Wireless Question

paul.b.davis

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 24, 2007
370
0
Over the hills and far away...
So, I live right across the street from campus and my MBP picks up the wireless signal from the school, but it is intermittent and weak, so here is my question...

Is there any way to take the school's signal and amplify it through my house?

As all of the ISP's in Radford are very unreliable and have terrible service, this would be the only way for me to have decent internet off campus.

Thanks in advance
 

samh004

macrumors 68020
Mar 1, 2004
2,211
87
Australia
I guess you have permission to use it so it wouldn't be stealing, so the best thing to do would be to find a spot and only use it there. I've been in that situation a few times before.
 

ab2650

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2007
714
0
yeah, but is there anything I can use to amplify the signal...it kinda sucks having to go out on my porch to use the internet, especially since it is getting so cold
Most access points have a "repeater" mode and detachable antennas... And even if you couldn't "repeat" the signal, you could always hook up the AP to a switch that is technically part of the schools network. Using a cantenna or a yagi antenna you can pull a distant signal pretty reliably.

School <~~~> Your Access Point <---> Switch/Hub <---> Your Computer.

~ = Wireless, - = Wired.

You could always hook up a second AP at the Switch level and have wireless inside your house (without repeating)
 

paul.b.davis

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 24, 2007
370
0
Over the hills and far away...
Most access points have a "repeater" mode and detachable antennas... And even if you couldn't "repeat" the signal, you could always hook up the AP to a switch that is technically part of the schools network. Using a cantenna or a yagi antenna you can pull a distant signal pretty reliably.

School <~~~> Your Access Point <---> Switch/Hub <---> Your Computer.

~ = Wireless, - = Wired.

You could always hook up a second AP at the Switch level and have wireless inside your house (without repeating)
You lost me a little there...

could you explain what exactly I would need to buy?

Thanks
 

ab2650

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2007
714
0
You lost me a little there...

could you explain what exactly I would need to buy?

Thanks
OK, assuming you had nothing other than your computer you would need:
  • 1 Yagi Antenna (for 2.4GHz, N-type Female connector)*
  • 1 N-Male to TNC (usually) cable (Antenna to Access Point)*
  • 1 Wireless Access Point (i.e., Netgear WG602, Linksys WAP54G)
  • 1 Cat5e RJ45 (Network) patch cable. (Access Point to Router)
  • 1 Router with WiFi (i.e., Netgear WGR614, Linksys WRT54G)
* Many yagi antennas have a cable built on. In that case all you need to do is make sure it has the right connection to your Access Point.

Setup would be:
  1. Take off the original access point antenna(s) and attach the yagi antenna with the converter cable.
  2. Affix the antenna somewhere pointed at the source of signal.
  3. Configure the Access Point to work in "Client" mode, that is, acting like computer connecting to the network.
  4. Attach the AP to the WAN port on the router with the RJ45 patch cable.
  5. (set up security on your router, configure IP addresses, etc)
  6. Connect your computer to your router.

Assuming your school gives out IP addresses like 192.168.0.*, your public (WAN) address would be whatever they gave out. Just choose a different internal IP range on your router, like 192.168.1.*, or 10.0.0.*.

You're probably looking at around $100 to $150 for all the parts, but it should be pretty reliable (assuming your school doesn't put the kibosh on it). If you wanted to run some tests first you could always just get the Antenna + Cable, Access Point and a crossover RJ45 cable connected directly to your computer. Once you ensure that you can get a solid connection put in the router for your own safety and ease-of-use.

HTH!

BTW, there may be a simpler way to just get an Access Point, and use it in "Repeater Mode." This usually requires the MAC address of the school's access point so I'm not sure about this. Someone know knows more about the subject I invite to comment.
 
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