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Can I boost signal on wireless home network when I don't have access to router?

Posted on 2011-02-28
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
Hello,

I currently use my landlord's wireless network to access the internet (his house in about 50 feet away).  This works fine for the computer in the rooms closest to his house, but only my newer laptop gets a good connection in the living room (which is downstairs on the other side of the house).
I could live with that, but I just got a new TV in that room that allows me to stream Netflix,etc. Currently, the TV is using a wireless adapter (samsung linkstick lan adapter) that came with the TV. The connection is slow and choppy making watching netflix or movies a drag.

Here is my question:
What can I do to boost the signal down in the living room where the signal is weakest. My only restriction is that while I have permission to use the wireless network, II really have access to the router to change anything.   A wire connection is out of the question b/c he is in a different house.

What can I do? I just don't know enough about wireless networks and boosting signal to understand all the stuff I'm finding online.

Thank you so much for any and all help!
Jen
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Question by:JenInNY
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7 Comments
 
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Assisted Solution

by:Timothy McCartney
Timothy McCartney earned 250 total points
ID: 35000167
You could purchase a wireless access point and place it in a wireless signal area. This would essentially pickup the signal and rebroadcast it, giving your house much stronger signal.

You can pick one up at just about any computer related retail store such as bestbuy
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by:Timothy McCartney
Timothy McCartney earned 250 total points
ID: 35000194
http://www.compusa.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1070699&CatId=372 < this is something you'd be looking for.

Alternately (due to cost of an access point vs a regular wireless router) you can purchase any router with access point capabilities and configure it that way.
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Author Comment

by:JenInNY
ID: 35000484
Hello and thank you for your quick response.

If this answer is this simple, I don't mind paying for the access point. I tried a router that I thought had access point capabilities previously, but the only way I could figure out to set it up was to plug it into the original router, something I am unable to do.

Basically, I want to be sure that a wireless access point will enhance or repeat the signal so that my range is extended. After posting I was trying to find more information on the web and it seemed to imply that a wireless adapter would just be another way to access the network, not actually boost it or give it a stronger signal.  Is that true?
Should I be looking for some kind of repeater instead?

Sorry for doubting, I just want to be sure. It's confusing :)
Thanks,
Jen
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Author Comment

by:JenInNY
ID: 35000493
Also:
I had originally been looking at this: http://www.amazon.com/TRENDnet-Wireless-Gaming-Adapter-TEW-647GA/dp/B0024G48VA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1298921683&sr=8-1

It was supposed to work as an access point, but again, I don't think it will actually make the signal better. I'm not sure how this is different than the access point suggested above.

Thanks in advance,
Jen
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LVL 9

Accepted Solution

by:
Timothy McCartney earned 250 total points
ID: 35000616
You are correct about the link you provided. That is an adapter, used merely to receive a wireless connection, not used to repeat it.

A Wireless Access Point (WAP) usually has the ability to repeat the signal. Just make sure you are NOT buying an "Adapter."

Some places may refer to them as a repeater, so if you call it so, they should be able to find what you're looking for.
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Author Comment

by:JenInNY
ID: 35000760
Thank you for clearing that up. I was definitely using the two terms "Wireless Access Point" and Wireless Adapter" interchangeably, but they are obviously not the same! I will be sure not to buy an adapter!

One last question: if I was to get a router with access point capabilities, what do I need to look for? I thought I did that once and it turns out I needed to plug it into the original router (something I cannot do since it is in my landlord's house).  If that is true, I'll just head to staples or best buy for a WAP.

Thanks!
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LVL 9

Assisted Solution

by:Timothy McCartney
Timothy McCartney earned 250 total points
ID: 35000874
Most of them should have this ability, however it's generally not noted on the box per se... I wouldn't recommend going for the cheapest router/access point available, but you don't have to get the most expensive either.

I know the brand "Buffalo" is really good for creating WAPs
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