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Pesky Walls!

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New Around Here
I've just moved to this new apartment and the design is horrible for wireless. I currently have a WRT54G in the living room. This is the only cable entrance point so I can't move the router. I get tolerable performance on the desktop in the den so web surfing is fine, but heavy audio/video streaming is a mixed bag (Windows usually reports 24-36Mbps, signal strength fluctuates). Performance in the kitchen is pretty bad and spotty at best in bedroom 2. The X'ed out rooms are bathrooms/closet and not suitable for any electronics. My goal is at least make basic web browsing feasible through the whole apartment.

Here are some ideas I was considering:

- Attach homemade tinfoil reflectors to router antenna / upgrade antenna

- Purchase a signal repeater/booster and install in either den or bedroom 1

- Purchase N router/upgrade adapters, and flash WRT54G to use as a signal repeater (run mixed B/N network)

Here are some questions:

- If I boost router signal, don't I also need to upgrade adapter antenna?

- Does upgrading to all N hardware increase performance through walls? (I've read mixed opinions on this)

One last thing - my diagram is not to perfect scale. The apartment is actually not so much a square shape but rather a narrower rectangle top to bottom. Thanks in advance.


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Regular Contributor
Two simple ideas to start:

1) In the living room, where the cable entrance is, run a longer TV cable wire around that room so you can install the router as far northeast (in your diagram) as poosible.


2) Leave the router where it is and run as log an ethernet cable from the router as far northeast as you can, and add a second (and cheap) router, set up as a second wireless access point in the location.


Mr. Easy
Staff member
Putting higher gain antennas on the router is a good idea. Since you are boosting both transmit and receive gain, you don't have to change anything on the client side to see a benefit. Given your layout, you could even use panel-style antennas since you need coverage really only in one direction. See
How To Fix Your Wireless Network - Part 4: Antennas

N won't really help with signal level.

Another idea would be to use a pair of powerline adapters to move the router. Connect one to the broadband modem Ethernet out, the other to the router WAN port. Get two of the same make and model that say they support 200 Mbps.


Very Senior Member
I would suggest going with WDS. WDS AP also call hop would give you a wireless drop connection anywhere in your location without the need to run LAN cable to it. So it's completed independent wireless device. Thus it makes any wired device connected to it wireless. DLINK DAP-1522, BUFFALO Ethernet Converter, Cisco and a few others. Another way is to buy the Linksys AP but then you need to run LAN cable. Now the trick to do that in apartment area even if it's upstairs or first floor. What I did it just ran it out the window to the second level. Weather will not harm the Ethernet cable. I've tested it for 4 years and still do it today in my new/older house. Cold, Freezing, Hot weather here, still no problems. Getting the LAN to go through Window was easy and the window can open an close.


New Around Here
Another idea would be to use a pair of powerline adapters to move the router. Connect one to the broadband modem Ethernet out, the other to the router WAN port. Get two of the same make and model that say they support 200 Mbps.

I really like this idea. I could setup a second router at the opposite end of the home to provide the missing coverage. Can you recommend any particular brands/models that have proven themselves? Also, should I take into account the age/condition of the electrical wiring in the home?



Mr. Easy
Staff member
I had decent luck with the Linksys PLK200 kit.
HD Streaming Smackdown: Draft 11n vs. Powerline

It's not so much wiring age/condition, but noise sources and some of the newer circuit breaker types. Still if you get a 10 Mbps connection that will be fine for web browsing and even standard def web-based video.

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