Longtime reader Keith wrote with an interesting problem that has implications for many other readers:
I have a small problem, and I need some help. I live in Chiang Mai Thailand and the internet is not the fastest.
When I do speed tests downstairs by the main router, I get between 12.5 & 15.5 Mbps, but in the upstairs office room it was 1.5 to 2.5 Mbps.
I bought an Asus RT-N12HP Range Extender and placed it halfway up the stairs, this made some improvement to around 5.1 Mbps. This is still very slow and I am wondering how I can improve it.
Would a second extender help if I placed each one about a one third distance from the main router, or is there a better way? I hope that I have explained this properly?
Many thanks in advance.
Keith didn’t mention the model router he has, but he did identify the range extender, which is a big help.
I’m not sure if he’s trying to connect with 802.11g or 802.11n. His downstairs connection speeds seepm pretty decent, but the second floor connections still aren’t good.
I don’t think a second extender is the solution at the moment. There are some physical (layout) adjustments that may solve the problem.
I think the issue is with the antenna orientation.
In your mind, think of a three-dimensional graph (X axis to the right and left, Y axis up and down, and the Z axis towards the front and back.
Think of the wireless signal strength graphed as a wide, relatively flat, doughnut circling around the 0,0,0 intersection point of the 3 axes. (for the analogy, think of the donut as not having a hole in the center).
The problem is that "Up" (the Y axis in the diagram) is the antenna.
The broadcast strength is strongest in the directions perpendicular to the antenna. It is weakest in the direction that the antenna points.
So, what can you do?
On the Asus RT-N12HP Range Extender, you have two external antennas. I would tilt both of them, probably at a 45 degree angle perpendicular to a line between the router and the upstairs location. That way, they’ve got a better signal reception from the router and better transmission to the upstairs.
You didn’t mention what router you have. If it has external antennas, I would orient them similarly to 45 degree angle for the range extender.
If the router does not have external antennas, I would try tilting the router 45 degrees to get the same effect. Note that, since you can’t see the antenna orientation, you may need to try tilting with the back down, the front down, the left down and the right side down in order to figure out which way works best.