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Due to the lack of fast broadband in my street I'm looking to connect to my friend's wireless network 300m away in order to share their fibre broadband connection.

The trouble is we won't be able to get line of site as there are houses in the way. I could put an antenna in the loft space / potentially on the roof of my house, but can't really ask the same of my friend.

I've seen this question, and tempted to either try making a "cantenna" or just buy an antenna, but I'm not sure it would work at all without line of sight, even though the distance isn't anywhere near the distance some antennas advertise eg 24dBi-Parabolic-Directional-2-4GHz

So my questions are:

  1. Is it possible to cover 300m with several buildings in the way?
  2. If it is, what kind of power antenna should I be looking at?
  3. Should it be possible to get > 2 Mbs?
  4. Does it make much difference if I use 802.11 G or N for this?

Cheers

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    A) It depends on how much you're willing to spend on this project. B) Wireless solutions for residential users isn't that reliable over 70m. You should read up this subject here and here. The short answer is, yes, but only if you have the money to spend on a commercial solution and you can get around neighbors and city ordinances (depending on where you live). – CIA Nov 14 '13 at 21:02
  • If you've got buildings in the way there is very little hope of it working at all. If you had trees in the way, it might work. If you could see part of the building, you might be in luck. But if you can't see your friends house at all... you're going to be very unlikely to get this to work at all. – Matt H Nov 14 '13 at 21:18
  • BTW, 300m is not considered long range. It's quite a short hop. – Matt H Nov 14 '13 at 21:19
  • I guess it's all relative, from the answer below I guess 300m is long for a built up area. Over fields a modified pringles can would seem to cope with far further! :-) – Matt Nov 14 '13 at 23:19
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300 Meters without line of site is an ask, I suspect it might be marginally possible, but not practical. I've not played with it, but I suspect you will get substantially better performance if you can find some 900 MHz equipment - although it looks like the bandwidth available on it is not that great - from some googling probably 2-4 Megabit throughput - and it looks quite expensive.

Typically the lower the frequency the less Line Of Site matters and the further the distance (but the less bandwidth you have). From that point of view, 2.4 gig is better then 5 gig band - of-course 2.4 is a lot noisier because of interference.

802.11n is a better option then 802.11g for your application. Getting directional antennas would make a difference.

Have you been on your roof to see what is visible from there - you may be surprised by how much you can see In the same vain, can you mount the Aerial on a pole to get more clearance ?

Without line of site I'd imagine its going to be quite difficult to work out which antenna is best - but definately not an Omni. If you are creative, you may be able to get some MIMO gear and multiple antennas - That might give you better performance because it is designed to handle multiple paths better. Never done this though.

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1.Is it possible to cover 300m with several buildings in the way?

Any reliable options would be significantly more expensive than upgrading/getting your own broadband... Or asking your neighbours nicely.

2.If it is, what kind of power antenna should I be looking at?

That depends, if you're looking to do WiFi 2.4GHz then you need line of sight as a minimum but a pair of directional antennae ought to do it (one at each end.) 300m is not an issue if you have line of sight.

3.Should it be possible to get > 2 Mbs?

In a built up area if it works at all you should consider that a success. The 2.4GHz ISM band is full of every radio operated device you can think of and plenty you didn't. Cordless phones, Bluetooth, other people's wifi, baby monitors, doorbells, CCTV and video senders are a few examples.

4.Does it make much difference if I use 802.11 G or N for this?

The only benefit might be to get to 5GHz instead but that's more prone to being physically blocked.

  • Cheers for the reply. Sadly we can only get 1 Mbps where we are, and our street cabinet isn't "Commercially Viable" to be upgraded to FTTC. If I can get line of sight do you think it would be worth giving it a go? Would something like this be good enough for 300m? My only other option for fast broadband would be mobile broadband, but it would be prohibitively expensive to use it for Netflix / iPlayer – Matt Nov 14 '13 at 22:18
  • I'd expect to see lots of noise / interference problems but if you're happy to drop a couple of hundred quid on an experiment with at best a slim chance of success (on the condition you can get line of sight) then sure, why not. You can always eBay/return the gear to get some of the costs back if it doesn't work out. – James Snell Nov 14 '13 at 23:08

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