if each is at the same legal broadcast power limit as before) will transmit more power -and- the redundancy factor of using multiple channels.

I think the real world distance advantage is going to be a lot less than hoped but the connection's reliability (chance of dropping) will be much improved.

There is also a security consideration. There are more channels available to be hacked.

I found one test where try tried it at 10 feet in one room then at 50 feet through several office walls.
The signal strength (or rather bandwidth) dropped by 50%. (To 20 mbps)
They compared it to a "g" wifi which couldn't get a signal through the walls at all.
.
"n" sounds like a very good idea but in this case I don't think it's gonna make it through all that marble.
.
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by:baconyi
ID: 16562030
that test you mentioned doesnt make sense according to your findings...
G is 1 channel, N is 4 channels,  now going through a wall, regarless of how many channels, if 1 cannot connet, shouldnt 4 not connect either? you get what i mean?

i understand that 4 simultaneous connections will drop much less, but its still technically using 1 channel, just 4 times, so my understanding would be if 1 channel can not pass through a wall, the other 3 shouldnt either (4 in this case). unless it really does output stronger signals?
sounded a bit odd to me...

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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16565055
Not exactly.
First when people say it's 2.4 GHz that's not quite right.
2.4 GHz actually refers to a band of frequencies close to 2.4 GHz.
 
In order to be 4 channels it has to use a different frequency for each channel.
In radio (which is what WIFI is) a channel means a broadcast frequency.
Something that affects (blocks) one frequency may not affect the others to the same extent.

A loose analogy would be:
N is like ....if you had 4 radio stations broadcasting the same (lets say a song) in parallel using channels (frequencies) A, B, C,  and D. . The reciever is a special reciever that takes what it gets from A and B and C and D and mixes it in an overlay/redundant fashion such that it produces a single song signal for the speakers. Interference 1 (in this case a wall with wooden studs) may affect frequencies A and B much more that it affects C and D. Interference 2 (in this case a wall with metal studs) may affect frequencies B and C much more that it affects A and D. The reciever only needs one channel to get through to produce an output signal so the song still gets through.
G is like ....one radio station using one frequency.
~~ It takes more interferences to block N than it does G because of the redundancy of using 4 frequencies.
~~ Also even if all 4 channels periodically drop and reconnect the continuity of the song is not broken unless all 4 channels happen to drop at the same time.

Also note: -each- of the 4 channels in N are allowed the same total broadcast power as the single channel G is using.
.
This is why I said I think there will be some distance advantage with N but not as awesome as the advertising claims.
.
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by:baconyi
ID: 16565466
ahh alright, that makes sense.  like cordless phones that can switch frequencies, ive had interferrance on one but when switched to another it was clear...
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16565492
Exactly.. .. You got it now..
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by:phototropic
phototropic earned 300 total points
ID: 16576632
I recently installed a Belkin pre-n wireless AP here in the UK. They are legal and not expensive (about £20 -£30 more).
The client lived in a huge house with a barn and other outbuildings, and he and his four sons all had laptops which had connection problems at the far reaches of the property. Once the pre-n was installed, these problems all ceased. The client was very impressed, and I suggested logging on with a laptop and then driving away from the property to see how far he got before thwe signal dropped. He has not reported back yet, but it will be interesting to know the result.
Whether or not pre-n can penetrate 4 marble walls is unknown, but it is probabley worth a try, assuming that there is no legal problem and the cost is not prohibitive.
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16576648
@jonathanheld..do you have enough information to make a decision?  What else do you need?
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16578266
cool. thank you!
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by:JONATHANHELD
ID: 16578315
Thanks for all the great info, everyone!  I have some good options to explore now.

If/when I succeed, I'll post back with results.

Thanks again...

-Jon  (JONATHANHELD)
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16578342
of course..let us know what you got.
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