Getting Weak City Wifi to a router so iPad & iPhone can connect

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by drrich2, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. drrich2 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    #1
    Hi:

    I live in southwestern KY and work nearly 1,100 feet away, in a 3'rd floor one-person office with a window to the exterior, roughly facing my house, with maybe 4 trees in between. Our workplace monitors usage & forbids use of the company system for personal matters.

    At home, I use a cable internet service. Nice and fast. I'd like to get that at the office. My iPhone's 3G isn't fast enough & AT&T's 2 gig data cap is too small.

    I considered buying a pair of the new EnGenius ENH202's but then I noticed a local electric company offered $30/month wireless 6 meg service (Hopkinsville Electric System & EnergyNet Internet Services) so I signed up. The signal is really weak at the home, but they'll come install a receiver soon to fix that problem. The wifi is intended to provide in town mobile device access (e.g.: laptops). This would be $10/month cheaper than the cable modem service, plus I want to access the wifi from my office with a personal laptop.

    Problem: the wireless signal in the office is very weak. There's one place I can put an old laptop & get a usable signal/decent service. And my iPad and iPhone don't detect the signal at all!

    I can't realistically have the ISP send people to install one of their receivers in the office, and they don't give me one to install myself.

    Soooooooo, does anyone know a good product I could put in the office that would receive the signal (so antenna functionality), and at least hook to the laptop by ethernet or (much better yet) act as a wireless router so the laptop, iPad and iPhone could all enjoy good access?

    Thanks in advance!

    P.S.: I did order a USB external antenna for the notebook computer, and hope it'll work, but I can't do that with the iPad. I need a wireless router that can pick up the city wifi much better than the iPad does, & broadcast access to devices in my office. I know wireless repeaters can be used to do that when the provider network is a router you set up, but I don't know if it can do that when the provider is somebody else, & you just have a username & password to log on & use their network. I am a paying customer, not trying to mooch.
     
  2. macuserx86 macrumors 6502a

    macuserx86

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    #2
    You can use a wireless router (flashed with DD-WRT or Tomato) in bridge mode which will turn the router into a receiver that can connect to other devices via ethernet.

    The WRT-54GL is a good candidate for such usage; it's cheap and supports DD-WRT or Tomato.

    Regardless of how you connect though, if you can get the laptop connected then you can share its wireless with other devices (I don't remember off hand how to set this up under Windows, but it's not terribly difficult.)
     
  3. drrich2 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    #3
    Thanks for the help! I've heard of flashing routers with alternative firmware but have never done it.

    I did get the old Toshiba notebook connected in one spot in my office.

    Richard.
     
  4. jsolares macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Location:
    Land of eternal Spring
    #4
    I borrowed my neighbors wifi when we moved into our new house, had one linksys(using dd-wrt) as a client of his wifi, which was then connected from a lan port to the wan port of the other linksys (this one could be stock or even an access point and not a router) that way i had wifi in my entire house instead of only a part of the house at night.
     

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