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getting wifi signal through the floor

steve-noob

Junior Member
May 26, 2017
6
0
6
Hi all! This is my first post here, so I hope I'm not breaking any rules :)
Also: non-native English speaker.

Straight to the point: I have a router (crappy one given by ISP) in my living room on the ground floor of this building.
I also have a basement, that is under my living room, where I've put a desktop pc that I'd like to connect to the Internet. I've equipped it with an entry-level wifi card (TP-Link TL-WN881ND), but the connection is too unstable to even surf the web (~15/20% packet loss on average by pinging Google; strength is around -80/-85dBm).

Nonetheless, I'm writing this from my very basement using a super cheap laptop (US$ ~300 AsusPro), that has a better signal (around -70/-75 dBm) and a flawless connection (no packet loss). Even my phone is stabler than my desktop computer.

Also, I don't think it's a matter of signal congestion, since only 2 SSIDs show up on the list.

The question is: what do you think would be the most cost-effective way to resolve this issue? Should I invest in better antennas for my wifi card, buy a range extender, change the card itself for a more expensive one... or something else? Maybe there's also some software workaround I haven't thought about.

Thanks pro-folks.
 

frowertr

Golden Member
Apr 17, 2010
1,371
41
91
The best option is a dedicated access point (AP) on that floor if you want decent connectivity for any wifi clients on that floor. You would need to run a dedicated ethernet cable up to that floor and attach the AP to that. But barring that, you could try MoCA adapters if you have coax outlets.
 
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steve-noob

Junior Member
May 26, 2017
6
0
6
Can't run cables (I'm not the owner), and in the basement I have only an AC outlet.

What puzzles me, is that I have no issue with the laptop. I mean: it has a thumb-sized wifi card, and its "antennas" are actually 2 thin wires running under the screen bezel. And it works great. So, I suppose there must be a way to make things work just fixing the computer hardware.
 

Thebobo

Lifer
Jun 19, 2006
18,592
7,667
136
Sounds like the card or maybe the drivers or are there any? You have the Antennas on I guess? :) Sent it back and get a replacement?
 

steve-noob

Junior Member
May 26, 2017
6
0
6
Sounds like the card or maybe the drivers or are there any? You have the Antennas on I guess? :) Sent it back and get a replacement?
I'm on Xubuntu, and after a Google search I've found out that the drivers should already be into the firmware. I can install the cutting-edge ones, tho. Antennas are just those plastic sticks screwed on the card's outlets, so I think they're powered through the PCIe port.

Do you think it can be a faulty card, then? I've never used wifi on desktop computers, so I don't really know what to check to find out.
 

frowertr

Golden Member
Apr 17, 2010
1,371
41
91
Could just be a crappy location for the desktop to connect with the AP. Could also just be a crappy antennas on its wifi card.
 

steve-noob

Junior Member
May 26, 2017
6
0
6
Could just be a crappy location for the desktop to connect with the AP.
I've moved it all thru the basement; changes are minimal if any.
Could also just be a crappy antennas on its wifi card.
How can I find out? I'd like not to buy things just to find out what I switched wasn't the culprit :(
 

steve-noob

Junior Member
May 26, 2017
6
0
6
Update: took the computer to my living room. It works like a charm.
At this point, I don't think the card is faulty. Just poor quality, I guess.
I also see that the 2 antennas provided with the card are 2 dBi each. Maybe replacing them with better ones can make things better?
 
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