2011-09-22

While copying large files across computers on my network, I became rather frustrated with the amount of time it was taking. So I did a bit of research on ways to speed up my wireless network and performed a not quite scientific experiment to measure the fruits of my labor.

The Nerdoleum

In case you were wondering, my network is the Nerdoleum. It's kind of like a mausoleum, but more nerdy and less dead.

Oh damn look at that! 77% is a crying shame. I'm getting a better signal from my neighbor's network. How is that even possible? Copying my 491 Megabyte test file in this state took 6 minutes 15 seconds

Surely I can do something to change the situation

What can't cheap beer fix?

  1. drink two cans of cheap beer
  2. use some crappy right-handed scissors to cut off the bottom of the can
  3. slice open the can and pretend to bend into some sort of parabola
  4. throw those cans over the wireless routers antennas to direct wasted signal energy in an appropriate direction
  5. ?
  6. be thirsty

Oh hay! That seems to be a bit better.

Copying the file across the network again took 5 minutes 29 seconds. That's about a 12% increase in speed. WOOHOO! It's not much, but it's not too shabby for two cans of beer and one minute of work.

Now quite reading, and go drink a cheap beer.

Comments
2011-09-22 Jon Kulp:
I tried that once with some soda cans and it didn't improve things significantly. Maybe beer cans work better.
2011-09-22 x1101:
Does this require the beer be cheap and/or shitty? What if I find good beer in a can somewhere? Will that work equally well?
2011-09-22 jezra:
Jon, it could just be a network anomaly.

x1101, in the name of Science, please experiment and share your results.
2011-09-23 Cyber Killer:
Actually, putting stuff near the antennas will decrease your wifi network efficiency. Read up on the fresnel zones on wikipedia to get to know why ;-).
2011-09-23 Cyber Killer:
Also the efficiency increase you observed could be caused by the fact that the OS kept the file in memory cache to quicker copy it again.

Also... I looked at the attached screenshots this time and... Dude, you really want to choose a different channel for your wifi than everybody else has ;-). In your case I'd switch to somewhere around 8 (to be as far away from everybody else). And didn't your mom tell you WEP is insecure?
2011-09-23 jezra:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fresnel_zone
Fresnel zones aren't exactly at play here because the parabolic reflector is behind the antenna and not between the sender and the receiver causing line-of-site interference.

While I am fully aware of the limitations of WEP, I also drive a 50 year old car that doesn't have the safety features of modern cars. That being said, I get better fuel economy than most modern cars, replacement parts for my car are plentiful and inexpensive, and it is fairly easy for me to fix/maintain my vehicle. Like WEP, my car is old, reliable, and has locks that are easy to pick.
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