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How do i extend the range of my WiFi network?

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  • How do i extend the range of my WiFi network?

    This question comes up too often that I think it's worth starting a thread to share what we have learnt over the years as the best practices. Note that unlike what any techy might be tempted to assert at first glance this is not really a simple question. There are many variables that play into the mix some of which include
    - cost of the system
    - potential interferers: number, power level, location, spectrum occupied etc
    - obstructions to the line of sight: type, number, placement etc. This is complicated by multipath propagation effects
    - ease of deployment and system management

    An example diagram for a sub 500ft link using only a high gain 2.4 Ghz antenna and a high sensitivity (long range) usb adapter is attached. Even here there are several tradeoffs based on individual needs. For example the 2.4 GHz amplifier might not be required and in fact may not be used if the signal is too strong without it (could lead to tx power outside FCC regulations). Also the standalone lightning surge device (a gas discharge device) might be omitted if going with the amplifier (which has a 1/4 wavelength lightning surge device). The combination of AP, Antenna & USB adapter could be replaced with a Point-to-Point (ptp) bridge pair (which will allow the remote site to connect multiple computers through a switch). 900mhz ptp bridges are readily available that don't require a line-of-sight but oftentimes at lower throughput.

    Please post any specific questions/scenarios and I will attempt to propose best setup for your case.
    Attached Files