Ask the Wi-Fi Guru: August Edition

By Aaron Weiss | Posted August 12, 2009

Three cheers for free Wi-Fi! Earlier this month, Verizon joined a small but growing list of broadband providers who have extended free wireless hotspot access to FiOS and DSL subscribers. To be fair, perhaps Verizon deserves only two cheers, because the service is available only to Windows-based devices and requires their own proprietary software to log in. Starbucks is offering two hours of free wireless to customers with Starbucks loyalty cards. And Barnes & Noble has dropped its fee-based hotspots in favor of open, untimed wireless. 

Of course, free Wi-Fi is nothing new especially at smaller, independent stores competing with the big guys—but the ranks of paid hotspots seem to be a dwindling lot. While the right to check e-mail anywhere may not exactly rank up there with social causes like civil rights, we may yet see the day when ubiquitous free wireless access is as commonplace as water fountains and restrooms.

Q: Hi I am relatively new to wireless networking. What I want to do is basically this:

1. Extend the range of my wireless network on both basement (router 2) and second floor (router 1).

2. Be able to connect via Wi-Fi to the Internet using my laptop from either router.

3. Create a wireless link of some sort between the two routers, in other words, I don’t want to run wire between the two routers.

4. Avoid the problem of "half the bandwidth" on router 2.

5. Be able to connect wirelessly my PS3 from the basement to router 2.

Okay, these are my requirements, what, if any option can I use?--Jorge

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