Thursday, July 5, 2007

WiFi Expansion

Gigabit Home NetworkSummer in Peekskill has turned out to be quite nice and my wife and I have spent the last couple weeks refactoring our hardware configuration with procedures occasionally referred to as "foundation planting" and "buying porch furniture". Naturally, porch life in the Hoffman home requires adequate wifi coverage, so I got to thinking about how to extend my router's wireless signal.

One of the first things I did when we moved in to our house was run ethernet cable and install RJ45 wall jacks. I also upgraded from my Linksys WRT54G 10/100 router to a Linksys WRT350N 10/100/1000. Both routers run Linux and can therefore benefit from Open Source firmware, in this case DD-WRT. I had planned to reuse the booster antenna from the old router, but discovered that the WRT350N does not have an easily replaceable antenna. The new router does actually cover the house, the front porch, and the rear deck, but why should I let my old router and its large antenna languish in disuse?

One of the many great features of the DD-WRT firmware is the ability to configure the router as a repeater. The net result is that my old router has a new life rebroadcasting the signal of my primary router. Even as I type this, I am sitting on our porch, enjoying the fruit of my labor, and learning that bug zappers are bad.