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WIFI Range

Old 06-15-05, 07:47 PM
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Okay, I have finally got my DSL up and running, and it comes with a WIFI transmitter (I know, I know - 10 years behind everyone else!).

So, my DSL is in the basement and the computer I want to WIFI is on the floor above (XP Home).

Is this a reasonable range, before I go shell out $90 for a Belkin ethernet adapter for my upstairs notebook computer (which only has two USB connections, already in use)?

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Old 06-15-05, 07:52 PM
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It should be okay unless you've got some really thick floors made of lots of metal. Note that RF propogates perpendicular to the axis of the antenna so if you can, you might want to orient the antenna in a horizontal fashion so that the signals can better penetrate the floors in a vertical plane. When crossing floors and depending on the power of your equipment, expect to have a range of around 50 feet from an 802.11b/g access point in an obstructed environment for good signal. After that, quality tends to drop off pretty drastically so at around 75 feet, it's probably unusable.
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Old 06-15-05, 07:54 PM
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To be honest I don't know what our wireless set up is, but it works anywhere in our house with thick hundred year old walls. It will also reach my Brides Palm out at the street(about 200 yards away) while in a moving car.

Edit: This is Netgear router, transmitter, reciever/antennas
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Old 06-15-05, 07:57 PM
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Most client software has some sort of diagnostic utility that will display signal levels. You might try using it to establish how best to position your equipment.
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Old 06-15-05, 08:04 PM
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It should be fine. Like Khuon says, the client software should show you signal strength.

My router is located in the SW corner of our house (bottom level of tri level), and the wireless connection works flawlessly everywhere on the property (garage, backyard, basement, upstairs etc). All D-link stuff here.

Be careful when you open the box and you could always return the adapter if it doesn't work for you...
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Old 06-15-05, 08:48 PM
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Also you can increase the range though that will decrease your speed.
Let us know how it works out for you.
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Old 06-16-05, 12:42 AM
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Some other things to note:
Some cordless telephones may cause interference with the wireless equipment, only if the frequency ranges are the same though. 900MHz phone? No worries. 802.11B/G wireless operates in the 2.4GHz range and 802.11A operates in 5.8GHz.

Microwave ovens can also cause interference/harmonic distortion in some 802.11B/G equipment.
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Old 06-16-05, 01:13 AM
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Some 802.11b hardware have an option that can be set to help with interference. In the old Lucent cards, this was labelled "Microwave Robustness" and could be set from the client software. If your equipment has such an option, it's probably a good idea to turn it on. Most have it on by default and some don't even have an option to turn it off nowadays. It basically enables a frequency descrimination filter. Most cordless phones use FHSS (frequency hopping spread spectrum) so they'll scan the frequency range and try to find a frequency that isn't congested thus when they first start up they might bump into your 802.11b network but will eventually sort themselves out. 802.11b technology uses DSSS (direct sequence spread spectrum) thus it runs on a fixed frequency which can be bled into by transmitters operating in a frequency space that's close. The descrimination filters will try to eliminate sideband intereference/bleed from transmitters operating close to the same frequency the 802.11b equipment is using.

802.11g and 802.11a have a different problem. Since they use an FDM-type technology (frequency division multiplexing), they utilise a much broader range of frequencies concurrently to achieve higher bandwidth. The problem is that a device such as a cordless phone while hunting for the least congested frequency space, may still land on a frequency that the 802.11 network is using. This causes one of the many concurrent "channels" to encounter interference and degrade. The good news is that this only effects a small portion of the bandwidth so while you might see a drop in total throughput, and while it can be as much as say 5Mbps, it's only a 10% degredation at most since you've still got the rest of the frequency space to work with.

When I answer or make a call from my 2.4GHz cordless phone, I can hear it stutter as it tries and hunts for a free slice of the frequency space. Sometimes it takes a while because I've got a pretty congested 2.4GHz airspace. My access points are multimode and run 802.11g (with 802.11b backwards compatibility) as well as 802.11a.
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Old 06-16-05, 01:20 AM
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wow - I just mentioned it as an FYI, you got all science-project on me!

Orthogonal...gotta love it.
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Old 06-16-05, 06:21 AM
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Also, just noticed that since I put the DSL filters on each and every phone jack - I have 8 of those in use - that my Radio Shack "phone line intercom" no longer works.

Some things they just don't seem to tell you!
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Old 06-16-05, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox
Also, just noticed that since I put the DSL filters on each and every phone jack - I have 8 of those in use - that my Radio Shack "phone line intercom" no longer works.

Some things they just don't seem to tell you!
We had the same problem here at work. The phone line intercoms were replaced with Radio Shack FM wireless intercoms.
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Old 06-16-05, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by reich17
We had the same problem here at work. The phone line intercoms were replaced with Radio Shack FM wireless intercoms.
Thanks - was just looking at them on the online RS catalog. Do they work OK?

I am referring to this product:

http://www.radioshack.com/product.as...5Fid=43%2D3102
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Old 06-22-05, 06:19 PM
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It works!

This message is being transmitted by WIFI!

Thanks, all.
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Old 06-22-05, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox
It works!

This message is being transmitted by WIFI!
Cool. And if you haven't done so, just remember to follow a few tips on securing your WiFi network so that unwanted people won't be transmitting messages over it too. I don't know the exact type and capabilities of your equipment but I'm sure there are guides out there you can look up.
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Old 06-22-05, 06:28 PM
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Not only is this forum fun, but educational as well.
It'll be handy when I finally go wireless.
Thanks!
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Old 06-22-05, 06:35 PM
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I have a lynksis router, and it works all over my house be it in the base ment, out side. Its awsome
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Old 06-22-05, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by khuon
Cool. And if you haven't done so, just remember to follow a few tips on securing your WiFi network so that unwanted people won't be transmitting messages over it too. I don't know the exact type and capabilities of your equipment but I'm sure there are guides out there you can look up.
I ignored the encryption (10 digit) that came with the setup, as I want to be able to use it easily in motels, etc.

In this neighborhood, I have no concerns about any of the neighbors in the immediate vicinity - they are all trustworthy, etc. So, I am not sure just what to do if I am at a motel with "free" wifi.

Also, I am thinking about getting a PCMCIA card in addition to the Belkin Ethernet plug card which I am now using. It seems a lot easier to transport, they don't need an external power supply, and should work in a motel OK??

I chose the ethernet plug adapter because I do a lot of graphics, using my PCMCIA card for my compact flash card from my camera.

Too many choices.
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Old 06-22-05, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox
I ignored the encryption (10 digit) that came with the setup, as I want to be able to use it easily in motels, etc.
You can actually have both. Turn encryption on in the access point in your house and configure your card with a profile for home also with encryption turned on. Then configure the card with a seperate profile (call it "open") for when you want to use the laptop in a hotel or someplace that doesn't have encryption. Most client software will automatically switch between several profiles and uses the one that works. Thus it all becomes seamless... more or less.
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Old 06-22-05, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox
Also, I am thinking about getting a PCMCIA card in addition to the Belkin Ethernet plug card which I am now using. It seems a lot easier to transport, they don't need an external power supply, and should work in a motel OK??
How old is your laptop? What brand and model is it? Before you go for the PCMCIA card, you might want to check if your laptop supports integrated wireless meaning it might have built-in antennas already. You would then need to add a miniPCI wireless card. This would make the whole setup very clean and the miniPCI card shouldn't be anymore expensive than a PCMCIA card.
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Old 06-22-05, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by khuon
How old is your laptop? What brand and model is it? Before you go for the PCMCIA card, you might want to check if your laptop supports integrated wireless meaning it might have built-in antennas already. You would then need to add a miniPCI wireless card. This would make the whole setup very clean and the miniPCI card shouldn't be anymore expensive than a PCMCIA card.
It is about 3 yrs old, specifically did NOT have wifi capabiities (Hey, who would want to pay for that 3 years ago - not I) - Dell Inspiron, XP home, 384 mb, 20 gb, 1.2 processor

x
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Old 06-22-05, 07:19 PM
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Dell Inspiron 2650
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Old 06-22-05, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by khuon
You can actually have both. Turn encryption on in the access point in your house and configure your card with a profile for home also with encryption turned on. Then configure the card with a seperate profile (call it "open") for when you want to use the laptop in a hotel or someplace that doesn't have encryption. Most client software will automatically switch between several profiles and uses the one that works. Thus it all becomes seamless... more or less.
YTou are going to have to speak english. I don't see any ways to do "profiles" I just plugged it in and it worked.
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Old 06-22-05, 07:24 PM
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Ahh okay. Then yeah, I think you'll find a PCMCIA card to be a little more convenient. Just remember to eject the card before sticking the laptop in a bag. I once left my card in and the bag got bumped. The impact drove the card hard into the slot and screwed up my whole PCMCIA assembly. Curiously enough, the card itself didn't break but the internals of the slot were messed up.
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Old 06-22-05, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by khuon
Ahh okay. Then yeah, I think you'll find a PCMCIA card to be a little more convenient. Just remember to eject the card before sticking the laptop in a bag. I once left my card in and the bag got bumped. The impact drove the card hard into the slot and screwed up my whole PCMCIA assembly. Curiously enough, the card itself didn't break but the internals of the slot were messed up.
Do you see any problems between switching from the ethernet adapter wifi and the PCMCIA Card. Will the computer handle the two different processes (of course, not at the same time)?
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Old 06-22-05, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox
YTou are going to have to speak english. I don't see any ways to do "profiles" I just plugged it in and it worked.
Hmm... it depends on how the laptop hooks up with the wireless transmitter as a client. Most client software (the stuff that came with your adapter) have the ability to maintain several profiles. Windows XP also has built-in generic wireless management capability and can do profiles too but it's not as spiffy. Try right clicking on the properties for the wireless adapter in the network section of the control panel.
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