Easy How-To Guide – Extend Your Wireless Range From Neighbor
In today’s modern apartment living society, a lot of people have issues with their wireless range due to walls, interference, and other obstacles in the house, creating a weak signal. Even those with large houses have issues with getting long-range WiFi coverage across all floors of the house, to the guest house, or outside on the porch, where it’s wanted most. But with this guide, I’ll show you what is required to extend the range of your wireless network outside, upstairs, in the basement, across the street, or how to extend wifi from your neighbor.
Boosting WiFi Signal From Neighbor By Extending With Antenna
These two extender options are for different situations. One being you have no access or line of sight to the router, such as an apartment building, and one is you do have access and a line of sight like across a street.
Extend Without Access To Router (Open Network or Weak Signal)
(1) Stronger Wireless USB Receiver – Easiest solution without physical access to router Amazon Price
If you do not have direct physical access to the neighbor’s router, the only thing you can do is upgrade your wireless receiver on your desktop or laptop. Luckily this is very easy to do. But to be clear, you still need the network password or for it to be an open network. You will not be able to hack into the WiFi at all with any option. Wireless security just does not work that way.
You can use a better-upgraded booster antenna for your computer to pick up the signal. This should work for accessing your neighbor’s wireless internet. It will surely increase your range at which you can detect a wireless signal and the strength at which you transmit data. Meaning not only will your speeds increase, but you will also see many new wireless networks from other neighbors that you never knew existed.
Of course, the better option is to send a stronger signal direct from the router if you can, but we understand that is not always possible and that is when you buy this WiFi antenna receiver booster. But if you want an even stronger network, the better option is to use this receiver along with a stronger router or long-range antenna like the next option.
Extend With Access To Router (Have Password and Router Control)
(2) This Booster Antenna – Best Long Distance Line of Sight Solution Amazon Price
If you have a line of sight, the best and easiest way for you to extend your neighbor’s wireless outside or across the street long range is to have them attach this booster antenna to their router and point it at your house. Of course, this requires their permission and a simple setup.
This is known as a directional antenna, and they are the supreme line of sight devices. It will, by design, beam a much stronger signal in your direction. This is the standard way to send a wifi signal long-range when you have access to the broadcasting router.
All you have to do is attach it to the router’s antenna port and sit it on the window, pointing it at the house where you want to get stronger wireless. This should work alone but if you pair it with option 1 to pick up the signal, you will be very satisfied with the results.
With this option, it is important that the original router have detachable antennas with the port so that you may screw this new one in. You may see an example of what is required here. Not all routers have detachable external antennas so be sure to check this before choosing this upgrade.
Best Home Wireless Extender Options (In Home or Apartment)
These options are for those who do not have a direct line of sight with the base router, like multi-story homes or apartment walls. Say they are a floor above you or next door through some walls or a similar scenario. These options are for a stronger wireless network in your own home or through walls of a neighbor. Check them out and see which option is best for your home network.
- (3) Better Wireless Router – Most Common
This is your best low-cost option if you are in control of the incoming internet connection. It is highly likely that you have an old Wireless N router, so all you need to do is upgrade to a Wireless AC device to get better speeds. To check your router, find the model number on the bottom and Google it, it will tell you if it is Wireless N or Wireless AC.
- (4) Build A Mesh Network – Best Performance
There is no better option than this on the market. It is the newest home business class mesh for homes over 4,000 square feet or more. The way to go if you control the connection and have the funds. Peak performance.
- (5) Wireless Range Extender – Budget Lower Performance
The is the option to “boost” the transmission broadcasting from your neighbor’s house if they already have a router. It is also an option if you are trying to extend the wifi to a guest house, basement, garage, upstairs, etc. It is much weaker than the wireless mesh option but also much cheaper. You will not get full speeds because recasting will always half the original speed. It is better than no signal though. If you want to recast the signal without reducing the speeds in half, the wireless mesh option is the only way to do this.
Extending Your Neighbors Wifi For A Better Signal
Now we will explain the above options in depth. There are a few things you need to understand about extending your neighbor’s wireless internet into your apartment from next door. For this to work, you do need access to begin with. You can’t get on the wifi unless you have their password or they have an open network. If it is open or you have the password, you can boost their signal with any of these methods.
Antenna Booster Explained: Get A Stronger Wireless Antenna
To boost the signal from your neighbor’s house, this is a good first-step easy option. The cheap external antenna will plug into your computer or laptop via USB and pick up signals from all around. Many laptops or even desktops have built-in wireless cards, which do not have a great range, so a simple external can be a really powerful upgrade.
Directional Antenna Explained: Beam A Stronger Signal From The Router
This is a way of concentrating the signal from the router in one direction and at further distances. This is good for aiming across the street, at a guest house, to a neighbor, etc. The directional antenna sends a much stronger signal from point A to point B. It is directional though, so you will need to point it in the direction you would like to send the signal. This is the best first bet if you already get a signal from them but want it to be stronger. You will need to screw this antenna into the back of the existing router and place it where it has a line of sight with the receiving house. This option, paired with the external USB antenna, will increase the performance by a lot.
Stronger Router Explained: Get The Best WiFi Router Technology
One of the biggest issues with weak wireless signal is people having old routers with poor performance. Technology has changed a bit over the last few years, and there are many standards with different throughput, ranges, and powers. You should find out which you have and upgrade if need be. This could be your only problem. Generally, the model number will display an N for Wireless N or AC for wireless AC. At this point you need AC. You should not try to extend Wireless N because it will continue to be an underperformer. You will need to replace this with WIreless AC or AX.
- 802.11a: The oldest, toast, throw the router away. No longer out there.
- 802.11b/g: Also old and not worth investing in. Replacement time. No longer out there.
- 802.11n: aka Wireless N is the most common problem when it comes to weak signal. Last Gen WiFi.
- 802.11ac: The most acceptable and widely used wifi for in-home use. It is backward compatible, so your device will still connect if it’s not AC ready. Needed for fast speeds at range.
- 802.11ax: The newest and best wireless technology. Maybe not something you need tey, but with the evolving internet of things and bandwidth consumption, you will need it one day.
If you already knew that and have Wireless AC, on to the next step. A simplistic Wireless Extender to carry and extend the signal to remote locations of your house or apartment.
Wireless Repeater Explained: Recasting The Wireless Signal
This is an easy way to cast the wifi signal a further distance. The extender makes it easy to recast the existing routers signal to the rest of your home. If your neighbor has a password on their wifi, you will need to know it. You can not actually “steal” internet. You will need access to recast it. In some cases, you may find an open network and attach the extender to this. I still suggest you ask for permission.
The router effectively logs into your original WiFi router, grabs the signal and recast it from its current location extending the range by a lot. This is the simplest and most common method for extending the internet range in a large house or from a neighbors apartment but it does not give the full speeds of the original signal.
Steal / Boost Neighbors Wireless Internet
As you know by now, you can’t steal your neighbor’s internet. It doesn’t work that way. There is no magical device you can buy that is going to bypass their password. Would anyone pay for internet if that were the case? You must have the password or find an open unsecured wireless network. The repeater will attach to the open network if that is what you are looking for.
Share Your Internet With Neighbors
On the other hand, if you know your neighbor, you could work out a deal for both of you. You can lower the cost of your monthly internet bill by sharing it with them. If you live in an apartment building, you can maybe even get 2 or 3 neighbors in on the wireless sharing. Sometimes you don’t need all of those high download speeds to yourself and can’t justify spending $60 a monthly internet bill.
There are downfalls to sharing your internet, and it can have a negative impact on your performance. If you are savvy enough, you can use your routers software to limit the amount of bandwidth proportioned to your neighbors, and this will not be an issue. You still face the risk of your neighbor(or even friends who visit) performing illegal activities under your account and getting in trouble with your provider– or worse– the law.
If you already have a second router
If you already own a router and want it to cast your neighbors signal or extend your own, open up the settings page and select “repeater mode,” enter the existing wifi password or connect to the open network and you’re on. The simple way to get sharing internet in no time!
Access Point Mode
My preferred method as it truly extends the range the furthest possible. How is this mode different? Well for one, you need physical access to the primary router. Instead of a mesh-like wireless network as used with Repeater Mode where the two networks meet in the middle, you will have a long cat5 cable from your main router to the secondary router. The secondary wireless router will then cast out its own wireless signal. So instead of 2 signals meeting in the middle and connecting, you get two full-strength signals for a much stronger connection. This is exactly how I have mine set up in Access Point Mode. This way if you have to set the second device in a room on the other side of a thick say stone or brick wall you take no loss. You just run the long cable along the wall into the area you wish to set the router up in and plug it in. If you can do this, I suggest it. If not the method above, the wireless repeater will work. I prefer a zero loss situation and extending as far as I can via hardwire before casting my second SSID. However, this is not going to be an option for most people so the repeater mode will suffice.
Below is the ASUS Router Firmware and just how easy it is to do this. I mean could it get more simple? Click Administration and pick your mode. It’s that intuitive and easy enough for anyone to do with no technical expertise.