Wi-Fi Antennas – Reader Needs Our Help

Reader JessiFay posted a comment which I thought Iwould share to see if anyone can come up with a solution to his problem. Most of my wi-fi experience has been dealing with either home users, SOHO, or small businesses. I did do one wi-fi setup for a camp grounds in which we used directional outdoor antennas to cover a direct line of site setup of about 400 feet. But it seems JessiFay has a different type of a problem and I thought some of you may have some advice.

Here is what JessiFay said.

I read with interest the discussion regarding range and interference.

Hopefully someone can help me understand a couple of things.

First — I never hear anyone mention how the range is when used in separate buildings. I’m sure I’m not the only person with a garage separate from my home. Although, setting up in the garage is later. My priority is my mother. She is moving onto my property (in her own place) but still on the same property. She is always wanting me to do something on her computer, and then I can’t ever get away, I’m hoping if we are networked I can just go in and fixed it for her from my house, and then I won’t get trapped for hours. Not to mention be able to work without her standing over me talking to me non-stop. How are you supposed to read and concentrate to fix something like that?

My plan was to set up the router in my home near a window closest to her, and to setup her computer inside her house as close as it can get to me. Unfortunately, the garage is between us.

We are in a rural area, so we don’t have the same “congestion” on the airwaves that you would in a city, so hopefully that helps.

The “Road Frontage” of my property is not very wide, it is only 400 Ft wide from property line to property line, and we have the 3 buildings evenly spaced inside.I figure it is something like this…
__________ _____ _________
–70 Ft — Mom 60 —70 Ft—G 25–55Ft– Me 60Ft –60 Ft–
——— —- ——–

That is how is basically laid out… Is that going to be too far? Do I need to get an extender and put it in the Garage / Shop? The only concern I have with that option is the fact that the Shop is made of metal. I’m afraid an extender inside would be pointless.

Any help would be appreciated!!! Thank you…

 I did find some sites that explain the different type of antenna’s and different types of setups:

Radio labs – Wireless and Beyond here.

Antenna Systems and Solutions here.

Comments and advice are welcome.

[tags]wi-fi, help, antennas, signal,  [/tags]

Article Written by

I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.

  • Paul

    Wi-Fi might not be the best solution in these circumstances.

    Have you considered remote access as an alternative? XP has built in support for this. Or use VNC. Either way, you remotely take over her PC from your machine. Add Skype or one of the gaming chat apps and you can talk while working on her machine.

    You may need to set up port forwarding on her modem/router but this is well documented on many sites.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi Paul,
    Thanks for the info.

  • Don Naphen

    Hi Ron; JessiFay might try some simple experiments to get some idea of what the reception limitations are. One simple experiment would be to make a reception check on her cellphone from within the garage area. Check the signal strength bars inside, and then outside. Cellphone towers transmit an extremely strong signal (to maintain customers! LOL) and that would be one indication of whether or not the wireless network is feasible.

    On the surface, the distances involved are not that challenging. Most routers can easily handle them without a problem. My ZoneAlarm Z100G router has a dual antenna for extended range, but most name-brand quality routers have more or less the same feature. Do NOT buy one in the $40 to $60 dollar range, as they won’t be able to handle the demands of this scenario.

    One CAVEAT on the whole concept here: even though all dwellings are on the same property, they are separated, and your local ISP might interpret this as something “other” than a local “family-oriented” LAN, but rather a means of providing free service to a non-subscriber at their expense. I would strongly recommend you check with them before doing this, just to cover your *** !! LOL

  • Don Naphen

    Just a quick follow-up on the “CAVEAT” comment Ron … the ISP might interpret this as an adjoining apartment, even though it’s for a family member. My daughter lives next door to me in an adjoining apartment, and when she subscribed to DIRECT TV, she wanted a hookup for me with a separate box. She was told it was NOT ALLOWED, as I was not in the same household. The ISP could very well take the same position.

    Of course, (as Clinton said) – “Don’t ask – Don’t tell”. It would be almost impossible to detect something like this, but just wanted to point out the legalities of the situation.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello Don,
    Thanks for both of your comments and for the information provided.
    Regards, Ron

  • marc klink

    I may have this wrong, but I took the letter to mean that the gentleman wanted to share the connection he has. So a way to share the connection comes before remote control of the mother’s machine. Since he is in the country, I would look for a colinear omni antenna, and put it on the garage, at the peak of the roof. The garage is where the wi-fi router should be located. On his house, and her house, a small yagi or parabolic would work well. I’d go with a yagi, as it will have great gain, and be less of a wind load. [http://www.terrawave.com/] This company has the colinear omni, and 10db yagis, all for less than $250, another $100 for masts and cable and he should be set. On the other hand, if trying to do it on the very cheap, the omni on the garage, and then ‘cantennas’ aimed carefully at the omni might just do it, too. Cost for that should be about $135.

  • marc klink

    Thinking about it some more, perhaps wifi is not what he needs. If all three buildings are going to be on the same meter, the faster, 85Mb Powerline adapters might work well. They would certainly cover the range, IF the metering was shared. Total cost for 3 – about $125, and no worries about locking down a network from wardrivers.

  • Wendall Carney

    Another idea: why not run the primary service entrance to the garage to a small router then run two lines, one to each home ending with a small wi-fi router. This way you can be wireless at both places without any signal interference. Yes it may be redundant and cost a little more but would it not be worth it to be able to do the repairs remotely and be assured of doing it right?

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