Orbi WiFi 7 RBE973
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Thermal Coated Double Pain Windows are reflecting WiFi from being used a few feet from the outside

rdrines
Aspirant

Thermal Coated Double Pain Windows are reflecting WiFi from being used a few feet from the outside

I am interested in purchasing the 960 Series Mesh hardware.  My current WiFi won't pass through the Windows where we sit outside, even when the WiFi broadcast is 6 feet from the sliding door. 

If we open the door about 8 inches, the WiFi becomes available, but it warms the room in summer and cools it in the winter.

If the 960 or other models all have the same problem, is there another Netgear product that could provide WiFi on the other side of the glass?

 

 

Message 1 of 5
CrimpOn
Guru

Re: Thermal Coated Double Pain Windows are reflecting WiFi from being used a few feet from the outsi

WiFi does not pass through windows with metallic film.  Brand does not matter.  The WiFi access point needs to be located where the signal will pass through building materials more suitable for transmission.

 

Message 2 of 5
Phyber
Luminary

Re: Thermal Coated Double Pain Windows are reflecting WiFi from being used a few feet from the outsi

If by thermal coated you are referring to double panes that have an additional thermal layer coated on the window (transparent conductive oxide - aviator look) then yeah, WiFi won't pass thru that. We have thermal insulated (argon filled) double panes with low-E glass and UV-protection and WiFi (RBR750) passes just fine.

 

You'd be best to hardwire a satellite outside if possible.

Message 3 of 5
rdrines
Aspirant

Re: Thermal Coated Double Pain Windows are reflecting WiFi from being used a few feet from the outsi

Thank you, CrimpOn & Phyber for your replies.

 

Our home is a single-story ranch-style home that has small open-space size stucco to support the cement-like exterior coating during construction. 

 

Our windows are a Milgard product.  They are using argon gas to prevent locked-in water/moisture from appearing with temperature changes.  The small open-space stucco wire is working like a solid Wifi Faraday shield.

 

I've tried to use house wiring conduit, but none of the products I've tried will work well enough to capture the Wifi from a nearby repeater so that it is broadcast into the electric socket wire to a companion plug on the other side of the wall where it should broadcast access.

Message 4 of 5
CrimpOn
Guru

Re: Thermal Coated Double Pain Windows are reflecting WiFi from being used a few feet from the outsi

The solution appears to be installing a WiFi access point outside and has several conflicting considerations:

  • How to get the network "through the wall". 
  • How to power whatever WiFi device is placed outside.
  • Environmental concerns. (weather, heat, cold, etc.)
  • Mesh capability.

Here are some possible solutions:

  • Use a more powerful WiFi.  "Point to point" WiFi bridges use directional antennas and are rated in terms of kilometers.  When users want to extend service to a remote building, such as a barn, garage, or workshop, often a pair of these units are capable of penetrating both walls.
  • Use a pair of PowerLine units to piggyback on house wiring to "get outside".  For example, TP-Link makes several PowerLine units which create a WiFi access point at the other end, such as
    https://www.tp-link.com/us/home-networking/powerline/tl-wpa7617-kit/   One unit is plugged into an outlet close to one of the home WiFi access points and connected with Ethernet cable.  PowerLine uses the house electrical wiring to carry the signal to the WiFi unit, which is plugged into an outlet outside.  When it works, PowerLine is fantastic. I use it to connect two Tivo units to my router for internet.  It is also "touchy".  I tried adding a fourth unit in the garage and finally gave up on it because it shut off too often. PowerLine units typically are not outdoor rated.
  • Use a Power over Ethernet cable to connect an exterior WiFi extender to the network.  Ethernet is "low voltage", so there are no code restrictions on penetrating the exterior wall. This also solves the "where do I plug it in?" problem.  Search Amazon for "outdoor wifi extender" and there are many for sale. (from well-known, established brands to "who?")  This avoids the power issue and the weather issue.

None of these solutions deal with the "mesh" issue.  This WiFi access point can have the identical WiFi SSID/password as the main WiFi system and the main system can assign IP address, perform Parental Controls, etc. but it will be a separate WiFi network.  Devices will not roam seamlessly between inside and outside.  If the difference in signal level is so dramatic that going outside cuts off access to the inside WiFi entirely, then the device will look around and say, "Oh boy. Here's a WiFi that I know the password to" and connect.  If the signal is bad, but not bad enough, the spouse will say, "why is my iPad so SLOW?  Oh, right, I have to reconnect to WiFi."

 

It is sort of frustrating that Netgear abandoned this marketing niche.  The original Orbi had an outdoor rated satellite, with outdoor rated power supply, that totally meshed with the main WiFi system. (RBS50Y). But, it "meshed" only with that original Orbi.  Netgear never released an Outdoor product compatible with the newer Orbi "AX" and newest WiFi6E systems.

 

Sorry to have gone on (and on).  When comparing products, be careful to double check:

  • Outdoor rated
  • Power over Ethernet(PoE Does it come with an adapter?)
  • Connected to base router over the PoE cable.

I would probably read up on the TP-Link EAP225 Outdoor and the HERAID.  For under $100 you can get one of these gizmos and a 50-ft Ethernet cable and "see how it goes".  Who is going to notice a tiny hole in the wall?

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