Boosting Wifi Through Brick Walls

Hello All,

I just moved into a fairly old, brick-walled apartment complex and am having issues getting wifi in my office. I'm unable to run ethernet cables and I've heard wifi repeaters are generally a waste of money. I don't know much about networking so please bear with me as the following data may needlessly extensive.

My apartment is an L-shaped unit on the ground floor with 11" brick walls and the only place we were able to get our modem, (position "Y"), installed was at the farthest place away from my office, (position "X").

X - 38.6'
| 53'
| _ _ _. Y

The router is a Hitron CGNM-2250 provided by our ISP and is located at the top of a bookcase as close to the ceiling as possible, roughly 6.5' up and right beside a set of double doors with 35" x 21" windows

My computer is located next to a large 74" x 64" window that spans the bulk of the wall in the office..

I'm getting 29.9 down and 6 up on the 5gHz band in the same leg of the "L" as the router but once I move down the upper section of the "L" the wifi signal drops altogether. In the office I'm only able to get a shaky connection from the 2.4gHz band at 1.5 down and 3.2 up.

TL;DR; - I lose wifi connectivity across a 53' gap through two brick walls and am unsure if I need to upgrade my router or try some other solution, (running ethernet cables is out of the question).

I appreciate any suggestions or insight. I've attempted a fair amount of research on my own but am a bit out of my depth.

2.4ghz gets through wall easier, but...

You're gonna have a tough time getting any wifi through brick and are way better off just running cat5e/cat6 down along the base of the wall and through the doorway. Is there carpet you can run it under? Can you run it out a window and around back into other window?

Also, you know it's easy to drill holes through brick?

1 Like

The best way


Thanks for the prompt response!

I didn't know it was easy to drill holes through brick, I'll have to check into that. Would it be best to try to run a cat cable along the outside of the building and then into the office? Or would it be easier to try and boost the 2.4ghz connection?

It really depends what the renter will let you do.

Sometimes you can even get them to pay for the upgrades (have it professionally done) if you are willing to facilitate it.

Also, how fast is your internet connection? Is wireless going to be your bottleneck?

It's easier to drill through the mortor if you decide that route. You want a low rpm hammer drill preferably. High speed is not your friend. Little trick. use shrink wrap (wire shrink tubing) for the run between brick and use some caulk that closely resembles the brick.

My landlords aren't particularly enthused by the idea as they believe the wifi strength was perfectly adequate when they lived there before us.

I'm currently getting around 25 up and 4 down over 5G and 25up and 5 down over ethernet according to . I am paying for 60 up and am not sure how to determine if wireless will be my bottleneck.

Could try something like this

Do you have cable in your office?

lower the frequency or place Anthena outside

I do not have cable in my office. The only cable jack is at the opposite end of the house where the router. That's an interesting suggestion. I'll have to check and see if I can find out if the circuits in the office are on same panel.

@anon5205053 I'll see if I can figure out how to lower the frequency. The Hitron backend provides pretty limited control. In regards to an antenna, I did see mention of using a Yagi antenna or cantenna elsewhere in my research.

Where the coaxial cable comes from the inside jack out of the wall on the outside it joins another coaxial cable that goes into a pipe up to the roof. There is a 5-1000MHz spliiter laying unattached under the pipe. Connecting an antenna to the cable wouldn't help I'm assuming. It would have to be attached to the actual router, right?

Yeah you would have to have a router with a detachable antenna then use a extension antenna. You could always hook up another wireless near your office but in line with the router from your cable company. Set it up as a bridge. You will loose some bandwith but not much

1 Like

Over the weekend I set up a powerline wifi adapter and it seemed to work great when I tested it out.

I get about 3-4 bars of signal where there weren't any before and was getting about 20 up and 3 down. All that said, I'm still having a hell of at time loading more than one webpage at a time.

Any ideas on how to troubleshoot my bandwidth?

what is your latency? 20 down and 3 up Mbps is good for multiple Youtube video's playing at once. If you have a 1000ms Latency this could be the issue. You would preferably want to stay below 100ms

Sorry for the delayed response. I've run ping -t several times through cmd and get some pretty varied results. More often than not is times out or is around 1000-4000 or 200-800 ms. There have been a few times when it has stayed under 100 ms. Latency appears to be the issue.

I guess I should return the powerline wifi adapter and upgrade my router to one that can run an antenna outside, eh? know, at a last resort you could run something like this:

The power line devices are highly dependant on which circuit the outlets you use are on. I hooked one up at a friends house and we had a hell of a time finding an outlet that could get a stable connection across the house. When they work they are great but unfortunately they can be hard to get working.

As for wifi, if you add more than a hop or two you're going to lose speed and gain latency pretty fast. Upgrading your router will only get you said far as they are legally limited as far as output power goes. Do you have an attic and if so do you have access to it? If you do you might be able to sacrifice an outlet and run an Ethernet cable through the wall into the attic. Just replace the outlet cover with an Ethernet jack. I know you said it is out of the question but that is really the best way. Personally I'm going to run a fiber optic cable either through my wall or along the ceiling. It's about 2mm thick vs the 6mm or so for a cat5e. All the parts cost a bit but it was mainly for fun and to learn. You could probably run a cat6 cable through the brick wall, along the outside of the building and back in without leaving any noticeable marks other than a 6mm hole which you could fill if you move.

I would take some wifi speed tests and pictures to your landlord to convince them. Or call the ISP and tell them your internet isn't working, pretend you're clueless and see if they will run a cable for you. Then you can just play dumb and blame the ISP for running the cable. Here in the US anyway the people who are sent out are all contractors and don't give a crap. I had this one boob leave 3m of cable in a pile on my floor before caulking up the hole in the wall and leaving. Luckily I caught it before the calk dried and had to redo his entire job myself. Otherwise I would have needed to hide 3m of cable or rip it out of the wall.

@shu_kaze I am currently running a powerline adapter but thanks for the suggestion!

@Superfish1000 I spent a solid few hours yesterday testing out various outlets and I'm pretty sure I've finally located good one. I think I'm going to have to stick to the powerline adapter for the time being since I don't have access to either a crawlspace or attic to run cable. If it ends up not being workable then I'll give my dear old ISP a call and see if they'll run a cable for me. Thanks for the suggestion! Good luck with running your cable

Id highly advice the power outlet solution as well, wireless through walls are all just a mess where you risk your devices/AP simply just crapping out, it is sort of a crap shoot where it either just works, else it wont.
And if it works the signal is sort of bad to the point where it is really noticeable.
A set of powerline adapters cost me approx 40-50 bucks in europe, which properly is equivilent to 20-25 bucks in the US since our prices are crazy here.
Just attach a repeater on the other end of your power outlet and you'll never have to worry about wireless signal again in your appartment.