experchange > mac.comm

Otto Pylot (11-29-12, 04:30 AM)
I'm almost embarrassed to ask this but is there anyway to block my
neighbors WiFi signals from intruding into my home? I have an AEBS (4th
Gen) router. We have numerous WiFi devices that have always worked
perfectly for a long time. About a month ago I bought an iPhone 5. WiFi
worked great with a nice strong signal. My daughter has an iPhone 4
which has always worked equally as well. When she was home for the
holidays she was complaining that she couldn't connect to our network.
I noticed that my iPhone was also having the same issue (from the same
location in the house btw). Firing up iStumbler I noticed that there
were a lot more WIFI signals detectable from the same location in my
house than there used to be. Some quite strong and all protected.
Moving the iPhones around the house resolved the connection issues. So
I'm thinking that in the family room, there are very strong
neighborhood signals that are causing the iPhones to search and attempt
to lock on to. The other WiFi devices in the family room don't seem to
be having connection issues. So, is this 1) an issue unique to the
iPhones? 2) an AEBS setup issue? 3) true interference from the
neighbors WiFIs? 4) can I make my WiFi signal (2.4GHz) stronger to
"overpower" the other signals? and 5) is there really anything I can do
about it or is this just life in the WiFi age? Oh, and we have a
utility SmartMeter on the same side of the house but I've never noticed
any interference issues with it. Thanks.
Tom Stiller (11-29-12, 05:23 AM)
In article <281120121830466586%otto>,
Otto Pylot <otto> wrote:

[..]
> about it or is this just life in the WiFi age? Oh, and we have a
> utility SmartMeter on the same side of the house but I've never noticed
> any interference issues with it. Thanks.


Try assigning different channels to your AEBS.
Otto Pylot (11-29-12, 06:41 AM)
In article <281120122237289291%nospam>, nospam
<nospam> wrote:

[..]
> if all devices support 5 ghz, you could switch to that, but in your
> case that won't work since one device is an iphone 4 and it does not
> support 5 ghz.


To answer both of you, I have assigned different channels and currently
have it set to automatic for 2.4GHz (which is currently assigned to
channel 1). 5GHz is set to channel 149.

I've heard of the wallpaper and such for businesses but that's not an
option.

The AEBS is in the "computer room", on a desk at the far wall. I could
probably move it about 6' closer to the doorway (which would make it
closer to the family room in terms of footage) and about 4' higher on a
metal filing cabinet.

I've thought about an Apple Express for the family room but I'm not
familiar with extending the signal and I'm afraid it would still pick
up "interference" from the neighbors.

I hadn't thought about auto-join for my laptop and the iPhone 5 (and
4). Is there a way to delete the networks I don't want now, leave the
ones that I do want, and then turn-off auto-join? This is really more
for my iPhone 5 (which is where I really want the selectivity).

The only devices that support 5GHz are my MacBook Air, the ATV2, and
the iPhone 5.

Thanks for the replies. Gives me something to think about.
nospam (11-29-12, 08:37 AM)
In article <281120121830466586%otto>, Otto Pylot
<otto> wrote:

> I'm almost embarrassed to ask this but is there anyway to block my
> neighbors WiFi signals from intruding into my home?


there is wifi blocking wallpaper, but unless you cover the windows too,
it's not really going to help.

<
er-lets-cellular-and-radio-through/>

[..]
> about it or is this just life in the WiFi age? Oh, and we have a
> utility SmartMeter on the same side of the house but I've never noticed
> any interference issues with it. Thanks.


there's not much you can do, but a signal from a neighboring house
should be weaker than one from your own house.

you could move your base station so it's stronger in the family room,
or maybe get a second one for that end of the house.

you could pick a different channel but that probably won't help that
much since the devices seek the strongest signal. however, if you turn
off auto-join, it will join only networks you've previously associated,
which would be yours and not your neighbor's.

if all devices support 5 ghz, you could switch to that, but in your
case that won't work since one device is an iphone 4 and it does not
support 5 ghz.
Martin Ī¤rautmann (11-29-12, 08:41 AM)
On Wed, 28 Nov 2012 20:41:10 -0800, Otto Pylot wrote:
> To answer both of you, I have assigned different channels and currently
> have it set to automatic for 2.4GHz (which is currently assigned to
> channel 1). 5GHz is set to channel 149.


And? Did it help?

You told us that at this very location you see much more networks than
elsewhere. Maybe it's a good hotspot.

But something else to think about: Maybe it's not even the neighbor's
WiFi, but something very else which does disturb WiFi - such as a big
plasma tv. There are several devices which send, if poorly designed,
lots of signal noise.

- Martin
Otto Pylot (11-29-12, 08:53 AM)
In article <281120122352249038%nospam>, nospam
<nospam> wrote:

[..]
> knows about with one of the backup extractor utilities and read the
> plist. if you've never joined the neighbor's network then it's not in
> there so no need to delete.


I've always had a bad feeling about the metal filing cabinet because it
sits between the AEBS (which is about 7' away and on a desk) and the
doorway of the room. However, I've had very few issues in the past with
WiFi until I got the iPhone 5 (and the 4 came home for the holiday).

Running cable is not an option.

I've never joined any of the neighbors networks. I just see them listed
under the Airport icon on my Air (and the list seems to be getting
longer every week). I just figured if they were listed as detectable,
then the iPhone (or the Air) would try to connect and if the strength
of the signals (mine and their's) fluctuated, then the iPhone would be
constantly trying to connect to the stronger signal, and if
unsuccessful, go on to the next one. Or do I have that all wrong?
nospam (11-29-12, 09:52 AM)
In article <281120122041103024%otto>, Otto Pylot
<otto> wrote:

> The AEBS is in the "computer room", on a desk at the far wall. I could
> probably move it about 6' closer to the doorway (which would make it
> closer to the family room in terms of footage) and about 4' higher on a
> metal filing cabinet.


the metal cabinet might be an issue. try other locations.

> I've thought about an Apple Express for the family room but I'm not
> familiar with extending the signal and I'm afraid it would still pick
> up "interference" from the neighbors.


it should work, depending how you set it up. ideally, you should run a
cable to the other end of the house and set up another base station, or
at least a cable to the middle of the house and put the single base
station there.

having a base station wirelessly extend it sometimes has issues when
the client device is in the middle of the two. it's best when it's
linear.

> I hadn't thought about auto-join for my laptop and the iPhone 5 (and
> 4). Is there a way to delete the networks I don't want now, leave the
> ones that I do want, and then turn-off auto-join? This is really more
> for my iPhone 5 (which is where I really want the selectivity).


you can join the networks you don't want to join and then tap the blue
arrow and then the forget this network button. you can review what it
knows about with one of the backup extractor utilities and read the
plist. if you've never joined the neighbor's network then it's not in
there so no need to delete.
nospam (11-29-12, 12:35 PM)
In article <281120122253511768%otto>, Otto Pylot
<otto> wrote:

> I've always had a bad feeling about the metal filing cabinet because it
> sits between the AEBS (which is about 7' away and on a desk) and the
> doorway of the room. However, I've had very few issues in the past with
> WiFi until I got the iPhone 5 (and the 4 came home for the holiday).


that's not good. can you put it higher up, well above the metal cabinet?

> Running cable is not an option.


oh well.

> I've never joined any of the neighbors networks.


then it won't auto-join them if you have auto-join disabled.

> I just see them listed
> under the Airport icon on my Air (and the list seems to be getting
> longer every week). I just figured if they were listed as detectable,
> then the iPhone (or the Air) would try to connect and if the strength
> of the signals (mine and their's) fluctuated, then the iPhone would be
> constantly trying to connect to the stronger signal, and if
> unsuccessful, go on to the next one. Or do I have that all wrong?


it won't if you set it to not do that.
Suze (11-29-12, 09:31 PM)
In article <281120122041103024%otto>,
Otto Pylot <otto> wrote:

> The AEBS is in the "computer room", on a desk at the far wall. I could
> probably move it about 6' closer to the doorway (which would make it
> closer to the family room in terms of footage) and about 4' higher on a
> metal filing cabinet.


If you want height, consider possibly mounting the unit on an interior
wall in a more central location.
Fred McKenzie (11-30-12, 01:44 AM)
In article <281120122041103024%otto>,
Otto Pylot <otto> wrote:

> I have assigned different channels and currently
> have it set to automatic for 2.4GHz (which is currently assigned to
> channel 1).


Otto-

WiFi channels overlap in the 2.4 GHz band. Use iStumbler to see what
channel the strongest interfering signal is on, at the place where you
have trouble. Choose one of the non-overlapping channels 1, 6 or 11, to
avoid the interfering signal.

Fred
Lampje (11-30-12, 02:03 AM)
Op 29-11-12 07:53, Otto Pylot schreef:
> I've always had a bad feeling about the metal filing cabinet because it
> sits between the AEBS (which is about 7' away and on a desk) and the
> doorway of the room.


Sender (AEBS) and receiver (any connected device) need preferably a
"free line of sight". Anything metal (filing cabinet, concrete) in
between will shield the signal. That it still works is that the signal
is coming through by reflection via other metal surfaces (a "detour")
If there is a "free line of sight" form the top of the metal filing
cabinet that might be preferable (antennae best pointing away (vertical)
from any metal surface). Brick, wood or drywall have very little
influence, they're "invisible" as far as signal is concerned (on higher
frequencies less "invisible" as on lower, so 2,4 MHz works probably
better through a (few) walls than 5MHz).

Lampje
Bob Harris (11-30-12, 04:59 AM)
In article <281120121830466586%otto>,
Otto Pylot <otto> wrote:

[..]
> about it or is this just life in the WiFi age? Oh, and we have a
> utility SmartMeter on the same side of the house but I've never noticed
> any interference issues with it. Thanks.


Change your 2.4GHz channel. As others have mentioned 1, 6 and 11
do not overlap with any other channel. Basically a channel is a
bell curve that is strongest in the middle and fans out 2 channels
below and above your channel, which is why 1, 6 and 11 do not
overlap.

iStumble will tell you which neighbor WiFi channels are strongest.
Make sure you choose a channel that has the least overlap with
your strongest neighbor's signals, and if you have to overlap, try
to make it the weakest signals.

Putting your WiFi base station in the center of the house and
closest to the places where you use your devices the most is the
best idea (and maybe further from your strongest neighbors).

If you cannot run ethernet from the broadband modem (the best
suggestion), then consider using Ethernet PowerLine Adaptors
(Google "ethernet power line adaptors" and you will find lots of
hits). A pair of these adaptors will allow you to place your
Airport Extreme base station anywhere in your house.

Since you say your neighbors all have their network "Protected"
you do not need to worry about your devices trying to connect with
them, as your devices do not have the passwords, so they will be
ignored. And since your devices do have the password to your WiFi
network, they will default to using your network.

The iPhone 4s and older are 2.4GHz WiFi devices. I think the
iPhone 5 might have 5GHz WiFi support, but I'm not positive.

In general 5GHz 802.11n WiFi does not see much interference. 1st
it actually has a lower range, so it is more difficult for
neighbors to overlap and interfere, I think the 5GHz channel
layout does not have the same 5 channel overlap, so each channel
does not interfere with the adjacent channel, and at the moment,
there are fewer 5GHz 802.11n base stations (this will change and
you will find more overlap as time goes on).

If you are going to consider an Airport Express as a range
extender, it is fairly easy to setup an extended network between 2
Apple WiFi base stations over WiFi (no wires needed). Airport
Utility -> Airport WiFi base station -> Wireless -> Network Mode
-> Extend a wireless network is where you start.

The alternative is to connect the 2 WiFi base stations via
ethernet. If you cannot run an ethernet cable, then again
consider Ethernet PowerLine Adaptors. It would be best to NOT use
powerline adaptors for BOTH moving the AEBS to a central location
AND to connect a 2nd AXBS. Rather leave the AEBS directly
connected to the broadband modem, and use powerline adaptors to
connect the AEBS to the AXBS. You then configure the AXBS for
"Bridge Mode" so it disables routing on the 2nd device (you only
want 1 router in your home; the 2nd device should just extend the
existing network not create its own; Airport Utility -> AXBS ->
Network -> Router Mode -> Off (Bridge Mode). Now assign the AXBS
its a separate 2.4GHz channel at least 5 channels away from your
AEBS (you do not want to interfere with yourself). And give the
AXBS the same "Wireless Network Name" and Security password as the
AEBS. This will setup a "Roaming Network" that allows you to move
between AEBS and AXBS dynamically switching to the strongest
signal without loosing any internet connections you have running
(such as Skype, Facetime, Screen Sharing, etc...).
Otto Pylot (11-30-12, 07:13 AM)
In article
<nospam.News.Bob-97D2A8.21590529112012>, Bob
Harris <nospam.News.Bob> wrote:

[..]
> between AEBS and AXBS dynamically switching to the strongest
> signal without loosing any internet connections you have running
> (such as Skype, Facetime, Screen Sharing, etc...).


Thanks everyone for your replies and suggestions. WiFi was so much
easier a few years ago when everything and everybody wasn't using WiFi.
I bought a copy of Glen Fleishman's ebook on Airport setup and
troubleshooting (recent version) and it basically reiterates what most
are saying here. One last thing. Is there any real advantage to
assigning a static IP address, based on the MAC address, to an iPhone
5?
nospam (11-30-12, 10:34 AM)
In article <291120122113049627%otto>, Otto Pylot
<otto> wrote:

> One last thing. Is there any real advantage to
> assigning a static IP address, based on the MAC address, to an iPhone
> 5?


not really.
David Stone (11-30-12, 04:52 PM)
In article <k98t4b$ce9$1>,
Lampje <eternal-september.spamonice> wrote:

> Op 29-11-12 07:53, Otto Pylot schreef:
> Sender (AEBS) and receiver (any connected device) need preferably a
> "free line of sight". Anything metal (filing cabinet, concrete) in
> between will shield the signal. That it still works is that the signal
> is coming through by reflection via other metal surfaces (a "detour")
> If there is a "free line of sight" form the top of the metal filing
> cabinet that might be preferable (antennae best pointing away (vertical)
> from any metal surface).


The problem with having the base station on a metal filing cabinet
is not that the signal is blocked, but that a significant
proportion of the signal will be "pulled" in to the cabinet (power
loss). Could be worse, though - one office I know of had a wireless
sitting on top of a safe...

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