WiFi signal shape - where to place router

We just had a WiFi router installed at home. It's downstairs, in the middle of the house. Reception is marginal at the edges of the house upstairs, so I was wondering, before I start adding access points and cabling, does the WiFi signal have any defined shape? If it radiates equally from the router, maybe I'd be better off putting the router upstairs in the middle of the house. Any thoughts on this?
NB Model is a Netgear DGN2200.
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TD

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On Fri, 7 Sep 2012 18:38:19 +0000 (UTC), TD wrote:

More or less. Try shifting it about to get coverage in the places required. Depending on what the stucture is built from there could be considerable variance in signal. Foil backed plaster board or thick stone walls will more or less stop the signal.
A wireless access point with no other function comes in handy as you don't have to run all the wired connections to its switch or the phone line if it also the ADSL modem. Even better if it's PoE capable, no mains required either. B-)
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Dave.




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On 07/09/2012 20:11, Dave Liquorice wrote:

There is usually some advantage to be had from mounting it higher rather than lower and well away from any mirrors or other conducting surfaces. If all else fails try placing a junior hacksaw near any portables with marginal reception. It has worked for me.
Think carefully about the paths that lead to the places you want to reach. Floorboards and doors are transparent but brick walls are less so. Manufacturers range estimates are based on US cardboard houses.

As does the newfangled chicken mesh that Victorian plasterers thought was a great way to prevent plaster from slumping. My 4' now internal Victorian stone wall stops all WiFi signals leaving a severe black spot.

You can get repeaters or if you have the odd ex modem with WiFi that has partially died and still offers these functions use that.
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Martin Brown
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Martin Brown wrote:

It is a little known fact that the manufacturers of junior hacksaws put a lot of design effort into making their products focus wi-fi signals. So don't waste your time with a screwdriver, padsaw, spanner, knife, fork, spoon, beer can, or any other similarly-sized metal object. Only a junior hacksaw will have the desired effect.
Bill
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wrote:

I don't know how old I was when my dad bought me a junior hacksaw from Mr Saul at the hardware shop opposite our house, but it was a coming of age.
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Graham.
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wrote:

In theory a donut shaped radiation pattern with zero coverage immediately above and below the antenna. In practice, nothing of the sort, totally unpredictable, modified by multiple antennas, reflection and absorption of the fabric of the building. So set aside a few hours for experimentation and site survey.
If you add additional APs you will still need to be logged into a given one at any one time. Wifi repeaters on the other hand genuinely extend the coverage and handover between the antennas will be seamless.
I think that last paragraph is correct but as I don't have first hand experience I am open to correction.
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Graham.
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Funny you should mention repeaters. We're currently in an apartment where the wifi works fine in the bedroom but nowhere else. I wonder if something like this would help? http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Wireless-N-Wifi-Repeater-802-11N-Network-Router-Range-Expander-300M-/180967072069
Anyone used such a beast?
Tim
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In article

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Wireless-N-Wifi-Repeater-802-11N-Network-Router-Range-Expander-300M-/180967072069
Not with 11n, but I have with 11b and g. One thing to beware of is that a repeater halves the available bandwidth (at least it does with b and g; I don't know if it works the same with n but I would assume it must).
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Andrew Gabriel
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Half is better than now't. ;-)
Tim
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On Fri, 7 Sep 2012 20:26:56 +0000 (UTC), Andrew Gabriel wrote:

I'm using a TP-link WA701ND configured as an 11n range extender to provide coverage at the other end of my house (it's got well screened walls, not particularly big...). It simply plugs into the mains and, providing it can see the radio signal from the main Wireless router, it will repeat the signal to places the original couldn't reach. The 11n signal from the TP-link matches the channels used by the main router, as seen by an Inssider scanner, and a hand-over from one to the other is seamless without any interference as far as my netbook is concerned. I can't tell to which one I'm connected. There's no halving of the bandwidth apparent but I need it for coverage rather than the bandwidth.
This TP-link will also function as a wired to wireless router but was spare to requirements so was used as an range extender for my 11n network. It has good set-up instructions for the various modes.
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John W

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On Fri, 7 Sep 2012 23:17:50 +0100, John Weston wrote:

There has to be at least a halving in bandwidth as in end to end throughput even if you still get an indicated full speed connection. Things are on the same channel, a packet comes in, is stored, the packet goes out. A single packet of data is thus on the air twice, instead of just once.
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Dave.




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Yes, and this is important because if lack of performance is due to lack of available bandwidth (e.g. other things on the frequency or RF interference), rather than lack of signal, then using a repeater will probably make it worse.
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Andrew Gabriel
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Indeed it is the 2.4 G band is overloaded most everywhere. Use cable if you can;)..
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Tony Sayer


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Mine are edimax, and can operate as router, or access point (without routing), or repeater, but they don't do 11n. They also have a mode for running lots of them as a single wifi network with automatic handoff as you move between them, but I never tried that. That shouldn't halve the bandwidth.
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Andrew Gabriel
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I've got an Edimax 3G router and a separate AP but I've not seen any particular mode to enable handover, I thought it was standard when the APs share the same SSID, pass & encryption type (although I haven't tried it yet). Could you let me know which model you are using so I can have a look at the manual?
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fred
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Quite old now - EW-7206APg.
It may indeed work like you said - I haven't tried it. ISTR is explicitly mentioned that it had support for this.
The 11g support didn't work well enough when I got them and I had to disable it, but a subsequent firmware update fixed that.
Other thing I liked about these is that they come with a 12V PSU, but have an internal 5V or 3V switched mode PSU. This means I can feed the power to them over the spare pairs on a long cat5e cable, and they don't care much about the voltage drop. A sort of poor man's power over ethernet without having to buy the expensive PoE parts. Also, the aerial is mounteded om the micro aerial connector, and in one case I put a several metre aerial extension lead in to mount the aerial remotely, and that works fine. Finally, they were quite cheap at the time from someone on Amazon!
One thing they couldn't do which my earlier netgear 11b-only ones could is to DHCP for their own management IP address, which can make swapping them around more of a pain. (I don't use their built-in DHCP server, and mine all operate in access point mode.)
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Andrew Gabriel
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Snap :-!

When I get round to trying it I will feed back on the results, it may be a while though.

That's a useful tip, I'll look out for that in future models if the need arises although I'm now more likely to be using all pairs to form a gigabit pipe and then fanning out from there.
I also got mine at a a bit of a bargain price but I like their support attitude too, easy to find full manuals, firmware updates and Linux source code of all things (not that I've used it).
On likes, I'm finding Zyxel excellent for small unmanaged gigabit switches at the mo, seem well made and they're in dinky little metal boxes that can be fitted in just about anywhere, good prices too.

As it needs to perform as a DHCP client in a couple of its modes it's a shame they didn't think of that but all in all I found it very easy to set up and it was my first AP.
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fred
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wrote:

Otoh, many old wifi router/modems can be turned into APs for free. I've done it with a couple of them here and very handy it is too.
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I cannot comment on the repeaters, but the AP part is certainly correct. We live in a house with thick granite walls, and the signal is killed stone dead, so we use Solwise homeplugs, which work perfectly, but are a bit of a pain with mobile devices.
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Graeme

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http://www.solwise.co.uk/net-powerline-plv-200av-pewn.html might be a good compromise then?
Darren
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