Signal Intensity Strength?

Discussion in 'Networking' started by MyDigitalpoint, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint

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    Let me tell you that I'm mostly connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi and that I have the option to connect to several ISP around my area.

    With Windows XP, I was able to see the intensity strength of a given Internet connection just by mouse hovering the Wi-Fi indicator in the taskbar, so that I could connect to the signal with the best strength.

    Now, with Windows 8, I can't find the way to see what the strength is. Of course, I can see the signal bars in the taskbar icon, but I would like to know in mbps how good a signal is, just like I used to do with XP

    Is there any way to achieve this?
     
    MyDigitalpoint, Nov 10, 2013
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  2. MyDigitalpoint

    airplayne

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    I am interested in finding the answer to this as well, as my home network has its issues. I have a laptop I use wirelessly and would love to find a way to get the signal to be more reliable. Of course the big issue is that I am using it on the complete other side of the house from where the router is, but I would like to think there is a way to normalize performance.
     
    airplayne, Nov 11, 2013
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  3. MyDigitalpoint

    Trouble noob whisperer Moderator

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    While I don't have a solution for the OP. I do have a suggestion with respect to improving overall network connections.
    I've recently had some pretty good luck, where pulling dedicated Ethernet cabling is not practical, installing Power Line Adapters.
    They use the homes existing electrical wiring to provide the connections, While to date I've only used the wired ones, the newer ones support wireless and a few even act as a wireless router / access point.
    They seem to work pretty well and reliably and have allowed me to put printers as well as other network nodes into some pretty out of the way places in a few Doctor's Offices and Clinics that I support.

    EDIT: Additionally they work best with a direct plug into the wall. It seems that surge suppressors, power strips and battery backups can affect their performance.
    http://www.newegg.com/Powerline-Networking/SubCategory/ID-294
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2013
    Trouble, Nov 11, 2013
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  4. MyDigitalpoint

    airplayne

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    Sounds interesting. Are these something I could find on Newegg, or are they more specialized and offered elsewhere?
     
    airplayne, Nov 11, 2013
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  5. MyDigitalpoint

    Trouble noob whisperer Moderator

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    See the link included in my edit of the post above yours.
     
    Trouble, Nov 11, 2013
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  6. MyDigitalpoint

    airplayne

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    Wow, some of those are kind of expensive. It might almost be worth running some cat5 cable across the house instead of getting these.

    Which brands would you recommend for home use?
     
    airplayne, Nov 11, 2013
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  7. MyDigitalpoint

    Trouble noob whisperer Moderator

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    I don't do the recommendations thing.
    As soon as I do, I find that people want to hold me responsible for their problems.
    What I might find absolutely dependable to place a 10Mb printer in an examination room of a clinic would likely suck big time when it came to moving some mega huge files around a network or maybe even streaming some AV content from one device to another.
    I find that in most case you get what you pay for. So knowing your needs (not just your wants) and then doing your own research, reading reviews (good and bad) will be far more helpful than any recommendation I might make.

    And yes some of them do cost but installation and configuration is fast.... you're in and out and the client has no downtime. Pulling home runs of cat5 cabling through a building with no suspended ceilings, concrete and block walls or even worse old buildings with lathe and plaster walls, is not fun, or fast. Finishing the ends and punching down keystone jacks for wall plates is a pain and in the mean time the client, their staff and patients are disrupted.
     
    Trouble, Nov 11, 2013
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  8. MyDigitalpoint

    davehc

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    This is not a direct answer to the thread but I got hold of some free software called HeatMapper. You install this on your laptop and walk around the area with it. click at all the vulnerable corners and it produces a superb chart of the signal strength in those places.
    You can move your router around to experimental sites to see if it will improve the bad areas and repeat the tests.
    As a result, I was able to install my very first, and very old, router (Linksys) as an access, upstairs, in one of the stronger spots. Of course, the peed was limited to the older router, but I now have 100% coverage in my house and in the immediate vicinity.
     
    davehc, Nov 11, 2013
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  9. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint

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    Thanks dave!

    I will try to go this way because I had really hard times through the weekend because I can see the signal icon up, but not a value or graphic that really tells me how strength is the signal and it's hard playing a guessing game with it.
     
    MyDigitalpoint, Nov 11, 2013
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  10. MyDigitalpoint

    airplayne

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    @Trouble, how do these work exactly? Is it that each one looks back to the router to pull the signal, or are these something you can "daisy-chain" together? Meaning if I have a long house and the router is at one end, would it be possible to put one of these in a middle room then another at the far end of the house and have relatively strong signal?
     
    airplayne, Nov 13, 2013
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  11. MyDigitalpoint

    Trouble noob whisperer Moderator

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    As I said in my initial post, I have not experimented with any of the newer Powerline Adapters that support wireless.
    What I have done is use the normal wired adapters to cascade two routers (via switch ports on both) with cat5 cable, configuring the LAN side of the second router with an IP address within the same subnet as the first router ( I usually configure the first as 192.168.1.1 and the second as 192.168.1.254) and turn off DHCP on the second router (making sure that the DHCP scope on the first excludes the address of the second router) and just let the first router handle all of that.

    I would suspect that the wireless piece (assuming at least one or more wireless routers are involved) would then behave just like any range extender or access point without any issues.
    I would think that as long as you kept the SSID, encryption type and wireless password the same across all wireless routers involved then you wouldn't need multiple wireless profiles when moving about the physical environment with your portable device.

    The devices that I use are always used in pairs and are nothing more than a dumb appliance that allow you to use the buildings electrical wiring to pass ethernet packets without having to pull actual physical Cat5 cable. I just use short patch cables to attach both router's switch port to both devices ( a dumb switch or hub for the second device (down stream device) would likely work as well.

    Again I haven't used the ones that have the wireless features built in so I'm not certain of the configuration options necessary or available.
     
    Trouble, Nov 13, 2013
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