Re: Wifi extenders and the bonding system


Scott SV Tengah
 

Arno, 

I got it to work only with the help of my friend. I literally couldn't connect to the Mikrotik Wap AC to even try to set it up for a year! Having a Mac doesn't help. I believe your Badboy is the same as my old Wirie Pro - a Bullet with a custom firmware, which you access through a webpage. Same with the Mikrotik, but it's just far more complicated. 

To be clear, I've never used a Mikrotik for the WAN portion of my network. In other words, it was always for the internal wifi network. For that it's been great. My internal network is fast enough that I have one hard drive shared between multiple computers over wifi and data transfer is almost as fast as connecting the hard drive by cable directly.  

For connecting to remote access points (cafe/restaurant/marina/etc), I first used the Bullet/Wirie, which is exactly what you have. Then I used the Alfa Tube, which had a much lower noise floor. For whatever reason, I had a big problem with noise floor on the Bullet. As you probably know, it's not just signal strength, but it's signal strength relative to the noise floor, which determines how fast/responsive your internet will be.

Moreover, the results you receive are dependent on another multitude of factors, so just isolating receiver sensitivity and transmission power to compare different setups, if all else is not equal, is not very useful. If the airwaves are congested where you are, the strongest received signal, defined by signal-to-noise ratio, won't help you too much. The nature of 2.4ghz transmissions is that many of the channels OVERLAP and some routers double their radio bandwidth to 40mhz in an effort to increase throughput, but that results in a higher likelihood of overlapping. So if you have someone else on an overlapping channel, you will have slowdowns. Further, the remote access point's connection to the internet is another factor. You can have the strongest, best receiver in the world but if your marina/cafe's access point has a dial up connection, the best speed you will ever get is dial up.

Finally, be careful cranking up transmission power. First off, it only helps with uploading. Secondly, Badboy's claimed 36db must include the gain from the antenna. Otherwise, they're violating max power limits from the FCC and I believe they're based in the US. Thirdly, my networking engineer friend explained to me that many wifi routers are smart. If your boat is sending a very powerful signal out, the receiving router interprets that as you being something like a smartphone that is very close to that router. To save power for both the router and the "smartphone client", the router will then lower its own output power. Through experimenting, I find that if I encounter one of those smart routers, turning DOWN my transmission power will increase my internet speed. Finally, high transmission power will increase the likelihood for interference for other users - bad karma and also another reason why smart routers, in an attempt to be good citizens, will decrease their output power in response to a high power received signal.

This wifi stuff is almost as complicated as maintaining a boat! Almost.

--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com

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