since the Cat5e cables in the house we moved into four years ago were damaged by
construction and renovations. Even though we've purchased high end routers that
claim amazing speeds, and even the other year a new Cisco router with AC
capabilities, the main thing that has really improved connectivity has been the
use of a high quality shielded USB 2.0 extension cable (and once Wifi AC has
thoroughly set in, a USB 3.0 cable of the same quality would follow suit).
speeds of 172-225Mbps are able enough for most network traffic, but the
extension really pays itself off when you are far from your router where interference
from your body in the way makes a difference!
Even though our router is placed close to the ceiling of the basement,
well above the ground, and slightly higher than the cement foundation of the
house, when we connect two floors up in the home office from the desk in the
side of the house, Wifi speeds drop to down to 30Mbps. At this point, we’re barely higher than the
maximum download speeds and if you are on an encrypted connection to your
servers at work, the connection speed is subject to frequent interruptions or
unbearably slow. That’s when I looked at the pile of USB extension cables I had
lying around from a recent machine rebuild, and the Wifi USB adapter that was
collecting dust since purchase of the router (included in the Cisco Router bundle). As
most users of a laptop, I had pre-determined that the internal Wifi adapter was
presumably good enough – indeed I was most incorrect.
adapter to my laptop, and extending in the direction of the router across the
desk and dangling down to the floor, connectivity speeds increased to between 72-98Mbps (at least two and half times
the speed). At this point, the flaky VPN connectivity to servers went
away. I also made sure to extend the
cable away from anything that would cause interference – and I would suggest
moving around the final location of the UBS adapter at the end of the extension
to find your respective sweet spot for the communication to the router.