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Entering the Wireless Age

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  • Entering the Wireless Age

    My grandparents have a nice rental business on Marthas Vineyard that in their retirement has become their primary income source. It is segmented into 3.5 floors, each floor an apartment, and we stay in the half-basement. It's a great place (that they really undercharge for >.>), but it has some pretty glaring flaws, especially for those of us in a younger more technical generation.

    The largest, most glaring issue is that the house has a spotty (at best) wireless signal. In the basement we have a Comcast modem, attached to a Apple airport, and it is clearly failing to meet our needs. In this day and age not being able to claim complete coverage manages to kill a large number of potential rentals, especially among the younger "more hip" people we need to fill the third floor walkup.

    Of course my grandparents do not fully understand the issue, and are rather hesitant towards "all the changes", and don't really comprehend how badly they are shooting themselves in the foot. With that in mind I am trying to setup a new wireless system while they are away (till early September). I am going to see what it would cost for Comcast to handle it (and possibly wire the whole house too), but I was hoping my wonderful techie friends here could give some advice on a DiY solution. As a baseline whatever it is needs to cover the entire house, and it would be good to have it locked (both to give a more professional appearance, and to keep the riff-raff out). The cost becomes a bit of an issue at the same time, as this is being more of an out of pocket expense (and between school and being unemployed that pocket is awfully small), as opposed to something planned into the budget.

    So I would really appreciate anything you all could suggest.

  • #2
    Re: Entering the Wireless Age

    The higher the modem, the wider the signal. I would totally move it up higher. Just make sure that you have it password protected. If you don't know how to do that then just lemme know and I'll walk you through it. If you get a new router I would suggest getting a linksys. They are wonderful routers, especially if you know how to update the operating system on them with various Linux versions.

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    • #3
      Re: Entering the Wireless Age

      Run Cat5 cable to the third floor and put in a wireless access point.


      TG-18th 18th SF Operational Detachment Delta

      If you're playing the game, be in the correct TeamSpeak Channel.

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      • #4
        Re: Entering the Wireless Age

        Originally posted by Spyder228 View Post
        Run Cat5 cable to the third floor and put in a wireless access point.
        Maybe not the top floor, but wiring the router inside the sheetrock on the second floor would probably give you coverage for the whole building. Make sure you get a router with good range, though, some don't do so well (like the one in my basement 20 feet from me that gets about 30% signal to here). Also, check what speed your line-in is, because there's no need to get a router running, say, 100MPBS if your line-in is only 54MBPS.
        "It's called a randomizer, and it's fitted to the guidance systems and operates under a very complex scientific principle called pot luck."

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        • #5
          Re: Entering the Wireless Age

          If you don't want to spend a lot of money there are sites out there that tell you how to mod the antenna so you get more signal strength.


          TG-18th 18th SF Operational Detachment Delta

          If you're playing the game, be in the correct TeamSpeak Channel.

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          • #6
            Re: Entering the Wireless Age

            Alternately, although somewhat more expensive but potentially easier, is running Powerline Ethernet throughout it. That way you can just plug one into an outlet, pop the access point on it, and give yourself a good spread of coverage.
            "But way back where I come from, we never mean to bother. We don't like to make our passions other peoples' concern." -Dar Williams
            Former Captain of the 55th Infantry Division

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            • #7
              Re: Entering the Wireless Age

              Does Comcast let you share their service? Not all ISPs do. One that does is Speakeasy:

              http://www.speakeasy.net/netshare/terms/

              How will you manage bandwidth? One greedy P2P'er can ruin the system for everybody. A router with bandwidth control might be a good investment.
              Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

              snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

              Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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