Boosting the signal from my Linksys WRT160N v3 router

I have a Linksys WRT160N v3 wireless router and I find that even when my home network is showing 5 bars, I can't always connect when I'm using my laptop in another room. I happen to have a D-Link ANT24-0700 antenna which I believe can be used to transmit as well as receive. If so, how would I connect it to my router? I can't see anything on the router that would allow that but maybe I'm missing something.

If I can't make a direct physical connection with the router, is there perhaps a PCI card that I could put in my computer, designed for the purpose of taking the signal coming in via ethernet and amplifying it for transmission to other wireless-enabled devices such as my laptop?

Thanks,
John
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John CarneyReliability Business Tools Analyst IIAsked:
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Chris MillardCommented:
The device you need is a wireless repeater. Thay are fairly cheap and will pick up the wireless signal and retransmit it so you should get better coverage (if you position in correctly)
terrygreensillCommented:

If you are getting 5 bars and no connection then it could be interference from other devices/wireless networks.

Move and DECT wireless phones away from your router or PC. Also try changing the channel on the wireless router
rfc1180Commented:
As you are using the Linksys WRT160N, what standard are you using to associate with the AP?
802.11n, 802.11a, or 802.11g?

>I happen to have a D-Link ANT24-0700 antenna which I believe can be used to transmit as well as receive.

You can't, the WRT160N has integrated antennas with no option for an external antenna; you can however mod the device to utilize external antennas:

http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=316660&sid=fdf778654a269b37da2a82347c2ad0b5

>is there perhaps a PCI card that I could put in my computer, designed for the purpose of taking the signal coming in via ethernet and amplifying it for transmission to other wireless-enabled devices such as my laptop?

Sure, with the right hardware and software:

http://archive.atomicmpc.com.au/forums.asp?s=2&c=16&t=4705

The fact that you are using the WRT160N and depending on the standard you are using, just because you can hear the AP does not mean you will be able to associate with the AP. The output power of the AP is around 17dBm (50mW {50 milliwatt}) which is really low (Very comparable to what typical client wireless cards have as output power). You never mentioned the client card that you are using, so I am assuming 30-50mW of output power with no db gain for the antenna. with a 1.5dBm gain antenna on the WRT160N router, the EIRP is around 70mW and depending on the material of the walls in your house, obstructions, etc, will cause many issues that typical users encounter. How far away are you typically away from the AP when you can not associate with the AP, how many walls are in the path, what type of material is the wall (Drywall, concrete, etc)?

As already stated, if your signal strength is 5 bars (Assuming -68dBm) and you have a really crappy S/N (signal-to-noise) ratio, then your AP will have a real hard time "hearing" your signal. If you are using 802.11b/g and having a hard time associating a link with your AP, you can change the channel or use 802.11a where you might have better luck. 802.11a is least populated with interference than 802.11b/g. If interference is not causing your issue then you could be running into issues with multipath propagation; you can try using 802.11n where you can benefit from spatial diversity.

Good Luck
Billy

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John CarneyReliability Business Tools Analyst IIAuthor Commented:
Thanks, Billy.

- John
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