Can I Increase the Signal Strength of My Wireless Router?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by KillerWhiteMan, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. KillerWhiteMan

    KillerWhiteMan Burnout Racer

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    So my wireless router is connected to my computer in the front of my house and my Xbox 360 with my wireless adapter is in my room at the back of my house. Many times I get disconnected from Xbox Live, or when I try to download something it takes forever due to the bad signal strength. I was wondering if there is any way to increase the signal strength or range on the router. This is very frustrating so any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. cardo69

    cardo69 Addict

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    I think if im not mistaken, it depends where your router is situated, that will give you better strength, whoever placed your router there would know in which direction the strongest signal strength is, im not too sure how it would work with a router, but i have a 3g modem, and it works slightly like a cellphone, wherever the network tower is, that is where i get the strongest signal, so im thinking a wireless router would work the same, also, i think the nearer to you router you wireless(adapter) is to your router, the stronger the signal would be, so what you could do is, get someone to maybe give you some sort of indication as to which area/direction you would get the best signal in, then place your router in that direction, not sure if this would help??
     
  3. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    What make and model of router do you have?

    Many routers can be flashed with 3rd party firmware such as DD-WRT, With DD-WRT a lot of extra options become available on your routers configuration page. You can massively increase the wireless transmission power which will improve the range and signal strength of your wireless network.

    You can check and see if your router is compatible with DD-WRT here: Supported Hardware

    Another alternative is to get a Wireless Range Expander (Sometimes called a repeater), I used to have one which did work however the speed of the connection is halved when going through the range expander... this was ok for web browsing not for Xbox Live in my experince.
     
  4. KillerWhiteMan

    KillerWhiteMan Burnout Racer

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    It's a Linksys WRT54GL wireless G router.
     
  5. Dark Scyth

    Dark Scyth Moderator

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    (Sorry, slightly of subject.)
    :'( I only have a 3mbit connection, so would it really even be worth getting wireless? I have a laptop and a 360. The connection would probably be to slow to have a 360 and a laptop at the same time right?
     
  6. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    You’re in luck, that’s actually a pretty good router to run DD-WRT on if you choose to go down that route.


    Should be fine as long as you don’t expect to be able to play on Xbox Live when downloading, you could play Xbox Live and surf the net perfectly fine.

    I’m not big on wireless myself, I prefer to be wired in to the router when I’m at home.
     
  7. Dark Scyth

    Dark Scyth Moderator

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    I see. So I can play games, but if I want to host a game, like Team Fortress 2 i'd probably have to stop Downloading things and probably not even surf the web right?
     
  8. KillerWhiteMan

    KillerWhiteMan Burnout Racer

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    Nutter would you mind walking me through what to do for the DD-WRT?
     
  9. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    Sure I must warn you first there’s always a risk you can brick you router when flashing it, I’ve flashed a few routers with DD-WRT and had no problems myself. I just wouldn’t want you blaming me for breaking your router.

    First make sure your router is either version 1.0 or 1.1m You have a similar Linksys router to me so there’s probably a sticker under the router with the version number on.

    Go to the DDWRT supported hardware list: Supported Hardware and search for WRT54GL, this should bring up the downloads for your router.

    On the page it says “Initial flash the mini_generic.bin via web interface, then upgrade to other versions” So basically you want to download the dd-wrt.v24_mini_generic.bin and the dd-wrt.v24_std_generic.bin for use later on.

    Make sure you do the next bit from a pc wired to the router, do not do it over a wireless connection.

    You want to log on to your routers web interface, you can do this by typing http://192.168.1.1 in to your web browser, the ip address might be different for you, if it is look at the network connection on your computer, the address you want is the default gateway (that’s your router).

    I presume you know the details to log in to the router, I think the default is no username and admin as the password on Linksys routers. Once logged in you want to find where to upgrade the routers firmware, I *think* its somewhere under administration but you should be able to find it easy enough.

    Now upload the dd-wrt.v24_mini_generic.bin, after its complete and the router has re started you will probably have to press and hold in the little button in on the back to factory reset the router (do this when the router is powerd on and has had a chance to load up) I couldn’t log on to my router after flashing until I did that.

    The default username and password for ddwrt should be user: root pass: admin

    Now you want to log on to the router again and upload the dd-wrt.v24_std_generic.bin this offers more features compared to the cut down version of DD WRT you just flashed.

    After that your basically done, setup your router again with a wireless password and configure any other settings, I belive DDWRT has some nice bandwidth monitoring options now :)

    If you look under the wireless settings you should be able to modify the transmit power, according to the DDWRT help page a good value for this is 84 mW - see: Index:FAQ - DD-WRT Wiki

    I wouldn’t go any higher than that personally as you will probably damage your router.

    Hopefully 84 mW is a lot higher than the power your router us currently transmitting at and will hopefully have increased the range and the quality of your wireless connection.

    I would post screenshots to help you but i don’t have access to a router running DD-WRT at the moment, if you get lost ask Nimrod nicely and he might be able to take a few screenshots to help you find the settings if you have trouble.

    It depends on how fast you can upload but yes you can host games, when playing online you probably don’t want to be downloading anyway, especially if your hosting.
     
  10. KillerWhiteMan

    KillerWhiteMan Burnout Racer

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    Ok thanks Nutter I will attempt this today. I will let you know how it goes.
     
  11. Dark Scyth

    Dark Scyth Moderator

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    Increasing the signal like that may make the life of the router go down though, right?
     
  12. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    Its possible, the main problem you get by doing this is the router overheating, that's why its recommended not to put the power higher than 84, its possible to go a lot higher although not recommended.

    If you don't be silly and set the power to 150 you should be fine.
     
  13. Dark Scyth

    Dark Scyth Moderator

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    :| It can get that High?!
     
  14. KillerWhiteMan

    KillerWhiteMan Burnout Racer

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    So anything over 84 will endanger the router to overheat?
     
  15. Dark Scyth

    Dark Scyth Moderator

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    I can only guess on this one but, I can only assume that its not necessarily if its over 84 that it puts your router in danger but the higher you put it, it increases the risk to your router. So you could probably get away with it being at 88, maybe even a little higher. Just make sure its well ventilated.
     
  16. KillerWhiteMan

    KillerWhiteMan Burnout Racer

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    Ya I'll probably just go with 84 to be safe.
     
  17. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    Did the router flash ok then?
     

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