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Is there an External Wirless Access Point

Posted on 2010-08-16
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My internet is being provided by a wireless ISP.  We have 2 houses in the yard and the signal is being rec'd by one house and then broadcast to the second house with an Engenius Router.  The second house has a laptop and desktop computer. The laptop receives the signal fine; however, the desktop only has no signal or poor signal.  I have tried swapping the PCI wireless NIC in the desktop for a more powerful one, but no improvement.

Because of the house setup it is difficult to run an external (outside) antanna with an internal Access Point (extender).  I was wondering if there is a fully contained AP that could be mounted externally outside house 2 to strengthen the signal for the desktop.  As it would only be used as a repeater there would be no need to run ethernet cables to it, only power.  It would have to be designed for outdoor installation.

Does anyone know if there are any APs that use a coax cable for an antanna?

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Question by:gb_it
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twizzlelizzle earned 250 total points
ID: 33449847
Hello

There are several ways to go about looking at your problem.  Are you using a standard A/B/G accesspoint.  If your using an A/B/G  AP you might want to look into changing everything to N.  N typically has a longer range since it uses multiple antennas.  It also can use reflected non line of sight signals when piecing you RF data back together.

As for just getting into a repeater it really depends on your price range.  There are external wifi externders the problem comes down to price.  There are Cisco solutions that will run in the thousands.  There are also some non hardened solutions that are much cheaper.  

Hawking Technologies makes some decent low cost wifi hardware that you could look into that will cost 60 to 100 dollars for a range extender.  If it were me I would consider trying to put a cheap range extender just inside your wall in the second house first before trying to put something externally.  If that works well enough then your done.  The other option I would try is to go all N.  

One other thing I was just thinking about is to check your transmit power on your AP also look at the type of antenna's your using.  A really quick low cost option is to increase the gain on the antennas.  Most antennas that come with an AP are between 2.5 and 5db of gain.  You could look into 7.5 to maybe 11db of gain.  Anything bigger than that is going to require some sort of mount and are usually to big to just attach to your ap.  Even the 11db might be to big.


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Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 33450771
You could try connecting an Airport Express to the Desktop by an ethernet cable. If you sit the Express in a window with line of sight to the other router it would probably pick up a good enough signal.

http://www.apple.com/airportexpress/
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Author Closing Comment

by:gb_it
ID: 33569577
Partially answered the question, but not all of it..
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Expert Comment

by:twizzlelizzle
ID: 33570342
What other questions did you have or wanted to know more about?
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