Distance wifi suggestions

PProph

Junior Member
Oct 6, 2015
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Seem like quite knowledgeable people on this forum, so I'll ask my question here. I'm the "computer" guy in my family, so I'm on the task of finding a router for my parents. Here's the situation:

They're trying to get rid of satellite internet as the service they have is an abomination. They're in a small rural hamlet and own a business (which I will refer to as "the store" for ease of explanation) next door to their house. At this store there is a different internet service which is LTE-TDD, basically it just works way better. The building is between 1-200 feet away. We used to have a router set up there when they had a different internet service. They only had one computer at the time, I set up a router in the store (Linksys I can't remember the model this was years ago, but it was an "N") and hooked up a wireless receiver to their desktop. The desktop was in the room in the house where the outside wall is closest to the store. Never really had any issues with Wireless at that point.

Fast forward to now, that router has long since bit it, and their needs have expanded to where they rarely use a desktop and now use laptops and a tablet throughout the house. Distance and LOS to the store obviously varies, as well as walls/obstructions. On the up it's all wood, not a lot of trees in the way either, and all on one floor. I'm being tasked to find a solution to get that service from the store to be usable in the house. The ISP modem/router is not strong enough to send the signal, it is a Hauwei B2268H.

I know that obviously the far and away best solution would be to either bury a line between the buildings, or just take the LTE receiver off the store and move it to the side of the house (the store is taller so reception might not be as good, but LOS in the whole hamlet to the tower is actually pretty good), since they use the internet less at the store anyways.

However, neither of these options are preferable for my parents, I don't think they want to go through that kind of work.

So my thoughts are to try a router first, I'm kind of leaning towards the Archer C8 as I think it's a reasonable price (that they're willing to spend) and the beamforming might help with the distance. If that doesn't work well enough I would continue in steps, where the second step would be a second router or range extender in the room I mentioned before, closest to the store for the strongest reception.

Am I on the right track given the mandate I've been handed? What's the best router suggestion for distance (and yes I know it's tough with the many variables out there for users)?

I'll mention again that these are my parents. They are not power users, they don't stream. They surf and do email and things like that. They're just frustrated with their current service and I want to make sure that helping them is an improvement (although the current service is basically unusable the majority of the time).

I look forward to any help, thanks!
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
94,999
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Wifi router attached to a carefully aimed cantenna?
 
Last edited:

azazel1024

Senior member
Jan 6, 2014
901
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76
Get a couple Engenius ENS500 (5GHz) or ENH202 (2.4GHz) depending on if you have direct line of sight where you can mount them. If you have direct line of sight and can mount them outside, go with the cheaper and better ENS500, if you have to mount them inside or don't have direct line of sight, go with the ENH202.

Attach bridge 1 to the router in your parent's business and attach bridge 2 to an access point or router running in access point mode in your parent's home.

Configure the bridges so they are not running on the same channels as the routers/access points inside the structures.

So set the business and residential routers to Channel 1 and the bridges to channel 6, as an example. Or if on 5GHz, set the bridges to Channel 141 and the routers to channel 36.
 

PProph

Junior Member
Oct 6, 2015
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Thanks for the specific bridge suggestion. I'm thinking that that might be either plan B or C. They could use a new router anyways, so I think I'll start with that and see how it plays out. I didn't realize I could get 2 bridges like that for 100 bucks a pop, that's not bad at all.

Quick additional question regarding 5/2.4 GHz, if I ended up with bridges plus the router, would it matter which frequency I picked? I'd be pretty sure that their consumer laptops would pick up on the 2.4 frequency, but could I still get the bridges at 5GHz to simply transfer the signal from one building to the other and then have my AP (router) kicking out the 2.4?

Any thoughts on the router I've suggested or alternatives? Or do the major players basically all become hit and miss at this distance?
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
94,999
15,121
126
Thanks for the specific bridge suggestion. I'm thinking that that might be either plan B or C. They could use a new router anyways, so I think I'll start with that and see how it plays out. I didn't realize I could get 2 bridges like that for 100 bucks a pop, that's not bad at all.

Quick additional question regarding 5/2.4 GHz, if I ended up with bridges plus the router, would it matter which frequency I picked? I'd be pretty sure that their consumer laptops would pick up on the 2.4 frequency, but could I still get the bridges at 5GHz to simply transfer the signal from one building to the other and then have my AP (router) kicking out the 2.4?

Any thoughts on the router I've suggested or alternatives? Or do the major players basically all become hit and miss at this distance?

you could use 5GHz for bridge and 2.4 as wifi, but 5GHz has lower penetration power, so line of sight would be great.
 

PProph

Junior Member
Oct 6, 2015
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Thanks for the continued recommendations. Does anyone know off hand the best solution in adverse and ranging weather conditions? We see specifically a lot of wind and temperatures exceeding -40 degrees Celsius.

I'll check out these options, and again probably buy a straight up router first and see if it does what we're after, but the options being suggested are very affordable so will probably be my second step.
 

azazel1024

Senior member
Jan 6, 2014
901
2
76
Environmentally, the Ubiquiti is rated down to -40C and the Engenius stuff is only rated to -20C. If you have temperatures that drop below -40C, then honestly neither product is likely to work. You'd need to look at something specialty, or you'd need to look at separate antennas run on short runs of coax to something with coax connectors. For a cheap and reliable setup, especially at that range, my suggestion would be a couple of TP-Link WDR3600, with 1-3 meters of low loss coax that has RP-SMA connectors on both ends (male to female) and stick probably 12-14dBi yagi antennas on the end of the cabling. Run it through the wall to the outside.

If you have good mounting, that'll be extremely wind proof and the higher gain is going to make it significantly resistant to adverse weather, even on 5GHz with the distances you are talking about.

arctic conditions are hell on equipment and best to keep the electronic bits where they will in a controlled environment.
 

PProph

Junior Member
Oct 6, 2015
4
0
0
We're not Arctic, we're in Saskatchewan just north of North Dakota. -40 is not common, just it's been known to happen. They already have a receiver of some sort (ISP equipment) mounted on the outside of the store to receive the Internet signal from the tower, as far as I know weather hasn't adversely affected that yet. Perhaps as it happened but no long term effects that I'm aware of.

You guys have given me plenty of options, I'll discuss with my folks and make a decision. Ultimately I'll let you know what I've tried and how it works as I hate leaving threads unfinished. Thanks!