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Topic # 67824 8-Sep-2010 19:32
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Hi all.

For the longest time I have been putting up with terrible speeds on my desktop from my wireless router. Using a Windows gadget shows my connection to fluctuate between 55-70% depending on obstructions/position (which corresponds to 3 or 4 bars on the Windows 7 taskbar) but my speed is generally terrible.

My line speed is approx. 5Mbps (I can download generally up to 580KB/s max.), and when downloading files on my laptop (which is very close to the wireless router) I can get up to the maximum line speed. However, when downloading files on my desktop at the other end of the house (about 12m and 3 walls away!), I generally get ~100KB/s. However, if I reposition the USB adapter on my desk (or monitor!), I can occasionally get either up to the line speed or down to about ~20KB/s - unfortunately it is the latter more often than not.

I've recently discovered that my laptop can get up to max. speed when placed in the same position as the USB adapter next to my desktop, so am thinking it's an adapter problem rather than a router one.

The hardware in question are both Netgear products, a WGR614v7 router and a WG111v2 adapter. I would love to get this problem sorted, and I'm quite happy to buy new Wireless N hardware if this would solve my problem (some recommendations there would be great if this is the optimal solution also).

Networking (wireless especially) is not my forte, so if you have any other questions just let me know!


Thanks in advance!

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  Reply # 377991 8-Sep-2010 20:23
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Laptops have wifi antennas running up the back of the screen, where as the usb wifi stick has a little tiny antenna usually inside it.

Find out if the antenna on your access point is detachable, and get a bigger one off trademe. They are usually less than $30 for a 5 or a 7dbi. Make sure the plug / screw is the correct or compatible size.

If that doesnt work, then get a proper internal PCI wifi card for your desktop and an external desktop antenna. TP-Link make a good PCI card and you can use either the included antenna or for about $45 they have a desktop antenna with a 1.5m cable.

Your access point may have a high transmit power, but your usb stick may not be so powerful - that is why your computer can be recieving a 70% signal, but the signal to your AP might only be 30% and so the acknowledgement packets might not all be getting back to the AP which makes it retransmit and slows your speed down.




Ray Taylor
Taylor Broadband (rural hawkes bay)
www.ruralkiwi.com

There is no place like localhost
For my general guide to extending your wireless network Click Here






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  Reply # 378016 8-Sep-2010 21:16
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Thanks for the reply Ray.

My router's antenna is not detachable, so that's not an option. Are you referring to any particular TP-Link card, or would they all be fairly similar?

Cheers.

 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 378031 8-Sep-2010 21:46
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Oops, just noticed you suggested to use a PCI card with a desktop antenna. Sounds like that could end up costing about $80 - would a PCI adapter with inbuilt external antenna likely do a good enough job, like the WN350GD (http://wirelesstown.co.nz/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=5&products_id=49)? Otherwise would I be better off getting a new wireless N router and adapter for ~$110?

Thanks.

(Couldn't find an edit button!)

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  Reply # 378035 8-Sep-2010 21:47
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They are all fairly similar
Although the tp-links come with bigger antennas than other brands. Even better is that they make the external big antenna which is about 30cm tall.




Ray Taylor
Taylor Broadband (rural hawkes bay)
www.ruralkiwi.com

There is no place like localhost
For my general guide to extending your wireless network Click Here




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  Reply # 378315 9-Sep-2010 17:26
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Just looked at that link you had - that is a standard size antenna, which is detachable.
You will want to buy that as well as a bigger antenna for it.
You can use a desktop one like this
http://tplink.co.nz/products/productDetails.asp?class=wlan&pmodel=TL%2DANT2408C

or a larger antenna that attaches to the back of the card - like its current one but not on top of the desk
http://tplink.co.nz/products/productDetails.asp?class=wlan&pmodel=TL%2DANT2408CL
Trademe have heaps of the latter at cheap prices




Ray Taylor
Taylor Broadband (rural hawkes bay)
www.ruralkiwi.com

There is no place like localhost
For my general guide to extending your wireless network Click Here






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  Reply # 378399 9-Sep-2010 22:01
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OK, cool, thanks for those links. One more quick question: would something like this (http://www.trademe.co.nz/Computers/Networking-modems/Wireless-networking/Adaptors/auction-316118625.htm) be sufficient with its 4dBi antenna compared to the 5dBi of the desktop one? I'm fairly clueless when it comes to wireless signals so I'm not sure if the 1dBi would make a huge difference or not... !


Cheers

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  Reply # 378405 9-Sep-2010 22:16
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db or decabels increase on a logarithmic scale.
This means that for every 3db, the strength of the signal doubles.
So 4dbi is double 1dbi, 7dbi is 4x 1dbi or something like that.

I would aim for more than 5dbi as most cards only come with 3dbi antennas.

With regard to that usb unit you posted, it will be much better than your existing usb one with the built in antenna which is probably only a 2 or a 3dbi, and you will be able to position it better.
However it is also good in the fact that it is cheap, and you can still get a bigger antenna for it - if needed.




Ray Taylor
Taylor Broadband (rural hawkes bay)
www.ruralkiwi.com

There is no place like localhost
For my general guide to extending your wireless network Click Here




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  Reply # 378415 9-Sep-2010 23:08
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Lift up the router, reorient it, Dont get the antennas off trademe, hit deal extreme up as they are much cheaper but will take a couple of weeks.

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.25031

Get a USB extension and raise the wireless stick up, try different orientations for it since inbuilt one.

Dont bother with a PCI card with the antenna on the back, putting an antenna right beside a large metal box will stuff the signal up.

Order one of these - http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.41934 yeah, power is exaggerated on anything from asia but those are real grunty devices, and support the features needed if you want to play with the backtrack disc to crack wep.




Richard rich.ms



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  Reply # 378419 9-Sep-2010 23:27
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Thanks for the input.

I have tried all sorts of repositioning as far as the router and adapter goes, and while it does occasionally improve the speed, it is nowhere near reliable enough to be considered a permanent solution.

As for the PCI card comment, I believe that is a moot point if I'm using a desktop antenna - however seeing as the external antenna requires me to have a removable antenna, I might as well try it without the external antenna first.

That DealExtreme site appears to operate from the US, meaning those prices are quoted in USD (correct me if I'm wrong), making them about the same price as a PCI card + desktop antenna from TradeMe, with the addition of a long wait and possible shipping hassles (ships from Hong Kong?). In my opinion that's not worth it for saving a few dollars and maybe getting a slightly better product.


Cheers

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  Reply # 378425 10-Sep-2010 00:36
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Large loss in the cables to desktop antennas to a PCI card, so you end up not much better off. Real low loss cable is thick and inflexible the thin stuff they have on PCI card antennas will lose several dB over the length




Richard rich.ms

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