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Any suggestions on how I can network my PC with my neighbor's PC given they are about 60 meters apart? Any cheap solutions would be welcome.

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migrated from serverfault.com Nov 27 '09 at 13:16

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Is there another house between yours and his? –  dubRun Nov 27 '09 at 14:11
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7 Answers 7

  • Most direct method - run a length of Cat5/5e/6 ethernet cable from point to point, avoiding obstacles.
  • Method that will ensure you feel like 'Wired' really IS for you - setup a wifi network, ideally with a directional aerial.
  • Method that you would have used in the 80's - buy several long parallel lead with line-boosters every 15m, install LapLink version 2.0 for DOS, xcopy wangchun.mp3 to your 30Mb 5.25" Winchester disk.
  • Long-latency method - print out your data, post print-out to neighbour, call him to see how he's getting on hand-typing it out again.
  • Most expensive method - commission a private communications satellite, visit Venezuela to watch rocket launch, install 2 x dishes in your respective gardens, voila! network!
  • Cruellest method - glue wet puppies together, apply current in signal form, decrypt at other end, repeat.
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+1 wangchun.mp3 –  shufler Nov 27 '09 at 14:41
    
+1 but you need to remember to renew the puppies every so often. –  GAThrawn Nov 27 '09 at 17:11
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The maximum segment length of 100BaseTX is 100 metres (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast%5FEthernet) so you could comfortably connect your two PCs using a cross-over Ethernet cable.

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This Sounds like a job for a CANTENNA!! (directional Wifi antenna, traditionally constructed using a cleaned out food can) (Assuming that you have line of sight and can set up external antennas on either end of the connection). My personal suggestion - get two cheap linksys WRT54G's, hook up cantennas to either end and point them at each other. set up one to work as a wired and wireless repeater, and voila - wireless network connection with decent signal strength even over that distance.

For the cantenna, there are commercial solutions, and DIY solutions. Which would be better depends on you DIY skill and how long this is going to be used. If you only need it for a little while, or are a wizard with a soldering iron, go DIY. If you're looking for permanent or are likely to use an eye with a hot pointy rod, go commercial. Plenty of options for both show up with a quick google for "cantenna".

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cheap wireless devices using bandwidth at theoretical maximum (so, no neighbors using wi-fi, baby monitors, cordless phones, or leaky electronics of any sort, no rainstorms, snowstorms, or sunspots, no bucket truckets or ladders in the path, etc.) will not exceed the reliability and speed of a wired link costing less.

if you are unable to run wire in a protected location but you have a clean line of sight, wireless is a great hack. But wired, as long as you can keep it from being trod upon or cut, is going to be better in the real world.

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You could wireless adapters in ad-hoc mode. Although never used it personally.

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WiFi range is enough for that? –  Thilo Nov 27 '09 at 14:31
    
Wireless N claims an outdoor range for 182M according to the standard (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11). I'm assuming that number is if you have line of sight. Indoors is even listed at 91M. Whether any actual equipment can do that is debatable. You can also use directional antennas which focus all their power is one direction rather and radiating in all directions. –  shf301 Nov 27 '09 at 16:59
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Best solution is an ethernet cable if you have less than 40 meters to avoid the walls, unless you'll certainly have to go wireless but 60 meters without an decent antenna gain is going to drop the bandwith down. Another option is power line communication wich deployment success will vary according to the electrical setup of the building.

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Power line communication could wreak havoc on any Amateur Radio enthusiasts nearby (see arrl.org/bpl). It really should be discouraged as much as possible. –  PP. Nov 27 '09 at 13:17
    
And I don't believe it will work if there is a transformer between you and your neighbor –  shf301 Nov 27 '09 at 16:56
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Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of 9-track tapes.

But if you have line of sight, I would go with wireless. There are some simple antenna improvement ideas online.

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