What do I need in order to extend wifi to 0.25 miles?

Thread Starter

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,528
Im sure I'm losing face by asking this here but I admit there are some gaping holes in my knowledge base, and the topic of radio and antennas is a black hole for me. Please excuse my ignorance.

I've searched and found lots of products but none that say "range: x-miles". Everything is rated in dB or dbi and I don't know what to make of it. Also the products I am finding fail to specify exactly what they are, and what additional hardware is required to make them work.

All I want is a router that I can access from a quarter mile down the road. I don't know if there is such a beast.

If I have to have a transmitter and receiver with antennas that is fine. I can place antennas so that they have line of sight with each other.
 

cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
7,308
The way I understand it, the wi-fi international standard has a specific power limitation that will only allow it to have a range of around 30m (depending on different factors). So there is no legal 1/4 mile extender that I know of.
All you can do is chain it through a series of repeaters every 15m or so.
 

cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
7,308
Maybe you could use some sort of specially designed parabolic antenna for your purpose?
I've heard that it can significantly extend wi-fi range, though I'm not sure you could achieve the 1/4 mile you're aiming for.

EDIT: what makes you think you'd lose face with this question? o_O
 

Lestraveled

Joined May 19, 2014
1,946
The best way to extend range is to add a higher gain antenna. Most WiFi routers have very poor antennas on them. Add a good antenna, placed in a good position and .25 miles should be no problem.
 

KJ6EAD

Joined Apr 30, 2011
1,573
Take a look at TP-Link access points and antennas. They're capable of up to 32 miles. The grid parabolic antennas used to be available at Walmart for $50.

http://www.tp-link.us/products/Outdoor-Wi-Fi.html

Assuming transmission between two fixed locations, in order of priority you need, appropriate directional antennas (Yagi-Uda or parabolic), adequate transceiver power and timeout values set for the distance.

The text and charts in this link may also be helpful.

http://en.data-alliance.net/range-radiation-patterns-antennas/
 
Last edited:

tcmtech

Joined Nov 4, 2013
2,867
Before we got our fiber internet line into the house I used to get my internet connections through my brothers place from over half a mile away just using ordinary access point/router units and directional antennas.

To be honest if I was out in the yard with my laptops they had no problem getting connections just off the directional antenna at his end with nothing at my end.
 

Thread Starter

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,528
Before we got our fiber internet line into the house I used to get my internet connections through my brothers place from over half a mile away just using ordinary access point/router units and directional antennas.

To be honest if I was out in the yard with my laptops they had no problem getting connections just off the directional antenna at his end with nothing at my end.
Uncanny, that's my exact scenario. I just moved 60miles outside the city, and my sister lives down the road from me. She has AT&T U-verse broadband internet, and so does 75% of the people on this road. The previous owners of my new house had it.

I call AT&T to start my internet and they claim that they don't service this area. I told them that was impossible and gave them specific addresses on my street that have it and they had no answer for me. I told them the previous owner had it; no answer for that one either. They just keep repeating that their system shows no serice here, and if their system says no service, they have no way to initiate service. They said they would send out a tech to investigate, but as I fully expected, nobody showed. They told me they could offer me dialup service. I took pictures of the coax line with AT&T labels on it coming off the power pole and into my house but nobody would give me an email address to send the pictures to.

I called several other providers and they all insist there is no cable or broadband service available in my area.

I heard rumors from a neighbor that AT&T installed the lines and gave everyone internet and then stopped serving the area. Those who have it, have had it for years, and are "grandfathered". That sounds bogus to me, but evidence supports it.

So I offered to pay my sister's internet bill if she would let me install a high power wifi router on her property and mooch off her broadband access.

There are no fences here and I have clear line of sight to the end of her yard from the end of my yard.
 

Thread Starter

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,528
A high gain directional antenna such as this at both ends may do the trick.
Thanks for that link. Those yagi antennas are what i was looking at but nothing I found had a description quite as good as what you linked to. I was assuming the antenna would require some sort of amplifier between the router and the antenna, but apparently you just plug it in and go. That's much cheaper than what I expected to pay.
 

Thread Starter

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,528
Take a look at TP-Link access points and antennas. They're capable of up to 32 miles. The grid parabolic antennas used to be available at Walmart for $50.

http://www.tp-link.us/products/Outdoor-Wi-Fi.html

Assuming transmission between two fixed locations, in order of priority you need, appropriate directional antennas (Yagi-Uda or parabolic), adequate transceiver power and timeout values set for the distance.

The text and charts in this link may also be helpful.

http://en.data-alliance.net/range-radiation-patterns-antennas/
Thanks for the tables, good read. Those tplink things look expensive and overkill.
 

KJ6EAD

Joined Apr 30, 2011
1,573
They're actually ideal for your situation and would probably give good performance with just their internal antennas. We've sold them used for $20 or less and that's for the high powered TL-WA5210G model.
 
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