I'd like to extend my home wifi to my detached garage. I have decent signal outside the building, about 100' & 2 walls from the home wireless transmitter. But now that I've put the steel siding up, I get nothing inside. I'm thinking of mounting a high gain antenna like this: HAWKING HAO14SDP Hi-Gain 14dBi Outdoor Directional Antenna Kit on the outside of the building.

external antenna

And then running the cable through the wall to some sort of repeater/extender/wireless access point. But I'm not sure exactly what I need for the inside. Maybe something like this: HAWKING HWREN2 Hi-Gain Wireless-300N Range Extender Pro, but take off one of the antennas and connect it to the external directional antenna?

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It would be nice to have something wall or ceiling mounted, but I haven't found something like that with an external antenna connection. Shop area totals about 1000ft^2.

Any suggestions?

edit: This looks like exactly what I need, but pricey, especially till I by the $70 outdoor antenna. Hawking Technology HAW2R1 Hi-Gain Wireless-300N Smart Repeater Pro

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What about Powerline Networking? Bear in mind, this would have to go through 1 or 2 subpanels, and some stuff I'll be using in the garage tends to be pretty electrically noisy.

  • I bought an EnGenius ENS500EXT Long-range 5GHz Wireless N300 ($75) covers my 1 acre property and some. Plus enough strength to pop a good signal strength inside an old mobile home with tin walls located out back. Oct 7, 2016 at 21:26
  • @CoAstroGeek - out of curiosity, why don't you just ground the outside building?
    – iAdjunct
    Oct 8, 2016 at 2:32
  • Not sure what you're getting at when you suggest grounding the outside building? Oct 8, 2016 at 3:05

2 Answers 2


Keep in mind that the feedline (coax cable) going from the access point to the external antenna will drop your signal strength. Here's a good quote from SuperUser on this topic:

"A common relatively inexpensive cable for short runs of WiFi antennas is LMR100. At 2.4 GHz (the common WiFi band), 15 feet of LMR100 will result in signal loss of about 6 dB. That's equivalent to dropping power to just 25% of what it was. (Each 3 dB = 50% gain or loss in power)"

If it looks like you would have to run a long feedline, an alternative is to use an outdoor access point. You'd place it on the outside of your garage, set it up as a wireless client, and wire it with ethernet to the access point inside the garage.

  • Thanks - best case on the coax run would be just straight though the wall to the inside appliance Oct 8, 2016 at 1:16

You'd likely need two of those high-gain antennas in order to get the range you want - one on your existing router in your house, and one connected to an access point / repeater / extender in your garage.

Your best bet is to run ethernet cable from the house to your garage, and then connect an access point (usually just a regular wifi router with a static IP and DHCP turned off). When running the cable from the house, dig a trench and put conduit down, then run the cable through the conduit.

Your signal will be so much more reliable with wires, and this gives you the option to connect multiple APs in the garage if needed. Further, using a wireless extender or repeater will cut your speeds in half, since it has to use wireless for both transmitting and receiving.

  • I don't think that's accurate regarding the antenna - the hawking product page (hawkingtech.com/products/hawking_products/…) shows a diagram labeled "Point-to-Point solution" which appears to do what I'm looking for, but has one of these high gain directional antennas on each side. Not sure why it couldn't work with an omni antenna if there's enough signal. Oct 7, 2016 at 20:46
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    @CoAstroGeek Noted, and edited my answer. You are still much better off going wired. Easier to configure, more reliable, and faster that way
    – mmathis
    Oct 7, 2016 at 20:50
  • If you want to do this on the cheap, websearch "cantenna". The simple coffee-can version is a trivial build and can yield a quite significant range extension. They do 't look as pretty as the commercial versions, and the commercial units may include an actual amplifier or beam-stearing or other advantages,.
    – keshlam
    Oct 7, 2016 at 20:59
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    Understand - but hugely more work to pull CAT5 to a place where I could exit the house, then trenching over to the garage. I've also read a few notes about running into a "ground loop" problem doing this. In addition, I have this situation: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/97464/… Power to the building doesn't have a ground conductor - didn't used to be required. There's an exception in the code for this, but only if there's no additional conductive path between the buildings. Oct 7, 2016 at 21:07
  • @CoAstroGeek - optical ethernet (either the whole way or just a short jumper for isolation) fixes the conductive path issue, but not the "dragging a cable" issue.
    – iAdjunct
    Oct 8, 2016 at 2:31

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