Asus WL-520GU Improve range and signal strength

Hello folks,

I am a total noob with networking so please be easy on me.

I have Asus WL-520GU router, about 2 years old. I hardly experienced any troubles with this guy so far as the router sits next to my laptop. Recently, I started working in the living room at wee hours of the day and I noticed that I do not get much signal, plus it drops so many times that working in the living room has become a nightmare. Its not that I live in a Presidential Palace but actually its as small as a chicken coop. When I talked to our ISP guy, he was surprised too.

I googled and found a few articles and try to work/working that way.
- I used inSSIDer to find out any interference. My router was using channel 1, although it was set to auto. Majority of routers in our apartment block use channel 1 or 11 (ALL Linksys, except me and an Apple guy) at 2.4GHz. I changed the channel to 3.
- I checked the firmware of the router. Its Asus website gives me a list of firmware upgrades but I am not too sure if there is indeed any upgrade for the routers in the US.
I am not smart enough to install DD-WRT so staying away from it unless I find any didactic instructions. DD-WRT site is not for me.
- I am considering hanging router on the wall with Aluminium file behind the antenna. Read somewhere that it helps bouncing signal off well (really?)
- I am considering changing the antenna. The antenna is 2dBi. I found a few antennas on ebay, 5dBi, 7dBi, 9dBi, 10 dBi, 12 dBi, 16dBi May be I will replace the antenna with one of these. Any specific I should use? (I don't know if there is any limitation or disadvantage of using higher dBI antenna.)
- Lastly, I am considering buying a refurbished Linksys E1000 or E1200 router and connect both using ethernet cable, so that one of these guys act as a repeater.

Can anyone please tell me how do I proceed?

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Antennas help but keep in mind.

That to double the distance it takes FOUR times the power. This is why when some one has trouble at 40 feet they never get their system to cover 100 feet.

There are far too many reasons for the drop. And most have been covered. It's a shame the channel the WiFi was on was not shared. It is an instant diagnosis for an incorrect setting. Example at;threadListing

There are also other reasons such as hiding the SSID and more but such details are not evident in your posts.

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Understood a bit still

AFAIK, the router doesn't support 802.11n its only b/g, so I guess I should be keeping channel at 5, hoping that the router is using 'g' protocol. I went through ALL the settings of the router and I did not understand anything (really, nothing, zippo), so I was very hesitant changing any setting. But here is what I know and changed
- The router does broadcast SSID but has WPA2 security with AES encryption
- Just set the 'Wireless Mode' to 54G only with 54G protection box checked.
- Just changed the channel to 5.
If there is anything else you need to know, let me know and if I find it, I will report here.

My apologies, I didn't understand your first sentence. Do you mean, to extend the range using high power antennas, you need more electrical power? I will be glad if you could elaborate.


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That " 54G protection box checked."

Did you try it unchecked? Since all the terms are confusing I'm hesitant to go far here. I can't write a tutorial in this small space but encourage you to keep reading web pages until you find either enough information or a web page that talks to you.

As to the WiFi channel, it's a rather deep subject and why I always have my smart phone with a WiFi channel scanner handy when I visit a location with coverage issues. I'll use the scanner app to see what is on the air around the location and then see what channel the router is at. If the router has an auto select channel I always use that since open channels do move around and most owners are just that.

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