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Routers: Are Higher dBi Antennas Effective?

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#1
I have a TP-Link modem/router that is having difficulty providing a strong signal to my master bedroom, which is about 45 feet and several walls away. I have looked at several range extending solutions, but the cheapest would be to try replacing the 3 dBi antennas with these 9 dBi ones.

Do these larger antennas work, or are they more of a hoax? I have no experience on the matter and if it's money wasted then I might as well put that towards a better solution.
 
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#2
They work, but you have to understand how they work. They work generally by changing the shape of the radiation pattern. Router is only putting out so much energy so all you can do with that energy is shape it slightly differently. If you want the same pattern "just bigger", you need a router that puts out more energy or a booster that adds more power to your existing router.
 
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#3
Ah, so these just change the shape of the Omni-directional doughnut? I'm not sure if that would solve my problem, then.
 
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#4
Be a man and run a CAT 6 cable down the hallway ffs. ;)
 
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#5
Be a man and run a CAT 6 cable down the hallway ffs. ;)
Heck, I ran an 80' one in my crawl space to move my router to where it is now:ohwell: I moved out of my office and into my living room when we had another youngin'

The best option would be to read before bed like I used to instead of watching Netflix on a tablet.
 
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#6
I'd just run a cable in to your deadzone and set up an AP with the same SSID, encryption and password. It's the wireless client's job to pick the best AP. It should work just like cell phones do, hopping from tower to tower. Just make sure they're on different channels.

If you can't find a cheap access point, just get any ol' second hand router and turn DHCP off.
 
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#7
Another, but more expensive option would be one of those powerline network extenders.
 
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#8
MIMO baby... though I don't think that model has it, you might want to simply try re-arranging the antennea, worth a shot.

Or you can just pick up a paperback, lol
 
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#9
It is probably possible to purchase a multi-directional antenna with more gain. More gain means more sensitivity which means more range in every direction. You would need to first determine the db of gain of your existing antennas. If you can then find antennas with a higher db number than the ones you currently have, that will likely give you more range.
 
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#10
A lot of residential gateways (modem+router combos) have trouble with range extenders so please keep that in mind.

Please also keep in mind that you need the proper SMA connector on the router. Many that still have external antennas use proprietary connectors that you can't upgrade the antennae.

This one is a pretty good option for changing the antenna. You can mix antenna types as well.
Amped Wireless | High Power 12dBi Omni-Directional Wi-Fi Antenna WA12
 
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#11
Another, but more expensive option would be one of those powerline network extenders.
Im testing one right now. Actually works quite well. Only down side is its 10/100 but it work great
 
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#12
A few months back i replaced my Linksys WRT54GL for a E2000. Both have custom firmware.
The new router is great. I finally get what i pay for. Internet speed that is. Looking at the wireless signal. The WRT54GL fitted with high gain 7DBI antenna's did give me full wifi signal bars on my phone and tablet. Using the E2000 which does not have external antenna's i am lucky if i get one bar.
I live in a 3 story concrete house. Router is on the first floor in my bedroom. Before i did use a Linksys range extender but that thing was a b#tch to install correct and often gave me trouble using portable devices in the house.

I must say i did oc the shit out of that router and did fiddle with same settings :D but looking at what i got then and now i would say they do help a bit.
 
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#13
That's one thing that irks me about a lot of router manufacturers. They ditched external antennas to make the routers look good and the only way to upgrade the coverage is to add an AP or use a range extender/repeater. At least Amped Wireless keeps external antenna on all their stuff. Thier USB adapters even can have the antennas upgraded!
 
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#14
In the TP-LINK modem/router, does it have a menu dealing with transmitter to boost the signal strength? My Westell has that and so does my ATT. Remember not to set it at the maximum because in time it will burn out the unit. Typically on a power scale of 0-10, 8 is the ideal setting.
 
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#15
Another, but more expensive option would be one of those powerline network extenders.
I've looked at quite a few, and have my eye on a couple as an alternative if cheaper methods don't work.

MIMO baby... though I don't think that model has it, you might want to simply try re-arranging the antennea, worth a shot.
The documentation says it's a MIMO unit, but I'm not sure how to make that work in my favor.

A lot of residential gateways (modem+router combos) have trouble with range extenders so please keep that in mind.

Please also keep in mind that you need the proper SMA connector on the router. Many that still have external antennas use proprietary connectors that you can't upgrade the antennae.

This one is a pretty good option for changing the antenna. You can mix antenna types as well.
Amped Wireless | High Power 12dBi Omni-Directional Wi-Fi Antenna WA12
My router has the standard SMA connectors. It also says you are supposed to mount the Amped Wireless 6 feet in the air?

In the TP-LINK modem/router, does it have a menu dealing with transmitter to boost the signal strength? My Westell has that and so does my ATT. Remember not to set it at the maximum because in time it will burn out the unit. Typically on a power scale of 0-10, 8 is the ideal setting.
I replaced an older Westell with this unit, and it does work much better. The device was defaulted at 100% signal strength.
 
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#16
No you're not supposed to mount it 6ft in the air...where does it say that???
 
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#17
No you're not supposed to mount it 6ft in the air...where does it say that???
I found it while poking around checking out reviews for it. Most of them are very positive, not sure what the troubles are with this dude.

 

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#18
Six feet in the air is not the same as six feet of the ground. ;)

He meant it's not supposed to be on the floor. Six feet (or about 1.8 metres for us civilized folks) is a bit weird though.
 
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#19
Six feet in the air is not the same as six feet of the ground. ;)
Bah, semantics:p

I updated my firmware, I'm going to go see if it made any difference with some Star Trek Voyager.
 
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#20
Putting your antenna on the ground is bad mmmkay.
 

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#21
^ lol. no. antennas are just antennas, nothing much. its not bad, its silly. like installing lights on the ground instead of the ceiling XD

to power a more dbi antenna you will need a beefier driver/amplifier.

these antennas work by changing the physical characteristics of the wave its outputting, i.e. the amplitude of the wave. more amplitude = more energy reqd, so you will need a better amplifier.


a better idea is to place it at the corner of a room, and have a DIY parabolic reflector installed on it. cheap, wont cost more than 10$.

this being said, i have cheap ass USB accesspoint that i use as a wifi transmitter and i can get signals upto 35ft away without drop in power or ping. this too through 12"thick brick mortar walls and without any parabola.
 

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#22
I live in a 3 story concrete house.
I bet you there is steel reinforcements in the concrete. You're most likely living in a metal cage that loves to absorb Wi-Fi signals.
 
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#23
Read this review:
http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/06/...10000g-router-and-smart-repeater-hand/#title3

The R10000G was able to penetrate thru walls and stuff that the resident's current router could not.

Please note that they mention a repeater+router cost... but those aren't sold together like that you can find the router only for 109 off amazon.

I have that router and it's awesome. I am able to stream youtube vids with very little effort 200 some feet away. Very powerful stuff.


I plan on upgrading to thier .ac routers when they release em!!!
 

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#24
hello amped wireless saleswoman!

j/k

yeah, that router is beefy. but 200ft? lol.
 
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#25
LOL DDD.....

and yepperoonies and cheese I was able to stream vids 200 some ft away! The netgear wgr614 could only go 60ft tops for vid streaming.