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Okay all you tech whiz kids … here is one for you to wrap your brain around.

I live about a half mile from a university who serves as my Internet service provider at home. I, unfortunately, am on dial-up. I recently had a brainstorm that I was ill equipped to handle. :crap:

When on campus I can use my laptop's wireless capabilities pretty much anywhere. I know that the school is providing broadband to some buildings on and off campus via a beam antenna, which will allow it to transmit a focused stream of data over greater distances. :)

My long-winded question is this, does anyone have knowledge of how to build such an antenna that would allow me to replicate this feat from my house. The cost is not so much an issue. I can justify the cost based on the fact that I will not have to purchase cable Internet ($56 / month). Any thoughts? :idunno:
 

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If you just want a wireless network on your house...Linksys.com can set you up with either an 802.11b or an 802.11g wireless network. The G is faster for LAN traffic...but is also more $. I have a linksys wireless router in my house, and it works great.

If your trying to get into the school, you might have to do it via VPN with network in place.

Get Cable or DSL....it will work better then Dialup.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Correct - I understand about building a wireless network within the house. In fact when I built I wired the house for ethernet throughout. What I am wanting is what Conqsoft said. The ability to establish a connection to the campus wireless network from about a half mile away - hence the beam antenna requirement.
 

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showmethebombs said:
why not just VPN :idunno:
The means of communication isn't the issue for this gentleman, just the physical connection to a broadband source. I have a couple of clients that are spread over a square mile of factory buildings and use these antennas and WAPs in bridge mode with excellent results.
 

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What you are asking is probably not reasonable. Wireless communications over long distances are very expensive and cost is the barrier to distributing this stuff to the general public.

You will require special hardware setup on both your site and the school's site to accomodate your needs... even if you pick up a signal with the antenna linked above, you will not have the juice to send YOUR signal back out to the school without the proper kit.

I also suspect that your campus is providing wireless access points throughout campus with no one source that is strong enough to reach your house... that means that even if you do pick up a signal, you will probably pick up so much 'echo' that your connection speed will be slower than useless.

I strongly believe that you will not be able to overcome the 1/2 mile difference to your school using "home" based products. Dude... get DSL. It's cheap, it's easy, it's fast. You mentioned it was $56/month... that's CRAZY. I get our business level DSL connection at that! We get our regular Joe User Cable or DSL for less than $35cad ($28?usd)/month!!!!!!!
 

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nomad said:
What you are asking is probably not reasonable. Wireless communications over long distances are very expensive and cost is the barrier to distributing this stuff to the general public.

You will require special hardware setup on both your site and the school's site to accomodate your needs... even if you pick up a signal with the antenna linked above, you will not have the juice to send YOUR signal back out to the school without the proper kit.

I also suspect that your campus is providing wireless access points throughout campus with no one source that is strong enough to reach your house... that means that even if you do pick up a signal, you will probably pick up so much 'echo' that your connection speed will be slower than useless.

I strongly believe that you will not be able to overcome the 1/2 mile difference to your school using "home" based products. Dude... get DSL. It's cheap, it's easy, it's fast. You mentioned it was $56/month... that's CRAZY. I get our business level DSL connection at that! We get our regular Joe User Cable or DSL for less than $35cad ($28?usd)/month!!!!!!!
ummmm not so. I am currently typing this from a workstation with a wireless nic connected to an 18 db directional antenna aiming toward my office WAP which is using the standard dipole (an 80 dollar Netgear G unit inside the server room). The distance is 3100 feet between the 2 buildings. A simple field strength meter (or any of several software programs that serve the same purpose) can zero your antenna in on the strongest signal source.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I am looking for something that will, hopefully, allow me to transmit and receive without having any hardware installed at the school. I'm not even sure if this is possible. I discussed it with one of the IT Admins at one point but at that time the cost scared me away. Now that I am gainfully employed and looking at broadband costs in this area I am seeing it as a cost effective way to go. Granted there is the initial output of cost, but that pays for itself with time.
 

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I'm over 3100 ft (need a signal booster) but have 3mbs service with promises of 15mbs shortly...
 

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Abtech, you're over half a mile away and your signal is strong enough from a standard wireless card? I'm surprised. Don't you get quite a bit of bounce from buildings? I find even being in a cement building there is so much echo that my rate drops drastically compared to when I'm in the open.
 

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nomad said:
Abtech, you're over half a mile away and your signal is strong enough from a standard wireless card? I'm surprised. Don't you get quite a bit of bounce from buildings? I find even being in a cement building there is so much echo that my rate drops drastically compared to when I'm in the open.

Nope . . . That's why you use a directional beam antenna, it eliminates all of the multipath distortion.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
nomad said:
Abtech, you're over half a mile away and your signal is strong enough from a standard wireless card? I'm surprised. Don't you get quite a bit of bounce from buildings? I find even being in a cement building there is so much echo that my rate drops drastically compared to when I'm in the open.
I think abtech said he was using a directional beam antenna through a WAP that accepts external antenna. The WAP is set in bridge mode to to provide the net connection to a multi-port router. Is that right Ab?
 

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Acidreign said:
I think abtech said he was using a directional beam antenna through a WAP that accepts external antenna. The WAP is set in bridge mode to to provide the net connection to a multi-port router. Is that right Ab?
In my aforementioned setup, I am actually using a smaller antenna connected directly to the mini-TNC connector on the back of my workstation aiming at the "bunker". In Acidreign's case, the bridge can be used, or even some of the newer combo WAP/Routers.
 

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I'm going to go read through that doc you posted.

However... now I'm going to pick some brains. What configuration needs to be done on the other end of the connection? If none, then what is stopping me from hooking up a directional beam antenna and targeting unprotected systems in my neighbourhood? Keep in mind I live on the 18th floor and have a good view of many homes that may have wireless...

Furthermore, what software tools (to save me googling and testing everything) are there for finding a strong signal? I am constantly on the road and always wondering where there is a good signal for me to plug-into. Any suggestions?
 
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