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Old Jul 31st, 2009, 10:51 AM   #1
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wireless cell phone range extenders for home

Hi folks -

My iPhone reception is rather dubious inside my house here in Mississauga, and completely dead when I am in the basement.

Is there such a thing as a "range expander" so that I could put an antennae outside, run coax into a this booster box inside the house that would allow for better Rogers wireless reception?

I think I explained this very awkwardly but hopefully someone will understand what I am trying to say - I don't know the techie jargon!

Hence my screen name, I guess!

LOL

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Old Jul 31st, 2009, 11:22 AM   #2
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A popular method (but not the only way) is to use an Airport Extreme as the base station, then add additional Airport Expresses as needed, as these devices support WDS (aka "bridging") and make it very easy to extend a wireless network.
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Old Jul 31st, 2009, 11:39 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
A popular method (but not the only way) is to use an Airport Extreme as the base station, then add additional Airport Expresses as needed, as these devices support WDS (aka "bridging") and make it very easy to extend a wireless network.
chas_m how would a router help with cell phone reception?

OP, there are GSM signal boosters, but the ones that work are very expensive (in the range of $1000).

Call your wireless provider and ask them to check signal in your area. It's possible that others have called, and your call will tip the scales and get them to add another tower right around where you live.

That said, you are talking about cell phone reception in a basement, in part. While GSM is notoriously good for penetrating thick concrete and steel walls, if reception is bad upstairs it is going to get much worse in a basement. I've had reception in Toronto three floors down in underground parking garages, though, but reception above ground there was fine.

I would also check to make sure the phone's receptors were all turned on: especially 3G. Settings > General > Network > Enable 3G
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Old Jul 31st, 2009, 11:42 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
A popular method (but not the only way) is to use an Airport Extreme as the base station, then add additional Airport Expresses as needed, as these devices support WDS (aka "bridging") and make it very easy to extend a wireless network.
Thanks chas.m. I have an Airport Express Base Station and an Airport Express extending my DSL-based wireless network, but I am talking about extending the range of the Rogers wireless signal to my iPhone.
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Old Jul 31st, 2009, 11:42 AM   #5
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As an aside on extending the range of a network, while this used to work for me, it no longer does. I bought a brand new Extreme last week and connected two Express units to it, just as I had done when I had 5 mbs service to extend my range. I upgraded my old "Space station style" Extreme to handle the speed of my new 10 - 15 mbs ADSL service from Telus. If I do not use the Express in my back garage, I get around 6 mbs reception via the Extreme. If I turn on the Express, speed immediately drops to a snail's pace, I suspect because my Express one is a few years old and the other is five years old and is not capable of such speeds.
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Old Jul 31st, 2009, 02:51 PM   #6
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There are GSM signal boosters, but the ones that work are very expensive (in the range of $1000).

Call your wireless provider and ask them to check signal in your area. It's possible that others have called, and your call will tip the scales and get them to add another tower right around where you live.

That said, you are talking about cell phone reception in a basement, in part. While GSM is notoriously good for penetrating thick concrete and steel walls, if reception is bad upstairs it is going to get much worse in a basement. I've had reception in Toronto three floors down in underground parking garages, though, but reception above ground there was fine.

I would also check to make sure the phone's receptors were all turned on: especially 3G. Settings > General > Network > Enable 3G
However, thank you for the idea about calling Rogers and asking them to check signal strength in my area. Squeaky wheels do get the grease more often than not.

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