Internet WiFi Modems, Settings, and Antenna Booster

In Thailand, houses are made mainly from cement. It is well known that cement is one of the worst materials as regards signal attenuation.

The Thailand Internet Service Provider's Modems

The Thailand Internet Service Providers (ISPs) over the years have given out a free modem when you sign up.  These modems have often been rather low end modems from a variety of manufacturers, which are adequate for most peoples' needs but I've usually replaced them with a modem of my choice (see below).

These modems either come pre-configured or else have short manual with the steps you need to take or else a CD you run which helps you set up the modem.

Bring Your Own Modem (BYOM)

Many people arrive with their own modem in their shipment of household goods, or else prefer to buy their own modem.  In these cases, the modem provided by the ISP becomes a backup modem in case your main modem fails. (Notably, they sometimes cannot be used on other ISP networks because the ISP has already set some things in the modem which cannot be changed.)

For my office and home, I buy my own modem.  After all, I'm a longtime I.T. techie.  I much prefer Linksys (not to be confused with D-Link, another brand; I prefer Linksys).

You will need to put in your username and password for your ISP, which comes with the documentation provided by your ISP, or else you can call the ISP from your phone number whereby they see your Caller ID and then will reply over the phone with your username and password for your Caller ID phone number.  If you don't have a handset, then you can call them on your mobile phone and with certain confirmation information can often get the information that way.

You also need to follow the ISP's settings, which are mostly the same, but the main differences in setting between True and TOT are:

True 0 100
TOT 1 32

(VPI is Virtual Path Identifier, and VCI is Virtual Circuit Identifier.)

Besides that, set PPPoE using RFC 2516, LLC, and UBR. For some other things which may pop up, choose Auto if not sure.

If things still don't work, then call the ISP support lines, which are 02-900-9000 for True, and just 1100 for TOT (yes, a 4 digit phone number).

For good security (as of 2012), set WiFi security to WPA2.

Antenna Boosters

A common complaint is that the WiFi signal is weak in different parts of the house or condo.

If the location of the phone jack is not convenient for centrally locating the router, then you may want to try an antenna booster.

You can make a simple antenna booster from aluminum foil, and there are various guides on the net, but the easiest might be the so-called beer can WiFi antenna booster ... aka soda can ... which is quick and easy to make, and sturdy.

For this drinking can WiFi antenna booster, basically, you cut off the bottom of the can, then make 2 cuts to the rest of the can to make a concave strip of metal, but leave the top of the can still attached by about a 1 cm uncut portion closest to the drinking hole, then attach it to your WiFi antenna by putting the antenna into the drinking hole (the can being oriented upside down), and put some 2-stick tape onto the top of the can to attach it to the modem.

Here is an example: 

WiFi Booster Antenna from Beer Can

How to shape and point the antenna is another matter, and depends upon the geometry of your home.

If your phone line happens to be in the corner of your place, then that's easy. The drinking can antenna is basically reflecting most of the transmission which would otherwise be going to the 270 degrees of space outside your home, redirecting it to the 90 degrees of view inside your home.

If the problem is the signal upstairs while the modem is downstairs, whereby it's most feasible to transmit the signal thru the ceiling/floor, then you can angle the antenna at a bit more than 45 degrees relative to vertical, which will better distribute signal to both. It is best to optimize the antenna a bit more for the remote location, not the nearer and unobstructed location.

You may be pleasantly surprised surprised at how much this boosts the signal, even with a very quick and roughly shaped antenna booster.

Ethernet Cable

If it's your own home, and not a rental property, then you may want to just install ethernet cable for PCs, and sometimes to connect another WiFi router in another part of the home. This is what I have long done for many customers' offices and some homes. Of course, you can still use WiFi when you walk to another room, but use ethernet at your main desk.

 > Utilities, Govts, Money, Misc. > Internet, high speed > WiFi and modems

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