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Wireless Repeater/Signal Booster

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wannamove
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Wireless Repeater/Signal Booster

Postby wannamove » Fri, 18 Nov 2011 6:28 am

I have a Starhub wireless modem but the signal does not extend to all rooms in my condo. I have seen some older posts regarding the same.

I am thinking of getting a Wireless Repeater/Signal Booster - in your experience does this solve the problem? What speeds do you get and any recommendations for brands?

Linksys seems to be the most recommended - how does it work with a Starhub modem?

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Postby nakatago » Fri, 18 Nov 2011 7:50 am

A repeater seems overkill just for an extra boost in a condo. For our flat, I just made a parabolic antenna to 'focus' the WiFi signal.

I'll post again once I remember the name or when I find the site that explins how it works and how to make it (it only took me 5 minutes to craft the thing). YMMV

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Postby nakatago » Fri, 18 Nov 2011 8:54 am

Ok, here it is.

http://www.freeantennas.com/projects/template2/

Basically, your wifi antenna is omnidirectional, i.e. it sends signals in all directions. Now, if your condo is like most HDB flats, your cable access point (is that what's it's called?) is on one side of the whole unit. Thus, roughly half of your wifi signals is thus then broadcast to outside your unit...which is a waste.

Using a reflector (i.e. this 'antenna'), you use a parabola to reflect back some of those signals and focus them at one point or send them the other way.

It's supposed to work in theory. There is anecdotal evidence that it does. Some people, however, say that something like thus just scrambles the signals to all directions. A well-designed and built reflector however, should not (e.g. satellite dishes).

If you're handy with a knife, glue and some foil, this project shouldn't take you more than hour (allow time for glue to set). So, you could always try this and see if it works for you (even if as a placebo). Materials wouldn't even reach 3 bucks.

NB: any antenna/communications engineers want to chime in on this?

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Re: Wireless Repeater/Signal Booster

Postby syamsulstar » Fri, 18 Nov 2011 10:23 am

wannamove wrote:I have a Starhub wireless modem but the signal does not extend to all rooms in my condo. I have seen some older posts regarding the same.

I am thinking of getting a Wireless Repeater/Signal Booster - in your experience does this solve the problem? What speeds do you get and any recommendations for brands?

Linksys seems to be the most recommended - how does it work with a Starhub modem?


I'd recommend this wireless extender by netgear:

http://www.netgear.com.sg/home/products ... 00RPT.aspx

Or you might want to consider getting a new router that has better range.

http://www.netgear.com.sg/home/products ... R4500.aspx

This is what I use at home.

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Postby ecureilx » Fri, 18 Nov 2011 11:51 am

nakatago wrote:NB: any antenna/communications engineers want to chime in on this?


I worked with Harris communication antennas, and still remember some of the radiation pattern formula, but, am plain lazy to DIY :D

Especially when the off-the-shelf stuff cost so little :D

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Postby nakatago » Fri, 18 Nov 2011 11:53 am

ecureilx wrote:
nakatago wrote:NB: any antenna/communications engineers want to chime in on this?


I worked with Harris communication antennas, and still remember some of the radiation pattern formula, but, am plain lazy to DIY :D

Especially when the off-the-shelf stuff cost so little :D


Dude, this DIY stuff took less than hour using stuff found around the house, which is why I proposed it--very little to lose. At the very least, OP could buy a better antenna for his router which costs less than a repeater or booster.

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Postby ecureilx » Fri, 18 Nov 2011 12:02 pm

nakatago wrote:
ecureilx wrote:
nakatago wrote:NB: any antenna/communications engineers want to chime in on this?


I worked with Harris communication antennas, and still remember some of the radiation pattern formula, but, am plain lazy to DIY :D

Especially when the off-the-shelf stuff cost so little :D


Dude, this DIY stuff took less than hour using stuff found around the house, which is why I proposed it--very little to lose. At the very least, OP could buy a better antenna for his router which costs less than a repeater or booster.


shucks, I got off my lazy bum and did see your link :D D Yah, worth the try .. if it works then why fret .. :)

After all, with radiation everywhere, maybe even Fukushima maybe lesser radiated, and maybe safer, considering the number of wi-fi, wireless, mobile, and all stuff radiation, and radiation leak should be the last thing on anybody's mind .. :D

PS: I remembered a colleague who had the same issue, and got a repeater and the repeater apparently does a overriding clutter of the base station's signal (phase cancellation ?)

I should send him your link ..

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Postby wannamove » Sat, 19 Nov 2011 8:45 am

Thanks all.

Nakatago: Unfortunately my model of wireless modem from Starhub does not have an external antenna, so that wont work :(

Syamsulstar: I will also look into the netgear in addition to Linksys.

Has anyone heard of Aztech's network extender?

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Postby x9200 » Sat, 19 Nov 2011 10:44 am

wannamove wrote:Has anyone heard of Aztech's network extender?

Yes, I even have one. Did not manage to make it work so far :)

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Postby wannamove » Sat, 19 Nov 2011 9:46 pm

Thanks x9200. I better keep to known brands like Linksys or netgear.

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Postby x9200 » Sun, 20 Nov 2011 9:32 am

wannamove wrote:Thanks x9200. I better keep to known brands like Linksys or netgear.

The brand I think is ok. I have a secondary home network based on Aztech's homeplugs. It has been working very reliable for over 3y now and in terms of stability i would say is close to Linksys (at least from this narrow perspective). With the extender the problem could be actually my router that runs on alternative firmware and is security enhanced but on the other hand everything else gets along with it with no hassle whatsoever.
From my experience I would avoid Dlink and in Singapore SMC. The later because of their service center.

Edited to add: actually it is often mentioned that the repeaters are somehow sensitive to the router's hardware/firmware so you may want to check if a specific repeater is know to work with your router.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 29 Nov 2011 2:00 am

wannamove wrote:Thanks all.

Nakatago: Unfortunately my model of wireless modem from Starhub does not have an external antenna, so that wont work :(

Syamsulstar: I will also look into the netgear in addition to Linksys.

Has anyone heard of Aztech's network extender?


Network extenders have the same problem as your PC... they have to be able to receive a signal in order to rebroadcast. Thus, extender needs to be closer to the wireless access point or you don't get much improvement at all.

Second, a wireless extender doubles the traffic on a wireless network... it's how it is designed.

The best way to increase coverage is with a second access point that is hard wired into your Starhub device. You can do this one of two ways. Connect a standard RJ45 cable between them, or use a house wiring alternative that allows the signal to run down powerlines... works quite well.

http://www.tp-link.com/en/products/?categoryid=206

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Postby nutnut » Tue, 29 Nov 2011 8:48 am

Get yourself down to SE Asia Computers in Funan and get the Aztech ethernet over power thingies, they use the power circuits in your condo and you can get a wireless plug one end to extend the wireless into a particular room!

They work really well, I use them for MIO as my modem is in my office!

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Postby wannamove » Tue, 13 Dec 2011 6:29 am

Thanks all, for your suggestions. I did end up buying the Aztech 300Mbps wireless extender. So far so good. The main thing I've learned is to restart it everytime I restart the cable modem

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Postby nutnut » Tue, 13 Dec 2011 8:52 am

wannamove wrote:Thanks all, for your suggestions. I did end up buying the Aztech 300Mbps wireless extender. So far so good. The main thing I've learned is to restart it everytime I restart the cable modem


Yes, you should do that, although, you shouldn't need to restart the cable modem a lot.
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