can i extend my wireless network to over 700 feet?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by twoodcc, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #1
    i have internet at my parents house, but a relative of mine has been moved out of her house b/c she is so old, and they want me to live there until they sell the house.

    the house is at least 700 feet away (i think), and instead of getting dsl there with a contract and all that, i'd rather just extend my network from here to there. is this possible?

    right now, my network is 2 airport extremes (both are wireless-n, but only 1 has gigabit ethernet).

    thanks in advance
     
  2. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #2
    it would be worth a try, have you tried hooking one of the extremes to your network and taking it to the other house??

    if it doesnt work youd probably have to get a small satellite or something to send it that far.. might be up for $300-$400 for that though...
     
  3. jodelli macrumors 65816

    jodelli

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    #3
    This or this could extend the range if your setup doesn't work.
     
  4. twoodcc thread starter macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #4
    i haven't tried it with one airport at each house. i will try that tomorrow.

    but what kind of satellite could i use? the airport doesn't have an antenna port
     
  5. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #6
    ok good idea.

    i completely forgot about the AP not having an extender, the old dome ones did.

    i honestly have no idea, but maybe there are extenders that you can buy that connect via ethernet to each device. i did a search on netgear.com , dlink.com , and linksys.com but i was unsuccessful in my searching. mind u it wasnt a very intense search. maybe you could be more successful? i do remember comming across a web site with heaps of satellites, unfortunately i dont remember the address :eek:
     
  6. mankar4 macrumors 6502a

    mankar4

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    #7
  7. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #8
  8. RobPink macrumors newbie

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    #9
    I managed to do the same as what you're planning and a similar distance. I had a line of sight straight to my friends house with broadband. Believe it or not I used pringles cans!! It really worked! It wasn't the fastest of all connections, but it was ok! I used a USB dongle and put that in one end of the can and aimed it at my friends house, and the same with the aerial on the router. I was only at the house for a couple of months, so I put up with the speed.
     
  9. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #10
    WOW!

    thats hilarious and awsome both at the same time! i wonder if tin cans would have worked better?? hahah im very impressed!
     
  10. big_malk macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Wimax should easly put a network that far, no idea how much it would cost though.
     
  11. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

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    #12
    Three or four years ago I had to construct a wireless G link that would work up to .5 mile (and was portable/battery powered, but that's not your problem).

    It wasn't difficult.

    Here's your materials list:

    -- two wireless access points (WAP) with external antennas
    -- two high gain directional antennas
    -- cabling (RF cables; ethernet cables)
    -- appropriate mounting hardware

    Each WAP attached to your router via ethernet cable.
    The WAP's external antenna is removed, and the high-gain antenna is cabled to the antenna socket on the WAP.
    The WAPs are set to "bridge mode."

    That's pretty much it.

    Here's a link to the company I used for the equipment

    http://www.hdcom.com/links.html

    I used Linksys WAP 54G because that's what HDCom liked -- I had no opinion, so it was fine with me.

    They don't seem to be carrying the antennas I used, but they were like these:

    http://www.wirelessnetworkproducts.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=480

    This was a very effective setup for me, and it had to be because my business depended on it (those times when I needed to use it).

    Here's an image of the portable setup (the WAP has its small antenna attached in the picture; in use, there would be a cable running from the WAP to the antenna. Ignore the yellow device on the right ... it's the device that the portable WAP setup was designed to connect to.

    The second image is of the antenna in use. In the background you can see some orange cones -- that's where the other antenna was. In this case it was a couple of hundred yards away. I could go much farther if needed.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. twoodcc thread starter macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #13
    i was looking at that last night. it might be worth a try if i can return it if it doesn't work.

    i read that last night about people doing that. they sell cantennas now also, but since my router doesn't have an external antenna port, i don't think this would work

    i don't see how i could use wimax. it's a totally different technology, right?

    so, do you think i could do this with my 2 airport extremes? they do not have an external antenna port, and i don't think they can do power over ethernet either.
     
  13. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

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    #14
    I don't see why not. It doesn't matter that they don't have external antennas, because the WAPs are connected to the AEBSs with cables, not wirelessly. For the purpose of thinking about this, ignore the fact that the AEBSs are wireless. You're NOT trying to extend the AEBS wireless signal to the other house.

    You're going to cable a WAP to each AEBS (using regular ethernet cable), and the two WAPs will form what's in effect a wireless cable.

    The end result is AS IF you connected an ethernet cable from one AEBS to the other AEBW.

    AEBS<----->WAP<------------------------------------->WAP<--->AEBS
    .........cable..................wireless connection....................cable

    Then it doesn't matter what else you connect to the AEBS at either end. They work as they normally do -- wired or wireless.

    The WAPs are put into "bridge mode," so they only connect to each other, giving you your "virtual cable" between the two houses. As I remember (I don't have the setup anymore) the WAPs have to have explicit IP addresses set. I do remember that it wasn't hard to do -- you cable the WAP to your computer, access it, and do the settings.

    Now, I never had any reason to connect 2 routers via a wireless link -- it was always devices with explicit IP addresses connecting through a wireless link to other devices at the other end.

    For me, there weren't any routers in the chain (you can see a little Linksys switch fastened to the Linksys WAP, because I always had to tie two of my data sources out at the "remote" end). But I don't see why it wouldn't work, although you might have to tinker with the AEBS at your grandmother's house, or just use a switch over there rather than a wireless router. I think that you could also just plug the WAP into your Mac, if you didn't mind being tethered.

    Conceptually, just think of the pair of WAPs as a virtual cable between the houses -- a cable that plugs into the regular ethernet ports of the AEBSs.

    As for power -- the WAPs get their power from wallwarts, so they have to be somewhere near an AC outlet. Otherwise they can be placed wherever is convenient, because you have flexibility with the ethernet cable that goes from the AEBS to the WAP, and you have flexibility with the cable that connects the WAP with the external high-gain antenna. It just depends on your setup. If you have a choice, put the WAP as close as possible to the antenna, because you want that cable to be as short as is practical. I tried to keep that run under 10-15' whenever possible, but you can go longer if necessary. Just remember that the WAP does NOT connect wirelessly to the AEBS. It's always cabled.
     
  14. twoodcc thread starter macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #15
    thanks. so the WAPs go outside the houses, right? Also, which WAPs do you recommend me getting?
     
  15. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

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    #16
    WAPs in side (electronic gear like any other)

    Antennas outside (or inside, but next to a window).

    Linksys ... as in my first post. Why? Because I know they work in this application.

    Contact those guys HDCom. They're good, but probably you can buy the Linksys WAPs for less elsewhere.
     
  16. twoodcc thread starter macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #17
    thanks for the help. i went out and bought the wi-fire thing. of course i don't pick up my network, but i'm on someone else's right now. i'm hoping to buy just one of those WAPs and an antenna, and pick it up from the other house with the wi-fire
     
  17. VoR macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Extending your network with a couple of access points and directional antennas seems like a much better (and commonly used) solution than trying to reach your house with a usb adapter.
     
  18. twoodcc thread starter macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #19
    you might be right, there, but the key thing is money. something that i don't have very much of. but i am going to give the access points a try. i'm just going to start off with one for the moment
     
  19. VoR macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Yeah of course. I would have thought a cheap ap and antennae costs less than the adapter though.
     
  20. twoodcc thread starter macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #21
    maybe, i'm not sure yet (still looking into it). i think i've looked at hundreds of things in the last 24 hours.
     
  21. twoodcc thread starter macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #22
    ok, so i have one last question (well, probably not the last), but should i try to go with wireless n for the WAP? or do they even make those?
     
  22. twoodcc thread starter macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #23
    ok, so i can pickup my network if i move the wi-fire to window (about 26% signal strength)

    so, i need to know, should i go with a 802.11n WAP, or just a G one? then, which antenna? or does it matter?
     
  23. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

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    #24
    Linksys (and no doubt other manufacturers) have N access points. Check the Linksys site. Pricing seems to be in the $160-180 range. The G model I recommended is about $80. It doesn't have power over ethernet. Only you know your house. If you can power the WAP from the wall, then you don't need POE. It's cool, but you don't need it.

    If you can get a wireless N WAP up high right next to a window ... maybe you can get a decent signal on your Mac at the other house. Certainly it's possible, but it's pushing it.

    The issue for you is to decide whether you want to have a classic wireless setup (one station, many devices connecting) and hope that you can manage to extend the signal over a larger area, or whether you want to have two areas that are connected by a wireless link.

    If you go the wireless link route, then you really need 2 equally powerful and identically configured WAPs, one at each end of the link. As for using just one WAP/hi gain antenna, I read an analogy somewhere -- let's say you can throw the ball 300' and I can throw it 200', and we go play catch. I go out 300', catch the ball you threw, and...oops. I can't get it back to you. Not a good game. Both sides of the wireless pathway need approximately the same capabilities. Remember, the signal is passing both ways, not just one way.

    If you go the "extend the range of a single station" then you only need one router or one router and one WAP, to get the WAP closer to your remote location.

    It's your choice, obviously.

    Two G WAPs -- about $160
    Cables, etc. -- maybe $60-$100 depending on length (those RF cables can be expensive)
    Antennas -- 2 @ $70 = $140

    Two Linksys N WAPs, no high gain antennas, about the same. If you go that route, you need to make certain that the N WAPs can be put into "bridge" mode. If not, then having two is a waste.

    So you'll have to spend about $400, maybe less, maybe more, shipping, and so on.

    If you're a tinkerer or know people who are good with sheet metal and general fooling around with tools and materials, then you could get 2 of the G WAPs and, like the guy with the Pringles can antenna, start messing with reflectors. The G units have external antennas so you have a lot of options. You might find that you can make something yourself that's good enough for the link.

    I don't minimize the money issue. But, as another poster pointed out, the configuration I recommended to you is the standard one, used widely and is, as the saying goes, "known to work."
     
  24. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #25
    You could just build a nice directional antenna from a satellite dish.
     

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