Antennas and better reception

4 replies [Last post]
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Joined: Dec 23 2008
Posts: 2

Hey all,
I am completely new at all of this, so please forgive any "dumb" questions.

I recently acquired a Mac iBook 12.1 G3 processor 900mhz with Airport feature. I have no phone line, no cable line, but am able to pick up a signal that enables me to connect to the internet. Problem is, the signal is so weak, and I actually have to hold the computer above my head to receive it, making it virtually impossible to type anything on the keyboard.

My question is, what type of antenna/equipment can I purchase that I can place on my roof to be able to receive a much stronger wirelss signal? Does this antenna transmit to a receiver within my house? Is the receiver hooked up to my computer by a wire? Or is it wireless?

Thank you so much for any responses, and of course feel free to ask any questions that may help you answer my question.

__________________

- Mark

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d_hochuli's picture
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Joined: Feb 27 2007
Posts: 6
Tell us more about your situation

Hi Mark
there are a lot of solutions for remote situations, but they will become expensive quickly. This type of wireless signal functions best in line of sight. Walls, specialy with metal inside=concret, plants, rain etc. and interferences are diminishing the signal. So does every length of antenna cable. All this things will eat away what you gain with an external antenna.
If you can find out, who is providing you the signal, you should ask nice. May be he/she will be cooperative.
If the source is not more than 50 meters (inside buildings less) a solution with Airport or other brands of basestation is possible.
Please, tell us more about your situation. The more specific - the better advice can be given.
D. Hochuli

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Joined: Dec 23 2008
Posts: 2
Ok, here are more specifics..

Ok, here are more specifics..... I am in a house, and I will use the computer in my bedroom which of course has four walls (drywall, wood, etc.) There are numerous trees and other houses pressed right up against the house I live in. I do not know who is providing the signal. When I click to see the available signals, all it says is "wireless", and that's the one I can connect to. Sure, there are other neighbors who have internet, and their names pop up on available signals too, but I do not know there WEP code and wouldn't even dare ask them what it is for obvious reasons. They are all within 50 meters, so I ASSUME that the "wireless" signal I am receiving is within that range as well.

I should say that I am willing to not be entirely wireless. I would like to receive the strongest signal possible, and if this means having an antenna (or similar product) that has to be hooked up directly (by wire) or indirectly (by router or something else), then I am willing to go that way, especially if it's cheaper.

If my specifics weren't specific enough, please let me know what info might be of help. Your help is much appreciated !

__________________

- Mark

d_hochuli's picture
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Joined: Feb 27 2007
Posts: 6
Your "provider" has most cert

Your "provider" has most certainly an open network and its name is "wireless".
Download iStumbler http://istumbler.net/ for OS X. (if you have OS 9 ClassicStumbler).
Determine where in your house you have the best signal strength.
What strength is it? what is the noise level? Good values allready are 50%. Do you see the MAC adress? Which channel is it on, is it fix or switching channels?
Try there the reliability of the signal. Connect your iBook to "wireless". Can you surf? if No - forget it!
if yes, you can go on testing: different times day and night, you can do speed tests (most providers have them).
If its working like this, you can put an Airport Basestation there and set it up for WDS (wireless distribution). In case your basestation is to far away from your bedroom, you can connect to it with a long ethernet cable.

You should realy ask your neighbor - otherwise you are stealing bandwith!
I'm only writing this, because I have myself an open network and by leaving it open its like an invitation, a service I am willing to give. But thats just me, others may look at it completly different.

D Hochuli

littlejohn's picture
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Joined: May 18 2005
Posts: 114
Sharing bandwith

I have a wireless hub connected to DSL. I had my Hub unlocked for 3 years, and did not mind a little sharing. With all my computers off, the Hub wireless activity lights would just blink away day and night. But three months ago, the bandwidth usage by "others" made me lock down my Hub. It got so bad that my computer that is hardwired to the Hub would take almost a minute to load the Google start page.

So my advice is, don't abuse the shared/open wireless until you can make arrangements for your own service.