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Nancy in Gilmer, Texas listens on KTBB 97.5 FM and asked: “Hoping you can help me with a router question. I have a Linksys EA7300 and it has served me well with no problems. It covers our small home perfectly. I’d like it to reach out to my husband’s shop which is about 150 feet away. Do I need to just need to invest in a bigger, more powerful router, or is there a gizmo or something I can plug in somewhere to reach out to his shop?”
Nancy, 150 feet will put you at a range that WiFi can handle, but not as well as most manufacturers like to advertise.
If you have a direct line of sight to the shop, you can try moving the router as close as you can to it and see if anything is picked up. Depending on obstacles and materials, nothing at all may be picked up and obviously you may not be able to move the router at all.
You can plug in a WiFi repeater closer to the part of the house that’s nearest his shop, or try to build a mesh network by buying a new router. Something like an Eero or Orbi with a couple of endpoints in the house, including one as close to the shop as possible and one on the shop’s side as close to the house as possible.
If the endpoints can talk to each other, then you working have a network connection and you’re all set.
If that doesn’t work you can use a directional antenna at the shop’s end pointed directly at the house. We’ve had luck in the past with the C. Crane Super USB Wifi Antenna, but you may be able to get away with just a regular, inexpensive directional antenna that replaces the antennas on a router that you’d then place in the shop.
Failing that your other option would be to run some wire to the shop. 150 feet of ethernet cable wouldn’t cost a great deal, think under $50 if you bought Cat 7 and rated for outside use. With it you’d have a solid connection at that distance, but it does require some manual labor to install that the wireless routers wouldn’t.
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