Wifi can't be received throughout the house. Any cheap way of changing that?

edited 30 June 2011 at 10:24PM in Broadband & Internet Access
17 replies 2.6K views
gottagogottago Forumite
51 Posts
edited 30 June 2011 at 10:24PM in Broadband & Internet Access
We've had Virgin installed into our new flat today. Unfortunately it wasn't until after the bloke who installed it had left that we realised that three of the four bedrooms couldn't actually pick up the signal!

The flat is a really odd layout. Basically the router is on the far right of the building whereas the three bedrooms with the issue are on the far left. The flat is much bigger than I actually remember it being when we looked around but our house last year was really tall and we still managed to get signal throughout the house. I guess these signals travel upwards rather than to the side?!

So are there any cheap ways of stretching the signal to that side of the house? Any settings that can be changed on the router by any chance? The cable isn't particularly long and I've moved the router as close as possible to the bedrooms but alas that's not good enough.

It's a Virgin Media Hub router according to their website. The box says Netgear Wireless N Cable Gateway - VMDG280


  • NilremNilrem Forumite
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    The easiest way, if that's the new router/modem in one (a single box with a round cable going into it), is probably to get a cheap wireless N router (Belkin models are often cheap - I paid £20 for one last year), and turn of it's router function so it acts as a switch and wireless access point.
    Then connect it up to your VM provided router by a length of cable between the LAN/wired network ports on the two devices, the only problem will be you will have to setup the secondary router via a wired machine and turn off it's router functions first (I have a VM supplied router in my bedroom next to the modem, then there is a wired connection to the other side of the house where I've got a cheap Belkin router acting as a wireless access point to improve the coverage).
  • macmanmacman Forumite
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    Or use HomePlugs.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • spirospiro Forumite
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    I'm due to be upgraded to one of these boxes next Friday and a previous google search shows lots of people having issues. The 2 things they all appear to mention are (1) a firmware upgrade to allow you to turn the Super Hub into 'modem only' mode just like the older Virgin setup for 20-50mb broadband, (2) a firmware upgrade to resolve the connection issues.

    The other point they make is that you can change the frequency used to avoid interference issues.
    IT Consultant in the utilities industry specialising in the retail electricity market.

    4 Credit Card and 1 Loan PPI claims settled for £26k, 1 rejected (Opus).
  • edited 1 June 2012 at 3:29PM
    gaming_guygaming_guy Forumite
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    edited 1 June 2012 at 3:29PM
  • gottagogottago Forumite
    51 Posts
    Ok thanks for the responses.
  • Was going to suggest home plugs also, they seem to have been used to good effect and the people using them recommend them.

    That said, our house is a stone built cottage - the walls and floors are so thick you could practically have a party upstairs and not hear it downstairs - and the signal from our router manages to navigate through all of that. You must have a large flat.. or as mentioned the Superhub isn't so super at wireless connectivity :)

    I'd also throught it true that the signals travel up and down more easily than side to side.
  • macmanmacman Forumite
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    Also try changing the wireless channel.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • yorkie98yorkie98 Forumite
    306 Posts
    macman wrote: »
    Also try changing the wireless channel.

    To expand on this..
    the most common issue with wireless, especially in very residential areas is wireless occupancy and channel capacity.
    Log into your router and go to the wireless section, it will most likely be on Ch1, 6 or 11 and in 90% of cases, CH1 is the worst.
    If on CH1, try 6 or 11.
    If on 6 try 11, then 1. if still no good, try others like 9, 3 etc..
    If on 11, try 6, then 1 then 9, 3 etc..
    You will always eventually find a decent channel but in the unlikely case its still unworkable, you will need to consider other options such as homeplug.
  • robt_2robt_2 Forumite
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    As above. Not very money saving to get homeplugs when switching wireless channel will probably make a big difference.
  • john1john1 Forumite
    383 Posts
    Part of the Furniture
    If you have android phone a very useful Free app is Wifi Analyzer. This will show on the screen the local free channels and also your wifi signal strength so you can move from room to room and see your wifi signal
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