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Need to boost my Laptop Wifi Range... how?

Discussion in 'Networking and Wireless' started by AaronCW, Aug 21, 2008.

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  1. AaronCW

    AaronCW Notebook Enthusiast

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    Morning all.

    I need a device to boost my wifi range on the laptop. It has an internal g/n(draft) card... it does pretty well in most instances. But, since I am a truck driver, a lot of times I find myself parked JUST BARELY out of range. I mean, I can see the signal... but it is very poor, and not steady or continuous at all times.

    A common scenario is that I am parked at a Truck Stop that offers free wifi, but I am 80 ft from the store, or parked just around a corner or blocked off from the signal by 2-3 rows of parked trucks.

    I saw a link for something that looked like a telescope, I think it was called "Cantena Antenna" or something like that. That is def in my price range (I think it was $50 or less) but I was wondering how difficult it would be to setup on a nightly basis and how large the thing was. If I could throw it in back of my truck during the day, and just extend the legs at night and hook it up in a jiffy... that might be right up my ally. But I'm not interested in anything thats going to take 2 hours to position just right or any home made devices that I'll have to build myself or takes hours to assemble or disassemble.

    Thx for any advice!
     
  2. The_Observer

    The_Observer 9262 is the best:)

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    You can get a cheap booster which will amplify the signal.Most of those telescopic amplifiers need antenna based cards.
     
  3. AaronCW

    AaronCW Notebook Enthusiast

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    Any recommendations about what Brand and where to buy?
     
  4. Wirelessman

    Wirelessman Monkeymod

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  5. chemistry

    chemistry Notebook Consultant

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  6. smoothie.

    smoothie. Newbie

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    have you considered a high speed internet card?

    as long as theres cell phone reception youll have high speed internet wherever you go. of course it costs a decent amount, but you wont have to screw with it......too much:D
     
  7. Polarix

    Polarix Notebook Evangelist

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    Something like THIS?

    or THIS?

    As the poster above me, you may want to contact your Cellular provider and look into an Aircard. It's usually $59/month, but wherever you get cellphone signal, you can get a pretty good speed broadband connection.
     
  8. AaronCW

    AaronCW Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks for all the replies.. found some good items online for extending wifi range. But another question I have is..

    Is an Aircard faster then 3G reception on a cell phone? I discovered I can share my Internet connection from my cell phone to my laptop via Internet Sharing and USB Cable. My speeds range from 500kbps to 1.5Mbps when in a 3G area, which is about 35-40% of the time in my line of work. Otherwise, I'm on EDGE speed which is significantly under 500kbps most of the time. (Probably somewhere between 150-300) -- My provider is AT&T.

    The reason I'm interested in a Wifi extender is two fold:
    1. When I'm in no-coverage / EDGE / or low-speed 3G area, I will have a better chance of picking up a wifi access point.
    2. Even when I'm in a high speed 3G area, I am still better off using Wifi because it's faster and an extender will give me better access to "poor signals".
     
  9. Wirelessman

    Wirelessman Monkeymod

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    The WiFi connection will certainly be faster than 3G (laptop - router connection), but the bottle neck is the ISP bandwidth, which in most cases (e.g. Starbucks), will be less than 3G.
     
  10. RFEngr

    RFEngr Newbie

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    I travel a lot and use a Wi-Fire from hField Technologies. Really enhances hotel wi-fi and can usually find other open Wi-Fi access points. Also, can connect outdoors my home and office where I couldn't before. I assume you'd get the same kind of benefits at truck stops as well.
     
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