How can I extend WiFi to a house 250 meters away?

Patrick February 24, 2012
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There are two concrete-block houses separated by open space except for a small (4 x 3m) concrete shed blocking their direct view. The router in the main house is in the living room 1 m from the window with a WiFi laptop (XP) and cable connected desktop computer (XP).

Is it possible to run an ethernet cable from one router (in main house) to a 2nd router (different routers, brands unknown) in the shed and connect a WiFi extender to the 2nd router? Is there a WiFi extender that can cover 200/250 meters? (Items will be purchased in US, used in Asia; 240v.) Thanks!

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  1. Deepak Saini
    October 18, 2012 at 5:33 am

    Hi,

    I need to buy a Wireless router and the main cable is 25 metres far from my room (where i generally use my laptop). This means the Wireless router which I need to buy is 25 metres far from my room and in my way there are two walls and couple of doors. So could you please suggest what kind of Wireless router I should buy? On ebay i can a wide variety of routers N150Mbps, 300Mbps TL-WR841N etc. what does that mean and what should i buy? Any specific brand you can suggest me. Many thanks for your help in advance. Thanks
    Deepak

  2. Ed
    February 29, 2012 at 5:22 am

    Since you're on a budget and it is just temporary, your best option is a USB wifi card with powerful antenna. 250m is not that far. Check this out:

    http://www.amazon.com/Alfa-AWUS036H-Wireless-Long-Rang-Panel/dp/B003YI4HRM/ref=pd_cp_e_0 

    Costs less than $40. I can connect to a wifi source as far as a mile using this device (with line-of-sight). So even without a line-of-sight, 250m is doable.

  3. Oron Joffe
    February 25, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    One more thought! You could get two cheap antennas and mount them on poles at the main house and one at the second house. Make them directional by building your own booster (see 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOBfxbpxosA). For the laptop, you will need a router in bridge mode or an external wifi card that will connect to the antenna. At the main house, your router may already have the connetion, but if not then you will need the same.
    WiFi does not require strict line of sight, only "approsimate" line of sight, so if your poles are high enough, you should easily be able to cover the distance. 

    I only hope you're going somewhere nice and dry - wouldn't want to run a setup like this in wet and windy weather!

    • Psl2013
      February 26, 2012 at 9:32 am

      Thanks again, Oron! Do you have any examples (brands, names) of cheap antennas? Unfortunately, I am going somewhere nice and hot and humid and wet. I'll  take a look at the you tube video. Thanks!

      And thanks to all that replied! Now I have to do some serious studying and make a decision.... Thanks to all!

  4. Anonymous
    February 25, 2012 at 9:59 am
    • Psl2013
      February 26, 2012 at 9:20 am

      Thanks ha14, for the suggestion. I'll take a look at it.

  5. FIDELIS
    February 25, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Hello, you also have the option of adding  a different wifi card for you laptop.  Built in wireless cards are not known to have the best features.  Something like the following could help extend the reception with your two router setup, you might not even need an extender:

     http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833127244

    • Psl2013
      February 26, 2012 at 9:15 am

      Thanks Fidelis for the suggestion. I am trying to digest all the information provided. Thanks again.

      • FIDELIS
        February 27, 2012 at 7:46 am

        Hello, don't mention it.  Can back if you have any more questions.

  6. Psl2013
    February 25, 2012 at 3:47 am

    Thanks Philip,

    I read the description of the HAWKING HA12W 2.4GHz Hi-Gain 12dBi Directional Window Antenna. They are theoretically in line of sight but the line of sight is blocked by the concrete shed. Thanks again. 

  7. Psl2013
    February 25, 2012 at 3:20 am

    Thanks Philip. The Hawkins directional antenna seems great... except for the cost. Every post provides a new possible solution. i will keep on reading and one of these days make a decision. Thanks again.

  8. Oron Joffe
    February 24, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    If the two properties are on the same electrical circuit (i.e. connected to the same consumer unit) then you could use PowerLine/HomePlug adapters to bridge the gap. This would probably be the most reliable solution, provided that they are electrical cabling is good. Otherwise, as others suggested, ethernet up to 100m, and 802.11n routers with directional antennas are your best bet.

    • Psl2013
      February 25, 2012 at 3:49 am

      Hello Oron, Thanks for providing yet another possible solution.

      Unfortunately, they are not on the same electrical circuit. Could I run an electrical cable from the main house to the guest house and then attach a 
      PowerLine/HomePlug adapter?   

      I was hoping to find some kind of recommended wifi extender that would cover that distance. We will be using an Acer Laptop in the guest house. Would it help to also get a USB wifi antenna? 

      Thanks!

      • Oron Joffe
        February 25, 2012 at 12:41 pm

        The maximum range of homeplug is around 300m (it depends greatly on the quality of the line and connections), so in theory, you could run a power line between the buildings, and have adapters on it. 
        I see from the thread though that you are looking for a sub $100 solution. I doubt you'll be able to get two good adapters and 250m of good quality outdoor-grade mains wiring for that price, not to mention the attendant risks of laying such a cable on the ground (you're hardly likely to erect pylons for a 30 day stay, are you?).

        I think the most sensible suggestion is that made by some others, namely to use a combination of directional antennas and an 802.1n range extender (or repeater, same thing). You'll want the directional antennas between the buildings which are 150m apart, and possibly on the range extender side facing the computer as well. The problem is again, and difficult to fit within your budget, and absolutely no guarantee that it will do the job!

        At any rate, good luck!

        • Psl2013
          February 26, 2012 at 9:29 am

          Thanks Oron. You mentioned, antennas --plural. Are you saying that the guest house could receive the signal from the main house antenna but to 'reply/upload' from the guest house, the guest house would also need an antenna? (Sounds logical but expensive.) 

          Thanks.

        • Fredericvidal
          April 20, 2012 at 4:15 pm

           hello i need help to choose a wifi extender for 100 meter with no obtruction just 1 window and 1 wall
          thanks
          fredericvidal@hotmail.com

  9. Mike
    February 24, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    There options like directional high output antennas or a laser bridge (visibility required) to bridge such distances over "air".

    Either would or should be connected on the roof and usualy work under all weather conditions.

    Since the hardware required comes at a high cost I suggest to consult a professional IT company.

    • Psl2013
      February 25, 2012 at 3:24 am

      Thanks Mike, 

      Since this will be a temporary solution (for 30 days), I am looking for a fairly inexpensive solution, not over $100.00. Thanks! 

      • Mike
        February 25, 2012 at 10:37 am

        I understand your problem...I would love to help you with "what you got" but...

        We used to have a Wireless-G Bridge with two 40x40cm outdoor antennas designed for such purpose. Both located at the windows, almost visible to each other.

        It was only ~25 meters across the street but it kept losing connection almost at random every 2 or 3 months ~ whenever there was bad weather (lot of rain or snow) and at summerly 30°C.

        Of course this was located within the city and roughly 30 other home WiFis around but taking the "WiFi chatter" away and adding your high distance I'm not sure...

        On the other hand we had a bridge with high gain directional antennas over ~130 meters which worked like a charm. But they were located on the roof of the building (6 floors) and direct view to the antennas on the other buildings roof.

        You can easily get a directional antennas within your budget that theoretically can cover twice your distance. But whether it will work or not depends on various things ~ like visibility or not, other signal chatter in the area, etc...

  10. FIDELIS
    February 24, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Hello, yes you could connect two routers with ethernet cable.  You would have to do some changes to the setup though.  Keep in mind that ethernet cable does not have to be longer than a 100 metres.  How far away is the shed from the house?  How far away is the shed from the second house?    Your best option is having two N class routers with rangebooster
    if possible.  In theory, this routers can cover a 300 meter area with
    wireless.  If the shed is about half way and the ethernet cable (under 100m)  can reach it, you can set up the second router there and the signal should reach the other house easily.  Until this setup is finished, you could not be sure whether you would need an extender or not.

    Here is a guide about connecting two routers through ethernet cable:

    http://www.infopackets.com/news/software/windows_tips/2009/20091224_extend_wireless_wired_network_share_internet_2_routers.htm

    http://compnetworking.about.com/od/routers/f/two_routers.htm

    http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/doityourself-it-guy/diy-setting-up-wireless-access-points-as-repeaters-to-extend-wireless-range/141

    • Psl2013
      February 24, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      Thank you for the detailed reply. I will review the information you provided and try to obtain some more information from the home owner about their router and then post a full reply. One major problem is that the setup is overseas so whatever solution I decide on, I cannot easily change it.  Concerning the distances, I think that the shed is about 150m from the main house and 50-60m from the guest house.

      Thanks again!

      • FIDELIS
        February 25, 2012 at 2:28 am

        Hello, yes it is a tough position to be in when it is a long distance fix.  Like I said, with this setup distance might be a problem.

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