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Author Topic: Wireless perfornance boost (tested and works)  (Read 18860 times)

ozzed3

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Wireless perfornance boost (tested and works)
« on: January 17, 2010, 04:11:25 AM »

First, antenna placement is very important. Positioning the antennas incorrectly will cause the signal to bounce, so position the antennas like this:



Or if you prefer vertical alignment



When you've done that, you should notice a difference if your antennas were aligned silly before.

Next, there's an application called "InSSIDer" http://www.metageek.net/products/inssider which you can use to see all nearby traffic in the 2.4Ghz band, and what channels it operate on. It's useful for finding "not so crowded" channels. Leaving your router in "Auto channel scan" mode is often hurtful for performance as the algorithms used are not that great and leave a lot of stuff out of the equation.
Note though, that the best way is probably to select all the channels one by one and the check for highest and lowest reception % for a 10 minute period or so, through the "Status > Wireless" page in your router, and I mean the "Signal (%)". In my case channel 6 gives the best reception even though a nearby router also operates on it.

Last but definitely not least. If you have a D-link wireless adapter, the biggest mistake you can make is to use D-links drivers. The company that makes the hardware for it is called Ralink, and has much more resent, better, and more stable drivers available http://www.ralinktech.com/support.php?s=1
The "USB (RT2870 /RT2770 /RT307X /RT2070 /RT3572/3370)" is for the "N" usb-cards like dwa-140 and so on, and the "PCI/mPCI/CB (RT2860 /RT2760 /RT2890 /RT2790 /RT306X /RT309X /RT35X2)" is for the PCI equivalent.

For reference, these tips combined got my reception jumping from 50-66% reception to 88-97% reception, so I'd say It's definitely worth a try :)

Note: I'm using the latest 1.31EU beta.

I'm aware that most of you probably know all this allready, but there might be people who doesn't. And we all deserve a good routing experience.
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foxium

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Re: Wireless perfornance boost (tested and works)
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2010, 03:53:46 PM »

I didn't know about the vertical config. Thanks for the info!

By the way, there is an exotic looking Wireless-N 3-antenna antenna allegedly made by another popular networking company (not going to advertise). Anyway, I went to their site and it's not even listed under products.

It's got three antennas combined into one piece. Wonder how this compares to the original/traditional antenna configuration in terms of range and speed.

« Last Edit: January 17, 2010, 03:57:27 PM by foxium »
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Krusher

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Re: Wireless perfornance boost (tested and works)
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2010, 06:36:37 PM »

External antennas: Since nobody has answered this, I'll take a shot at it.  I'm talking about the indoor variety like pictured above.

External antennas are a good idea if your router is hidden behind a desk or buried in a closet so you can't see it.

Now...if your router is out in the open already, that's a difficult question to answer.  That's because the new antenna you buy might have some gain over the router antenna, but there's coax attached.  That coax loses signal quick at 2.4 GHz; and the longer the coax--the worse it gets.

I don't know what the gain of the stock D-Link antennas are offhand, but without knowing this information along with the gain of the new antennas and loss of the coax, you could make your signal worse.

Therefore I'd recommend external antennas only if your router is buried behind a desk or in a closet somewhere.

Directional antennas on the other hand can have a significant advantage if you point them in the right direction; but I haven't seen any "N" (three antenna) models that are directional.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 06:42:31 PM by Krusher »
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EddieZ

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Re: Wireless perfornance boost (tested and works)
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2010, 11:08:09 AM »

For N on 2.4 you can use the G antennas, although N is also based on specific antenna alignment. Another issue is that more gain does not necessarily mean better reach. The more signal you boost, you also boost the noise.
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Krusher

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Re: Wireless perfornance boost (tested and works)
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2010, 04:18:05 PM »

Good point; if you increase your wireless router's reach with higher gain antennas and doing so makes it pick up additional clients on the same channel number--you will also increase the noise which is self-defeating.

I wonder how many people actually use the lower power settings of this or any router.  (My router is set to medium power).  Ideally, you only want to cover your house so you cause less interference to neighbors and you're less exposed to hacking if the signal is weak outdoors.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2010, 04:21:03 PM by Krusher »
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rrance

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Re: Wireless perfornance boost (tested and works)
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2010, 06:37:19 PM »

For N on 2.4 you can use the G antennas, although N is also based on specific antenna alignment. Another issue is that more gain does not necessarily mean better reach. The more signal you boost, you also boost the noise.
Quite untrue.  When you add a higher gain antenna directly to the DIR-655 you do indeed increase the output level.  Noise is noise, it's not generated by the antenna.  It will also help in the receive side of the WI-FI when receiving packets.  Think of the old TV antennas, "rabbit ear" were OK if you right on top of the TV transmitter.  The farther away from the transmitter the weaker the signal.  People would put up "out door" antennas.  The longer the boom (length) of the antenna the better it received the signals.  The same also applies to all radio signals.  It's true the longer the coax is the more signal will be lost.  The shorter the better.  I replace the 2.5 db omnidirectional antennas that came with DIR-655 with 5 db omnidirectional antennas, talk about better coverage.  Basically the formula goes with ever 3 db of gain on the antenna you double the strength of the signal.  That works both ways.

Also there is no frequency difference between 802 b,g,n.  The difference is the modulation the use, not the frequency.  If you see one designed for N there is NO difference to a G antenna.  There is a  difference in 802a verse 802b,g,n.  802a operates on 5.6 Ghz verse 2.4 Ghz for 802b,g,n.

Hope this sheds better light on the subject...
« Last Edit: January 21, 2010, 06:44:40 PM by rrance »
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Krusher

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Re: Wireless perfornance boost (tested and works)
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2010, 08:13:13 PM »

I believe what EddieZ and I are saying is that simply adding a higher gain antenna will not always improve your wireless experience in a noisy environment with lots of neighbors on your channel.  Noise is not generated by the antenna, but it is received by it.  You are better off using the program that ozzed3 suggested to find a clear channel--if possible.  (I used eWiFi on my iPod; it's free at the moment.)

If you have no nearby neighbors, then by all means, get a better antenna and get your WiFi through the neighborhood!  :D
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lotacus

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Re: Wireless perfornance boost (tested and works)
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2010, 12:15:54 AM »

invest in a yagi.
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EddieZ

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Re: Wireless perfornance boost (tested and works)
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2010, 11:25:37 AM »

invest in a yagi.

And a broadcasting license  ;D

A signal includes noise...SNR is usually taken to indicate an average signal-to-noise ratio, as it is possible that (near) instantaneous signal-to-noise ratios will be considerably different. The concept can be understood as normalizing the noise level to 1 (0 dB) and measuring how far the signal 'stands out'. In general, higher signal to noise is better; the signal is 'cleaner'.
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Jimdish25

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Re: Wireless perfornance boost (tested and works)
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2010, 10:43:11 AM »

Quite untrue.  When you add a higher gain antenna directly to the DIR-655 you do indeed increase the output level.  Noise is noise, it's not generated by the antenna.  It will also help in the receive side of the WI-FI when receiving packets.  Think of the old TV antennas, "rabbit ear" were OK if you right on top of the TV transmitter.  The farther away from the transmitter the weaker the signal.  People would put up "out door" antennas.  The longer the boom (length) of the antenna the better it received the signals.  The same also applies to all radio signals.  It's true the longer the coax is the more signal will be lost.  The shorter the better.  I replace the 2.5 db omnidirectional antennas that came with DIR-655 with 5 db omnidirectional antennas, talk about better coverage.  Basically the formula goes with ever 3 db of gain on the antenna you double the strength of the signal.  That works both ways.

Also there is no frequency difference between 802 b,g,n.  The difference is the modulation the use, not the frequency.  If you see one designed for N there is NO difference to a G antenna.  There is a  difference in 802a verse 802b,g,n.  802a operates on 5.6 Ghz verse 2.4 Ghz for 802b,g,n.

Hope this sheds better light on the subject...

Could you be more specific about what antenna would increase performance. In our building the router was set up in a terrible location, but to move it would be a nightmare. I could possibly extend the current antenna 10 feet into the main room, but if i'm going to do that, might want to look at other antenna options.
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