When it is properly installed, the AyrMesh Hub can be accessed from a normal laptop from about a half a mile away. However, there are a number of factors that can cause much shorter range.
- Don't believe the "bars" on the computer's screen - many of the WiFi drivers are calibrated for a normal access point that puts out 100 mW. The AyrMesh Hub puts out 30-40x that much power, and it confuses some WiFi drivers. If you want to find the true signal strength, use a tool like WiFi Analyzer for Android. or for Windows, or InSSIDer.
- Make sure the Hub is mounted with the antenna pointed straight up. The "gain" in the antenna comes from "squeezing" the signal into a tighter disc, centered on the antenna. If the antenna is not pointed straight up, the majority of the signal will be going into the ground or into the air.
- Get obstructions out of the way of the Hub. Ultra-High Frequency radio waves such as WiFi travel a lot like light: solid (or even semi-solid) objects weaken the signal a lot - one tree or a standard wood-stud wall will decrease the possible range by about half. And UHF signals don't pass through metal at all.
- Look for interference - try changing channels at least 5 channels away (if you're on channel 1, change to 6 or 11, if you're on channel 6, change to 1 or 11, if you're on channel 11, change to 1 or 6. Note that channels 1, 6, and 11 are the only distinct WiFi channels; all others overlay those.
- Put the Hub up higher - for maximum range, the Hub should be mounted 25' above any obstruction. So, if you grow 10' corn, mount the Hub at least 35' high. If you have a 50' tree, look for a way to get the Hub up 75' high.
- Very rarely we see the antenna not being screwed on to the Hub. It doesn't have to be very tight (in fact, it's easy to break), but it has to be tightened all the way down so it's touching the Hub.
- Very, very rarely we get a Hub with a damaged radio. If none of these tips help, contact Ayrstone support.