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10 posts

Wannabe Geek


# 261649 8-Dec-2019 20:31
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I spent a lot of time to learn about wifi channels, country restrictions, channel transmission power, all because of an internet article that claimed I could improve the wifi signal on an Apple Airport router by making it use channels 149 and up. I want to improve my signal on the 5GHz bands.

 

After wasting all this time with experimentations with different routers I found routerchart.com which simply states the transmission power of my routers, so I understood that it doesn't matter the country regulations and channel specifications because the router makers may choose to simply power them down, so I'm capped at 15dBm with my Airport Express and 20dBm for my D-Link DIR-810L - which matches my experimentations with Airport Utility Wi-Fi Scan.

 

I'm about to change internet provider and I have the option to get a Huawei HG659 for "free". I couldn't find its transmission power, can anyone help me find out this information?

 

I wonder if I should try it or go try to find something stronger. I don't want to spend much money. Can someone please help me find out what I do next?

 

 


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'That VDSL Cat'
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  # 2370641 8-Dec-2019 20:44
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What are you looking to gain by simply increasing power levels?

 

 

 

It sounds like you have a problem your trying to solve by simply turning the dial up.

 

Think of it like this, If you go to a gig and you wish to speak to your friend then you will need to shout to get over the music.

 

 

 

Although shouting helps, it never will give you a clear signal, Sometimes you will simply miss words..

 

However, if you were to move closer (add an AP) this would likely better solve for your problems.





#include <std_disclaimer>

 

Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.


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  # 2370642 8-Dec-2019 20:45
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You make WiFi signals stronger by using additional access points. You don't make WiFi "stronger" by turning power levels up. WiFi power levels should always be set as low as possible.

 

Increasing TX power is rather pointless because the limitation is always the TX power and antenna of the WiFi client which will always have a smaller antenna and lower output levels. Increasing TX power is a bit like trying to have a conversation with somebody 500m away by using a megaphone but not giving one to the person at the other end. They might hear you but you still can't hear them.

 

If you want to improve coverage from a single AP/router you should start by ensuring you're using 20MHz channels on 5GHz since you'll get -3dBm gain over 40MHz with the narrower channel.

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  # 2370647 8-Dec-2019 20:49
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hio77:

 

It sounds like you have a problem your trying to solve by simply turning the dial up.

 

 

This. So much. If you have issues, it's almost always better to reduce the power, and put in additional APs to get better coverage. Also, remember wifi is 2 way, so the device at the other end has to talk back to the AP.


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Ultimate Geek


  # 2370695 8-Dec-2019 21:05
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Another thing to do is depending where you live is analyse the wireless spectrum in your area (there lots of free tools out there that show you what other wifi is doing) you then set yours outside from others.

 

 


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  # 2370744 8-Dec-2019 22:43
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The tools that show wifi networks are useless because wifi will coexist with other wifi fine, that is what it is made for. You will not see analog or digital wireless CCTV, wireless HDMI, most wifi direct stuff and any other legitimate users of those bands. If you can get a real spectrum analyzer and look at it then fine, but relying on a list of detectable wifi beacons isnt giving you much of a story about the spectrum available. Some APs can do an OK job at looking for other stuff and move around it, but most just pick a random channel with the fewest other APs on it and dont even care about the overlap from wider channels when choosing it.





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  # 2370861 9-Dec-2019 08:54
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sbiddle:

 

You make WiFi signals stronger by using additional access points. You don't make WiFi "stronger" by turning power levels up. WiFi power levels should always be set as low as possible.

 

Increasing TX power is rather pointless because the limitation is always the TX power and antenna of the WiFi client which will always have a smaller antenna and lower output levels. Increasing TX power is a bit like trying to have a conversation with somebody 500m away by using a megaphone but not giving one to the person at the other end. They might hear you but you still can't hear them.

 

If you want to improve coverage from a single AP/router you should start by ensuring you're using 20MHz channels on 5GHz since you'll get -3dBm gain over 40MHz with the narrower channel.

 

 

 

 

this. your device has to be able to 'talk back to' your router/access point.

 

 

 

 


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Uber Geek


  # 2371050 9-Dec-2019 11:30
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robertosc:

 

I wonder if I should try it or go try to find something stronger.

 

 

No. Dont. Ive tried a booster that plugged onto the aerial and boosted the power, didnt help in any way.

 

 

 

" I don't want to spend much money. Can someone please help me find out what I do next?"
Be realistic.   :-) 

 

Wifi isnt a perfect medium. 2.4G will get better penetration through walls etc .
Look at why you think you need more power . Every wall will drop the power by about 1/2.  You may be trying to go through too many walls/ceilings/floors .
Run cables . Or move the wifi router (if possible) .
You will need to spend $$ if you have real wifi issues at the mo ...

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  # 2371082 9-Dec-2019 12:07
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5ghz struggles to penetrate walls - a good way to think of 2.4ghz/5ghz =

 

5ghz is great for "in one/router room"

 

2.4ghz is better for casting to other rooms through walls.



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Wannabe Geek


# 2371489 10-Dec-2019 09:03
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Thanks for all the replies, guys!

 

I'm not trying to get a good signal far away from the router, I wanted a good signal in the next room, 4m away from it. The router is positionally in a place aesthetically perfect and technically horrible, inside a closed under a stair, so I had the feeling 5GHz would be bad but not so bad (getting transmission speeds lower than in 2GHz).

 

I understand the problem of having a 2-way communication where both devices need to hear from each other. The article claimed channel 32 used 5% of the power used in channel 149,  so I thought it could be using even less power than my phone - which in fact coincidentally may be true, Airport Express uses 15dBm while iPhone uses 20dBm???

 

My router country is locked to Japan (locked on channel 32) which also made me think it was low powered (small crowded country).

 

So, to sum up, my worse-than-expected setup and a wrong (?) article made me think the problem was on the router and/or the channel being used.

 

I'm not allowed to post links here, but if anyone is interested the article is called "How to boost your Wi-Fi signal without any tricks" from macworld.


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Uber Geek


  # 2371676 10-Dec-2019 12:08
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" I'm about to change internet provider and I have the option to get a Huawei HG659 for "free"  "

 

Its free, so nothing to loose by trying it.

 

And yes, that may be a bad place to put the router. If its signal is degraded by where youve put it, more power may not help.
Take it out of the understair space , see if it improves .

 

 


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