Need a wireless router that can cover a 2800 sq ft. single story. And WORK

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Cybordolphin, Nov 19, 2002.

  1. Cybordolphin

    Cybordolphin Platinum Member

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    Anyone know of a wireless router that has decent TRUE range. I know the specs all show 150ft, etc., but want a wireless that can actually go the distance. This will be traveling through two normal sized bedrooms (12x12), and two (insulated R11), walls and then across an outdoor foyer (approx. 14 ft of outside area), then through another wall (insulated) to the final destination (desktop).

    Distance as a crow flies..... approx. 40-50 ft.

    I am looking for a wireless router that has a reputation for going the distance.

    Anyone know of THE one to get?

    Thanks much!
    :)
     
  2. oldfart

    oldfart Lifer

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    Its not so much the router. Its the nics. Orinoco nics have very good range. I've used them a few times with a Linksys router. It makes a nice combo. If its a desktop PC, I like the Orinoco USB version. It gets the nic out of the tower, onto the desktop, which helps out range.
     
  3. Cybordolphin

    Cybordolphin Platinum Member

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    Thanks for the tip ya oldfart! :)

    I think I read that somewhere about the NIC's. Know where to find them on the cheap?
     
  4. Snoop

    Snoop Golden Member

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    You could also try hooking up an orinocco range extender antenna to your wireless router, or possiblly cable it up in the attic or something.
    Orrinoco Range extender
     
  5. ai42

    ai42 Diamond Member

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    Umm I think your misinformed.

    1. Antennas reshape how the radio waves are disburst. dba gain is quite relative, most higher dba gain antennas simply flatten the radio frequency range. So basically with cheap 2.2 dba "rubber duck" antennas (standard on most APs) the radio waves are given off in basically a sphere. The higher gain dba antennas restrict the upward movement of radio waves squeezing the sphere to a smaller more oblong shape.

    2. Noise is and always is an issue. Anything giving off 2.4Ghz Radio waves can do it, including phones, microwaves, some cell phones. Even neighboors devices can disrupt your network.

    3. Anything inbetween the access point and the client can disrupt signals no matter what it is made of. Typically metal objects have more disruption. I have even had a painted plastic air vent cause a large amount of disruption because the length between the fins is very close to 1/4 wavelength of 2.4ghz.

    4. 802.11b has a longer range than 802.11a.

    5. In my experience Orinoco based cards do not have any signifigant advantage over some others. I have a Linksys WUSB11 that kills my Orinoco as far as signal strength and noise. But Orinoco's have their advantages mainly the external antenna connector, and having the Hermes chipset.

    6. mW output of the router/AP I think is your best bet. It simply puts off a stronger signal, DWL-900APs putt off 100mW. And Linksys WAP11 have 100mW also. The signal can be amplified but not cheaply (around $500 for 500mW increase), and not too fesable unless your doing a multi-mile link.

     
  6. Cybordolphin

    Cybordolphin Platinum Member

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    So ..... Ai 42

    What hardware do you recommend?
     
  7. ai42

    ai42 Diamond Member

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    Depends what your issue is.

    If I were in a high noise enviroment Prism based cards (Linksys, Belkin, Dlink, pretty much anything that isn't Orinoco or Orinoco rebadge) seam to work the best. Orinoco's work but not nearly as well. I would also get a high mW output client card too. Because if you can get signals and not send them your network is pretty much useless.

    For the Access Point/Router I don't have unlimited amounts of cash to purchase and play with them all. I can tell you from Wardriving that Linksys APs are very popular or they have very good range. I tend to think they have good range, rather than their popularity. 30-40% of my APs I find are Linksys. And often I can keep a signal from a Linksys for 1/4 mile (please note I am using very strong omnidirectional antennas). But I rarely keep a signal that long on too many other types of APs.

    One thing I forgot to mention placement of the AP is rather important. Place it as high as possible, as since your sphere of radio transmission is being wasted if it goes into the ground. Also do not put large metal object nearby the AP. This one guy on a wireless forum was getting almost zero connection strength b/c he put the AP on a metal table.
     
  8. oldfart

    oldfart Lifer

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    My exp is the opposite. I've set up a few home lans. I used a Dlink setup and it was horrible. You could barely get one room away. Totally unusable. Replaced the nics with Orinoco, and the difference was dramatic. I worked on another Linksys system that had poor range that I didn't set up. Replaced the nics with Orinoco and again, fixed the problem. I tried SMC as well. Same deal. Terrible range. At this point, I wont use anything but Orinoco. I've heard many people say the same.
     
  9. Workin'

    Workin' Diamond Member

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    Wireless is a crapshoot. You never know what will work until you set it up in YOUR environment, because as ai42 said, there are so many seemingly insignificant things that can conspire against you.

    The key is to try and buy your stuff locally, so you can return it if it doesn't work. Don't worry about price too much, once you find something that works you can always return it and buy it online for less. I don't usually like making a recommendation like that, but this wireless stuff is so flaky...

    I've had good luck with a Linksys WAP11 access point, a D-Link DWL-520+ PCI client card, and a Netgear MA401 PC Card client. All those items are really inexpensive, too. Other people I know have had better performance with Linksys WUSB11 USB clients than with the Orinoco stuff. You just have to try it and see what works for you.
     
  10. Snoop

    Snoop Golden Member

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    Thats funny, I have worked on and setup 5 separate wireless systems and have had little to no luck with anything BUT orinocco based cards.
    I guess in your opinion, their must be some type of flaw in Practically Networked's methodology as well, since they consistently rate the orinocco products ahead of the prism based cards [​IMG]

    Now I wont argue with you on this as I am somewhat ignorant of antenna design but are you saying these range extenders do not work???
    If that is true, how come I used one a couple months back to help cover the front part of a friends office with one? The ap had decent range but the extender cabled up to the front of the office made it better. Again, maybe its that I am just "misinformed." [​IMG]
     
  11. Workin'

    Workin' Diamond Member

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    No, s/he's saying you can't get something for nothing. In order to extend the range, you may/will lose coverage area. High-gain antennas are more directional, the higher the gain, the more directional (typically). So you may extend range in one direction at the expense of a decrease in another direction. Hope that makes sense...

    Practically Networked is a great resource but please - you're pretty nearsighted if you think any of this is an all or nothing proposition. Using your logic, if YOU jump out of an airplane without a parachute and happen to survive, that would prove that anyone who said they jumped out of WITH a parachute and survived is WRONG!!! Think about it....
     
  12. ai42

    ai42 Diamond Member

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    Yes this is quite correct. Basically high gain antennas give off signal in a larger horizonal plane at the expense of less coverage over a verital area. It isn't a problem usually. But I have seen instances where a company wants to put in antenna to cover the entire office (over many stories). And that requires much more expensive antennas, because normal high gain antennas will cover 1-2 floors quite well but not beyond that since the vertical area is comprimised over horizonal area.

    As far as Orinoco cards having more range I think it is relative. I have found with my litterally dozen clients that it does not have a particular advantage over some others. It is better than some, certainly but not the outstanding performer. But it all comes down to antenna design. USB devices typically have much better reception because they can build in quite good antennas while PCMCIA cards you are extremely limited to the space you have. But it is of course relative as you are probbably not going to put a USB client onto a laptop. Also like I said earlier your network is pretty useless if you cannot send a signal back, Orinoco cards are limited to 30mW radio output while most Prism based cards push 100mW. While I think the Hermes chipset utilizes the smaller power much better, I still think some Prism cards have better range than Orinoco.

    Its your opinion, I use them both and I am quite happy with my Dlink DWL-650H and think it has much better range than an Orinoco, but the Orinoco certainly has it's place. Trust me I have done this many many times. In fact I have setup wireless networks for several companies, and even have a running wireless network between me and my friend's houses. One link spanning 2.1 miles!
     
  13. RanDum72

    RanDum72 Diamond Member

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    Dlink has a bunch of wireless antennas that extend the range of their wireless AP's/routers. And they seem to be reasonably priced.
    LINK
     
  14. Snoop

    Snoop Golden Member

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    Since your comprehension seems to be very weak, I will try to explain.
    I did not post the practically networked link as the END ALL source of wireless knowledge. I posted it to augment my argument that the Orinoco (Lucent based) cards are better than the prism based cards. I have used many of these wireless cards, accordingly, practically networked has tested (compared the cards in different, repeatable situations) many of these cards, and we both reached similar conclusions.
    Conversely, ai42 has only provided 'claims' which he has NO evidence to back with empirical data.


    Anyway, I have no idea wtf you?re talking about with the parachute logic jump crap.
     
  15. oldfart

    oldfart Lifer

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    I totally agree. Orinoco has outperformed Prism cards (by far) every time I have used them.
     
  16. Workin'

    Workin' Diamond Member

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    That's because your "comprehension seems to be very weak". Sorry, that parachute analogy was written using college-level grammatical construction. Not everyone can follow along. I'll try to explain.

    In a nutshell, it means that your personal experience invalidates anyone else's personal experience.

    That's all I was saying.

    I know people who have used Orinoco cards and were unable to connect to their network, while a Prism-based card worked flawlessly. Therefore, you are wrong, using your logical approach.

    Look, all this proves is that "your mileage may vary" with this wireless stuff. It's not worth flaming over (although a flame war can sometimes be fun).
     
  17. Snoop

    Snoop Golden Member

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    Hello........... Thats my point, its not just 'MY' personal experiance, but that of a site which tests the card, with repeatable, standardized methods.
     
  18. ai42

    ai42 Diamond Member

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    Your Practicaly Networked review does not range test the Client cards very well. They only test 4 setups with the last setup being 55 feet away from the AP, and with many obstructions. And every review that I have seen in this format can still keep a connection at this setup. It does not say conslusively that Orinoco has the best range, simply that it has good range.
     
  19. Snoop

    Snoop Golden Member

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    Further, they say the linkey usb11:
    Such is not the case, however, with the B11. So if you're looking for a little range boost from an 802.11b client adapter, you'd better keep looking!

     
  20. ai42

    ai42 Diamond Member

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    And if you knew what your talking about you would know Linksys has 3 diffrent versions of the WUSB11. I was refering to v2.5 and v2.6 (ignoring v1 as it is very difficult to find, now). It appears they reviewed the first version of the client.
     
  21. Cybordolphin

    Cybordolphin Platinum Member

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    I am getting the Netgear MR814 wireless router (can also be used as an access point I believe, in case I want to maintain hardwire systems).

    I am thinking of going with a wireless USB client. Orinoco's SILVER and GOLD USB clients..... apparently suck big time when used on WINXP pro.... so theirs is out.

    Are there other USB clients that really work well?

    Thanks much for all the input. It really does help.
     
  22. prosaic

    prosaic Senior member

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    That's interesting. I've seen this assertion made a number of times around here. I've set up the Orinoco Gold USB clients on 5 different PCs, three in a tiny business office that's spread out over a VERY large warehouse and two at my house. All of the PCs are running WinXP. I had zero trouble getting the clients to work with a wireless SMC Barricade (at home) and a Linksys wireless router (I forget which model.) at my friend's offices. All clients worked instantly and flawlessly the first time I tried them out.

    I know squat about this stuff. Maybe you have to be an idiot to make these clients work? :D

    Seriously, Orinoco uses the terminology somewhat differently than the other players. It's annoying as heck trying to figure out just what their directions mean, sometimes. Because of jargon I approached these projects with trepidation, but I was amazed at how easy the actual process was. The very different experiences reported on this have me wondering whether the issues are really due to the very (apparently) complete but wonky documentation provided by Orinoco, or if there might be an issue the device drivers have with certain system configurations.

    - prosaic
     
  23. Cybordolphin

    Cybordolphin Platinum Member

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    Prosaic.... this is very interesting.

    Did the desktops run WINXP "pro"? And were the Orinoco wireless clients run off of 2.0 USB?

    Would appreciate hearing more from you on this. I have been reading that Orinoco themselves state there is a compatibility issue with these and WINCP Pro.

    Thanks!
     
  24. prosaic

    prosaic Senior member

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    Let's see. At the warehouse, all machines were running Windows XP Professional (with simple file sharing turned ON). At home the only machines using the USB client have been Windows XP Home Edition systems (used for multi-media work, can't replace the OEM version of the OS because their danged software won't install on a non-OEM OS installation! -- grumble, grumble)

    I do remember reading specifically (at Practically Networked?) that there was an installation process on some of the earlier software that could bork some Windows XP installations, but the assertion was made (if I remember correctly) by an end user, not by the operators of the Web site itself.

    Perhaps I live in a fool's paradise? (You know, fools rush in where angels fear to tread, and sometimes they come out smelling like the proverbial rose.)

    When I get home today I'll take a look to see what versions of software / firmware are installed. I'm sorry to say that I have no way of researching the machines that would likely be most interesting to you, the Windows XP Professional machines at that business -- at least not any time soon.

    Oh, and none of the machines had USB 2.0 adapters. Is that supposed to be a critical issue?

    I'll try to get back to you in a reasonable amount of time. If I don't do so you might respond to the thread again so that I get a reminder in my inbox. I'm going to be swamped by a bunch of stuff when I get home tonight, and there isn't any of it that will be as much fun as trying to be helpful here!

    ;)

    - prosaic
     
  25. elzmaddy

    elzmaddy Senior member

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    What kind of hardware do you need for that?