View Full Version : Recommended Pre-N/MIMO Wireless Access Point?

2006-08-14, 18:06
Hi all,

I'm having low signal/reliability problems with the SB2 in my bedroom. This connects via WLAN to my ADSL router (which has a built-in wireless access point). The signal strength I'm getting changes from as low as 20% up to around 60%, but never higher (it averages around 30-35%).

I've had low signal problems in other areas of the house, and as I can't move my ADSL router, I was considering buying a dedicated wireless access point.

So I'm thinking of going for one of the Pre-N/MIMO devices out there... will they make any difference for non-MIMO clients (specifically the SB2/SB3)? Any recommended (i.e. tried and tested) models?


2006-08-14, 18:43
I use Netgear Pre-N Router WGM124 in access point mode.

Made a HUGE difference comparing to previously used Motorola WR850G. Much better signal strength and stability for both my laptop and wireless SB2.

Still use Motorola as non-wireless router, since Netgear configuration options are not the greatest. However, considering that I got the Netgear on sale for $30, I am very happy with its performance.

Hope this helps.

2006-08-15, 11:18
First thing to do is download Netstumbler and run it on a portable to diagnose what other networks are close to you and what channels they are on. It will also graph the signal to noise ratio as you move around the house. You can then quickly pick a 'clear' channel and see if that makes any difference.

If you have any portable house phones they can squelch the WiFi signal so try turning them off (batteries/psu out) and check with Netstumbler. High gain antennas will boost the signal significantly - you can buy them quite cheaply off eBay to suit your router. A 9db passive antenna should give you all the extra power you need.

WiFi signals are absorbed by metal so try and put the SB away from metal equipment racks or other metal objects. Modern gas fires have a metal liner all the way up the chimney and this will certainly kill your signal.

If all else fails buy a couple of 85mbps Devolo Home Plugs and use your mains circuit as a hard wired ethernet. I use these for Wifi blackspots but they are also far better and provide faster transmission than WiFi. A 54g WiFi network, with security switched on, will typically give you 14 - 15 mbps at best. I have 4 clients on a Home Plug network and each is running at between 50 and 70 mbps as I type this.

Until you understand the problem buying a new Router will probably not give you any improvement. Besides which the full N spec routers will be available by the end of the year and will not be backward compatible to pre N, MIMO and other cynical marketing ploys. Best wait as the N routers will run at 240mbps (true throughput about 60-80 mbps) and will support video streaming.

2006-08-15, 12:26
As the 802.11n standard isn't even ratified yet, I find it a bit premature to buy one now!

Getting a pre-N /MIMO router should help you though; Even standard 802.11g network cards get a better signal rate when connecting to it.

2006-08-15, 13:08
Heuer - thanks for the suggestions... I've tried most of that, so, with the exception of going over power, my only solution is to get a dedicated AP to replace the built-in one of my ADSL router.

Waiting until the 802.11n standard is ratified is not really an option; after all, spending 100 to get things working properly for the next year or so is worth it, in my opinion... it's money I would otherwise have spent on fixing my head after banging it on the wall all the time ;)


2006-08-15, 14:20

Then the cheapest and most effective fix is the Devolo: http://www.devolo.com/co_EN/index.html

Amazon sell a starter pack.

Next to the SB these are the best gadgets I have ever bought!

2006-08-15, 16:06
Nice one! I see they do a UK socket version too :)

I might give that a shot... should solve the problem once and for all!