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 Post subject: Improving WiFi in college dorms
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:23 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:04 pm
Posts: 29
Hello! So here's the deal- I live in the dorms of the college I go to. One of the things they offer is WiFi- but no wired internet. I built my own desktop (Win7) about 2 years ago, and only had a cheapo usb stick thing that worked well enough at my house because my desktop was not far from the router. Here in the dorms, it's about 25-30 feet away with a 2 brick walls in between (on same floor). My case is the NZXT Phantom 410, which has USB ports on the top of the case. One of those top ports is where I currently have my adapter. Now, the adapter generally shows 4-5 bars, and my download speeds on say, Steam are generally about 500kb-1mb/s. My roommate on the other hand, has a 4 year old Macbook that gets on average 6-10mb/s. And actually, if he puts his Macbook on my desk, he gets 10-12mb/s, which means apparently I'm in some kind of amazing hotspot that I can't take advantage of. I have open PCIe and PCI ports on my motherboard, and I have about a dozen USB 2.0/3.0 ports all over the place, so any adapter should be fine. The only reason I don't straight go to PCI is that the back of my case is right up against the wall, which as I understand, can reduce the signal strength more than if I had it placed further away. I'm currently looking at two adapters on Newegg that are USB 2.0, which both come with USB extension cables. This would allow me to put either adapter further away from my metal case and closer to where the router actually is. Here's some links-

The one I'm currently using-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 2BM0SB1604

I'm looking at these two-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 704045-L0M

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 1126133837

The Rosewill has two antenna, which I've heard is better, but the gain on it is 5dBi, as opposed to the 4dBi on the TP-Link, which as I also understand, gain only helps in distance, but is hurt by obstructions. Are either of these worth getting? Wireless networking is not something I'm very knowledgeable about, so any advice is appreciated! Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Improving WiFi in college dorms
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:19 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5251
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antenna_gain So reading that I think the higher gain one is better.


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 Post subject: Re: Improving WiFi in college dorms
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:47 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:04 am
Posts: 90
You’re not limited to only USB or PCI for your wireless adapter. You could use a wireless ethernet bridge. The bridge connects over ethernet to your PC and wireless to the AP. The beauty of this solution is that placement is only limited by the length of the ethernet cable. So it would probably be possible to place the bridge near the Mac that's working so well!

A bridge also means no OS dependencies (no drivers) and preserves WOL (USB/PCI wireless adapters doesn't support WOL). And many routers support it either natively (through reconfiguration), or third party firmware. Such routers tend to have far better antenna solutions than your typical USB/PCI wireless adapter. Here's a good example of such a router that supports Tomato (third party firmware) and subsequently configurable as a wireless ethernet bridge.

http://slickdeals.net/f/6479678-asus-rt ... e-shipping

Yeah, just $10 after rebate. A steal.

Of course, they make dedicated wireless ethernet bridges too. Some can be had for as little as $20-30.


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