My 93 year old mother lives about 2000 miles away, so I don't have a lot
of access to the setup for experiments. She is on dial-up, and doing
anything but text based email is painful, if not impossible. I can read
my web-mail faster by driving 5 miles to the library and back.
She has some wonderful neighbors, who have offered the use of their
wireless network IF we can get a decent signal. The Mac Mini she has
contains another piece of Apple's crap antenna engineering, and it can't
see a thing. My cheapo netbook can get one & sometimes 2 bars in the
same room. The room the Mac lives in is on the side of the house facing
the neighbors, and there is a window out of which you can see their
house, maybe 60 feet away.
So, the plan is to get a range extender or its functional equivalent. I
figure the best bet is to get a dual antenna box (for multipath
mitigation) with removable antennas. That way if the box won't do it by
itself, we can upgrade the antennas for more gain.
The info I've found from a cursory search is pretty vague. From a
theoretical standpoint, I can see two options:
1) Get what amounts to a wireless adapter that I can plug into the Mac
with a long enough cable to get across the room to the window. That
would have to be Mac compatible.
2) Get a box that communicates on one channel with the neighbor's
wireless system, and then talks to the Mac on another channel. That's
what I would consider a "repeater", and presumably it wouldn't require
anything Mac specific to get it up & running.
The two brands I've found with upgradable dual antennas so far are the
Amped R10000, which as gotten a lot of good reviews on Amazon, and the
Hawking HWREN2, which has a lot fewer reviews, several of which are
There is also an upgradeable single antenna box specifically for Macs:
It connects via USB, and is presumably just a highpower wireless adapter.
Can anyone clarify exactly what is meant by a "range extender" (i.e. are
they all basically just repeaters?)?
Any specific suggestions about good boxes to get or avoid would also be