Wi-Fi Ranges

Discussion in 'Wireless Networking' started by Neil, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. Neil

    Neil Guest

    So, I was at the local sandwich shop last night, and I noticed I was able to
    pick up a signal from a local T-Mobile hotspot, which I have an account
    with. It was only one bar out of five. But I was able to connect to it and
    surf the web without any problems.

    I then looked up the hotspots in the area, and I saw that the closest one
    was a Fed-Ex/Kinkos about 2-3 blocks away. Measuring it on the map, I
    estimate it to be at least 800 feet from where I was.

    Is that normal for wi-fi routers to have such a large range? That seems a
    bit far to be picking up a wi-fi signal. The router was a little uphill from
    me, though not a very steep hill.

    Thanks,

    Neil
    Neil, Dec 20, 2007
    #1
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  2. Neil

    DTC Guest

    Neil wrote:
    > Is that normal for wi-fi routers to have such a large range? That seems a
    > bit far to be picking up a wi-fi signal. The router was a little uphill from
    > me, though not a very steep hill.


    For those type of deployments, they set it up it work within the
    building. So it will likely get out into the parking lot also.
    That's all the need to care about.

    Will it go farther? Sure. Will it be a reliable link? Most likely
    not. I installed a Linksys WRT54G and it was usable over a thousand
    feet away which surprised me.

    A true case of "You mileage, err...footage may very".
    DTC, Dec 20, 2007
    #2
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  3. Neil

    Barb Bowman Guest

    commercial grade access points may have higher gain antennae than
    are normally found in home/residential equipment.

    On Thu, 20 Dec 2007 09:19:36 -0600, "Neil" <>
    wrote:

    >So, I was at the local sandwich shop last night, and I noticed I was able to
    >pick up a signal from a local T-Mobile hotspot, which I have an account
    >with. It was only one bar out of five. But I was able to connect to it and
    >surf the web without any problems.
    >
    >I then looked up the hotspots in the area, and I saw that the closest one
    >was a Fed-Ex/Kinkos about 2-3 blocks away. Measuring it on the map, I
    >estimate it to be at least 800 feet from where I was.
    >
    >Is that normal for wi-fi routers to have such a large range? That seems a
    >bit far to be picking up a wi-fi signal. The router was a little uphill from
    >me, though not a very steep hill.
    >
    >Thanks,
    >
    >Neil
    >

    --

    Barb Bowman
    MS Windows-MVP
    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/expertzone/meetexperts/bowman.mspx
    http://blogs.digitalmediaphile.com/barb/
    Barb Bowman, Dec 20, 2007
    #3
  4. Neil

    Dr Zoidberg Guest

    "Neil" <> wrote in message
    news:wKvaj.393$6%...
    > So, I was at the local sandwich shop last night, and I noticed I was able
    > to pick up a signal from a local T-Mobile hotspot, which I have an account
    > with. It was only one bar out of five. But I was able to connect to it and
    > surf the web without any problems.
    >
    > I then looked up the hotspots in the area, and I saw that the closest one
    > was a Fed-Ex/Kinkos about 2-3 blocks away. Measuring it on the map, I
    > estimate it to be at least 800 feet from where I was.
    >
    > Is that normal for wi-fi routers to have such a large range? That seems a
    > bit far to be picking up a wi-fi signal. The router was a little uphill
    > from me, though not a very steep hill.
    >

    Doing testing with a couple of Cisco APs and high gain omnidirectional
    aerials we've had them working over several hundred meters , and even
    further with directional ones but that's on open ground. In a built up
    environment it's unusal to get anywhere near that.

    It's possible there was another hot spot not shown on your map



    --
    Alex

    New laptop - Sig missing
    Dr Zoidberg, Dec 20, 2007
    #4
  5. Neil

    Neil Guest

    No, the chances of there being another hotspot are very slim, as there's
    only a few types of business that have T-Mobile (Starbucks, Kinkos, some
    hotels and airports -- that's about it). This wasn't a random hotspot. It
    was a T-Mobile hotspot, and there are only a discreet set of them.

    As for open ground, though, the place where I was down the street (to the
    south) and a little west of where the hotspot was. In between (the northwest
    corner of the intersection where I was at) was open. Thus, between me and
    the hotspot, there were no buildings. I'm sure that was it.



    "Dr Zoidberg" <AlexNOOOO!!!!!!@drzoidberg.co.uk> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Neil" <> wrote in message
    > news:wKvaj.393$6%...
    >> So, I was at the local sandwich shop last night, and I noticed I was able
    >> to pick up a signal from a local T-Mobile hotspot, which I have an
    >> account with. It was only one bar out of five. But I was able to connect
    >> to it and surf the web without any problems.
    >>
    >> I then looked up the hotspots in the area, and I saw that the closest one
    >> was a Fed-Ex/Kinkos about 2-3 blocks away. Measuring it on the map, I
    >> estimate it to be at least 800 feet from where I was.
    >>
    >> Is that normal for wi-fi routers to have such a large range? That seems a
    >> bit far to be picking up a wi-fi signal. The router was a little uphill
    >> from me, though not a very steep hill.
    >>

    > Doing testing with a couple of Cisco APs and high gain omnidirectional
    > aerials we've had them working over several hundred meters , and even
    > further with directional ones but that's on open ground. In a built up
    > environment it's unusal to get anywhere near that.
    >
    > It's possible there was another hot spot not shown on your map
    >
    >
    >
    > --
    > Alex
    >
    > New laptop - Sig missing
    Neil, Dec 20, 2007
    #5
  6. Neil

    CBFalconer Guest

    Neil wrote: *** and top-posted. Fixed ***
    > "Dr Zoidberg" <AlexNOOOO!!!!!!@drzoidberg.co.uk> wrote
    >> "Neil" <> wrote in message
    >>
    >>> So, I was at the local sandwich shop last night, and I noticed
    >>> I was able to pick up a signal from a local T-Mobile hotspot,
    >>> which I have an account with. It was only one bar out of five.
    >>> But I was able to connect to it and surf the web without any
    >>> problems.
    >>>
    >>> I then looked up the hotspots in the area, and I saw that the
    >>> closest one was a Fed-Ex/Kinkos about 2-3 blocks away.
    >>> Measuring it on the map, I estimate it to be at least 800 feet
    >>> from where I was.
    >>>
    >>> Is that normal for wi-fi routers to have such a large range?
    >>> That seems a bit far to be picking up a wi-fi signal. The
    >>> router was a little uphill from me, though not a very steep
    >>> hill.

    >>
    >> Doing testing with a couple of Cisco APs and high gain
    >> omnidirectional aerials we've had them working over several
    >> hundred meters , and even further with directional ones but
    >> that's on open ground. In a built up environment it's unusal
    >> to get anywhere near that.
    >>
    >> It's possible there was another hot spot not shown on your
    >> map

    >
    > No, the chances of there being another hotspot are very slim,
    > as there's only a few types of business that have T-Mobile
    > (Starbucks, Kinkos, some hotels and airports -- that's about
    > it). This wasn't a random hotspot. It was a T-Mobile hotspot,
    > and there are only a discreet set of them.
    >
    > As for open ground, though, the place where I was down the
    > street (to the south) and a little west of where the hotspot
    > was. In between (the northwest corner of the intersection
    > where I was at) was open. Thus, between me and the hotspot,
    > there were no buildings. I'm sure that was it.


    Please do not top-post. Your answer belongs after (or intermixed
    with) the quoted material to which you reply, after snipping all
    irrelevant material. I fixed this one. See the following links:

    --
    <http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html>
    <http://www.caliburn.nl/topposting.html>
    <http://www.netmeister.org/news/learn2quote.html>
    <http://cfaj.freeshell.org/google/> (taming google)
    <http://members.fortunecity.com/nnqweb/> (newusers)



    --
    Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
    CBFalconer, Dec 21, 2007
    #6
  7. Neil

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Somewhere on teh intarweb "Dr Zoidberg" typed:

    <snip>

    > Doing testing with a couple of Cisco APs and high gain omnidirectional
    > aerials we've had them working over several hundred meters , and even
    > further with directional ones but that's on open ground. In a built up
    > environment it's unusal to get anywhere near that.


    The world record for unamplified WiFi using off-the-shelf Linksys APs and
    very large omnidirectional antennas is, I believe, over 280 kms.
    --
    TTFN,

    Shaun.

    "another academic failure.... trying to prove that your smart"
    'blanking', nz.comp, 20 Dec 2007.
    ~misfit~, Dec 21, 2007
    #7
  8. Neil

    BillW50 Guest

    In news:,
    ~misfit~ typed on Fri, 21 Dec 2007 14:38:41 +1300:
    > Somewhere on teh intarweb "Dr Zoidberg" typed:
    >
    > <snip>
    >
    >> Doing testing with a couple of Cisco APs and high gain
    >> omnidirectional aerials we've had them working over several hundred
    >> meters , and even further with directional ones but that's on open
    >> ground. In a built up environment it's unusal to get anywhere near
    >> that.

    >
    > The world record for unamplified WiFi using off-the-shelf Linksys APs
    > and very large omnidirectional antennas is, I believe, over 280 kms.


    The record using a home made directional antenna at a hackers convention
    in Las Vegas a couple of years ago was 51 miles. Although I never
    learned if they were on top of a mountain or not. I bet they were.

    --
    Bill
    BillW50, Dec 21, 2007
    #8
  9. In <476b3134$0$1348$> "BillW50" <> writes:

    >The record using a home made directional antenna at a hackers convention
    >in Las Vegas a couple of years ago was 51 miles. Although I never
    >learned if they were on top of a mountain or not. I bet they were.


    details: http://www.wifiworldrecord.com/



    --
    _____________________________________________________
    Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key

    [to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]
    danny burstein, Dec 21, 2007
    #9
  10. Neil

    Neil Guest

    I don't understand. What do you mean??....

    "CBFalconer" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Neil wrote: *** and top-posted. Fixed ***
    >> "Dr Zoidberg" <AlexNOOOO!!!!!!@drzoidberg.co.uk> wrote
    >>> "Neil" <> wrote in message
    >>>
    >>>> So, I was at the local sandwich shop last night, and I noticed
    >>>> I was able to pick up a signal from a local T-Mobile hotspot,
    >>>> which I have an account with. It was only one bar out of five.
    >>>> But I was able to connect to it and surf the web without any
    >>>> problems.
    >>>>
    >>>> I then looked up the hotspots in the area, and I saw that the
    >>>> closest one was a Fed-Ex/Kinkos about 2-3 blocks away.
    >>>> Measuring it on the map, I estimate it to be at least 800 feet
    >>>> from where I was.
    >>>>
    >>>> Is that normal for wi-fi routers to have such a large range?
    >>>> That seems a bit far to be picking up a wi-fi signal. The
    >>>> router was a little uphill from me, though not a very steep
    >>>> hill.
    >>>
    >>> Doing testing with a couple of Cisco APs and high gain
    >>> omnidirectional aerials we've had them working over several
    >>> hundred meters , and even further with directional ones but
    >>> that's on open ground. In a built up environment it's unusal
    >>> to get anywhere near that.
    >>>
    >>> It's possible there was another hot spot not shown on your
    >>> map

    >>
    >> No, the chances of there being another hotspot are very slim,
    >> as there's only a few types of business that have T-Mobile
    >> (Starbucks, Kinkos, some hotels and airports -- that's about
    >> it). This wasn't a random hotspot. It was a T-Mobile hotspot,
    >> and there are only a discreet set of them.
    >>
    >> As for open ground, though, the place where I was down the
    >> street (to the south) and a little west of where the hotspot
    >> was. In between (the northwest corner of the intersection
    >> where I was at) was open. Thus, between me and the hotspot,
    >> there were no buildings. I'm sure that was it.

    >
    > Please do not top-post. Your answer belongs after (or intermixed
    > with) the quoted material to which you reply, after snipping all
    > irrelevant material. I fixed this one. See the following links:
    >
    > --
    > <http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html>
    > <http://www.caliburn.nl/topposting.html>
    > <http://www.netmeister.org/news/learn2quote.html>
    > <http://cfaj.freeshell.org/google/> (taming google)
    > <http://members.fortunecity.com/nnqweb/> (newusers)
    >
    >
    >
    > --
    > Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
    >
    Neil, Dec 21, 2007
    #10
  11. Neil

    Neil Guest

    That's cool. But I doubt the local kinko's had any sophisticated antennae.
    Still, I think the fact that there were no buildings between us and there
    was a little downhill helped. I think the fact that there was a slight
    breeze from the direction of the Kinko's to where I was helped as well.*

    Neil
    *Before someone jumps in here: yes, that was a joke.


    "~misfit~" <> wrote in
    messagenews:...
    > Somewhere on teh intarweb "Dr Zoidberg" typed:
    >
    > <snip>
    >
    >> Doing testing with a couple of Cisco APs and high gain omnidirectional
    >> aerials we've had them working over several hundred meters , and even
    >> further with directional ones but that's on open ground. In a built up
    >> environment it's unusal to get anywhere near that.

    >
    > The world record for unamplified WiFi using off-the-shelf Linksys APs and
    > very large omnidirectional antennas is, I believe, over 280 kms.
    > --
    > TTFN,
    >
    > Shaun.
    >
    > "another academic failure.... trying to prove that your smart"
    > 'blanking', nz.comp, 20 Dec 2007.
    >
    Neil, Dec 21, 2007
    #11
  12. Neil

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Somewhere on teh intarweb "danny burstein" typed:
    > In <476b3134$0$1348$> "BillW50"
    > <> writes:
    >
    >> The record using a home made directional antenna at a hackers
    >> convention in Las Vegas a couple of years ago was 51 miles. Although
    >> I never learned if they were on top of a mountain or not. I bet they
    >> were.

    >
    > details: http://www.wifiworldrecord.com/


    That's old hat. It was broken in Venezula the next year. The one you linked
    to was 200km, the Venezuelan record is 279km using just a pair of Linksys
    WRT54G's.

    +Update+

    That was in '06. I've just Googled the guy who did it (Ermanno Pietrosemoli)
    and find that my info is old, his record got broken, so he set a new one in
    June this year. 382km, or 238 miles for you late adopters.
    --
    TTFN,

    Shaun.

    "another academic failure.... trying to prove that your smart"
    'blanking', nz.comp, 20 Dec 2007.

    "your so predictable misfit"
    'blanking', nz.comp, 21 Dec 2007.
    ~misfit~, Dec 21, 2007
    #12
  13. Neil

    Brian Cryer Guest

    "Neil" <> wrote in message
    news:dHHaj.33920$...
    >I don't understand. What do you mean??....
    >
    > "CBFalconer" <> wrote in message
    > news:...


    It is conventional in most newsgroups to post your reply at the bottom of
    the previous, this is called bottom posting. You have been putting your
    reply at the top, which is known as top-posting. Top-posting is the
    convention in emails because if you are replying to an email then the
    recipient should have a grasp on what went before. When posting to
    newsgroups others may not have seen your original post so its useful to have
    the previous text available and visible first.
    A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
    Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?<snip>

    >> Please do not top-post. Your answer belongs after (or intermixed
    >> with) the quoted material to which you reply, after snipping all
    >> irrelevant material. I fixed this one. See the following links:
    >>
    >> <http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html>
    >> <http://www.caliburn.nl/topposting.html>
    >> <http://www.netmeister.org/news/learn2quote.html>
    >> <http://cfaj.freeshell.org/google/> (taming google)
    >> <http://members.fortunecity.com/nnqweb/> (newusers)


    Sadly, I haven't fixed this one. Its worth having a read of the links that
    CBFalconer provided.
    --
    Brian Cryer
    www.cryer.co.uk/brian
    Brian Cryer, Dec 21, 2007
    #13
  14. Neil

    LR Guest

    ~misfit~ wrote:
    > Somewhere on teh intarweb "danny burstein" typed:
    >> In <476b3134$0$1348$> "BillW50"
    >> <> writes:
    >>
    >>> The record using a home made directional antenna at a hackers
    >>> convention in Las Vegas a couple of years ago was 51 miles. Although
    >>> I never learned if they were on top of a mountain or not. I bet they
    >>> were.

    >> details: http://www.wifiworldrecord.com/

    >
    > That's old hat. It was broken in Venezula the next year. The one you linked
    > to was 200km, the Venezuelan record is 279km using just a pair of Linksys
    > WRT54G's.
    >
    > +Update+
    >
    > That was in '06. I've just Googled the guy who did it (Ermanno Pietrosemoli)
    > and find that my info is old, his record got broken, so he set a new one in
    > June this year. 382km, or 238 miles for you late adopters.


    http://www.eslared.org.ve/articulos/Long Distance WiFi Trial.pdf
    LR, Dec 21, 2007
    #14
  15. Neil

    kony Guest

    On Thu, 20 Dec 2007 17:08:09 -0600, "Neil"
    <> wrote:

    >No, the chances of there being another hotspot are very slim, as there's
    >only a few types of business that have T-Mobile (Starbucks, Kinkos, some
    >hotels and airports -- that's about it). This wasn't a random hotspot. It
    >was a T-Mobile hotspot, and there are only a discreet set of them.
    >
    >As for open ground, though, the place where I was down the street (to the
    >south) and a little west of where the hotspot was. In between (the northwest
    >corner of the intersection where I was at) was open. Thus, between me and
    >the hotspot, there were no buildings. I'm sure that was it.



    It is quite possible one of these other businesses had put a
    repeater on their roof so they could enjoy using their
    account inside without having to pay for on-site service.

    The only way you could more reliably know for certain is to
    take a wifi locator, signal strength meter back down there
    and canvas the area looking for more spots not on maps.

    It is certainly possible for signals to go 800 feet outside,
    line of sight, but more surprising if you're inside the
    sandwich shop, even moreso to maintain connection with a
    laptop and do that in a shop where there might be a kitchen
    with microwaves.
    kony, Dec 22, 2007
    #15
  16. Neil

    Bill Kearney Guest

    And it's entirely predictable that some wanker will whinge about it.


    "Brian Cryer" <brian.cryer@127.0.0.1.ntlworld.com> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Neil" <> wrote in message
    > news:dHHaj.33920$...
    >>I don't understand. What do you mean??....
    >>
    >> "CBFalconer" <> wrote in message
    >> news:...

    >
    > It is conventional in most newsgroups to post your reply at the bottom of
    > the previous, this is called bottom posting. You have been putting your
    > reply at the top, which is known as top-posting. Top-posting is the
    > convention in emails because if you are replying to an email then the
    > recipient should have a grasp on what went before. When posting to
    > newsgroups others may not have seen your original post so its useful to
    > have the previous text available and visible first.
    > A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
    > Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?<snip>
    >
    >>> Please do not top-post. Your answer belongs after (or intermixed
    >>> with) the quoted material to which you reply, after snipping all
    >>> irrelevant material. I fixed this one. See the following links:
    >>>
    >>> <http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html>
    >>> <http://www.caliburn.nl/topposting.html>
    >>> <http://www.netmeister.org/news/learn2quote.html>
    >>> <http://cfaj.freeshell.org/google/> (taming google)
    >>> <http://members.fortunecity.com/nnqweb/> (newusers)

    >
    > Sadly, I haven't fixed this one. Its worth having a read of the links that
    > CBFalconer provided.
    > --
    > Brian Cryer
    > www.cryer.co.uk/brian
    >
    >
    >
    Bill Kearney, Dec 22, 2007
    #16
  17. Neil

    Bill Kearney Guest


    > I then looked up the hotspots in the area, and I saw that the closest one
    > was a Fed-Ex/Kinkos about 2-3 blocks away.


    And how do you know that for sure? It's not all that hard to spoof a
    hotspot. Use the same SSID, capture the HTTP traffic and fake the login
    handling. Then use the stolen information to hack the real service.
    Bill Kearney, Dec 22, 2007
    #17
  18. Neil

    BillW50 Guest

    In news:,
    Bill Kearney typed on Sat, 22 Dec 2007 09:28:15 -0500:
    >> I then looked up the hotspots in the area, and I saw that the
    >> closest one was a Fed-Ex/Kinkos about 2-3 blocks away.

    >
    > And how do you know that for sure? It's not all that hard to spoof a
    > hotspot. Use the same SSID, capture the HTTP traffic and fake the
    > login handling. Then use the stolen information to hack the real
    > service.


    You sound like you have lots of experience doing this Bill. And what
    reason would that be for?

    --
    Bill
    BillW50, Dec 22, 2007
    #18
  19. Neil

    BillW50 Guest

    In news:,
    LR typed on Fri, 21 Dec 2007 12:39:37 +0000:
    > ~misfit~ wrote:
    >> Somewhere on teh intarweb "danny burstein" typed:
    >>> In <476b3134$0$1348$> "BillW50"
    >>> <> writes:
    >>>
    >>>> The record using a home made directional antenna at a hackers
    >>>> convention in Las Vegas a couple of years ago was 51 miles.
    >>>> Although I never learned if they were on top of a mountain or not.
    >>>> I bet they were.
    >>> details: http://www.wifiworldrecord.com/

    >>
    >> That's old hat. It was broken in Venezula the next year. The one you
    >> linked to was 200km, the Venezuelan record is 279km using just a
    >> pair of Linksys WRT54G's.
    >>
    >> +Update+
    >>
    >> That was in '06. I've just Googled the guy who did it (Ermanno
    >> Pietrosemoli) and find that my info is old, his record got broken,
    >> so he set a new one in June this year. 382km, or 238 miles for you
    >> late adopters.

    >
    >
    > http://www.eslared.org.ve/articulos/Long Distance WiFi Trial.pdf


    Amazing! And here I am trying to get my sister on my network just 800
    feet away. LOL

    --
    Bill
    BillW50, Dec 22, 2007
    #19
  20. Neil

    curly Bill Guest

    Neil wrote:
    > So, I was at the local sandwich shop last night, and I noticed I was able to
    > pick up a signal from a local T-Mobile hotspot, which I have an account
    > with. It was only one bar out of five. But I was able to connect to it and
    > surf the web without any problems.
    >
    > I then looked up the hotspots in the area, and I saw that the closest one
    > was a Fed-Ex/Kinkos about 2-3 blocks away. Measuring it on the map, I
    > estimate it to be at least 800 feet from where I was.
    >
    > Is that normal for wi-fi routers to have such a large range? That seems a
    > bit far to be picking up a wi-fi signal. The router was a little uphill from
    > me, though not a very steep hill.



    So, Neil
    I think you were very successful getting responses for a stupid
    question, and stretching it out by your responses.

    For a troll you did very well.

    I take it you don't have any friends to hang out with during winter
    break from school.
    curly Bill, Dec 22, 2007
    #20
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