Weak wireless signal in certain rooms

  heidelberg 08:45 15 Nov 10

I have a BT Homehub 2.0 providing the network in my house. The main PC is plugged directly into the hub, but in certain rooms the wireless signal strength is weak. I am looking to purchase a Wireless Network Range Extender - or if this is not what I need then something that I can have in another room that will boost the wireless signal. I find that the information given on some websites is not in a form that is easily understandable to the layman i.e. me!! In some cases I'm not so sure exactly what the device being described actually does!

Does anyone have any knowledge or experience of the Sitecom Wl-330 Wireless Network 300n Range Extender? I have seen this recommended on some websites. Is this what I need? If not then any suggestions will be gratefuuly received.

The main PC and both laptops are running Windows 7 Home Premium.

At this point it is not convenient to move the router.



  Terry Brown 09:28 15 Nov 10

It could be , because you are using a mixture of Wired (computer directly to hub)and wireless that the wired system is taking the first call on all the output.

Have you considered using a wireless (dongle) for all your computers? , as tis might improve your performance.

This site may help you.
click here


  onthelimit 09:28 15 Nov 10

One option is to use homeplugs - one plugs into a mains socket and is connected to the router. The second, wireless one, is plugged into an upstairs room. examples of both click here

  skeletal 10:40 15 Nov 10

This is a problem I had, and it led me to spend a lot of time trying to understand the propagation of 2.4 GHz WiFi transmissions.

In simple terms, if the transmitter and receiver have a direct line of sight, with no obstructions between them, you will start with a good signal that diminishes the further the transmitter and receiver are apart. So far, so obvious.

It gets interesting when things get in the way. My house has warm air heating which means there is a large metal vent system in the middle of the house. Tracking signal strength with the laptop as I moved away from the transmitting antenna ( click here is a useful utility that helps with this) I saw the signal strength fall (normal) then completely disappear a few metres from the duct, then suddenly reappear quite strongly even further away.

Sitting on a bed upstairs saw almost no signal because a combination of bedsprings and my lap gave too much attenuation.

Every wall the signal had to pass through gave a big reduction in signal strength, and a cavity wall was a disaster!

I solved my problem by considering my second paragraph above. I bought a high gain antenna for the transmitter which I wired on the other side of a cavity wall. In direct contradiction with “normal” antenna theory (the higher the better) I fixed it just above floor level so that the beam could squeeze under a reinforced concrete ceiling support. This peculiar antenna location allows a reasonable signal all over my house (appart from the dead spot near the warm air duct).

Using an external antenna means you can, possibly, gain a huge advantage by doing the equivalent of moving the router/transmitter...without moving it.

Note that a high gain antenna works by concentrating the signal into a beam, if you require a good signal a long way off the beam, it could make things worse (think of a car spot light as the high gain and a fog light as low gain).

A repeater should also work, but you will of course have to place it in a suitable position to get the best benefit. I can’t recommend one as I’ve never used one.

Also, a final thought before buying anything is to change channel. It may be part of your problem is interference with a nearby WIFi from a neighbour (again netstumbler will help, showing all available WiFis, their strengths and channels).

You may have to do a bit of experimentation.


  961 10:54 15 Nov 10

One thing I have noticed in some homes is that the BT Homehub is often down on the floor in the corner of a room next to the BT master socket. Even lifting it onto a shelf or window sill can make a difference

However a repeater/extender can be the solution and it need not be expensive. The diagram here click here shows the idea and most of this stuff is easy to set up these days

Homeplugs are another way to go but by no means as cheap

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