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Wireless Router in a Metal Shed on Windows 7

Posted on 2010-09-13
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I have a customer who has a office/shed in his backyard. His Broadband modem and Desktop PC is in that office. The office/shed is made of wood and medal. He wants to add a wireless N router and give his wife a wireless laptop for in the house. When I hooked it up I lost a lot of signal strength just 25 feet away from the office/shed. By the time I got into his house which is about 50 feet away from the router I could only get a very low signal in one chair in the living room. If I moved around I lost complete signal. My question is how can I improve the wireless router signal in the office/shed made of wood and medal?
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Question by:bbbb2
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Expert Comment

by:kaskhedikar_tushar
ID: 33669365
Hello,

Wireless access point is the solution of your question. Install wireless access point 25 feet away from the router & then check laptop from 50 feet.  

Regards,
Tushar Kaskhedikar
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by:bbbb2
ID: 33669379
If I did that I would be in the middle of there backyard with the wireless access point. That want work.
bbbb2
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Expert Comment

by:RikeR
ID: 33669408
What you need is a high gain antenna.

I hope the router has an external antenna's so it can be replaced. The gain of an antenna is expressed in dBi. A standard antenna has a gain of 2~3 dBi. So if you go for a high gain ( > 10dBi) antenna, you should be fine.

Have a look at: http://www.wlanparts.com/product/PA24-19/19dBi-24GHz-Panel-Antenna.html

Make sure that the antenna cable is short. On 2,4Ghz every meter is a 0.5 dB loss.
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by:MARTiN
ID: 33669448
If your wireless router supports it I would buy an external antenna and place it outside of the metal shed.

Tushar: Wouldn't it be better for him to get a Wireless Extender instead of a AP to boost the signal.
Check e.g. D-Link DWL-G710
http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=357

How would you do that with a AP?
Or do you intend to connect a cable between the router and access point?
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by:MARTiN
ID: 33669450
Aah RikeR beat me to it, took me too long to write the answer =)
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by:bbbb2
ID: 33669472
I have a Linksys range extender but it is for wireless G. Does that matter if it is a different brand and different wireless grade?
bbbb2
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by:bbbb2
ID: 33669481
But I also have a Linksys wireless router-G and since it is so close to the house it would seem that would work better that the N router. Does everyone agree or disagree?.
bbbb2
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Expert Comment

by:RikeR
ID: 33669483
802.11g will decrease the speed to 54 netto, while 802.11n, on a single spatial stream, would give you 130 mbps (all gross speeds).

A different brand should make a difference.
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by:bbbb2
ID: 33669496
I think range to them is more important than speed. 54 mb is fast enough for this customer.
bbbb2
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by:RikeR
ID: 33669500
Alternatively you might try changing channels. It could be you're experiencing interference from other devices.

802.11n usually has a bigger range, so I disagree :)
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by:bbbb2
ID: 33669502
But I will say this, I have3 never had much luck with a range expander. They never seem to help much at all.
bbbb2
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by:MARTiN
ID: 33669507
It's true what RikeR says. but is your internet connection faster than 54Mbit?

If you only have like 10Mbit from your ISP it doesn't really matter if it's 54 or 130Mbit just for surfing the internet, but if you intend to transfer big files between your wife's laptop in the house and your office computer then it can matter =)

Although with my Netgear N router despite it says it's connected with 130Mbit I've maximum reached 40Mbit with amost full signal strenght.
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by:RikeR
ID: 33669513
I would give it a try.
There is a second alternative. You can try to set-up a WDS network, whereby you add a second accesspoint (not router) in the house and configure WDS on the shed router and home AP. They will then create a wireless bridge, thus extending the signal.

Now it's important to stick to the same brand :)
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Author Comment

by:bbbb2
ID: 33669515
I didn't say this but about 2-3 feet from the router is a window. Maybe putting it right in the middle of the window would stop a lot of the medal building interference?
bbbb2
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by:MARTiN
ID: 33669524
Tricky part with range extenders is that you have to place them where the signal is fairly good still. It can't extend a signal it barely can understand. I've placed 2 of these D-Links at two separate customers and seem to work quite well most times. They've had to reboot the extender 1-2 times in a year though due to unknown issues.
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RikeR earned 300 total points
ID: 33669525
Yep,
Glass is a good wifi conductor. 70% of the signal passes though.
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Author Comment

by:bbbb2
ID: 33669537
LOL Wish it was glass though. The window glass was broken and he just covered it with wood.
bbbb2
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by:MARTiN
ID: 33669543
Question: What exact model is the Wireless Router? Does it support an external antenna that can be placed outside the shed?

That's probably the best answer since it doesn't involve adding a second box (thou adding an extra point of failure)
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by:bbbb2
ID: 33669571
            Rosewill  RNX-EasyN4 IEEE 802.11b/g/n Wireless-N 2.0 Broadband Router (2T2R) Up  to 300Mbps Data Rates/ WPA Personal and Enterprise, WPA2, 64 & 128  bit WEP, PSK, TKIP, AES, WPS Security with Antenna x262703915                    
bbbb2

       

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by:chqshaitan
ID: 33670561
Another option is to use home plug networking as i assume that the power in the shed/office connects back to the house?

If so you could create a network over the electrical cabling in the house. I would suggest having one home plug in the shed which connects to the broadband router or wireless router by an ethernet cable.

Another homeplug network adaptor plugged into the closest room in the house with a wireless access point attached.

This would solve the issue with the shed interfering with the signal and you should be able to get the signal throughout the house.
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Author Comment

by:bbbb2
ID: 33678501
Just had a thought that to me would be the best and easy way for this to work. He has a broadband modem already in his office.. Leave it just like it is. Go buy a second modem call the ISP and get a second IP address and hook the wireless router up to the second modem that is in the house. The cost os a second modem is around $75 at most and a second IP address is about $10 a month at most. To me that would be the easiest and best way.
Experts, give me your imput on agree or disagree.
Thanks
bbbb2
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by:MARTiN
ID: 33679470
Sounds good to me, if the ISP only require $10 extra for that. I don't think the ISP would allow that here in Sweden but instead would make you pay for two subscriptions. But also chqshaitan's suggestion sounds good, but there's always a big "IF" involved in the power-plug's if they're going to work or not. I've had problems with them in houses with older electrical cables. You should award yourself some points, your suggestion is as good as ours if you don't need the computers to transfer any information between them and only use them to browse internet seperately.
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by:RikeR
ID: 33679490
I'm not that familiar with ISP's but I bet they will see it as a second connection and thus charge you a full new account.

A wireless bridge to me would be the best solution, but I'm a wireless minded guy :)
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by:chqshaitan
ID: 33680391
Thanks Martin, as you say a possible issue is the cabling but i suspect with the office being relatively new it should be fine, or at least much better than wifi factoring in the metal office.

The home plug is basically a hub across electrical cabling so you can connect to a switch at either end and access the net along with the pc's in the offices fine. I do this at home.

bbb2, if you want a diagram further explaining it just let me know bud.
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Author Comment

by:bbbb2
ID: 33683515
chqshaitan: please send me a diagram to: computertutor@cox.net
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Author Comment

by:bbbb2
ID: 33683558
I believe everyone is right about the ISP charging me for two accounts. It was late and my brain was dead, kik Good as an excuse as any I suppose.
bbbb2
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by:chqshaitan
chqshaitan earned 200 total points
ID: 33683818
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by:bbbb2
ID: 33708775
Here we go again. I can't get help, get it fixed with Experts advice and award points without some kind of act of congress. This ridiculous!!

bbbb2
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