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So essentially I'm looking to extend my wireless internet to a building that is about 200ft away.

Right now my wireless signal shows, but it is beyond weak. Does anyone know of a resource where I can read up on how to set up an antenna to send the signal across the street to make it stronger in their house?

Also, please don't comment on the security issues, I have all that covered :)

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Your location may be relevant here - laws on radio signal transmissions vary based on jurisdiction. –  Shinrai Dec 29 '10 at 21:17
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what about a simple repeater? or longer antennas or tin foil (shaped like a sat dish). –  studiohack Dec 29 '10 at 21:19
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How far? Is there a clear line of site. Oh and just a thought, you might want to edit the question and take out the part about sharing with your parents as that violates most Terms of service with your internet providers. Something like. "How can I extend my wireless to another building x feet away?" The fact that your parents house is the building is really irrelevant to the question. –  Larry Dec 29 '10 at 21:21

7 Answers 7

Use directional antennas and point them to the other house.

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This is probably the easiest solution. I would highly suggest this. –  David Dec 29 '10 at 21:30
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Ditto, easiest solution. (See my comment on the question itself though - depending on where you are this may or may not get you in trouble with the authorities. In the admittedly incredibly unlikely event they actually noticed.) –  Shinrai Dec 29 '10 at 21:47
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For 200ft away he may not even need directional (Yagi) antennas (especially since the signal already shows up weak). Simply installing DD-WRT and upping the TX power (still using the omnidirectional antennas) may be enough. –  ubiquibacon Dec 30 '10 at 2:37
    
I'd appreciate if the person downvoting would comment on the reason. I don't understand why this post got 10 upvotes either. –  Daniel Beck Jan 22 '11 at 7:33

Read up on repeaters. Also consider getting a more powerful router. If you look at the routers that support DD-WRT then you can get one and flash the hacked firmware giving your router a more powerful signal. You can also buy another and use it as a repeater to extend the signal into your parents house.

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Previously somebody answered "use directional antennas".

You can make your own. Do a web search on "Cantenna". Thats not a spelling mistake. You can make a directional antenna using a soup can and some readily available pieces of hardware. It turns out that the Pringles Can antenna is not as good as they can be.

Bear in mind also that at the 2.4 GHz frequency of WiFi, the attenuation through air, buildings, people, water, etc is very high, so you will never get really outstanding range. There is a reason this spectrum is freely available, after all.

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One of the simplest things to do would be to use routers with external antennas at each building.

I have a garage/shop about 250 ft in front of my house. I am using a Linksys WRT54G series router with 7 dBi Antennas.

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I have the router inside at the window facing the shop. I have a wireless card with an external antenna on the inside of the shop in a window facing the house. I have about 80% signal strength most of the time.

200 feet should be easily done, without directional antennas.

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Some helpful pages from around the web to boost your WIFI signal:

Lifehacker: http://lifehacker.com/296367/boost-your-wireless-signal-with-a-homemade-wifi-extender

Ask Bob Rankin: http://askbobrankin.com/10_ways_to_boost_your_wifi_signal.html

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You're probably going to need to setup a point-to-point wireless connection then have another wireless AP in their house for them to connect to. Using something like a cantenna to pick up your house would be the first thing I'd do.

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Are you using an 802.11N router? If not, find one that has dual channel support. A nice perk of using 802.11n is that they have a larger broadcast range to start with.

As suggested above, if you combine the increased broadcast power along with directional antennas you may have a viable solution. If you decide to get a new router, be sure that it has removable antennas. You should be able to then attach the directional antenna to the other building.

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