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I recently rented an apartment about 100 yards from my brother's house. I have line of sight to his house and can pick up his home AP signal with one of my two laptops if I go out on my balcony (facing his house) or put the laptop by the window. The other laptop will sometimes see the SSID broadcast, but fails to connect, drops, etc.

We would like to set up a persistent wireless connection between our homes. We would prefer each network be logically segmented as independent networks, but he will share his internet connection. I've got a bunch of tv shows saved to a NAS by my TiVO that I'd like to make available to him across the wireless link. My brother strongly prefers to not mess with his WAP at all. His network is running fine and is afraid to mess it up. I guess you could say he is "technologically declined". If we can get a reliable 11Mbps connection we will be satisfied.

What hardware do I need to make this work? I was thinking a router with two wireless interfaces (external antennas) a wired interface, and a directional antenna mounted on my balcony facing his house.

Can anyone recommend hardware to make this happen? Cheaper is better. I'll only be living in the area a year or two. I do have an old satellite TV antenna if that can be used to direct the signal.

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2 Answers 2

You are in the right way, a cheap bridge router (possibly with 2 antennas) and an external amplified antenna connected in place of one of the antennas should do the work fine if you already can connect without anything special even if the connection is not good. Just be sure the router can be used in bridge mode for wifi.

PS: In Stack Exchange sites, shopping or buying recommendations are off-topic because they get obsolete very quickly (and the answers may be very subjective or localized) (please see the FAQ).

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Many APs have a repeater mode which you can use to extend the range of your brother's network, but this will limit the throughput on your end because the AP will have to buffer the frames from your end and send it off in the same channel.

If you're using this option, you're physically in your brother's network and your logical network will have to be configured in his router. Most home routers do no allow you to create multiple subnets under the same SSID, but some allow a second SSID. If you do manage to get two subnets, you may have to manually setup some static routing. After that you should be able to transparently access computers on each subnet by entering the IP address.

Some very advanced AP/wireless router with dual-band radios may be able to forward the traffic onto a different channel/frequency thus giving you a better throughput, but I haven't yet seen one for home use. This will also give you the advantage to create your own SSID and private network. To provide access to your NAS, you'll just have to setup normal port forwarding.

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