Long range Wifi

SeattleWireless: Hardware Comparison. Hoops was asking about how to bridge from one access point to another so you can get WiFi coverage where you don’t have an Ethernet port. It is hard to find this, but Seattle Wireless does a great job of noting the important hackazoid features. Like how much power these things really put out and which are really bridges. here is what I learned that there are three wayts to get more coverage:
h4. High Power PCMCIA Card
This means, you boost the power of the PCMCIA card and hopefully its sensitivity too. This costs about $80 to get a basic 802.11b card, but of course these are getting obsolete with 802.11g and 802.11abg as well.
According to “Best Client Adapters”:http://www.seattlewireless.net/index.cgi/HardwareComparison#line11. There are many of them, but some speciality ones that Adrian and I would love. Of particular note is the “Senao”:http://www.senao.com/products/wlan%20client/sl-2511cd_plus.htm. This is also sold by “Netgate”:http://www.netgate.com/EL2511.html. It works with Netstumbler and is also a 200mw card! Most other cards are 30mw.
h4. High power Access point.
According to “Best 802.11b Access Point”:http://www.seattlewireless.net/index.cgi/HardwareComparison#line93. A good review for geeks like us. Tells which Linksys, SMC and other APs can also be bridges. That is they will retransmit to get to another AP as well as how much transmit power.
The winner looks like “Engenius”:http://www.engeniustech.com/products_detailpage_ap1plus.htm with a 200mw AP rather than the typical 30mw versions. It is about $200 from Wisp Gear
Also check out “Personal Telco Access Point Reviews”:http://www.personaltelco.net/index.cgi/AccessPointReviews. Detailed reviews of APs.
h4. Get a high gain antenna
Rather than electronics. This is probably the lowest cost solution and should help when Steve gets 802.11g. It is my favorite option right now, but does require a card that has an external antenna jack. See “HyperGain”:http://www.hyperlinktech.com/web/antennas_2400_in.php as the Seattle Wireless favorite. Nice thing about their antennas is that they come with different connectors so you don’t have solder. Cost is about $20.
h4. Where to Buy this stuff
BTW, Seattle Telco has a great list of folks that you can buy this stuff from. The specialty guys we should all support on their “Senao”:http://www.seattlewireless.net/index.cgi/SenaoCard web page:
While these cards can be bought from most conventional online and brick-and-mortar stores, there are some less known sources that can sell them for less.
* [WWW]Wisp Gear –> $80 for internal antenna version, $99 for EXT2 version, $249 for AP/bridge
* [WWW]SURF AND SIP –> $85 for internal antenna version, $90 for EXT2 version (all 200mW), $5 for shipping (if applicable).
* [WWW]JustDeals –> $39.95 for 100mW version and $80 for the 200mw one.
* [WWW]Aerialix –> $90 for Internal or External 200 mW version, $60 for 100mW External version

* Because Senao cards are rebadged, you may very well find that the lowest-cost source is an Engenius or Netgate version being closed out in favour of 802.11G cards. A good source of these rebadges is at www.Computers4Sure.com which has prices in the $50 to $75 range typically.

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2 thoughts on “Long range Wifi

  1. do you have any idea how to setup a long range wireless network? like around 10-15 km radius? i heard of senao building a few outdoor ones. any comments would be appreciated.

  2. well, 10-15 miles. That is definitely a long way. To set something like that up requires more specialized equipment. For instance, Motorola makes something called Canopy that works out 2-3 miles and then with special antennas you can get out to 10-20 miles, but you have to be very precise in aiming them. You basically are putting up a microwave link at that point.
    What are you doing with it anyway? Out in rural America?

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