Jump to content


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.

Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.


Recommendation for small outdoor router?

  • Please log in to reply
3 replies to this topic

#1 twintone


  • Members
  • 26 posts
  • Local time:07:14 AM

Posted 22 August 2014 - 11:40 AM

We have an outdoor display sign at our business, and I would like to somehow communicate with the sign (to change messages on it) wirelessly. It currently has 1 Cat5 jack to connect to it, but also has a power outlet which I could draw power from. For now if we want to change a message on the sign, we either need to walk outside and connect to it with a laptop via cat5 cable (not ideal in the rain, or in winter) or we need to run a really long cable out to it which can't be left out permanently due to needing to mow the lawn etc.


So I started to do some searching online, but haven't been able to come up with something that would work well. The space I am dealing with is pretty small, and I couldn't just purchase any old kind of router and setup a bridge. It would have to be pretty small, maybe the size of a pack of cigarettes or smaller. It would be protected from the elements somewhat (mainly just from above) but would be exposed to heat and cold.


I was wondering if anyone might have a suggestion on such a device? Or some other idea of how I can possibly make this connection wireless and do away with having to run a cable out there all the time.


Thanks much!

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)


#2 smax013


  • BC Advisor
  • 2,329 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Local time:07:14 AM

Posted 22 August 2014 - 11:59 AM

One option might be to look at PowerLine adapters. Here is an example:


That option assumes that the power plug outside is using the same overall electrical system as the office.

In terms of an actual router to use, the smallest router that I am aware of is an Apple AirPort Express, but even that is not the size of a deck of cards. It is about 4"x4"x1".

Do a quick search on Google got me this:


Here are some other small routers (the article is about a year old):


Would the router be protected from the elements in some way?

Edited by smax013, 22 August 2014 - 12:02 PM.

#3 Kilroy


  • BC Advisor
  • 3,442 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Launderdale, MN
  • Local time:07:14 AM

Posted 22 August 2014 - 01:43 PM

If PowerLine isn't an option.  I'd recommend running an ethernet run to it and bury the cable.  You don't mention any distances, which are a factor for both wireless and wired solutions.  You want to either run a conduit or use direct bury cable.  While this is more time and effort once it is done you shouldn't have any issues with it.

#4 twintone

  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 26 posts
  • Local time:07:14 AM

Posted 22 August 2014 - 03:47 PM

Thanks for the info guys. Distance isn't an issue in either wired or wireless options. We did consider a burying a cable, but it would be a fair amount of work to run it through the building and outside. It's not out of the question, but thought a wireless solution might be easier.. which I am finding it's not.


Thanks for the links to the routers. First thing I thought of was the power line option, however I just wonder how reliable it would be in the summer. I have installed and used those in the past, and they can get really warm (at least the ones I have tried) and then add 90 degree heat.. not sure it would hold up. 


I didn't even think to look at travel routers, so thanks again for the links. I think I will check these out and see if I can make something work. Again, I see heat being the biggest hurdle, but it's really not a large investment if that becomes a problem.


There really isn't much protection for the elements, so I will need to build some kind of box and weather proof that.


Thanks again for the suggestions. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't possibly missing something new on the market that I wasn't aware of that might work. This gets me going in the right direction.

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users