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Router suitable for thick(er) walls

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#1 kiddingguy

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 20:03

Hi guys,

The router of my brother is kinda EOL.
I'm looking for a new router, but it has to have a good range, because the current router is not able to give good reception throughout their house. Because of the thick walls.
The router is locatied on the ground floor and reception must be on first floor and preferably on second floor.

What is a good option:
- A router with range extender
- A better router which transfer the Internet-signal very good throughout the house
- ....

And which brands and models are the best option?
I preferably like Linksys, but I'm open for other brands and makes.


#2 Phouchg

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 20:07

You can buy a router and replace the stock antenna with a high-gain counterpart. Just be sure it comes from a respectable manufacturer not some Made in South Pole.

#3 cybertimber2008

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 20:09

*Wireless* router.
You probably want to look at a wireless router with changable antennas, like Linksys wireless routers & APs once had. Put a bigger antenna on it, and you can communicate a farther.

But if you have thick walls, you probably want to stay in the 2.4ghz range. Lower frequencies penetrate walls better.
You may want to consider moving it more towards the center of your house, aka the first floor. The best way might be to have a wired router, then a wireless AP on the first floor. More expensive, but it may be the best solution. Or maybe orient your antennas horizontally instead of vertically.

All of these things are things to talk about really.

#4 Seizure1990

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 20:12

Why are your walls thick? What is inside them? Depending on what's between the rooms, it may not matter what router you get... All the load bearing walls in my house are made of solid brick, and a good portion of the other walls are lined with wire mesh for some reason... It doesn't matter what we do, you can barely get a signal across the house. However, the floors are all just wood, so you can get reception perfectly from one floor below an AP.

#5 hjf288

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 20:13

Powerline adapters would probably be better if you have thicker walls then you can put a router per floor

#6 OP kiddingguy

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 21:08

Thank you guys.
Will the Linksys Router E2500 suffice? Or do I need to get - if possible - a high gain antenna with it?

#7 Phouchg

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 21:36

That model doesn't seem to have external antenna nor a connector to attach one. Internal antenna will definitely be weak and hard to position, especially in your case. Immediate obstacles attenuate the most.

Note that there are two types of connectors for external antennas. Cisco/Linksys uses RP-TNC (R-TNC, RTNC, simply TNC), D-Link uses RP-SMA (R-SMA, RSMA, SMA).
Actually there's more but these two are most common. All coaxials look very similar but aren't compatible. So the best bet is to pick antenna from the same manufacturer, if possible.

Also you might consider extension cables that would possibly allow to position the antenna better.

#8 OP kiddingguy

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 23:08

So is this for Linksys only the Linksys WRT54GL w/ a Cisco-Linksys High Gain Antenna Kit for TNC Connectors HGA7T ?
as seen on this link

Or are there other Linksys routers?


#9 Phouchg

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 23:43

Ermm, but it seems I have forgotten to mention the most important thing. You'd need to change antennas for every device not just the router alone. It won't help phones, tablets etc..
So it probably makes my careless recommendation moot.

As for the router itself, there's hundreds of models by Linksys alone. WRT45GL are probably the most abundant in the Known Universe, though. You need to decide on the strategy first. And needs. Do you need up to 108 Mbps (802.11n) or will 54 Mbps (802.11g) be enough (practically speeds will be way lower)? How many devices will be using it at the same time (802.11n handles high-bandwith way better)? Do you have Gigabit network cards and cables (otherwise 802.11n will be limited by even one of those)?

Phew, it's all complicated as hell. So people like me can profit IRL *cough*

#10 Ntrstd

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 00:40

Hi guys,

The router of my brother is kinda EOL.
I'm looking for a new router, but it has to have a good range, because the current router is not able to give good reception throughout their house. Because of the thick walls.
The router is locatied on the ground floor and reception must be on first floor and preferably on second floor.

What is a good option:
- A router with range extender
- A better router which transfer the Internet-signal very good throughout the house
- ....

And which brands and models are the best option?
I preferably like Linksys, but I'm open for other brands and makes.


The effect of the walls on the signal might have more to do with how much metal is in them. Some walls have reo (re-inforcing steel rods) or metal frames.

Get one of the more expensive routers with wireless N. It has a longer range. A dual channel model might be good too (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz).

Look for the N300 types, they have better throughput and longer range. Some models are specifically designed to work throughout a building.
If it does streaming video it's probably a good choice. Also look for one that has a changeable external antenna. Replacement booster antennas are available but they can be a bit expensive.

If the router has a guest access system, that would be handy too.

Linksys, Netgear, Cisco are probably good choices. Belkin should be ok. I don't know if I could recommend D-Link.

As always, keep the receipt in case you need to change it for another model !

#11 +chconline

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 00:22

In your case, you might need several routers/range extenders. Get routers that are DD-WRT hackable and you'll be on your first step to success.

Signal attenuation on regular drywalls are not very high though, unless you got a lot of metal or concrete in between.