Help reaching hotspot a block away

June 27, 2005 at 16:44:49
Specs: Win XP, 256


I'm going to be getting a new PC soon with XP on it. There is a Starbucks about a block away from my house with a free wireless connection. I can see the Starbucks if I get on the roof of my house.

Does anyone here know of a way to extend the reach of a wireless network card so I can pick up that hotspot? Of course I don't want to sit on top of my house so I'll probably have to run a cable into my house.

If you know any ways to do this that are low in cost that would be great.


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June 27, 2005 at 16:50:44

Well you could run a cable to your roof and then attach a "cantenna" to it. There are also many home mad antennas which have picked up signals from over a mile away.

-Ryan Adams

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June 27, 2005 at 17:36:10

Thanks for the reply.

What's a "cantenna?"

Also, do you know where I can get information on making home made antennas?

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June 27, 2005 at 18:17:43

Is google down for you? ;)


Re: homemade antennas, skip the first result on that Google search. Several of the other results further down the page have instructions for building your own.

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Related Solutions

June 28, 2005 at 10:47:51

A "cantanna" is simply a WiFi Antenna wrapped in a metal tube, or "can" to make it directional. By selecting the length and diameter to match the frequency of the wave you're trying to catch you can improve reception considerably and filter out other signals.

You *might* want to check with Starbucks to see if they mind you piggybacking off their wireless network this way. If you start hogging their bandwidth they may get a bit perturbed at you.

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June 28, 2005 at 10:52:47

Starbucks almost certainly isn't running an open hotspot - if you want to use it, you will probably need to purchase time from them. Which is not an unreasonable way to conveniently get on the Internet.

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