Cannot Connect To Wifi Under A Metal RoofJun 22, 2011
I need to make a wifi hotspot at my work place that is a completely open space with thick heavy metal roof on a two story high. The roof, beams, stands, and whatever on this structure are all metal.I need to connect iphones, ipods, and some other wifi cellular phones to the wifi hotspot.
Method 1) I have a T-mobile Galaxy S (Vibrant) that is capable for being AP (access point). Using an iphone, I could connect to this AP through wifi and surf the web no problem at anywhere, but not able to connect it at the work place under that thick metal sheet roof.
Method 2) I tried to increase the wifi signal. I did downloaded and installed "connectify" so that my lapltop becomes hotspot via its wifi; using USB tethering from my Vibrant. In this case, sometimes work, most of time no work.
Method 3) I ordered Clear 4G Mobile. This is capable to provide 4G via either wifi or USB. It worked perfectly at anywhere else, but no luck under the metal roof.
Method 4) I tried to maximize the wifi signal. I connected the Clear 4G to my laptop via USB (USB tethering). Then, bridged it to the laptop's LAN. This LAN cable was then connected to WAN on a Linksys router. Now, it's a real router for wifi. It worked perfectly anywhere, but no work at the work place.
Conclusion) Even though transmitter( the Clear 4G, laptop's wifi, or router) had enough and strong signal, the receiver (iphone, ipod, other wifi cellular phones) could not generate strong wifi signals to send back due to the signal scattering and interference under the full metal structure. I parked my car right next to where I tested all these stuff(still under the metal roof). I put the Clear 4G mobile with an iphone in the car. Put them next each other. I could use wifi from the Clear 4G mobile. I can guess that my car shielded the wifi signals against being scattered back to the metal roof. I also walked out of the roof, carrying both of them. Around 10ft off the structure, I could connect to the wifi.