Wifi question

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Tiffany
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Wifi question

Post by Tiffany »

To Ian, and any other techno-boffins out there, I would be grateful for some advice....

We have two buildings separated by about 5 meters-they're quite close. One is the house which has an Alice box (to g- standard wifi protocols)and is of late '70s construction ie standard thickness walls. The other building is our workplace and we would like to receive the wifi there, but although quite close to the house, is an old stable and has really thick walls which I think inhibits the signal. We have tried a squeezebox and psp up there, but nothin' doin'. Now the phone line is the same in both buildings, it comes into the 'workplace' and continues down to the house.

We have bought a signal booster, a D-Link, but this doesn't seem to do anything. There must be a solution that I'm missing - I mean, big office blocks etc have wifi. Is the answer to get another Alice box and connect it in the 'workplace', or would a standard modem work? Any suggestions appreciated, thanks in advance.
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Post by blackduff »

If you forget using the Wi-Fi and get someone to install a Network. If they are so close, a small network system should take care of your problems.

One of the people on the A-D which handle this work. I think Patrick Boyle can arrange this, if I'm correct.

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Post by Tiffany »

But I don't want cables....
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Post by IanCharlton »

Hi Tiffany,
AFAIK, you can only have one Alice box per ADSL subscription (i.e. telephone number). So I think we're looking at extending range or boosting signal. In order to point you in the right direction, can you tell me:

Do you want blanket coverage of WiFi in your workplace (so that you can walk around with a laptop or let Customers sitting at tables use it), or do you just have a fixed PC that needs access?

Which end of the house is your Alice box in? Nearest or farthest from the workplace? Is it upstairs or downstairs? Am I correct in assuming that the house is uphill from your workplace?

Where was the booster situated when you tried it out? Can you give me an exact name & model number? Did you do any configuration or did the guy in the shop tell you it was just plug-and-play? Some boxes are multi-purpose routers/range extenders so I need to know what sort of beastie it is.

Have you tried walking away from the house with a wireless laptop to see how far the signal coverage extends around the buildings?

Once I've got a clearer picture, I'll pootle off and find out what, if anything, can be done.
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Post by mpprh »

Check out this : http://www.hotukdeals.com/item/351509/a ... e-wi-fi-m/


I installed something similar for someone having a long house on a hill with an underground at one end. They have wifi for upstairs, but use the power lines for downstairs.

It works fine !

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Post by IanCharlton »

Peter,
Don't those WiFi power plugs need to be on the same ring main?
I wouldn't think that two seperate buildings would be on the same circuit.
Last edited by IanCharlton on Mon 30 Mar 2009 17:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by IanCharlton »

Tiffany,
Just another thought.
Is the phone line rigged up such that both buildings have the same phone number? i.e. one acts like an extension? If that's the case, I may have a cunning plan!
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Post by blackduff »

Possibly the Alice box can be replaced with a better router. In my case I got rid of the livebox and put a Netgear router. This gave me a big boost.

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Post by Kate »

If that's the case, I may have a cunning plan!
It might involve pissing her coffee!! (well, it's a restaurant actually)
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Post by Tiffany »

IanCharlton wrote:Tiffany,
Just another thought.
Is the phone line rigged up such that both buildings have the same phone number? i.e. one acts like an extension? If that's the case, I may have a cunning plan!
Yes, Ian, yes!! Same number - extension, exactly right!!! Only got time for this short reply at the mo - let me know if you still need the other info - photos might be the easiest in that case!

Kate, please!!
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Post by Webdoc »

The latest range of routers are much more powerful in terms of range (Google the word MIMO) so that might work. Otherwise, does the work building with the thick walls have a window facing the house? If it does you could perhaps place a Wireless Range Extender in the window and transmit inside.
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Post by IanCharlton »

OK. So you could have two routers - one in each building. But you can't have them switched on at the same time. If it's the same phone line, it'll pick up whichever router is switched on. So you could have coverage in the house or the workplace, but not both together.

You can test the theory by unplugging your router (and its filter attachment) and taking it down to your workplace to see what coverage it gives indoors.

If you do need both together, I'll need the answers to the questions.
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Post by IanCharlton »

Webdoc wrote:...Otherwise, does the work building with the thick walls have a window facing the house? If it does you could perhaps place a Wireless Range Extender in the window and transmit inside.
That's one possibility I had in mind, but I wanted to establish that the signal is getting that far in the first place. I'm also factoring in the likely load on the router - I don't know if Tiffany is thinking Home Office or WiFi hotspot.
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Post by Serge »

Have you considered knocking the wall down......? :oops:
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Post by Roger O »

We have the Livebox (area "non-dégroupé"). The "office where the main PC is installed is three rooms (i.e. three walls in between) away from Alizée's room which has no telephone plug. Wifi was already installed on her PC but the strength was insufficient. I bought a WIFI entender at the local France Telecom shop - extremely simple "plug and play" installation.
Since then she has even better reception than I do on this PC in the "office"!! Not sure you can use this with Alice, but I see no logical reason why it shouldn't work for any provider - not that I'm any kind of expert on that subject - and there quite likely may be an illogical one called incompatibility(!!!)

Anyway, here's the (long!) link for the extender:
http://www.orange.fr/bin/frame.cgi?u=ht ... D300000091
Click on the Wifi Extender 85 Mbits
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Post by mpprh »

IanCharlton wrote:Peter,
Don't those WiFi power plugs need to be on the same ring main?
I wouldn't think that two seperate buildings would be on the same circuit.
I should have said that.

It could still work since they have been renovating quite recently.

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Post by Carmen »

We're having sort of the same problem. We have an Orange livebox upstairs and our B6B rooms are downstairs, when we have clients who want to connect we give them our box key number, this should have worked according to the person who worked on our computer. But helas, our clients cannot connect and we don't want to pay a third time for this person to come and do...well...nothing!!! Any suggetstions?
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Post by IanCharlton »

Carmen wrote:...when we have clients who want to connect we give them our box key number, this should have worked according to the person who worked on our computer. ...
"Person" is correct, but may be making some assumptions (I assume :) ).
Your guests are probably getting a signal, but may not have all the setup details. Anyone wanting to connect to your network would need:
The network key - which you've given them.
The network SSID (The network name broadcast by the router)
The security protocol used by the router (WEP, WPA or WPA-PSK)

When they try to set up a wireless connection, they'll be asked for this information. The network key can be entered as alphabetic or hexidecimal (if the key is a combination of numbers and the letters A-E and is an even-number length, it could be hexidecimal). You must use the right format.

This should be enough for most routers, but I think that Orange Liveboxes must also be put into "association mode" at the time the first connection is made, otherwise the wireless PC will be ignored. There's apparently a little button on the back of the box. Naturally, this is in a different location depending on whether the box was made by Sagem, Thomson or whoever.

Sorry this is a bit vague. Networking is easier now than 5 years ago, but it's still more plug-and-pray than plug-and-play.
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Post by Tiffany »

Thanks everyone for your input. Here are some answers to your questions: great idea re: the elec plugs, unfortunately the house and restaurant are on different supplies - same water supply, though (oddly)-anything that'll work with that?!

I'm wanting a hotspot, not so much for customers, although if someone were to ask, it could be useful, but for us (well, me). We have a Roku squeezebox, and would like to access our music which is all stored on the computer (in the house) to play in the restaurant. But also because I have seen an Asus EEEebook in Electro depot - 160Go drive, 2Go RAM, webcam, etc for 278 euros - a cutie at a great price, I reckon. I would quite like to have this over there for access to web stuff - food sites, blogs and recipes etc when I'm stuck over there - which is most of the time, and likely to be also all the time in summer.

I have got a spare netgear router lying around, but I'm guessing if I replace the Alice router, I would no longer have the telephone deal. Ah, it's one Alice box per number. Shame, but I suspected as much.

We have a Wireless G range extender DWL-G710 which was a little awkward to set up initially as it booted everything else off their ip addresses, but we did get it set up in the end and put it in the kitchen which has a glass door facing the downstairs dining room windows of the restaurant. We used network stumbler to make sure it was working, but we could still only get a signal in the downstairs dining room, and I want it upstairs in the kitchen. Being built on the side of a mountain, we are on several different levels.

At the very outside a signal Either here OR there would be a compromise, since I can't be in both places at the same time...would it work if I perhaps plugged in the Netgear router up there?

Also, if a client were to ask for a connection, can they access our computers by being on the same wifi network?

Thanks everyone and Ian!
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Post by IanCharlton »

Tiffany,
Could be quite straightforward after all!
Since you've managed to get a signal in the downstairs dining room, simply buy another range extender and stick it somewhere in the dining room. It'll pick up the signal from the first extender and pass it round the 2nd building. Like two runners in a relay race. CAVEAT: If you have thick walls between rooms, you might still be on dodgy ground.

As for client access: You need to set up sharing on your home PC to be password protected. That way, although anyone on the network can see that the PC is there, they'll need a password to access the disk and any data on it. Not sure how that would work with a squeezebox. You may need to set up the C: drive so that only certain folders are publicly accessible, but that's a whole topic on its own.
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Post by Roger O »

IanCharlton wrote:There are 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don't
A bit early, but still....
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Post by Carmen »

IanCharlton wrote:
Carmen wrote:...when we have clients who want to connect we give them our box key number, this should have worked according to the person who worked on our computer. ...
"Person" is correct, but may be making some assumptions (I assume :) ).
Your guests are probably getting a signal, but may not have all the setup details. Anyone wanting to connect to your network would need:
The network key - which you've given them.
The network SSID (The network name broadcast by the router)
The security protocol used by the router (WEP, WPA or WPA-PSK)

When they try to set up a wireless connection, they'll be asked for this information. The network key can be entered as alphabetic or hexidecimal (if the key is a combination of numbers and the letters A-E and is an even-number length, it could be hexidecimal). You must use the right format.

This should be enough for most routers, but I think that Orange Liveboxes must also be put into "association mode" at the time the first connection is made, otherwise the wireless PC will be ignored. There's apparently a little button on the back of the box. Naturally, this is in a different location depending on whether the box was made by Sagem, Thomson or whoever.

Sorry this is a bit vague. Networking is easier now than 5 years ago, but it's still more plug-and-pray than plug-and-play.

I'm going to read this over and try to do something with it !!! Thanks for taking a moment to explain this to me.
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