Wi-Fi Signal Strength

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro' started by Sit, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. Sit
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    Sit Member

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    I got a Wireless router which has three antennas that you can reposition for best signal. Thus, I am trying to figure out the best antenna orientation to cover my home. So using the surface pro I can easily walk around and monitor the "bars" on the pro's wireless icon. More bars the stronger the signal. Is there an app that does the same thing as "more bars" on the wifi icon but in a more granular meter like reading? Thanks!
  2. spectre51
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    spectre51 Member

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    Check out insider http://www.metageek.net/ great app for diagnosing wifi signal strength.

    Sent from the SurfaceForums.net app for Windows 8
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  3. mitchellvii
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    mitchellvii Well-Known Member

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    Couple tips on positioning wifi routers:

    1. Wifi is like water, it flows downhill. If you have a 2 story house, place your router on the second floor.
    2. If your router is placed against an outer wall of your house, half your signal is going out to your neighbors and through the roof. Take some aluminum foil (shiny side out) and build a little "signal fort' for your router that will bounce all signal in the direction you desire. This makes a BIG difference.
    3. Buy a range extended of the same brand as your router and place it half way between your router and the furthest point of your house. These work and only cost about $50.
    4. Get a range extender that routes signal through your home wiring by plugging it into the wall electric plug. These cost more than wifi range extenders but can go further since it is using wire to transfer the signal to remote regions.
    5. Since your router has external antennas you can look into getting some "hi gain" replacement antennas that are larger and put out more signal.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013
  4. tonyz3
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    tonyz3 New Member

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  5. kayzee
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    kayzee Well-Known Member

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    Just out of interest...

    I've noticed in most rooms my iPhone is constantly getting 4 or 5 bars, and my Surface in the exact same position sits on 3 bars maximum, and occasionally 2 bars. However it doesn't really seem to be any worse (sometimes a small bit of break up when steaming television) any idea why? Maybe the iPhone is just lying!
  6. ArnoldC
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    ArnoldC New Member

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  7. Mr.NK
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    Mr.NK Super Moderator Staff Member

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    This depends on multiple factors:
    1. The Bars are just an icon and the treshholds differs - it's like on mobiles, where on device 1 you can easily have calls with 1 bar, while device 2 is not usable with 2-3 bars.
    2. It depends on the quality of the chip/antennas - the surface chipset and antennas where claimed as "long range", so you could enter wifis other devices would not even recognize. IMHO the wifi in my rt is ok (despite the limited speed), but seems to have problems showing full bars even when the router is in the same room.
    Example: While my girlfriends laptop showing 5 Bars (at -39dbi meassured with inssider at 2,4Ghz two rooms from the router), the surface shows 4 bars and between 2-4 bars on 5Ghz. The only time i'm getting 5 bars on 5Ghz is 0,5m (1.6 ft) away from the router. At the other moment is was able to use the network at university from another building with a 6-lane street and some big walls between me and the last access-point (yes it was not the most reliable connection)
    As for the lack of a arm-version of inssider (and a lack of 5Ghz at the laptop), i'm not able to put those observations into some comparable figures.
    3. The hick-ups you had could result out of the limited speed of the surface itself, the stream of the tv (apps like zatoo are relying on p2p and are known for such behavior) or your wifi-signal. My advice would be: Use Inssider and Ekahau Heatmapper to inspect your network and something like LanSpeed to measure your throughput. With those programms you can "easily" finetune parameters or the position of your router to gain some bandwith without having to buy a new router. Mitchellvii had already given some ideas.
  8. N.G.
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    N.G. Member

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    I have/had a WiFi problem and ordered an Asus ac rt66u which has better signal strength in the Small Net Builder tests. It also has 3external antennas AND a Merlin WiFi chip like the SP. It is not losing the connection in my main location as my old (1 yr) Cisco top of the line did. I have ordered 3 high db antennas which should do the trick. Check to see if you can upgrade your antennas. My old Signal Radio training taught me it was far easier to upgrade the antennas than the radios. Here is an antenna link: Amazon.com: 3 x 9dBi RP-SMA WiFi Antennas Asus RT-N16 RT-N66U RT-AC66U AC1750 D-link DIR-655 TP-Link TL-WR2543ND TL-WR1043ND Buffalo WZR-HP-G450H: Computers & Accessories
  9. mitchellvii
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    mitchellvii Well-Known Member

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    I recommend 100 foot ethernet cables with usb 3.0 adapters.

    cable-laying-250x250.jpg
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  10. mitchellvii
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    mitchellvii Well-Known Member

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    Don't know how accurate that Speed Test App is. Showing my ping at 109 ms and top download at 6 mbps while Speedtest.net has me at 26 ms ping and 10 mbps down.

    Who knows. My desktop gets 28 mbps down. Don't know what the SP is so lame, even if I plug in a usb wireless adapter.
  11. tonyz3
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    tonyz3 New Member

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    yeah but are you wearing the hat. i get diff readings myself. i ordered that Win 8 amp wifi attached ment from amazon should get it today. i am going to see if that works and if not i am drilling the floor and running wires to my DEll...
  12. Sit
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    Sit Member

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    MetaGeek | Home of Wi-Spy and inSSIDer and this is exactly what I am looking for. I got the Asus RT-AC66U wireless router and it performs like crazy compared to my several year old Linksys.

    Lots of other good posts too. Thanks!!!
  13. ArnoldC
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    ArnoldC New Member

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    They use different servers, so result will never match.
  14. ltcbob11
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    ltcbob11 New Member

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    @Mitchelvii,

    I love the "WiFi is like water" analogy. I never thought of it like that, but so true.
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