Forum Thread

Condo has free wifi but it is too weak in my unit. How can I boost it or connect my own router to it?

ANM85 138 233 December 3, 2012 at 06:26 PM
My condominium has a very good (50mb) connection & free wifi for residents. But in my unit the connection appears but most of the time I cannot connect. I can in the hallway but want to step into my door I no longer can, I am assuming it is because of obstruction.

I am trying to figure out the best way to either enhance the signal so I can connect my devices to it locally or a way to capture that wifi signal and re-broadcast it with my own wireless router?

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Joined Sep 2009
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#2
If you can't connect somewhere inside your apartment (condo, whatever), then there's nothing you can do short of connecting a router as a repeater right outside your door.
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If you refer to your husband/wife as 'DH/DW', you're too old to be active on a forum.

If you ask for marriage advice on a(ny) forum, you should seriously reevaluate your life.

If you don't know the difference between 'their', 'there', and 'they're', I automatically assume you have a mental disability (same goes for to/two/too and your/you're/yore).
#3
you can try to use this :

Ez-12 Parabolic Reflector Template

I managed to improve throughput on some devices:

http://www.freeantennas.com/proje...index.html
or
http://rvroadtrip.us/library/wifi_booster.php

bigger size like 8 x 11 : http://www.aegisarts.com/wifi/ez12.pdf

it takes 10 min to build and you can test signal gain using this tool : inSSIDer
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Last edited by dude2000 December 3, 2012 at 07:08 PM
#4
Free wifi usually doesn't use any encryption meaning your internet traffic can be intercepted.

Different devices and wifi adapters have different antenna and amplifier designs that do result in performance differences. So a router/repeater may pick up a strong enough signal to work.

Start by trying different devices (if needed invite a friend or two and their electronics) in different parts of the apt to see where you get the best performance and how much difference there is between different wifi adapters.

Then grab a copy of netstumbler [stumbler.net] and survey the wifi ap's in your immediate area, identify what channel the strongest free condo wifi is on and if any close neighbors are using the same channel (note any on the same channel with strong signal strength). Try to talk these neighbors into changing the channel their ap is using.

Try something like one of these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Pro...6833164030
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Pro...6833168061
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Joined Jun 2005
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#5
you can get a parabolic reflector antenna

something like this

http://www.amazon.com/Etekcity-Wi...i+antennas




this will do it for sure

http://www.amazon.com/Cable-Wirel...i+antennas
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Joined Mar 2004
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#6
Don't you pay condo association fees? I'm assuming you do, in which case it's up to the association to fix this issue for you.
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#7
Another thing to try is updating the driver for your wireless adapter.
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Steve Gibson on password policies [grc.com]: I mean, I don't get this change it every eight weeks. ... It's not as if passwords are traveling by camel after they've been stolen, going to the bad guys, and so there's, like, some weird eight-week window, like, oh, we're going to change your password so that the stale password no longer works. ... And all this does is make IT people despised because users, who are not dumb, they think, why am I - why do I have to do this? What problem is this solving?
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#8
Quote from brbubba View Post :
Don't you pay condo association fees? I'm assuming you do, in which case it's up to the association to fix this issue for you.
Iagree
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Marshall: Have the rest of you guys figured out by now that mmathis is the smartest guy on SlickDeals?

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Joined Mar 2004
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#9
Quote from mmathis View Post :
Iagree
Seriously, my neighbor just bought a new washer, but she's a renter!!! I'm like hello, there's a reason you pay these fees, it's not just for shits and giggles.
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#10
OP hope you are using a VPN on that open (closed) wifi else anyone on it can packet snoop.

definitely dont do any banking or other sensitive online activity w/o a VPN!
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#11
Quote from ReverseHandedJO View Post :
OP hope you are using a VPN on that open (closed) wifi else anyone on it can packet snoop.

definitely dont do any banking or other sensitive online activity w/o a VPN!
All banking these days is over https, so aside from snooping your SD password, they won't get any sensitive data. I would long term look into the VPN thing though, just to be on the safe side.
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#12
The company that handles all things for the HOA, hasn't even programmed my clicker after 2 weeks. The concierge staff is very nice, but they're as angry with them as the tenants. Beautiful building, great neighbors, thankfully I need very few things from the the company that handles the Association. So in short, they won't fix shit as far as the Wifi or if they do it'll take a year. Rather just spend the $50-60 necessary to get it figured out.

I was hoping there would be a router that could capture the signal and output it again locally. Looks like the best thing to do would be to get the extender as mentioned, and then make my router a repeater?
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#13
Quote from gdx View Post :
The company that handles all things for the HOA, hasn't even programmed my clicker after 2 weeks. The concierge staff is very nice, but they're as angry with them as the tenants. Beautiful building, great neighbors, thankfully I need very few things from the the company that handles the Association. So in short, they won't fix shit as far as the Wifi or if they do it'll take a year. Rather just spend the $50-60 necessary to get it figured out.

I was hoping there would be a router that could capture the signal and output it again locally. Looks like the best thing to do would be to get the extender as mentioned, and then make my router a repeater?
those extenders are kind of pricey. a router that will do repeating would most likely be cheaper. put up high on the wall that has the best signal. if it is on your balcony side, you might be able to put it out there and disguise it. then run an ethernet cable inside. if they complain, tell them about the bad signal from their router. another option, if they let you, would be to plug your router into theirs and use the wifi from your router. still yet another option, again if they let you, would be to run ethernet from their router to your unit. this last way would be ideal especially if their router is close to your unit. you can get very cheap deals on ethernet 5e. it wont be gigabit rated, but seriously doubt their router is either.

do you know where the router with wifi is (in your building)?
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#14
its in the center of the building (5 story building) in the lobby by the concierge desk. the router is actually a wireless-n router, not bad specs, but the walls are cement, and there are 4 units each 1200-2000 sq ft in size, between it and my unit. my only real option would be the repeater outside or inside.
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#15
As above, the first thing you should really try is a site survey of sorts. Then after trying to get neighbors whose own wifi might be contributing to your connection woes to change to a different channel (1, 6, or 11 only) a high powered / directional usb wifi adapter would be simpler to evaluate and troubleshoot and other repeater/router based options. Using a high powered / directional usb adapter, would provide you insights that would allow you to make a router/repeater based solution function it's best.

Are there any outlets accessible to you in the hallway? Do you have interior or exterior hall ways? Can you get decent reception near any of your windows?
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