How to capture wifi and boost signal strength

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BolderBoy
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How to capture wifi and boost signal strength

Post by BolderBoy » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:43 pm

My neighbor gave me permission to use his wifi occasionally. Gave me the password and it works splendidly when I walk over to his house and sit on the porch. But taking the walk isn't always convenient.

The front bedroom of my house is line-of-sight to the room where his wifi is located. But the signal is pretty weak and frequently drops the connection. Might be 150 feet away.

What device (brand names would be nice) can I put in my bedroom to capture his signal and boost its strength so I can use his wifi in my office when I occasionally need it?
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

bluquark
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Re: How to capture wifi and boost signal strength

Post by bluquark » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:49 pm

You’ll need a wifi range extender. See some recommendations here: https://www.pcmag.com/news/363527/whats ... -mesh-syst

123
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Re: How to capture wifi and boost signal strength

Post by 123 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:58 pm

At around 150 feet range you are likely close to the maximum range of wi-fi. It would probably be too bold to run an ethernet cable from his house to yours.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: How to capture wifi and boost signal strength

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:08 pm

If you're using wifi for any financial information (checking bank acct, investment acct, credit card, buying off amazon, etc.) I would avoid using wifi to do that. Also putting passwords on your computer through someone else's wifi is risky because the one who owns the wifi can capture that information. You may trust your neighbor, but you just never know.

General rule is don't use unsecured wifi when entering passwords or checking financial info. You've been warned.
"May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live" -- Irish Blessing | "Invest we must" -- Jack Bogle

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Re: How to capture wifi and boost signal strength

Post by bluquark » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:15 pm

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:08 pm
If you're using wifi for any financial information (checking bank acct, investment acct, credit card, buying off amazon, etc.) I would avoid using wifi to do that. Also putting passwords on your computer through someone else's wifi is risky because the one who owns the wifi can capture that information. You may trust your neighbor, but you just never know.

General rule is don't use unsecured wifi when entering passwords or checking financial info. You've been warned.
This advice is out of date. Every financial and shopping site uses https encryption that will protect you from this. Even your bogleheads.org password is protected.

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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: How to capture wifi and boost signal strength

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:17 pm

bluquark wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:15 pm
arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:08 pm
If you're using wifi for any financial information (checking bank acct, investment acct, credit card, buying off amazon, etc.) I would avoid using wifi to do that. Also putting passwords on your computer through someone else's wifi is risky because the one who owns the wifi can capture that information. You may trust your neighbor, but you just never know.

General rule is don't use unsecured wifi when entering passwords or checking financial info. You've been warned.
This advice is out of date. Every financial and shopping site uses https encryption that will protect you from this. Even your bogleheads.org password is protected.
then why do people use VPNs?
"May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live" -- Irish Blessing | "Invest we must" -- Jack Bogle

bluquark
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Re: How to capture wifi and boost signal strength

Post by bluquark » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:19 pm

Because they listened to the propaganda from the VPN industry. (Why do people use 1% ER mutual funds?)

HoosierJim
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Re: How to capture wifi and boost signal strength

Post by HoosierJim » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:29 pm

BolderBoy wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:43 pm
My neighbor gave me permission to use his wifi occasionally.
Neighbors can grant permission to use their wifi (i.e. gaming with neighbor on their local network) but they can't grant permission to use their internet service if it violates the terms and conditions of the internet provider.

First it's on the porch, then the office - why not hookup the whole neighborhood?
Last edited by HoosierJim on Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to capture wifi and boost signal strength

Post by yangtui » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:29 pm

bluquark wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:49 pm
You’ll need a wifi range extender. See some recommendations here: https://www.pcmag.com/news/363527/whats ... -mesh-syst
+1

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Re: How to capture wifi and boost signal strength

Post by whodidntante » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:31 pm

bluquark wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:15 pm
This advice is out of date. Every financial and shopping site uses https encryption that will protect you from this. Even your bogleheads.org password is protected.
We are getting into tinfoil hat territory, but it's worth knowing that some corporate networks are able to decrypt employee traffic using specialized hardware. I seriously doubt this person's neighbor has the requisite equipment, expertise, or will to do that, however.

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Re: How to capture wifi and boost signal strength

Post by BolderBoy » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:33 pm

HoosierJim wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:29 pm
BolderBoy wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:43 pm
My neighbor gave me permission to use his wifi occasionally.
Neighbors can grant permission to use their wifi (i.e. gaming with neighbor on their local network) but they can't grant permission to use their internet service if it violates the terms and conditions of the internet provider.

First it's on the porch, then the office - why not hookup the whole neighborhood?
This is a pretty minor use case. Doubtful it violates the spirit of the T&C. I last used it in July, for example. And then for a total of 1 hour spread over several days.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

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Re: How to capture wifi and boost signal strength

Post by ericmc » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:36 pm

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:17 pm
bluquark wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:15 pm
arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:08 pm
If you're using wifi for any financial information (checking bank acct, investment acct, credit card, buying off amazon, etc.) I would avoid using wifi to do that. Also putting passwords on your computer through someone else's wifi is risky because the one who owns the wifi can capture that information. You may trust your neighbor, but you just never know.

General rule is don't use unsecured wifi when entering passwords or checking financial info. You've been warned.
This advice is out of date. Every financial and shopping site uses https encryption that will protect you from this. Even your bogleheads.org password is protected.
then why do people use VPNs?
You would be more secure with a VPN service on a "public wifi". This is assuming you trust the VPN provider.

Https will protect the content of the data passing between you and the https website. However there are methods to intercept the https and provide you a similar non encrypted http website. Or issue a new certificate that your browser wouldn't trust, maybe you wouldn't understand and tell your browser to proceed anyway. Over https the owner of your wifi connection could also see what websites you are visiting.

DNS which translates the domain name (URL) to the actual IP address would be another concern. If you are getting DNS from your neighbor..

Probably your neighbor is trustworthy and this is all over caution. Make sure your devices are using a trusted DNS provider maybe 9.9.9.9 or 8.8.8.8. Turn on your devices firewall and don't allow file sharing. If using windows tell it that the network is a public network. Possible look for a range extender that also acts as a NAT router and provides DHCP so your devices will be more isolated from your neighbor.

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Re: How to capture wifi and boost signal strength

Post by BolderBoy » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:41 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:31 pm
bluquark wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:15 pm
This advice is out of date. Every financial and shopping site uses https encryption that will protect you from this. Even your bogleheads.org password is protected.
We are getting into tinfoil hat territory, but it's worth knowing that some corporate networks are able to decrypt employee traffic using specialized hardware. I seriously doubt this person's neighbor has the requisite equipment, expertise, or will to do that, however.
I've spent an exhaustive amount of time (months) learning the nuts & bolts of https://, certificates, encryption and VPNs. A fascinating study.

Rest assured that I'm being careful and know that much of what the popular press reports on the subject is likely well-intentioned ... and incorrect in many cases. I've come to understand that the average person (like me) doesn't have a clue about real cybersecurity.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

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Re: How to capture wifi and boost signal strength

Post by BolderBoy » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:43 pm

ericmc wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:36 pm
Possible look for a range extender that also acts as a NAT router and provides DHCP so your devices will be more isolated from your neighbor.
That's the plan and I have good leads now. Thanks to all.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

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Re: How to capture wifi and boost signal strength

Post by BolderBoy » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:45 pm

123 wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:58 pm
At around 150 feet range you are likely close to the maximum range of wi-fi. It would probably be too bold to run an ethernet cable from his house to yours.
HOA.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

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J G Bankerton
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Re: How to capture wifi and boost signal strength

Post by J G Bankerton » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:49 pm

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:17 pm
bluquark wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:15 pm
arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:08 pm
If you're using wifi for any financial information (checking bank acct, investment acct, credit card, buying off amazon, etc.) I would avoid using wifi to do that. Also putting passwords on your computer through someone else's wifi is risky because the one who owns the wifi can capture that information. You may trust your neighbor, but you just never know.

General rule is don't use unsecured wifi when entering passwords or checking financial info. You've been warned.
This advice is out of date. Every financial and shopping site uses https encryption that will protect you from this. Even your bogleheads.org password is protected.
then why do people use VPNs?
To hide P2P and video traffic, traffic that is often throttled.

OP make a cantenna. https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Cantenna

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BolderBoy
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Re: How to capture wifi and boost signal strength

Post by BolderBoy » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:21 pm

J G Bankerton wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:49 pm
OP make a cantenna. https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Cantenna
Hah! I'm a ham so this is a cinch.

Thanks!
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Re: How to capture wifi and boost signal strength

Post by Gray » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:21 pm

I set this model up for my parents to use at their cottage (using a neighbor’s connection). They have their temperature monitors, Nest, and Security Cams hooked up to it. That way they have year round coverage.

When they go up for longer periods, they enable their own cable internet+cable tv, but the speed is identical as to what is provided via the range extender.

Note: after many tests, I disabled 5ghz in the range extender as it doesn’t travel so far as well.

https://www.netgear.com/home/products/n ... X7000.aspx

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Re: How to capture wifi and boost signal strength

Post by BolderBoy » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:04 am

Gray wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:21 pm
I set this model up for my parents to use at their cottage (using a neighbor’s connection). They have their temperature monitors, Nest, and Security Cams hooked up to it. That way they have year round coverage.

When they go up for longer periods, they enable their own cable internet+cable tv, but the speed is identical as to what is provided via the range extender.

Note: after many tests, I disabled 5ghz in the range extender as it doesn’t travel so far as well.

https://www.netgear.com/home/products/n ... X7000.aspx
Thanks for that. Under PCMag's "Best for 2019" that one was in the top 3 and one of the editor's choices. I went with a different one of the top three but it has the AC1900 tech which is apparently currently the best.

I'm sure this technique will solve my problem. I was able to get my laptop to connect while holding it up to the window I'll be transcending and it showed 4 bars (maximum) signal strength. (but lower the laptop down behind the wall and the signal strength drops to 1 bar, max)

Thanks to all who waded in!
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

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Re: How to capture wifi and boost signal strength

Post by LadyGeek » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:01 pm

BolderBoy wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:43 pm
My neighbor gave me permission to use his wifi occasionally. Gave me the password and it works splendidly when I walk over to his house and sit on the porch. But taking the walk isn't always convenient.
Discussions of dishonest behavior or bypassing the law is totally unacceptable. While your neighbor may have given his permission, it's very likely that he (the neighbor) is violating the Internet Service Provider's terms of service.

This thread has run its course and is locked.


(If this is not correct, PM me with an explanation and I'll reopen the thread.)

Update: The info was not correct, see below.
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Re: How to capture wifi and boost signal strength

Post by LadyGeek » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:48 pm

Via PM, the OP stated he is a Comcast business customer connecting to a Comcast wifi hotspot (his neighbor).

Comcast business customers are allowed access to any XFINITY® WiFi public hotspot. See: Access XFINITY® WiFi hotspots | Comcast Business

Use of the neighbor's wifi is within the terms and conditions.

This thread is now unlocked to continue the discussion.
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J G Bankerton
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Re: How to capture wifi and boost signal strength

Post by J G Bankerton » Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:53 am

Altice my CATV provider supplies routers to subscribers and uses them as public hotspots. Not only is it legal to use your neighbor's internet it is facilitated by the CATV company.

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