Suggestions: Wireless Router with strong signal 75-100 ft.

Discussion in 'hardware' started by pattysea, Oct 2, 2010.

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  1. pattysea
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    pattysea Registered Member

    Looking to purchase a wireless router that will have a signal strong enough to handle a 75 to 100 foot distance from my home to my detached garage office. Any suggestions out there? Thank you.
  2. Bill_Bright
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    Bill_Bright Registered Member

    75 - 100 feet is not a great distance, if nothing is the way. But if there will be several metal pipe and wire-ladened walls, floors, etc. between antennas, there could be a problem. A "crowded" wireless environment can adversely affect range too. That is, if there are many wireless networks in your immediate area, or many other electronic devices that emit RF (radio frequency) signals, interference from these networks or devices can affect your network's performance. Certainly, going with the latest wireless technologies will maximize your reception so that would mean going with 802.11n (Wireless-N) protocols. That's better anyway for the enhanced security alone that 802.11n offers. Of course that means your devices in the garage office would need 802.11n adapters as well, and you may have to experiment with the router's location in the house. Obviously, high in the house on the side of the garage would be better than in the basement on the opposite side of the house from the garage. Near a window may be best, but metal framed windows (or storm windows) may interfere with the RF signals, and direct sunlight on electronics is never good.

    Stick with major brands - Linksys/Cisco, D-Link, Netgear, Belkin. Sticking with the same brand from end-to-end is not necessary in theory. But in practice, it typically results in easier setups, and with older protocols, more stable connectivity, and faster throughput.

    In extreme cases, you may need to use a range extender in the garage.
  3. YeOldeStonecat
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    YeOldeStonecat Registered Member

    Wireless N itself does not bring enhanced security. All 802.11 WLAN products, be they a, b, g, or n, follow the same security measures defined by IEEE 802.11i security standards.

    The security supported by a product has to do more with how old the product is, what it supported when it came out, and if there have been updates to add support for newer security standards as they came out. Example...back when 802.11b came out, clunky old WEP was commonly the only supported security method. But then WPA came out, and new 802.11g gear came with support for it, but many 802.11b products were also able to support WPA with a firmware upgrade on the router/AP, and a driver update on the wireless NIC (and an OS patch if needed).

    Similar with WPA2...older 802.11 types support it just fine, they may need just a firmware and driver update if you're had the product since before WPA2 became final and you haven't updated them.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2010
  4. YeOldeStonecat
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    YeOldeStonecat Registered Member

    PattySea...I have purchased a lot of hardware from this site for special cases...
    http://www.fab-corp.com/

    Getting some high gain antennas, and directional ones, is often an economical approach to lighting up a difficult location. Do you have a current wireless router in the house? If so, what make/model?
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2010
  5. Bill_Bright
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    Bill_Bright Registered Member

    While it is a true the 11n protocols do not include security features not currently required in earlier protocols, the problem is, those requirements are only required in previous protocol products manufactured after 11i protocols became standardized. But there was no requirement to pull older 11g products off the shelves, nor is there any assurance older models already in possession by consumers have been, or are able to be upgraded.

    So, if all the devices on the network are 11n, you are assured of the latest security standards, and greater range. But if you still have older 11g or 11b devices, unless they were manufactured after the 11i standards were adopted, or have been upgraded (if upgradable) then you may not have the latest security. And for that reason, I recommend Wireless -N.

    Also, your concern was range, 11n offers superior range, easily. However, unless the wireless-N router offers simultaneous dual band support, the router will toggle down in speed to support the other protocols. Simultaneous dual band routers are, as expected, more expensive. If mixed support is not needed, a less expensive single band will work fine.

    So, as I noted in my original post, going with the latest technologies, wireless-N, will maximize your range and reception. Since you said in your original post you are looking to buy a new router, it makes no sense to me to buy older technologies, so again, I recommend 11n, not only for the enhanced security it ensures, but for the greater range.
  6. pandlouk
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    pandlouk Registered Member

    Your best bet is to go with a pair of powerline adaptors (200 Mbps). ;)
    Their range is up to 5000 square foot.
    And nowadays a pair of those costs less than a good n router.

    Panagiotis
  7. Bill_Bright
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    Bill_Bright Registered Member

    Well powerline adapters don't offer the flexibility of a wireless router. And a quick look at Newegg shows the price of a pair of adapters is not cheaper than many basic, but still good wireless-N routers. There are many router offerings for less than $75, which is less than any pair of powerline adapters listed.

    But also, since this is a detached garage, and we don't know how power is serviced to it, we can't be sure at this point if powerline adapters will work.
  8. YeOldeStonecat
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    YeOldeStonecat Registered Member

    Good thinking outside the box, and I've had good luck with them....near the reliability of ethernet...plus the steady speeds.
  9. Bill_Bright
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    Bill_Bright Registered Member

    My first home network years ago was via the power lines, but I gave them up when I found a 3 foot long drill bit and went for Ethernet.
  10. LockBox
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    LockBox Registered Member

    I don't usually go with Netgear for routers, but for powerline adapters, their model XAVB101-100NAS is darn near the standard.
  11. pattysea
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    pattysea Registered Member

    I don't have a wireless system and need to purchase one. I will check out the site you suggested. Thank you,
  12. pattysea
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    pattysea Registered Member

    Thanks I will look into the '11n'.
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