Sharing Internet across the street?

Pariah

New member
My mom bought a house across the street from us to snowbird at (she has a place in Arizona she's been using the past 20 years but it's in the boonies and she'd like to be closer to family in the winter months). So what I'd like to do is beam my internet across the street.

Its maybe 200 or so feet. What do I need to set up a reliable and fast bridge to share our Internet? My budget is around $200 to set up a fast bridge. DIY solutions would be nice to save some money, but a simple commercial solution is preferable.
 

braindead0

Ignore the machine
make two YAGI antenna's (tons of how to's on the internet), you'll need to hack into a WAP and WIFI extender or buy them with external antenna connections..

Note that this is likely against the agreement you have with your ISP...
 

Ben

New member
Just put your 802.11 AC access point above the ceiling (in the attic or under an eave) and you'll have plenty of coverage for both properties. At least try it first and see how it works. The metal studs that are used on interior walls interfere more than the wood rafters, and raising the antennae higher increases the coverage area.


I recommend the 5GHz channels since your neighborhood is less likely to be saturated on those frequencies, but it's always best to check and choose a channel accordingly. I live in a single family detached neighborhood, mostly single-story, and with ~.20 - .25 acre lots and I have a good signal from three of my neighbors, and a moderate signal from as many as ten. I use my own, of course, since I work a lot from home and need the most of the limited upstream. Also, if you want to stream HD video, you might want more than a fringe signal.


To improve the signal, in the past I used a 802.11B/G wireless bridge, which when used with a second access point, created a second wireless network that was connected and routed to the first. As long as the bridge had a good wireless path to the distant access point from its location, everything in range of the access point wired to the bridge had good connectivity. Mine, which was for personal use, was just a cheap ($200) Cisco/Linksys business unit that worked fine for many years. Equivalent today would be a Linksys WUMC710 or a WD My Net AC bridge. But you can also get a similar result from a single unit "range extender" like the RE6500 which works like a simple repeater.


I remember one time years ago I was building out a datacenter for a client and they had about 800 people on the other side of the street. I think it was going to cost them about $35,000 to put fiber under the street. Obviously it wasn't Manhattan, but it was still a lot of money for a couple hundred feet of fiber. I found them a roof-top, laser/optical system for a fraction of the cost, but they decided to go with the horizontal boring solution anyway. The advantage of the optical system over radio was chiefly bandwidth (it was gigabit back in '04), and had a physical security advantage as you would have had to split the beam to intercept. Today you could effectively accomplish that link with 802.11AC and some directional antennae. You might think you'd need something like that to go across a residential street, but probably not.


Right now there's a lot of inexpensive 2.4GHz antennae, but not so many 5GHz as it isn't as popular yet. Whether you use directional antennae or not, you really only need a bridge or range extender. You could use two different access points with omni's, and to each access point, wire a bridge that used a directional to connect to the opposite bridge.


Omni|AP - Bridge|Directional ~ Directional|Bridge - AP|Omni


That would involve two AP's, two bridges, and two directional antennae, for about $300 total. The advantage would be a longer range on the connecting link, and good coverage of both houses, but I think this is totally unncessary and you could get everything you need with one bridge and access point or even more simply, just a range extender.
 

RARECJ8

Well-known member
Premium Member
Reno Computer Repair Kevin installed us a super strong wifi router. We easily access the network from two blocks away at neighbor's place, provided there is line of sight. Should not be difficult.
 

Pariah

New member
That looks solid. A bit above my budget but a nice find on an enterprise access point. May be a bit overkill but I've always said, "Buy better now so you don't regret it later." I'll have to see if my brother would split the cost.

Thanks Kevin!
 

Reno Computer Repair

renocomputerrepair.com
Staff member
Your welcome, the reason I would suggest the Cisco Enterprise over some of the off the shelf offerings at the local retailers, is because they last forever. Over 200 of those deployed in the last 12+ years and not a single failure. Nothing off the shelf at BestBuy can touch that.
 

Ben

New member
Use a Wifi analyzer (free downloads are available) to check the spectrum in your area. This is my neighborhood. As you can see, there's 19 access points. 17 of them are on 2.4GHz and their channels are spread across the whole allocation for 2.4. So all those channels can potentially interfere with one another. Most channels have several overlapping signals, with one popular default channel having six signals overlapping. Even the channels that don't have an overlapping signal centered on their frequency, still have multiple signals overlapping on some portion of their bandwidth. Look at the second chart of the 5GHz spectrum. There's two access points, using two channels that aren't overlapping. There's also lots of free channels with no overlap. If you're installing new equipment, you want it to work on a channel with minimal interference.

 

Reeves

Member
Use a Wifi analyzer (free downloads are available) to check the spectrum in your area. This is my neighborhood. As you can see, there's 19 access points. 17 of them are on 2.4GHz and their channels are spread across the whole allocation for 2.4. So all those channels can potentially interfere with one another. Most channels have several overlapping signals, with one popular default channel having six signals overlapping. Even the channels that don't have an overlapping signal centered on their frequency, still have multiple signals overlapping on some portion of their bandwidth. Look at the second chart of the 5GHz spectrum. There's two access points, using two channels that aren't overlapping. There's also lots of free channels with no overlap. If you're installing new equipment, you want it to work on a channel with minimal interference.

Standard channel selection for 2.4Ghz is 1, 6 or 11. Anything but 1, 6 11 will create interference for you and your neighbors. The "popular" default your referring to is Bonding channels, which in a residential, uncontrolled environment is a really bad idea. This creates an incredible amount of interference as it overlaps 2 of the 3 usable channels, not good for a high congestion area.

Those 3 APs, Ch5, Ch7, and the bonded user are fouling it up for everyone....
 

Ben

New member
Those 3 APs, Ch5, Ch7, and the bonded user are fouling it up for everyone....
I agree. In the case of my neighborhood, Ch 11. is the best bet, and Ch 1. next best, if you had to be on 2.4Ghz. The better option though is 5GHz as you can see that part of the spectrum is pretty clean. Using an analyzer is important because my neighborhood is pretty typical for suburbia. At my brother's house in the suburbs of a different city, the interference was so bad he effectively lost connectivity altogether until someone helped him to change the channel. Any solution that uses bridges and more than one access point is going to add more signals into the local mix. It's worth it to find the cleanest setup available.
 

ManNamedJed

Active member
Can someone recommend a free wifi analyzer (that doesn't come with malware) ?

Update: Downloaded the Acrylic Wifi Analyzer. Learned everyone in my neighborhood is on 1 or 6, so 11 was wide open for me. I think that will help my basement reception.
 
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sandcrab

Member
I lose Wifi when the variable frequency drive for the well pump is running. Could that be transmitting a signal that I could avoid by using a different frequency modem?
 

Desertdog77

Active member
If you are handy insure that the line power to the VFD is grounded at the breaker panel, make sure the VFD is grounded on the ground lug and check the wire(s) to the pump and insure they are grounded. If you are not handy get an electrician to do it. No ground can be very bad and expensive.
 
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