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pcpunk
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if you like to extend your wifi range there are few options that i know of:

 

-with software: install DD-WRT firmware on your router instead of the built-in firmware. it has the option to allow higher power get transfered to your antenna's which will result in better signal

-get a cheap wireless AP and set it up as relay in the direction at which you need better signal.

 

-also some tweaks that might help: move your router away from ceiling,wall,tv,fridge,speakers and switch between wifi channels and see if it makes it any better.

 

good luck

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It's not that easy.  However you can gain directional power at the loss omnidirectional communication.  That is one can use a parabolic antenna to direct the signal in a particular direction.  This will increase the power in the forward direction but you lose 360 degree communication.
 
This does require some level of Electronics RF knowledge to implement and a router that uses an external antenna where an external 50 ohm cable can be connected to the Router.

2.4 GHz 15 dBi Die-cast Parabolic Antenna
 
You can also extend a wired Ethernet connection through the property and then use a WiFi Access Point.
 
There is no Free way.  Even if you build your own WiFi cantenna or parabolic reflective dipole.
One home-built favourite is the Pringles cantenna.

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"comcast Gateway Wireless Router"

 

if the router belongs to Comcast , modifying it in any manner would be a violation of contractual agreement .

this would also include any access and physical changes , as well as electronic ...

say the cutting of a trace and adding a suitable rf connector .

 

david is correct ... there is no absolutely free lunch on this deal .

purchasing a different router might be the best bet :

it belongs to you

you can modify it 'til the cows come home (being mindful of the fcc rules)

you can find something with external antenna(s)

 

physical placement is a factor in range ... up in the air and free of obstruction are key points .

depending on the model of router ... there is the possibility of adjusting the output level (dBm) .

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  • Root Admin

If you're trying connect a device that is beyond your current wireless range you could also look at using the Netgear Powerline product.

 

I thought they were a joke but tried one out and it actually works quite well.  It using the wiring in your house to connect 2 units in different locations.

You plug one into an outlet near your current router and plug in an Ethernet line, then plug the other unit into another location where you want Internet access.

 

I have one in my bedroom and the other outside in a detached garage and it works well for me.

 

http://www.netgear.com/home/products/networking/powerline/

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If you're trying connect a device that is beyond your current wireless range you could also look at using the Netgear Powerline product.

 

I thought they were a joke but tried one out and it actually works quite well.  It using the wiring in your house to connect 2 units in different locations.

You plug one into an outlet near your current router and plug in an Ethernet line, then plug the other unit into another location where you want Internet access.

 

I have one in my bedroom and the other outside in a detached garage and it works well for me.

 

http://www.netgear.com/home/products/networking/powerline/

Thanks Staff, maybe I can get you to help me in another area.  I can't get email notifications for the threads I am involved with.  I have checked all boxes that I thought appropriate but still nothing.

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It is just plain WRONG to assume that an ISP provided Wireless Router is incapable of a distance beyond the Router.  There are many factors involved from the building's construction materials that house the Router, to the the height of the Router above the ground and possible RF obstructions between the Router and the receiving equipment.
 
I have an ActionTec Router provided by my ISP and it has good distance outside the perimeters of the residence.  During SuperStorm Sandy I used my Latitude notebook inside my automobile (the auto supplied the power to the notebook while an inverter on a deep-cycle Marine Battery powered the ONT, telephone and Router in the residence) and the auto was outside and is not garaged.  Therefore the RF had to penetrate the walls of the building and then though the car's glass to be received.  The ActionTec has an external antenna connected to a Female RP-SMA connector and can be matched through 50 ohm Coax to the Parabolic antennas suggested here --> 2.4 GHz 15 dBi Die-cast Parabolic Antenna
 
Some ISP provided Routers may be cheap and limited and it may be better to buy and own one's a Router rather than use the free one supplied by an ISP.  However saying they all "suck" without getting into the actual technical aspects of the inadequacy of a particular ISP provided Router is just plain irresponsible.  Especially since no specific Wireless Router model was expressed by pcpunk and Comcast has been known to use multiple brands and models within different territories.,
 
What pcpunk needs are solutions based upon his problems in his environment and not irresponsible generalizations and statements that are not helpful and are in fact irresponsible.

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Thanks guys, yes I have heard that the comcast routers have been purposely tweaked to limit sharing.  I don't know this to be true but they sure are very limited in their range.

 

there are many factors involved with transmission range .

the rf side is one aspect of this ...

 

unless one is familiar with basic rf transmission and reception theory (and perhaps some advanced stuff too) it is fraught with "black voodoo" and erroneous perception(s) .

the subject is much too involved to go into in these forums .

 

on the soft/firmware side ...

items such as "error correction" , parity checking and a plethora of other items , all affect "transmission range" .

 

another side of this is (literally) what-one-is-trying-to-talk-to ... the built-in antennas in laptops are not anything to write home to mom about .

man , a chunk of bent paper-clip would work better than some of the stuff i have seen .

basically , one cannot discount the importance of the antennas on both ends of a link .

 

yep ... all routers are not created equal ... due to economic , consumer and legal requirements .

(a cheap POS-1 route is just that , no matter who makes it)

the FCC (or the equivalent agency in your particular country that governs "things rf") has power output limits along with antenna design , height and rf input to the antenna (not to be confused with the power output of the transmitter ; think coaxial insertion losses) .

the practical side of limiting the rf output to a certain level and specifying antenna design is to ensure that the range is limited in order to prevent interference between units .

also , the lower the output level , the easier it is to diplex the antenna , transmitter and receiver (same antenna used for TX and RX) .

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Okay, I am trying to learn as much as I can.  I read at pcmag.com that I could try to update my wireless adapter/firmware, I might as well start here as I am not going to bother with the router at this point.  It said to go to the Control Panel and go to Network Settings but I could not find it there.  I did go to "Add Remove Programs" and could see something that looked right, can someone tell me if this sounds right?  "Broadcom 802.11 Wireless LAN Adapter" Version 4.170.25.12   I will look it up, see if I can figure it out.

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I guess we can't edit here?  Okay I was looking at this site because I have an HP Laptop: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwareDownloadIndex?cc=us&lc=en&dlc=en&softwareitem=ob-38773-1  It is showing a different version than I have but I don't know if I NEED to update or not.  I would hate to cause any problems because I don't have the money right now to have someone fix it.  As pcmag recommended this might make my reception a little better.  I have Windows XP.

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Okay, I am trying to learn as much as I can.  I read at pcmag.com that I could try to update my wireless adapter/firmware, I might as well start here as I am not going to bother with the router at this point.  It said to go to the Control Panel and go to Network Settings but I could not find it there.  I did go to "Add Remove Programs" and could see something that looked right, can someone tell me if this sounds right?  "Broadcom 802.11 Wireless LAN Adapter" Version 4.170.25.12   I will look it up, see if I can figure it out.

 

None of that will help.  That is unless the equipment is say 5 or more years old.  Chances are extremely low that updating WiFi Network Interface drivers and/or Firmware or Router Firmware will increase transmittal and receptional range.

 

If you need to extend the range then we should start with the physical attributes such as the Make and Model of the Router, the placement of the Router in the residence and what type of residence it is and the effective distance from the Router to the notebook/computing device requiring WiFi access and any physical barriers that may be between the Router and the notebook/computing device.

 

In other words, we must understand the "topology" and the environmental conditions and adapt accordingly.

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Thanks David, I understand that it probably won't help to do this but it could give me some better performance in some way don't you think.  I understand what you are saying about the router topography and such.  I can't change that so I am very curious if this will help and like to keep things up to date if possible.  Here is the address to the effects of the new updates which are many since the one I have has been out in case you are interested.  In one section it says that:  "- Provides the Broadcom Wireless LAN version 5.60.18.41 driver. - Improves receive performance for the Broadcom 4313 802.11b/g/n WLAN Adapter."

It's quite interesting all the things that have been fixed.

 

http://h20566.www2.hp.com/portal/site/hpsc/template.PAGE/public/psi/swdDetails/?sp4ts.oid=3993821&spf_p.tpst=swdMain&spf_p.prp_swdMain=wsrp-navigationalState%3Didx%253D%257CswItem%253Dob_101092_1%257CswEnvOID%253D1093%257CitemLocale%253D%257CswLang%253D%257Cmode%253D5%257Caction%253DdriverDocument&javax.portlet.begCacheTok=com.vignette.cachetoken&javax.portlet.endCacheTok=com.vignette.cachetoken

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one cannot edit until a certain number of posts have been made .

 

about the link you posted , this is a very good place to start .

it is not uncommon for *changes* to be made after a device has been released into the field ...

there is a difference between a laboratory and the real world , not to mention changes in the stuff the item in question is hooked into .

 

"on the soft/firmware side ...

items such as "error correction" , parity checking and a plethora of other items , all affect "transmission range" ."

there ya go ... ;)

 

 

at another forum i belong to , a fellow was having problems with the development of a commercial wireless device .

basically he had two "problems" he was beating on (or perhaps make that "beating on him") ... and , he inherited the project when he hired on to the company :

the device had very limited range (12 feet as opposed to a theoretical 100 feet)

the error/garbage rate was high ... very slow data streams were needed

 

the fix for these was :

a different antenna and strip-line transmission line/impedance matching design

change/debug the software and firmware for better correction/parity checking and "increase" the switching time between TX and RX (part of diplexing)

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CWB, interesting stuff.  Can one get a better reception hardware for a laptop like mine HP Compaq nx7400 32bit.  Windows XP.  

 

A friend of mine is going to advise me on the download.  I don't assume it would be very hard but I am timid at this stuff.  I have played around with it a bit but sometimes doing damage lol.  I have uninstalled  a few things myself and downloaded some stuff but sometimes I get it wrong lol.  So with this I don't want to make a mistake.  It is important to me as with many, we love our computers.  I had an issue with Google Chrome spell check not working.  Re-installed and tried many suggestions nothing.  Then I had an epifany and Un-installed and went to the C Drive and removed the GC file, then re-installed and it all worked perfect.  So I have done some good.  I had Bleeping Computer guys help me a bit and that was difficult but I got through it.

Thanks as always, Chris

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i believe that the fix for your router is indeed what is known colloquially as "flashing" .

 

when it comes to bios and firmware "flashing" or "upgrading" it is always best approached with some trepidation ...

this/these actions and places are just about the last resort .

these two items are different from a (relatively speaking) software change/upgrade .

 

if you are not hip with comps then having a friend who is competent help you out is a good idea .

there is nothing wrong with not knowing something .

 

i would bet that *someone* has made a tutorial about flashing the router in question ... perhaps even the manufacturer .

do a little google recon about this , post back a link and we can take a look at it .

 

 

as for extending the range of your laptop/router ... there are a couple of ways to do this :

 

you could use an inductively or capacitively coupled antenna/array (a nice way of saying "eye-pokers") in conjunction with the existing antenna ...

do you remember those "special" devices/patches that were sold for use on cell phones a few years back ?

i have not researched this in reference to laptops and routers but it seems like someone would make something .

whether it works or not is another matter (the snake oil guys never die , they just change products) .

 

unless one is experienced in such matters , willing to void any and all warranties and run the risk of breaking communication laws ...

i do not suggest physically or electronically modifying any such device unless so directed by the manufacturer .

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