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Looking for wireless router reccomendations...RANGE is a factor


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#1 dokukaeru

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 09:33 AM

Hello and thanks for any input.

I am looking for a wireless router that has the capability of extending from one building 200-300 feet to inside another building.

Many of the routers do not offer information on max range.

I am also concerned with many routers having mixed reviews with problems dropping signal in cycles(48hrs up to 2 weeks) where it must be manually reset.

This router will be used for residential with a few laptops and game consoles.

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#2 Orecomm

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 10:36 AM

Forget home routers for that kind of link. I'd recommend Ubiquity
Nanostation M2's They are an outdoor capable self contained unit with a high power radio and high gain antenna array.
There are other Ubiquity and EnGenius options, the Loco line and the PowerAPN indoor unit, but without an on-site survey it is hard to predict what you really need (how many and what kinds of walls and other obstructions exist ?)

I would set up a pair of radios, M2's or Loco's probably, as a point to point bridge, connect one to your home router and the other to an access point to link locally in the second building.

#3 dokukaeru

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 02:08 PM

Thanks so much for your response.

The walls are typical old house materials(drywall, slats and plaster, vinyl siding) 8-12" thick. It is going uphill over that 200-330 feet maybe 40-50 feet rise.

How easy would it be to install said ubiquity product(s)? I am not that tech savy and part of the appeal of the home wireless router is the minimum amount of setup required.

#4 Orecomm

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 09:24 AM

If you can set up a home router you can handle one of these. It's the typical web interface. The default address and login info are on the box. Set one up as an access point, the other as a client (use the Access Point on the end with the existing Internet feed). Use AP-WDS and Client-WDS in Bridge mode for your situation. Clients in range can connect directly to the Access Point (with proper password, of course. You ARE using WPA2, correct ?) but at that range most laptops with poor sensitivity and crappy antennas probably won't get much signal, which is why you would need the second unit. But outdoors between the buildings you are probably well covered. The Nano/Loco units are directional, so you need to get them pointed at each other. If you keep them inside you can mount them on a little chunk of PVC pipe, usually in the attic or garage or other inconspicuous place. They won't win any beauty contests in your living room (although they could be an interesting topic of discussion). If you choose to mount them outside there are some nice little swivel mounts available for about $8 from the same folks that sell the radios. If you have any problems let me know.

#5 dokukaeru

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 10:33 AM

I dont know if WPA2 is being used, but probably not because there is no password protection. Its my neighbor across the street (who is also my brother-in-law) wireless. I can barely pick it up now when out in the yard. He said that he has no problem with me using it as long as I pay for updating the router.

So I would still need an access point connected to the 2nd M2 unit? This seems to be getting a bit pricey then: 2 M2's at 83.50 an access point and all the connections and mountings.
I may try just 1 M2 and see how well it picks up inside or I may try something like this range extender

Edited by dokukaeru, 23 August 2010 - 10:35 AM.


#6 Orecomm

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 12:40 AM

Try the Loco M2, it's cheaper than the full NanoStation M2 with a little smaller antenna (less gain). For a mount, buy a 2 foot piece of 1 1/4" PVC pipe (1 1/2" will do if need be) a few washers and a couple of long deck screws. Cut the PVC into a couple of 6 to 12" sections (depending on whether you use a Nano or Loco) Run a screw through each end the pipe, slip on a couple of washers, and screw it to the side of the house or fascia board facing your Bro's place. The saddle on the back of the Nano or Loco will sit against the pipe. They ship with a couple of heavy duty zip ties you can use to cinch it down, but I prefer to use a radiator clamp. Cheap and simple. Place one on the front of your place with the Cat 5 extended inside and it will probably be enough to get a pretty decent signal. Even the Loco is way more antenna, and somewhat more sensitive radio, than any laptop. If it doesn't work, or not well enough for you, you can add the second unit at your brothers' place later. The Loco's are about half the price ($49 MSRP) so somewhat less pain if you need a pair.

The chances of the range extender working for you are slim to none. It needs to receive a pretty good signal to repeat it, and it sounds like even at the closest point inside your house you probably don't have enough signal for it to lock onto.

#7 dokukaeru

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 03:29 PM

Its been awhile since i posted but i finally got a pair of the nanostation m2s and am having difficulty setting them up. I can pick up a very weak signal using just his links wireless router and my new laptop so i know the radio(s) should work if i can figure out how to properly connect them. On my end i should have the radio connected to the POE and the laptop/console connected to the LAN and then on his end the radio connected to the POE and then his modem or router connected to the LAN? I can see the ip address of the radio on the laptop but it doesn't connect when you use the default name/password on the box. Again, neither of us are very tech savy but we are not completely pc ignorant. Thanks again for your help.

#8 Orecomm

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 02:37 PM

You will have to log into each unit and set them up. They come from the factory with the address 192.168.1.20 and mask 255.255.255.0. You will have to set a computer temporarily to an address in that subnet (I use 192.168.1.100) and mask, then plug it into the LAN port of the power injector with an ethernet cable. You should then be able to use a web browser to connect to 192.168.1.20 and log in with the default user name and password.

From there you can refer to this quick guide. You might print this out as I will refer to it from here on.

At step 2 make sure the Network Mode is set to Bridge. For the IP address you could choose to use DHCP, but that will make it difficult to locate the radios later if you need to make changes, so I would suggest choosing two addresses from your current LAN network, like 192.168.1.10 and 1.11 (assuming your exiting router uses 192.168.1.1 for it's LAN address). Set the first radio to the first selected address (192.168.1.10 in my example) and the Netmask to 255.255.255.0, and the Gateway and DNS both to the address of your existing router, probably 192.168.1.1. Once you save this you will have to reconnect to the radio using the address you assigned.

At Step 3 you need to configure one unit, the one that will be connected to your current LAN, as Access Point. Give it an SSID (network name) different from the one you use in the house, and choose a channel, either 1, 6, or 11, that is not used by your home router. We will configure this one all the way first, then go back to set up the second.

Step 4 should look pretty much like the the guide, but should reflect your country as needed.

Step 5 should look like the example, except the key should be your own passphrase. (The only active fields should be WPA2, PSK, and the Passphrase.)

You might want a slight detour at this point to look at the settings in the System and Advanced menus. I change the system name to something meaningful and usually set the NTP client to use pool.ntp.org so the time is correct if I need to use the logs for troubleshooting. Logging is turned off by default, so no big deal here. The basic rule is, if you don't understand what it is, don't change it.

Choose a new login password for the radio for Step 6, then apply changes per Step 7.

Now connect your Access Point radio to your existing network and point it at the other building. Take the second radio out to the other building and point it back at the first. Connect your computer to the LAN port of the power injector and the radio to the POE port and fire it up. Login to the address you assigned it with a web browser.

At Step 3 select Station (which should be the default) and then click the Select... button. The radio will do a quick sniff and show you the access points it is receiving. One of them should be the one we just set up. Select it from the list and it should populate back into the field on the main page.

Steps 4 to 6 should match the other unit, along with any other settings you changed.

Apply the changes and the units should link. Set your computer back to DHCP for it's address and connect to the LAN port on the second radio's POE injector and you should get a DHCP address from the home router and be online.

Physically the setup should look like:

ISP->Home Router->Ethernet->Access Point Radio->Wireless->Station Radio->Ethernet->Remote PC or Switch

One more step - write the IP address and administrator login info on a label for each radio and stick it on the power injector for future reference. If someone has physical access at that point the passwords don't matter much anyway as the reset button on the radio will reset them.
Let me know if you still have problems.

Edited by Orecomm, 21 September 2010 - 02:39 PM.


#9 dokukaeru

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 06:24 PM

Thanks for the detailed explanation. We are getting hung up accessing the ip address using a web browser after changing the computer's address temporarily. We tried using internet explorer and get the an unable to connect error. We tried using 2 laptops one running vista and one with xp.

Edited by dokukaeru, 24 September 2010 - 06:26 PM.


#10 Orecomm

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 12:01 PM

Sorry for the late reply, I didn't see your update come by. So you are having trouble connecting to the new Ubiquity after setting your IP manually to 192.168.1.x ? The Ubiquity is connected to the POE side of the injector with a straight-through Ethernet cable and the Power light is on on the back of it, right ? Then you plug your laptop into the LAN side of the injector, and the Ethernet light should come on on the back of the Ubiquity, right ? Your Laptop should also show that the Ethernet is active. Now going to http://192.168.1.20 isn't working ? Try Start->run->cmd-> ping 192.168.1.20 and see if it works. If not, try pinging your own IP (192.168.1.100 if you used that address). Make sure your laptop has the wireless interface turned off while you try to do this or oddness may occur as it tries to talk to two networks at once. (my bad for not mentioning that earlier).




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