How to boost internet signal that is ssid and password provided by housing management


I live in a 16 or so unit housing facility, and just recently it has acquired wifi connectibility. I was given a password and the SSID name to connect, but the signal always says “Poor”, and it is really poor.

My question is, is there a way to boost the signal?


The only way would be an external antenna, probably something in your window or outside your unit. You could install a WISP Router (Wireless ISP Router) with an external, high gain antenna, and point the antenna toward wherever the base unit is installed.

A better bet would be to petition the management to install a wireless access point closer to your unit, or - better yet - get them to run wires to all of the units. Shared wireless is not safe, and every unit really should have its own wired connection going to a network switch.


So then WiFi booster devices aren’t designed for this at all.


I have a netgear ac router. Can it be used as a WISP router?


“booster” devices can only amplify the transmitter power, but it doesn’t do much for the receive. That’s a bit like talking louder, but still not being able to hear the other guy talk.

You need two separate radio systems: one is used for your “inside” network, and one is used for your “outside” network. The Netgear router can be used as your inside network, but you still need the outside network.

You can convert your Netgear by adding an external wireless bridge, something like this:


Would this type thing work?

What’s the difference?


Or this one.

I also should mention I do not have a Windows OS at this time; just Android 7.0. Could this be a problem with setup?


I would not use anything but a dish or yagi antenna. You need as much gain as you can get, and the antenna is the best way to get that gain.

Something like this connected to a bridge is the best you can get:


So this is a plus for the Ubiquiti Bridge?

I’m wondering if it is even worth it.

The rate for this connection is a measly “1 Mbps”. It’s constantly on and off.

Would this boost setup help it to stay on? (not lose the connection)

How can something like this even be marketed. If the ceiling is 1 Mbps it can only go down, right? or maybe up slightly, but mostly just down. A look at it once and it said 19 Mbps under the heading Link Speed. What’s that about…

The WIFI icon in the notification area never shows more than the first little ‘dot’ blip or it shows nothing at all (mostly) like it’s showing right now, but the connection still seems to be working.


You’re getting 1Mbps because of the weak signal. If you install a higher gain antenna, you’ll get a better signal, which will give you a more reliable link and a faster connection.

Honestly, I think the best thing you can do is talk to the management about getting a second access point installed to cover your part of the complex. WiFi is only good for 50-100 feet or so and is not meant to cover 16 housing units from a single point.


They’re not really ‘housing’ units, but more like SRO (single room occupancy) type units. They are all connected in a square ‘U’ kind of shape. There might be a few basement units, not sure, but there is not a second story at all. It’s small as far as a living complex goes. I guess I could ask about it, but the management isn’t that concerned with the needs of one, I’m thinking.

Thanks for the advice and information.


Would something like this work?

I don’t much care for the dimensions/complicated look of the Ubiquiti LBE-5AC-GEN2-US LiteBeam Wireless Bridge 100Mb LAN, GigE, AirMax AC , especially when there are these plain disk shaped alternatives.

Also, do I need “line of sight”?
Do I connect it up before I take it outside to install?
How do I use my netgear ac router in the config?.
Remember this is a private network (whatever that is) that is now included with my rent. I have no ISP to call; just the housing management, and I don’t know how much information I could get there.
Like would It be better to install it at the front window or the back window, since the front window is really not a possibility.

I do now have a Windows 10 laptop, so I’ve gone beyond the Android system.
It is an HP Corei3 2.3GHz 8GB RAM and it has an RJ-45 port for ethernet connecting.


Another thing I wanted to mention is, the network connection says 2.4 GHz, and I have heard on YouTube that 5 GHz is better because it has less interference/not as crowded/not as much band overlay or something like that. I guess there is no way to get 5 GHz from this connection that says 2.4 GHz? My router is dual band, both 2.4 and 5 GHz.


It’s been a while since I’ve run numbers on WiFi strength.

Short version, it’s all about the Decibel, or dB.

if you’re getting poor signal strength, especially if it’s cutting in and out, you’re probably down around -90dBm. To get a solid, reliable signal, you want to be above -70. So ideally, you want to get 20dB of gain. As I said previously, the only way to get that much gain is with a larger antenna. Flat antennas are not capable of getting that much gain.

A flat antenna is also known as a patch antenna, and that gives you around 6-9dB of gain, so it would increase a -90dBm signal up to maybe -84 to -81dBm. That would give you some more reliability, but not the best performance.

It helps. Every time you go through a wall, you’re throwing away several dB, and the higher the intersection angle, the more you’re throwing away. Glass is mostly transparent to RF, so placing it in a window will give you the best results.

You connect the Ethernet port on the wireless bridge to the WAN port on your router.

You have to install it so it points to the access point. If that’s in the front, that’s where the antenna needs to go.

Well, if that’s a service provided in your rent, it’s their job to make sure the service is reliable. At present, it doesn’t sound like they’re doing that, so you really should start by calling them and asking if they can help. They may be willing to install another access point or repeater nearer your unit. Like I said in my first reply, if you’re getting a bad signal, so are other people near you.


When it comes to other people near me having the same problem, I don’t think it applies. I don’t know, but I guess you could say I’m a kind of maverick; in that I believe I’m the only tenant that actually uses a computer. Others may have phones, I don’t know; but I live with the internet and a computer daily. Which then becomes special treatment for my concerns only, not others as well. Don’t care for that much, like to keep it unobtrusive.

I will have to ask management about the direction of the access point; I just hope it isn’t the front, which is right on parking space (vandalism). Maybe it could go over the door, but again, obtrusive–not to mention an eye sore, and there would have to be holes drilled or something.

About the line of sight. I would be putting it outside, and I’m in a kind of residential/small business type area. That is, if it would go in the back window. Since I’m on the ground floor though, does that make it an installation that would work better on the roof? Doesn’t matter though, really can’t do that.

Don’t have to answer back, guess I just need to try it.


Oh, there is one question. Is it possible to use this thing inside? And would it just work much better outside?

The front window is glass, but the storm window on it might be plexiglass, the back window is plywood boarded up, a piece inside and a piece outside. It holds the air conditioner and there isn’t a ‘view’ so it hasn’t been a problem.


You are going to get the best signal strength outside. Using it inside can work, but you’re going to get a weaker signal.


Ok, thanks. That’s what I thought.

I think I will try it inside, that is if I can get it connected at all.

Have to wait to order till first week of the new year.

It really is a terrible connection (when it is connected).

If it does not connect inside does that mean it will not connect outside? Could there be that much difference?


There’s a lot of difference, but again it depends on the walls and the angle the signal passes trough the wall. Passing through the wall at a 60 degree angle doubles the amount of material the signal has to penetrate, so that can double the attenuation caused by the wall itself.

Here are some examples (use the 1900MHz band numbers)

Now note that your exterior walls are composed of multiple materials… if they’re plaster on the outside, then there’s plywood cladding behind the plaster and drywall inside. So that’s 2.4dB for the drywall, 16dB for the plaster, and 5dB for the plywood. Adding all that up gives you an attenuation of more than 23dB. In that situation, even mounting a vertical antenna outside gives you more benefit than a 20dB directional antenna inside.

The thing you really need is information. I should have mentioned this first thing: download Acrylic WiFi and get the actual signal strength numbers. Then you will know how much gain you need moving forward.

I suppose I should actually write that article I started 4 years ago and never finished…


Back again.
I just posted a ‘question’ (Will this device work to ‘boost’ a private network? I am getting an included internet service with my rent, but it loses the connection for hours.) on the Amazon sale page for the “Ubiquiti LBE-5AC-GEN2-US LiteBeam Wireless Bridge 100Mb LAN, GigE, AirMax AC, White”, and I got this reply.

“This device is meant to be used as a point to point wireless connection, or as a client device to receive wireless signal from an access point in the 5 ghz freq. If you are receiving your internet connection wirelessly, then you could use 2 of these in a point to point mode. One from, I assume your landlord, and one at your location. If you are trying to use the wireless signal from your landlords wireless router, then you can try this Ubiquiti NanoStation locoM2 2.4GHz Indoor/Outdoor airMax 8dBi CPE. This would connect to a wireless router at your location, and receive signal from the other. It should be in a window or outside and pointed to the other wireless router. Hope this helps.”

The consensus on these type things seems to be you need two, one connected to a ‘good’ working internet service and the other to pick up from that one.

I haven’t mentioned before, but this connection does say it’s 2.4GHz.