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WiFi booster

edukehtoer
Aspirant

WiFi booster

I need a powerful Wi-Fi extender. This is an old house with very hard plaster. It’s more like cement really. The garage is a separate building about 4 feet from the house. I am unable to run a security camera in the garage because the signal is too weak.

AT&T sent me their router for free but it wasn’t a good piece of equipment. I’m willing to pay more but I don’t know what to buy.

Any suggestions?
Message 1 of 5
Razor512
Prodigy

Re: WiFi booster

In cases like this, it is best to examine the building materials more closely. For example, it is just plaster, or is there a steel mesh in the wall supporting it?

 

One way to test is to use a WiFi analyzer app when you are in the same room, with the door closed, and then in 1 room over witht he door closed. The overall goal is to understand how much the wall is attenuating the signal.

 

Frequency-and-attenuation-of-various-materials rf.png

 

Usually if there isn't much material to act as a faraday cage, then WiFI extenders can be a good solution. The issue comes when you have faraday cage like material in the walls. In those cases, while a modern Netgear WiFi router or AP will have some improvement since they consistently transmit near the FCC transmit power limits, and put a lot of R&D into optimizing the WiFI throughput over that range, there is nothing that can be done to provide a really good experience with a faraday cage. In those cases, you will need to either run Ethernet to the location where you wish to add an additonal AP (Nearly all netgear WiFI routers can be configures to work as a wired AP (same with their extenders).

 

If the material is not heavily attenuating the WiFi signal, thus allowing for a wireless extender to be decently effective, then units like their EAX20 will have transmit powers near the FCC limit, e.g., the EAX20 will transmit at 996mW on the 2.4GHz band, and 986 mW on the 5GHz band (the FCC limit is 1000mW but no bevice hits it exactly since with possibly variations in amplifier, and the issue of going over by any amount can cause it to fail certification, everyone leaves a tiny margin for variation.

 

A WiFi extender will maintain a stronger connection over a distance to the main WiFi router as compared to a client device since most client devices will only transmit at around 200-300mW, with many low powered devices such as phones other battery powered devices, using 100mW or less.

Message 2 of 5
antinode
Guru

Re: WiFi booster

> I need a powerful Wi-Fi extender. [...]

 

   Or, run an Ethernet cable.  Or get a pair of Powerline adapters.  As
usual, many things are possible, and radio is not always the ideal
scheme.

 

> AT&T sent me their router for free but it wasn't a good piece of
> equipment. [...]

 

   "It wasn't satisfactory in this application" and "it wasn't a good
piece of equipment" are spelled differently for a reason.  If you find
some other device which _is_ satisfactory, _then_ you might be able to
justify condemning the (unspecified) "their router".

Message 3 of 5
edukehtoer
Aspirant

Re: WiFi booster

Thank you for this information. It helps to know about the Faraday effect. There is wire in the walls as well as concrete plaster. I bought the nighthawk mesh Wi-Fi six system. I'm going to try it and see if it improves the situation. We may though, I have to put in a hard line. I really appreciate the thoroughness of your answer and the depth of your knowledge.

Message 4 of 5
edukehtoer
Aspirant

Re: WiFi booster

I find it interesting that you need to correct my spelling. Perhaps I should've spelled it "piece of junk" which is how it was described by the AT&T store employees.

Message 5 of 5
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