Monday, November 24, 2014

Range Extenders, Part 1

At the Thompsons', our wireless router for the wifi is in the front of our house. And (as has been well-documented on this blog) we have a patio in our back yard. Sometimes my wife likes to go back there with a lemonade and play Candy Crush. Sadly, the wifi doesn't always reach that far. We needed a solution.

A little research and I found these at Target:

The right one is more expensive partly because it reaches farther. How much farther? The answer to this question is the subject of this blog post.

A quick look at the boxes will shed some light on the matter.

I wanted a simple radius measure. How far will the signal go from the extender unit? But that's not how they provide the information. Instead, they tell us that the left one will extend the wifi range up to 5000 square feet. Square feet? What a crazy measure to use! Presumably because it's bigger and jumps off the box a little more? The left one extends the range up to 7,500 square feet. Some quick calculations suggest that I'll get up to 9 extra feet of distance with the more expensive one:

And given that the 49 foot radius is a maximum, I'd wager that the true difference is actually a bit less than that.

The next question that pops into my brain is this: some of this space is double covered. Do you think they are counting the area of the whole circle, or just the yellow?

For your reference, they suggest putting this thing at a spot where the signal is at about half strength. I assume that looks like this.

Here's where I'm going next. The conclusion soon in Part 2.

It's nice to be blogging again, even if I am supremely inconsistent.