WIFI boosting

antenna cropA friend of mine recently asked about long range wifi access so I pointed him to a few products I’ve used to in our Airstream to get wifi from the outside into the inside.  These same technologies are great at picking up signals from a distance and relaying them locally.  In my particular setup, I use a Ubiquity Bullet in combination with an omni-directional external antenna.  The bullet connects to a wifi router I use inside the trailer (fishing the wire though the refer vent).

WIFI Outside

IMG_20160626_155851_1I’ve attached the wifi antenna to the tv antenna mast for added height (You can also see the LTE directional antenna I’ve attached, this could in fact be used for wifi as well).  Here you see the setup with the antenna in the down position.

 

 

WIFI Inside

I am on my third wifi router at this time for a couple reasons. My first attempt was a cheap but good TP-LINK router with USB. Regrettably, it did not support USB modems, only USB storage. My second attempt was a Pepwave Surf SOHO. This is a great little router that supports USB modems and WAN failover. I was able to connect both a USB hotspot and the Ubiquity Bullet. But then I changed data plans, and the new plan required use of a specific LTE hub.

That hub, a ZTE MF275R, connects over ethernet rather than USB, and the Surf SOHO only supports one WAN over ethernet. My other issue with the Surf SOHO is that the only VPN for LAN to LAN connections is their proprietary VPN solution. In 2016 that is simply unacceptable, and prevented me from using a VPN provider of my choice.

Some digging, thinking, searching and I discovered Draytek. Draytek is a Chinese company producing relatively high end routers, but specifically they produce a router, the Vigor 2925ac, that supports two ethernet WANs and two USB WANs, supports failover AND load balancing! As well it supports most of the basic VPN technologies (unfortunately not OpenVPN). I ordered one and have it running my network at this time. I do find the configuration pretty daunting and I have yet to get VPN routing working correctly (it does connect), so this router is not one for the non-technical.

Ubiquiti BulletM2 Titanium Ubiquiti 2.4GHz 802.11n/g Outdoor Radio
DrayTek Vigor 2925ac Dual WAN
TP-LINK TL-ANT2415D 2.4GHz 15dBi Outdoor Omni-directional Antenna, N Female connector, weather resistant

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