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kevinrea

join:2008-04-05
Littlerock, CA

What is the most powerful wireless router ?

hi guys,
i need the longest distance wireless router around my place.
what is the wireless router that offers the most distance ?

thanks,
kevin rea
palmdale, california

tobicat
Premium
join:2005-04-18
Tombstone, AZ

LLigetfa

join:2006-05-15
Fort Frances, ON
kudos:1

3 edits
A while back there was a discussion about some models that could not possibly be FCC certified if their purported specs were correct as the claimed EIRP was over the legal limit.
»2 more illegal CPE's from Demarc
I haven't scrutinized their specs lately and haven't looked up actual FCC certification claims so cannot be sure if that is still the case.

reply to kevinrea
I have a 44 mile point to point link with 2 Proxim tsunami wireless bridges. mountain top to mountain top, no trees.

They are not WiFi, but they are wireless.

kevinrea

join:2008-04-05
Littlerock, CA
reply to kevinrea

I guess I should have specified price..

i would like to stay under $200.00

thanks,
Kevin

stevech0

join:2006-09-17
San Diego, CA

1 edit
reply to kevinrea

Re: What is the most powerful wireless router ?

WiFi is a two-way communications system.

You can have a million watt (illegal) wireless router but your laptop is still 0.040 watt on average.

I use the metaphore of a Rock Band's public address system. Can they hear YOU in the audience?

What DOES work is to put a high-gain antenna on your w-router/AP. Antenna gain is bi-directional.

Same for a better antenna on the laptop or WiFi bridge device.


prestonlewis
Premium,MVM
join:2003-04-13
Sacramento, CA
reply to kevinrea
Jeez. The most powerful HOME USE wireless router is without doubt the venerable Linksys WRT54G and GL series of wireless G routers. Put 2nd party firmware on it like from sveasoft.com or DD-WRT and you can crank the output level up really high. Make sure the model you buy uses alternative firmware. Not all of them do. Someone (hopefully) will post the models that do. There are like 5 different versions of the WRT54G, I think 3 take alternative firmware which allows you to crank up the output power and a couple of models that are Linksys firmware only.

Remember one thing: The client device has to have a lot of power too to send data BACK to your high powered router. If it is a long distance you're talking about, you might need TWO WRT54Gs (one in client/bridge mode) with both of them cranked up to full power. You'd also need to unscrew the antennas they come with and use flat panel or directional antennas on both sides. Yes, the WRT54G comes with 2 antennas but it can only use 1 antenna at a time so plugging a single directional antenna into one antenna slot will work just fine. On the bridge side of the link, just leave the WAN port empty and plug your computing devices into the LAN ports. Remember to rename the client WRT54G to a local IP address different from the first like 192.168.1.2

Good luck.


Anav
Sarcastic Llama? Naw, Just Acerbic
Premium
join:2001-07-16
Dartmouth, NS
kudos:5
How many mws does the linksys put out?

LLigetfa

join:2006-05-15
Fort Frances, ON
kudos:1
reply to kevinrea

Re: I guess I should have specified price..

There are routers on Demarctech's site under $200. Price aside, Bountiful makes the claim of having the "most powerful".
»www.bountifulwifi.com/
--
Strange as it seems, no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and formal education positively fortifies it. -- Stephen Vizinczey


prestonlewis
Premium,MVM
join:2003-04-13
Sacramento, CA
reply to Anav

Re: What is the most powerful wireless router ?

I don't currently own a WRT54G (I'm using SuperG) but I believe the number for max output was 200mW which is at or near the maximum allowed. It can also be considered "rude" to use this power setting if you have a lot of networks nearby or use channel 6. It will also likely shorten the life of your router due to more heat being produced but I did it for years without any of my various WRT545Gs dying on me.

Since most client devices rarely use more than 20mW for output power, that's why it's not usually needed to use that much power. However in bridging a distance, you can use two WRT54Gs and just play with the power settings until you can a power output number that doesn't result in retransmitted data. I'd start at 50% power and check the client to see if there are receiving problems and then move up to 60% and so on.


Anav
Sarcastic Llama? Naw, Just Acerbic
Premium
join:2001-07-16
Dartmouth, NS
kudos:5
Reason I ask is that there are other home routers with 400 and 500mW output.


Jerm

join:2000-04-10
Richland, WA
kudos:2

1 edit
reply to kevinrea
Kevin-

The real problem here isn't just the router, but what is connecting to the router matters also. Wireless is a two way communication. If you beef up the router with a bigger antenna and crank up the output power, you may still have issues with the laptop or whatever connecting device still having a poor antenna and/or power.

If you are currently using a router and it's giving you poor range, please include that info.

WiFi routers can give you better range in a few different ways:

A. More Power. Most consumer devices are only 40mw or so. Some routers can be hacked to output 5x more, and others can be bought that offer over 10x more power. But again this really only helps if the "other" device has more power also.

B. Better Antennas. This is a great option because a good antenna will provide better transmission and reception on the router, providing better range for all devices. WiFi is finicky due to the frequency, and I've had great success simply changing out the regular "whip" antenna on most APs with a 10" tall 8dBi omni you can get off eBay for like $20 shipped. Having a cord is nice also to allow you to move the antenna around - higher is generally better.

C. MIMO (Multiple In, Multiple Out) - Generally these routers will provide better range due to the extra antennas and the ability to pick which signal is best. However to really see a performance increase you'd need it on both the router and client - and since most devices only have single antenna G compatibility this becomes a moot point.

kevinrea

join:2008-04-05
Littlerock, CA
reply to kevinrea
Ok..
thanks for all the help guys.

Kevin Rea
Palmdale, Calif.

stevech0

join:2006-09-17
San Diego, CA
reply to prestonlewis
said by prestonlewis:

Jeez. The most powerful HOME USE wireless router is without doubt the venerable Linksys WRT54G and GL series of wireless G routers. Put 2nd party firmware on it like from sveasoft.com or DD-WRT and you can crank the output level up really high.
Not true. The web page may say so, but not so in the firmware.


prestonlewis
Premium,MVM
join:2003-04-13
Sacramento, CA
said by stevech0:

said by prestonlewis:

Jeez. The most powerful HOME USE wireless router is without doubt the venerable Linksys WRT54G and GL series of wireless G routers. Put 2nd party firmware on it like from sveasoft.com or DD-WRT and you can crank the output level up really high.
Not true. The web page may say so, but not so in the firmware.
What web page? Linksys, Sveasoft, or DD-WRT? And how is it not true? I don't mind being wrong, I often am, but at least explain yourself when you say something I've stated is "not true". I used WRT54Gs for years and found them to be quite high powered devices. I primarily used Sveasoft alternative firmware and the difference was quite noticeable. Please be a little more specific if you disagree with me. I don't mind learning from others but you really give a reader nothing to work with here.


prestonlewis
Premium,MVM
join:2003-04-13
Sacramento, CA
reply to Anav
said by Anav:

Reason I ask is that there are other home routers with 400 and 500mW output.
Isn't that above the FCC limits? Nonetheless, what routers are they? I might want to buy one with output power like that.

stevech0

join:2006-09-17
San Diego, CA

4 edits
reply to prestonlewis
WiFi certification requires a certain "rho" or quality of the OFDM waveform. This means the RF carrier phases for data coding are within acceptable error tolerances. Overdriving the RF amplifier causes this to fail and causes a higher bit error rate leading to lower throughput. This is much more critical for 11g than 11b due to OFDM.

Therefore, the manufacturers' firmware may and often will refuse to attempt to overdrive the amplifier and distort the transmitted waveform beyond WiFi's criteria. (The OFDM ratio is typically about 5dB which is why 11g runs about 40mW whereas the same hardware will run 100mW in 11b mode). The typical path loss in free space and through walls, at 2.4GHz, is many, many 10's of dB. So the difference between 40mW and 100mW is small (in dB, a log scale, since path loss is related to the inverse square law).

So the graphical user interfaces in DD-WRT et al may imply you can set the transmitter to high power, but the firmware will silently limit the Peak-to-Average ratio of OFDM to WiFi defined "Error Vector Magnitude" (EVM).

On this, the FCC does not care; they care about interference, not bit error rates. In the US, the FCC limits in radiated power (that is, inclusive of antenna gain). The limits vary according to the beamwidth (directionality) of your antenna. Narrower (more directional) means more power (less area you're interfering with). The max with narrow beamwidth is 4Watts (!). In Japan and the EU, the limits are far lower. Remember, BOTH ends of the link need the same radiated power; WiFi is not like broadcast radio. There are other health and safety FCC regulations to protect human tissue from RF exposure; these can take precedence, depending on the antenna location w.r.t. people.

PS:
Sveasoft: Many "victims" recommend DD-WRT but not Sveasoft due to lapses in prudent business practices by the latter which is NOT open freeware.

LLigetfa

join:2006-05-15
Fort Frances, ON
kudos:1
said by stevech0:

The limits vary according to the beamwidth (directionality) of your antenna.
Not really. In the 2.4 ISM band, the max EIRP is limited solely by whether the link is PtP or PtMP. The client side of a PtMP is considered PtP for the purpose of EIRP.

The higher EIRP must be through the use of higher gain antenna, not more transmitter power. For a 3 dB increase in antenna gain, the transmitter power output must be reduced by 1 dB.
»www.telexwireless.com/FAQ/Defaul···answer14

This is where some people came by the misconception that EIRP is based on the use of directional antennas since they give you higher gain. WISPs will very often use sector antennas on their APs but are still limited to 36dBm.
»www.telexwireless.com/FAQ/Defaul···answer12
--
Strange as it seems, no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and formal education positively fortifies it. -- Stephen Vizinczey

Tyze

join:2008-04-10
Lawrenceville, IL
How much are those powerful antennas?

LLigetfa

join:2006-05-15
Fort Frances, ON
kudos:1
Starting at $15.

stevech0

join:2006-09-17
San Diego, CA

1 edit
reply to LLigetfa
said by LLigetfa:

said by stevech0:

The limits vary according to the beamwidth (directionality) of your antenna.
Not really. In the 2.4 ISM band, the max EIRP is limited solely by whether the link is PtP or PtMP. The client side of a PtMP is considered PtP for the purpose of EIRP.

The higher EIRP must be through the use of higher gain antenna, not more transmitter power. For a 3 dB increase in antenna gain, the transmitter power output must be reduced by 1 dB.
»www.telexwireless.com/FAQ/Defaul···answer14

This is where some people came by the misconception that EIRP is based on the use of directional antennas since they give you higher gain. WISPs will very often use sector antennas on their APs but are still limited to 36dBm.
»www.telexwireless.com/FAQ/Defaul···answer12
Yes really. Antenna gain of course requires directionality. So the FCC allows higher radiated power as the directionality increases. Narrower beamwidth = less interference to others, in this unlicensed band.

Curious: The contractor who wrote the FCC regs seems to overlook horizontal versus vertical. I have some 12dBi gain antennas for 2.4Ghz. They are omnidirectional on the horizontal and narrow beamwidth on the vertical. The pattern is like 360 degrees Horizontal and 7 degrees Vertical. Kind of the opposite of a yagi. Pattern is like a doughnut. So is this kind of antenna legal for the higher power rules? It doesn't meet the spirit of the intent - reduced interference.

LLigetfa

join:2006-05-15
Fort Frances, ON
kudos:1
said by stevech0:

Yes really.
YOu want to argue but you offer nothing to substantiate your claim? Did you read anything of what I linked? It clearly spells out EIRP limits for PtP versus PtMP.

Tell the judge the "spirit of the intent". I prefer to go with the letter of the law but in my case, the FCC laws mean nothing despite the fact I can throw a rock onto American soil from where one of my APs is mounted and my signal most certainly does hit US soil.
--
Strange as it seems, no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and formal education positively fortifies it. -- Stephen Vizinczey


Steve CH

@rr.com
said by LLigetfa:

... the FCC laws mean nothing despite the fact I can throw a rock onto American soil from where one of my APs is mounted and my signal most certainly does hit US soil.
Yeah yeah yeah, we don't give a shit about our own laws either. Yer the most amerikin wannabe canindian I've ever seen.

LLigetfa

join:2006-05-15
Fort Frances, ON
kudos:1
Eh Killer Steve,
I do have a vested interest in you Yanks toeing the line. Being so close to the US border, you guys are eating into my spectrum.
--
Strange as it seems, no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and formal education positively fortifies it. -- Stephen Vizinczey

said by LLigetfa:

...you guys are eating into my spectrum.
Oh ? Your spectrum ? Well, you do have a point, and I'm closing in on #11 from out of the freezer. 78 degrees Fahrenheit down here, the weeds are green and the birds are chirpin'. Hows your day going ?


No_Strings
Premium,MVM,Ex-Mod 2008-13
join:2001-11-22
The OC
kudos:6
Since Palmdale is a long way (physically and otherwise) from Ontario, can we make a modest effort to keep it on track, please?


Mdoc
Ehh... munch munch... what's up, Doc?
Premium
join:2007-03-27
Sterling, VA
kudos:1
said by No_Strings:

Since Palmdale is a long way (physically and otherwise) from Ontario, can we make a modest effort to keep it on track, please?
Modest? How about concerted?

stevech0

join:2006-09-17
San Diego, CA

2 edits
reply to LLigetfa
said by LLigetfa:

said by stevech0:

Yes really.
YOu want to argue but you offer nothing to substantiate your claim? Did you read anything of what I linked? It clearly spells out EIRP limits for PtP versus PtMP.
PtP (point to point) implies relatively narrow beam antennas as compared to an omni.
PMP (point to multipoint) requires wide beam (sector) or omni antennas.

That's all I'm saying. I have spent a lot of time in the last few years on projects, struggling to interpret the regs.


Mdoc
Ehh... munch munch... what's up, Doc?
Premium
join:2007-03-27
Sterling, VA
kudos:1
reply to LLigetfa
said by LLigetfa:

I prefer to go with the letter of the law but in my case...
I like the spirit of the law much better. Looks like Steve's got you there
I didn't know the acronyms for "PtP" or "PtMP". But once revealed, Steve's statements regarding antenna directionality make sense.


Anonymous_
Anonymous
Premium
join:2004-06-21
127.0.0.1
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

2 edits
reply to stevech0
said by stevech0:

WiFi is a two-way communications system.

You can have a million watt (illegal) wireless router but your laptop is still 0.040 watt on average.

you will get microwaved

if you want HIGH power go for the Buffalo

WHR-HP-G54 + 3rd party frimware + WLI-CB-G54HP PC card it will set you back about $150

Watch out for china kockoffs