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Extending WiFi By 500 Feet

Gerald in Biloxi, Mississippi listens on SuperTalk 103.1 FM asked us about extending his WiFi

Wifi Router

Gerald asked: “I’m trying to find something that will pick up Wi-Fi signal from a distance. I saw a book that has Wi-Fi receivers but I don’t understand the distance part of it, because it goes by megahertz or something like that. If I’m gonna be 500 feet from my house, in my shed, what kind of megahertz strength should I be trying to use, and where should I locate the antenna that I’m using from the house or on the shed?”

 

Gerald, if you’re trying to spread your WiFi signal, changing its frequency won’t help you. WiFi works at set frequencies, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz being the the most common, there are others but they have special uses, for example, 4.9 GHz is reserved for public safety uses only.

If you stray from those frequencies, you’re going to need something to convert the signal back to what your WiFi devices would recognize as WiFi on the receiving end.

The reason that book mentions frequencies in the megahertz range, is that lower frequencies travel longer distances, but you can’t use them for WiFi and you often can’t use them at all without a license.

500 feet is well beyond the range of normal WiFi, but you can look into specialized directional antennas if you have a clear line of sight to your shed. At that distance, just about anything will interfere, even trees.

If you have power at the shed, you can set up an antenna there attached to a repeater and lined up with the other antenna at the house. If you don’t, you can try to just use the one antenna and see if your devices can talk a back to your home’s connection. Keep in mind that at that distance, you probably won’t get excellent service, there will be a lot of signal noise and packet loss.

500 feet is technically even beyond the range of Ethernet drops

500 feet is technically even beyond the range of Ethernet drops without a repeater, you could try a fiber optic cable drop to the shed, but again, you’d need power on the shed’s side to turn that signal back to WiFi, and you’re talking about a pretty big project if you attempt it.

No solution is truly inexpensive, but you can try something like an $85 Amped High Power Directional antenna at the house, probably mounted somewhere high, and aim it at the shed. That’s about as cheap as you’ll be able to go.

These kinds of installations are far from an exact science, any little thing may interfere with the signal at that distance, so be prepared for the possibility of things not work out great from the start.

Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of “Into Tomorrow” in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network”.

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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