Landing : Athabascau University

WiFi woes

I have a small house. A very small house. It basically has four rooms and it is made of wood. To the best of my knowledge it was not designed as a Faraday Cage.

And yet - it seems impossible to get wifi in every corner of the house.

I teach networking so I have a reasonable idea of how to set up such things. I've tried putting the WiFi access point everywhere. I added a big antenna. I added a high-power wireless repeater. I added a second network with its own access point, using a different wireless spectrum, and placed it at the other end of the house with a big antenna, wired via the mains. I added a third repeater. I added reflectors to direct the signal better. I got rid of anything I could that might be broadcasting on the same frequency.

There are 30 visible wireless networks around me and every time someone opens a garage door, answers a phone or switches on a microwave oven it makes things worse. Basically, there's too much noise in the ether and everyone is shouting louder to get heard. I think I might go back to wires.




  • I can't fnd my hat, this building isn't accessible to people using wheelchairs, and these cookies are awful. They are doughy and individually wrapped, and I'm hungry for real food anyway. But the wi-fi works. If you have decent cookies, we could trade. 

    sarah beth October 16, 2012 - 11:32am

  • And I'm too cold. 

    sarah beth October 16, 2012 - 11:33am

  • I feel your pain! I bought 3 different wireless routers trying to get a better signal, but this damn bar doesn't go higher than 3.

    Plus being in a very isolated community (Fort Chipewyan, AB), the only internet service provider is a satellite internet service. They claim it's high speed... yeah, but no. I have to click and pause every youtube video I watch, make a sandwich, come back, watch the half that has loaded, go for a pop, then come and finish it. No wonder I am getting fat - it's internet's fault!

    Jimmy Plamondon October 16, 2012 - 12:51pm

  • Cookies, sandwiches...there's a theme developing here. Maybe it's linked to the appearance of bars.

    Jon Dron October 16, 2012 - 4:21pm

  • I told my principal the other day to stop telling people we have WiFi at school.  We only have Wi - no Fi.  If you're not standing in the server room - there's no reception.  So we're putting $800.00 into a new router. Maybe we need more bars.

    Mary McNabb October 17, 2012 - 7:03am

  • check out #4 here

    beer can amplifier for your router!

    Carmen Southgate October 17, 2012 - 12:35pm

  • Those bars are developing into a theme - now serving beer. 

    Yes, I've done the beer can. And the tin foil wrapped around carefully shaped cardboard. And the shop-bought reflector that is guaranteed to work or your money back. And the sacrifice of chickens and first born children. Actually, the best wifi boosting reflector that I've ever tried was a few years back when I had a student make one out of a coffee tin - just the right size for maximum gain, apparently, much better than the traditional beer tin or Pringles can. Over a clear field and car park, I could pick the signal up about 500 metres away and heard tell of those who got a few kilometres out of similar things. Now I have problems getting a connection 10 metres away.

    I must say that the one thing I've not tried is spending $800 on a new router: even with all the various incremental additions, my expenditure is still well under half that. Can the ether be bribed? We should be told.


    Jon Dron October 17, 2012 - 1:01pm

  • Yikes!  I never thought you were the voodoo type.Surprised

    maybe you need to get out of the house more often:


    Carmen Southgate October 17, 2012 - 3:40pm

  • I found my hat in the bottom of my laundry hamper. It smells funny now, but I'm calling it a win anyway. No word on whether this is the result of voodoo. 

    sarah beth November 22, 2012 - 3:35pm

  • We have a simialr problem in our house, but our problem lies with the provider. They do not wish to provide us with reliable internet. DSL is an option 2 kms from our house but we cannot get it. It costs too much money. (they only turned $20 million profit last year)

    Laurie Millington February 24, 2013 - 5:42am

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