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Author Topic: DIR 635 range poor - disappointing...  (Read 15272 times)

WartookMan

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DIR 635 range poor - disappointing...
« on: September 04, 2012, 03:28:15 PM »

My in-laws have moved to a new house, but have been having problems with their wireless coverage. They did have a couple of different wireless router modems, but we found that the old DSL-G604T (G router) gave the best coverage, but still not great.

I then purchased a second hand DIR-635 with 3 upgraded antennas (and piggy-backed the two) in the hope that the range would be much better. Although the signal was much stronger up close (than the DSL-G604T), the range was about the same if not worse.

The modem was at the back of the house so it had to transmit a reasonable distance (15-20m) through walls to get to the kitchen. Using a smart phone we were able to measure about 9dbm difference between the two signals (DIR-635 channel 11, DSL-G604T channel 1) with the DIR-635 stronger.

However, we then moved the units to a more central location behind the TV and set them up. Now only about 10m from the back of the house (still through a few walls), the old DSL-G604T has a stronger signal than the N DIR-635 wireless router.

I've upgraded the Firmware to v1.09. I've dropped the wireless rate on the DIR-635 to a maximum of 54Mbps, but still running mixed-mode (I think): b, g and n. I've also used a smart-phone to check the signals in the area, and a neighbour was running on 11, so I switched the DIR-635 to channel 13 without any noticeable improvement.

QUESTIONS:
1. What is the ideal setup for range? Not too worried about speed, so long as it's faster than the ISP speed which is about 5-7Mbps from the exchange.
2. Would switching to "G" or "N" mode help rather than mixed-mode? I don't think I can use "N" only, since one of the laptops only has a G card in it, although this is being upgraded shortly. The desktop has a mini-N adapter and the remaining laptops / phones are "N" capable.
3. How should the antenna be positioned:  ||| or \|/ or /|\ or horizontal or some other orientation?
4. What speed should the router be set to? There are many options available and I have no idea what each one does.
5. What should the other settings be: Channel width, QoS, Beacon Period, RTS Threshold, Fragmentation Threshold.
6. Is it possible to setup a wireless repeater (ie without a physical connection between boxes)? Do wireless repeaters rather than wireless extenders (hardwired) actually exist?

Thanks for any advice, and apologies for the multitude of questions. I've tried and read a number of posts / website offerings, but I haven't been able to get too far.

Regards, Pete.
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FurryNutz

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Re: DIR 635 range poor - disappointing...
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2012, 07:27:13 AM »

My in-laws have moved to a new house, but have been having problems with their wireless coverage. They did have a couple of different wireless router modems, but we found that the old DSL-G604T (G router) gave the best coverage, but still not great.

I then purchased a second hand DIR-635 with 3 upgraded antennas (and piggy-backed the two) in the hope that the range would be much better. Although the signal was much stronger up close (than the DSL-G604T), the range was about the same if not worse.

The modem was at the back of the house so it had to transmit a reasonable distance (15-20m) through walls to get to the kitchen. Using a smart phone we were able to measure about 9dbm difference between the two signals (DIR-635 channel 11, DSL-G604T channel 1) with the DIR-635 stronger.

However, we then moved the units to a more central location behind the TV and set them up. Now only about 10m from the back of the house (still through a few walls), the old DSL-G604T has a stronger signal than the N DIR-635 wireless router.

I've upgraded the Firmware to v1.09. I've dropped the wireless rate on the DIR-635 to a maximum of 54Mbps, but still running mixed-mode (I think): b, g and n. I've also used a smart-phone to check the signals in the area, and a neighbour was running on 11, so I switched the DIR-635 to channel 13 without any noticeable improvement.

QUESTIONS:
1. What is the ideal setup for range? Not too worried about speed, so long as it's faster than the ISP speed which is about 5-7Mbps from the exchange. Usually these home routers are best up to about 30-40 feet. One reason why you might see better range on the DSL unit versus the DIR unit is due to the "Good Neighbor Policy" technology thats probably included in the code on the DIR and was probably not implemented in the DSL unit since it's an older product.

2. Would switching to "G" or "N" mode help rather than mixed-mode? I don't think I can use "N" only, since one of the laptops only has a G card in it, although this is being upgraded shortly. The desktop has a mini-N adapter and the remaining laptops / phones are "N" capable. If your not using A or B modes then it's recommended to switch to Mixed G and N or Single modes. Test them out to see what works best for you.

3. How should the antenna be positioned:  ||| or \|/ or /|\ or horizontal or some other orientation?
Link>Wireless Installation Considerations

4. What speed should the router be set to? There are many options available and I have no idea what each one does. If the host router/modem has wifi, you might set it to single mode G and then set the 635 up for single mode N.

5. What should the other settings be: Channel width, QoS, Beacon Period, RTS Threshold, Fragmentation Threshold. If your using the 635 as an AP only, then you can turn OFF ALL options on the 625 accept WiFi and Advanced WiFi. Items like SPI, Firewall and QoS can be disabled. Please review this: Turning a router into an AP.

6. Is it possible to setup a wireless repeater (ie without a physical connection between boxes)? Do wireless repeaters rather than wireless extenders (hardwired) actually exist? You would need to acquire a DLink DAP model product, i.e. DAP 1522 or 1533 for wireless bridging or repeating. I believe one of these products has repeating functions.


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WartookMan

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Re: DIR 635 range poor - disappointing...
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2012, 05:16:29 PM »

Thank you very much for such the detailed response. I'll try out the recommended options. I'm also considering using a spare wireless router as a wireless access point (using dd-wrt software). I'll keep playing and post back some of the results I've tried.

Thanks again.

Regards, Pete.
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FurryNutz

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Re: DIR 635 range poor - disappointing...
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2012, 05:41:20 PM »

 ;)
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