Wifi Extenders <SOLVED> THX EVERYONE

Questions about WIFI networks and devices
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wyght
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Wifi Extenders <SOLVED> THX EVERYONE

Post by wyght » Sun May 06, 2018 2:29 pm

I am a long haul trucker, I drive between the puddles and south from the tip of Florida to the Arctic stopping in a different truck-stop each night.
I have a Acer 7540-1734, running Mint 18.3; Kernel 4.10.0-38 generic. AMD Athlon II dual core M300 x2 with 4 GiB ram

I have a huge problem connecting to the wifi in the truck-stop parking areas, I have been reading about wifi extenders and would like to know
if you have an idea which extenders work best with Mint 18?
Also; if you know which I should avoid?

Thanks
Last edited by wyght on Sun May 06, 2018 8:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wifi Extenders

Post by phd21 » Sun May 06, 2018 2:52 pm

Hi wyght,

It would help to know more about your system setup. If you run "inxi -Fxzd" and "lsusb" from the console terminal prompt, highlight the results, copy and paste them back here, that should provide enough information.

Can you please be more specific about what the problem(s) are with connecting to the WiFi at various places, is it range (weak signal), or something else?

There are many good to great options for this available from using a better WiFi adapter to adding your own WiFi "router", but first need more information...

...
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Re: Wifi Extenders

Post by wyght » Sun May 06, 2018 3:16 pm

WIFI routers are on the top of the light-poles in the lots. If I park directly under I am able to pick up signal. If I park 30 feet away from the router I am unable to connect to the wifi.
In my home I am able to connect but I normally use a cat5 as it is quicker. My wifi router is directly under the room I normally connect to the wifi in my home.
If I am in the truck-stop I normally am able to connect but my connection if often dropped. I looked at the effort to replace the wifi antenna but feel it is above my pay-grade.
I have phoned IT support for the truck stops, they often tell me the system is up and running plus my phone will connect to the wifi while my laptop will not. I do not know
if the signal is weak, my laptop believes it is, my phone is happy with it as is my wife's phone. She has a new iPhone I have an Andriod

I do not understand; adding your own WiFi "router".

Terminal
$ lsusb
Bus 002 Device 002: ID 04f2:b044 Chicony Electronics Co., Ltd Acer CrystalEye Webcam
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 006 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 005 Device 002: ID 046d:c52b Logitech, Inc. Unifying Receiver
Bus 005 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub


$ inxi -Fxzd
System: Host: me-Aspire-7540 Kernel: 4.10.0-38-generic x86_64 (64 bit gcc: 5.4.0)
Desktop: Cinnamon 3.6.7 (Gtk 3.18.9-1ubuntu3.3) Distro: Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia
Machine: System: Acer (portable) product: Aspire 7540 v: 0100
Mobo: Acer model: JV71TR v: Rev Bios: Phoenix v: V1.11 date: 12/07/2009
CPU: Dual core AMD Athlon II M300 (-MCP-) cache: 1024 KB
flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4a svm) bmips: 7979
clock speeds: max: 2000 MHz 1: 2000 MHz 2: 2000 MHz
Graphics: Card: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] RS880M [Mobility Radeon HD 4225/4250]
bus-ID: 01:05.0
Display Server: X.Org 1.18.4 drivers: ati,radeon (unloaded: fbdev,vesa)
Resolution: 1600x900@60.00hz
GLX Renderer: AMD RS880 (DRM 2.49.0 / 4.10.0-38-generic, LLVM 5.0.0)
GLX Version: 3.0 Mesa 17.2.8 Direct Rendering: Yes
Audio: Card-1 Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] RS880 HDMI Audio [Radeon HD 4200 Series]
driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 01:05.1
Card-2 Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] SBx00 Azalia (Intel HDA)
driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:14.2
Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.10.0-38-generic
Network: Card-1: Broadcom NetLink BCM5784M Gigabit Ethernet PCIe
driver: tg3 v: 3.137 bus-ID: 03:00.0
IF: eth0 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
Card-2: Qualcomm Atheros AR928X Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express)
driver: ath9k bus-ID: 06:00.0
IF: wlan0 state: up mac: <filter>
Drives: HDD Total Size: 500.1GB (3.0% used)
ID-1: /dev/sda model: Hitachi_HTS54505 size: 500.1GB
Optical: /dev/sr0 model: HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GT30N
rev: 1.01 dev-links: cdrom,cdrw,dvd,dvdrw
Features: speed: 24x multisession: yes
audio: yes dvd: yes rw: cd-r,cd-rw,dvd-r,dvd-ram state: running
Partition: ID-1: / size: 455G used: 11G (3%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda1
ID-2: swap-1 size: 4.16GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda5
RAID: No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors: System Temperatures: cpu: 63.5C mobo: 50.0C
Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info: Processes: 198 Uptime: 51 min Memory: 2430.3/3823.2MB
Init: systemd runlevel: 5 Gcc sys: 5.4.0 Client: Shell (bash 4.3.481) inxi: 2.2.35
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Re: Wifi Extenders

Post by JeremyB » Sun May 06, 2018 4:18 pm

As a temporary messure can you connect to the wifi with the phone and use USB tethering to the laptop

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Re: Wifi Extenders

Post by phd21 » Sun May 06, 2018 4:49 pm

HI wyght,

I do not see anything wrong with the results of the "inxi -Fxzd" console terminal command, so that is a good thing. Although, you might consider updating to a newer Linux Kernel in the 4.13.xx series or higher for security reasons.

Apparently your laptop's WiFi adapter does not have very good range, or the truck stop WiFi routers are not very powerful.

Here are my recommendations:

1.) You can get a new USB WiFi adapter (N or AC) that is plug-n-play with your Linux Mint system that is at least 300 mbps or faster with or without an external antenna; the external antennas work better. You can even use a USB extension cable with the WiFi adapter to put it on the dash or near a window. These are relatively inexpensive at Amazon.com, Ebay, etc... read descriptions and user comments to make sure it works with your Linux system. "Panda" and other manufacturers are known to work well with Linux Mint. I have a couple older USB WiFi (N) adapters with the "realtek" chipset that work.

Amazon.com: usb wifi adapter linux - 4 Stars & Up
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_nr_p_72 ... 2661617011

2.) Get a new WiFi hardware router (N or AC) to take with you and use it to connect (in "bridge" or "repeater" (wisp) mode) to the various WiFi networks and "hotspots" and then you would simply connect your laptop with its current WiFi adapter or using an Ethernet cable to your own WiFi router and your own portable private network with its own hardware firewall and security login. This option has various advantages over directly connecting to WiFi Hotspot networks with your laptop or other devices. You can use a normal hi-powered WiFi router (if your truck has AC outlets or DC-AC converter), or you can use "portable travel WiFi hotspot router" which can be powered by USB ports from your computer or USB power adapters.


Specialty items:
* Amazon.com: AllPro RV Wi-Fi Range Extender Hotspot: Computers & Accessories
Wi-Fi signal booster with a range up to 15 miles, Includes a 4 port wireless router / Hotspot range up to 50 ft
https://www.amazon.com/AllPro-Wi-Fi-Ran ... B00LGZN47E

Amazon.com: High Gain AC600 Dual Band Outdoor Wifi Access Point Repeater for Garden Backyard, IP65 Weatherproof, Dual Omni Directional Antennas, Passive PoE from U-Tote: Computers & Accessories
- You would need a way to mount this to your vehicle.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076WVRRQN/re ... B00LGZN47E


WiFi routers powered by AC:
Amazon.com: wifi router long range repeater
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss ... e+repeater

Amazon.com: wifi router long range
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i ... 36L80MRS93


Portable Travel Wifi hotspot routers:
Amazon.com: portable wifi router hotspot
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i ... er+hotspot

Amazon.com: Mini Travel Router Repeater Bridge
- Not sure these would work well at large areas like a truck stop, large home, etc.. but they work well for rooms. and smaller areas. I have the "GL.iNet GL-MT300N-V2 Mini Travel Router, Repeater Bridge, 300Mbps High Performance, 128MB RAM, OpenVPN Client, Tor" which works very well, but not sure of its range.
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss ... ridge%5Cc+

Amazon.com: Travel AC Router
https://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=sr ... 1525643249


Hope this helps ...
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Re: Wifi Extenders

Post by AZgl1500 » Sun May 06, 2018 7:28 pm

a good friend is an OTR trucker also.

Solution is to get one of those Magnetic Base antenna extenders sold for setting on a Bumper hitch and the tongue of a trailer.

Then tape the external WiFi adapter's antenna to the top of the extendible antenna.
Slap the mag mount on top of the truck.
That will put the new USB external antenna above ALL of the other trucks in the parking lot.
You should get a minimum of 100 feet coverage from any of the WiFi routers in the lot.

it would not surprise me that you start picking up hotel WiFi signals 300-500 feet away.
I consistently pick up Hotel signals from across the highway, and that is almost a 1/4 mile.

I am using a cheapo Panda PAU06 but that is not the best one, and it is not an external antenna.

Look at this one, it comes with a USB cable 5 meters long and tape this WiFi adapter to the Mag Mount.

https://nmi.craigslist.org/ele/d/long-r ... 99607.html

I'm pretty sure that the Ralink RT3070 chipset is supported by 18.3 Mint.

More reading reveals it does not include the antenna, but it says you can use any WiFi antenna for it, but it comes with a type 'N' connector.... that will be problematic for you.

look at this one from Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GYV46VI/re ... B00569E0LU

this one is specifically slated for truckers and boats, and includes the antenna.
I think I will order it for myself also, even though it is a tad bit expensive, but,
for you, I think it will pay for you.
My friend is on the phone with me now, and he says truck stops charge for using their WiFi at $5/24 hours use... but it is 'Wandering WiFi' and he says it is just about totally useless. but probably the same reason you already have described.

He has given up, and is using 4g from his cellphone's Hotspot.
He has unlimited data from AT&T and he is a cheap skate...

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Re: Wifi Extenders

Post by wyght » Sun May 06, 2018 7:58 pm

JeremyB wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 4:18 pm
As a temporary messure can you connect to the wifi with the phone and use USB tethering to the laptop
this is something I do, unfortunately it is rather expensive but thank you for the idea
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Re: Wifi Extenders

Post by wyght » Sun May 06, 2018 8:01 pm

If I use the router, or at least one of the wifi router it will connect to the truck stop wifi and then boost its signal in the cab of my rig correct?

I would have to put in the password for my personal account but then I would have the signal.
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Re: Wifi Extenders

Post by AZgl1500 » Sun May 06, 2018 8:10 pm

wyght wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 8:01 pm
If I use the router, or at least one of the wifi router it will connect to the truck stop wifi and then boost its signal in the cab of my rig correct?

I would have to put in the password for my personal account but then I would have the signal.
you are correct, you will connect to the extender and from there you sign onto your account at the truck stops.

this will provide you with a much better WiFi capability.

I am a retired Comm Tech, and to me, if you don't want to pay for 4g on a cellphone, this is about the only reasonable route to go.

Once it is paid for, no more fees except for the WiFi account fee.

IF, you choose to get this adapter from Amazon, please please come back here and report your results.

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Re: Wifi Extenders

Post by wyght » Sun May 06, 2018 8:25 pm

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071HRYKJQ?aa ... 80401&th=1

I am sorry for the LONG url, is this router appropriate?

If yes, I would then put the router at the front of my cab above the wind-shield on the inside of my rig. Or 'high' very close to the ceiling of my rig correct?
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Re: Wifi Extenders

Post by AZgl1500 » Sun May 06, 2018 8:28 pm

wyght wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 8:25 pm
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071HRYKJQ?aa ... 80401&th=1

I am sorry for the LONG url, is this router appropriate?

If yes, I would then put the router at the front of my cab above the wind-shield on the inside of my rig. Or 'high' very close to the ceiling of my rig correct?
Nope, I sent you an email and a PM,
you need to look at the link from Amazon.

the one you linked to is meant for a router that is connected to Cox Cable, etc.....
that won't work for the truck.

call me on the phone, much easier

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Re: Wifi Extenders

Post by phd21 » Sun May 06, 2018 8:32 pm

Hi wyght,
wyght wrote:If I use the router, or at least one of the wifi router it will connect to the truck stop wifi and then boost its signal in the cab of my rig correct? I would have to put in the password for my personal account but then I would have the signal.
- As was already stated, yes, this is correct you would tell the WiFi router to connect to the truck stop or any other available WiFi network hotspot which most routers will remember and it will auto-connect with it in the future, then you can login to the router with your login name and password which you set along with a strong encryption WPA2 that you set. In other words, your laptop can connect to this router in your truck using the same login name and password all the time regardless of which truck stop or WiFi hotspot the router connects with. Using your own router is safer than directly connecting your computer or devices to WiFi hotspots.

- It is also true that If you get a USB WiFi adapter with an external antenna, the antenna can be removed and or a wire cable can be connected to it to extend its range to another antenna made for vehicles.

Amazon.com: Wsky 1200Mbps Wireless USB Wifi Adapter - Best Dual Band (2.4G/300Mbps+5.8G/867Mbps), USB Laptop Network Adapters, Perfect for Win10/8.1/8/7/XP Mac OS 10.4-10.12 Linux( Kernel 2.6x-4.1x): Computers & Accessories
https://www.amazon.com/Wsky-1200Mbps-Wi ... pter+linux

The one below is very similar to the one I have, but the one above is faster and more capable.
Amazon.com: Panda Wireless PAU06 300Mbps N USB Adapter: Computers & Accessories
https://www.amazon.com/Panda-Wireless-P ... pter+linux

Hope this helps ...
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Re: Wifi Extenders

Post by wyght » Sun May 06, 2018 8:41 pm

Thank you yes it helps a great deal
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Re: Wifi Extenders

Post by absque fenestris » Sun May 06, 2018 9:05 pm

AZgl1500 wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 7:28 pm
...
He has given up, and is using 4g from his cellphone's Hotspot.
He has unlimited data from AT&T and he is a cheap skate...
You meant this?

AT&T Unlimited Plus Enhanced℠
Our best got even better.
$ 80
Mobile Hotspot

15GB
Turn your phone into a blazing fast hotspot with 15GB per line.

After 15GB, hotspot speed limited to max of 128 kbps.
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Re: Wifi Extenders <SOLVED> THX EVERYONE

Post by AZgl1500 » Sun May 06, 2018 9:48 pm

I don't know, he is not paying $80 a month, his wife will never stand for that,
I think he has a 4 or 5 gB/month and gets carry over if not used.

I myself, have a 4 gB/month plan and get carry over if not used....
I have a JetPack Verizon MiFi adapter that I use on trips away from home.
but, I only use it if absolutely necessary, and never download videos or images.

My cellphone will not do Hotspot and let me make phone calls at the same time.

JetPack300.jpg
JetPack300.jpg (8.55 KiB) Viewed 202 times

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Re: Wifi Extenders <SOLVED> THX EVERYONE

Post by AZgl1500 » Sun May 06, 2018 10:12 pm

I have the Panda PAU06 on this laptop, while it is good, it is still plugged into the laptop itself, and has limited range capability.


the one in the post above is better by quite a bit, https://www.amazon.com/Wsky-1200Mbps-Wi ... pter+linux


IF, you will use a USB cable extension, and place that on a plastic mast attached to the truck's mirror opposite the CB antenna, it should work pretty good.

not as well as the previous one I mentioned with 8 dBi gain, but might be enough for you.

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Re: Wifi Extenders <SOLVED> THX EVERYONE

Post by absque fenestris » Sun May 06, 2018 10:59 pm

Hello AZgl1500

I do the same as your friend: I quit the cable network at the big local hero and generally run Internet via LTE 4G with a lower middle class Sony smartphone as hotspot.

For comparison:

this costs me CHF 55 per month/fixed (incl. national telephone calls/SMS/Internet)
the monthly internet transfer is now limited to 1TB (one TeraByte)... probably because of me :mrgreen:

Local connection speeds:
Linux Mint - without mirror: depends... from 0 - 12 Mbit/sec. everything is possible
Linux Mint mirror ETH/Zurich: very constant at 5Mbit/sec
Vivaldi and Opera-Servers: stupidly fast, before I can open the download window, the 50MB data are already there
the recent network installation of openSUSE Tumbleweed, about 4.5GB from the University of Erlangen DE was installed with a constant 10 Mbit/sec (about three quarters of an hour - impressed me)

I would be interested in what other users have experienced with their non-local wi-fi or hotspots connections.
Last edited by absque fenestris on Mon May 07, 2018 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wifi Extenders <SOLVED> THX EVERYONE

Post by AZgl1500 » Mon May 07, 2018 2:10 am

I never attempt to do a "network install", it would never be completed.

the highest download rate I have ever seen is 1.3 mbps and at that rate, it takes 30 to 45 minutes just to download the ISO.

I always put the ISO files on USB stick and install from there, the LiveCD usually comes up in 15 minutes or so.... then the actual install takes about an hour....

this is on the laptop that I am using now, which has a 500 dB HDD.... and only 4 gB of RAM.

I ordered up an 8gB RAM stick, and just received my new 500 gB SSD.
I am in hopes that will make this little phablet run a bit faster.

the best upload speeds I get from my ISP is about 900 kbps, the best download I have seen is 11.5 mbps, average is 8 mbps.

Code: Select all

System:    Host: john-TP500LA Kernel: 4.13.0-39-generic x86_64 (64 bit)
           Desktop: Cinnamon 3.6.7  Distro: Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia
Machine:   System: ASUSTeK (portable) product: TP500LA v: 1.0
           Mobo: ASUSTeK model: TP500LA v: 1.0
           Bios: American Megatrends v: TP500LA.203 date: 06/11/2014
CPU:       Dual core Intel Core i3-4030U (-HT-MCP-) cache: 3072 KB 
           clock speeds: max: 1800 MHz 1: 884 MHz 2: 958 MHz 3: 1047 MHz
           4: 1091 MHz

Drives:    HDD Total Size: 500.1GB (23.0% used)
           ID-1: /dev/sda model: TOSHIBA_MQ01ABF0 size: 500.1GB

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