Question Wifi Range

Sep 18, 2021
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I have a painfully ignorant question, but I don't even know enough to figure out what I should be googling.

I have an omnidirectional antenna connected to the internet, and a directional radio pointed at it. The directional radio specifies a range of up to 15km. They're currently about 0.8km apart so I'd assume they'd connect, however the connection drops every few seconds.

Am I silly to think these should connect? Or does the directional radio need to be well within the working range of the omnidirectional antenna? Is the 15km range referring to 'broadcasting' range, not 'listening' range?

Again apologies for my ignorance :)
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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What are these devices?

What is between the end points?
0.8km of city buildings or forest is a LOT different than 0.8km of empty field with direct line of sight.

Other people will be along with specific advice, but those are things to think about.
 
Sep 18, 2021
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The directional is a Nanostation M5, I'm not sure what the omnidirectional is using for it's antenna. There is clear line of site with no obstructions.
 
In general to get those high number they mean a directional antenna on both ends. You would have to dig around and see if the vendor give range with omni on one end. By FCC rules having direction on both ends allows you transmit at higher levels. It can be as much as 4 times but you can only do that if both ends are directional.

At that short of a distance you would think it would work. Many WISP providers are running more distance than you are and they sometime use omni on the ISP side.

A problem many WISP have is say you have 2 houses in the same path to the main tower. The signal received from the closer house will be much stronger than the house farther away. So the closer house may in effect block the one farther away. This is only 1 variation of this problem. The problem is wifi is half duplex and the only protection from 2 devices sending at the same time is they must be able to hear each other transmissions. So when 2 devices anyplace on the network transmit at the same time the data is damaged on the central location.

This is why most good WISP providers do not actually use WIFI. They use other equipment that functions on the same radio band, many have started using LTE like cell phone companies but using the unlicensed bands.

All depends on how much control over the far end you have. Best is to use directional on both ends other wise maybe different radio channels will work better. If you are doing something that trying to hook to the free wifi at some store you are going to have all kinds of issues because the devices very close will stomp on your signals.
 

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