Share Long Range Wifi with Laptop, Tablet, PC, iPad or iPhone

For yachts, boats, garden office, caravan  or campervan 

Alfa Networks R36 Mini Wifi Router

Many users wifi enabled  devices find they have weak or unusable wifi connections. Because of limitations in the operating systems often found in  mobile devices it is not possible to use long range wifi adaptors to connect to distant wifi routers or hotspots. There is a solution to this problem using the Alfa Networks R36 mini Wifi Router. This litle router broadcasts a fast 11n wireless network and when connected to the Alfa Network AWUS036H wifi adaptor can make a long range connection to a distant wireless network. The Alfa AWUS036H will operate at up to 500 metres with good clear line of sight, less with obstructions such as buildings and trees.

Easy to set up and use this mini sized wifi and 3g router works with the Alfa AWUS036H long range wifi adaptor to give a fast 11n wireless network. Great for sharing the wifi hotspot connection with iPhone, iPad Laptop etc. Can also take a 3g dongle and share the 3g broadband by wifi. Ideal for use in a boat, or a campervan, or in a garden office where a longer range wifi connection is needed.

I have tried one and it does exactly what is intended. Connects at long range to a wifi hotspot through the Alfa 036H and broadcasts the signal by a secondary wireless network. Management of the Alfa 036H is by wireless and allows a search for wireless networks in the area and connect with the relevant settings. All this by wifi from a laptop, tablet or pc.

Update : Long Range Wireless  Wifi for Mac Users

This set up is ideal for Mac users as it is independent of the operating system on the laptop or pc.  Many wifi devices are not supported with Mac drivers and using the R36 with the Alfa AWUS 036H completely avoids this problem.

The R36 Router will also operate with the Alfa Networks AWUS036NHR. The specification for the 036NHR looks good. Should offer good range and the faster 11n speeds.  I will test this combination very soon and post the results but for now the 036H is the favourite.

June 2012

R36 is great with 3G using a plug in USB dongle. One limitation of the set up with the Alfa 036H is that the Alfa searches for its drivers on the connected devices. One of these devices must have Alfa drivers loaded so must be running Windows 98/2000/ XP/Vista/7, Linux Kernel 2.6 (x) or Mac 10.4 to 10.6

September 2012

My fixed line broadband at home is really slow but down the road, about 200 metres away, there is a free wifi hotspot. The Alfa R36 used with the outdoor wifi adaptor mentioned in another post here connects to this hotspot and gives me free internet24/7.  This could also be done with the R36 with Alfa AWUS036H but the outdoor unit with its higher gain aerial gives longer range and better signal.

This set up of Alfa R36 plus outdoor wifi adaptor would be great for boats, caravans, campervans, garden office etc. In fact anywhere a longer distance wifi connection which can be shared locally with any wifi enabled device is needed. One new fact has emerged which needs further investigation. My new tablet connects to the wifi hotspot via R36 and outdoor wifi unit when no other device is running. In theory this should not happen!

Check out this link for more information  –



One Response to “Share Long Range Wifi with Laptop, Tablet, PC, iPad or iPhone”

  1. Chips Says:

    A good appraisal but conservative with 500m maximum range. 

    Personal experience from a boat at anchor using the 036H ranges can exceed 5km.

    Two examples: a yacht anchored at the Santa Maria Lighthouse (the Faro entrance to the Ria de Formosa) can access the free public wifi on the Olhao town market roof 5+km distant & when in Ayamonte Maria, Spain WiFi is available from Vila Real, Portugal, across the Rio Guadiana over 4km with the free town WiFi router hidden by high rise flats.

    I give exact locations so interested parties could measure the distances for themselves & there are further examples of long range operation.

    In a very dense wifi environment (Maria de Lagos), the Alfa 036H & NH enable stable access against stiff competition.  Moreover, using a directional aerial in this dense environment is an excellent way of enhancing the wanted signal, whilst reducing unwanted noise.

    The downside?  In common with most computing activities, setting up instructions assume a too greater level of knowledge. 

    In Lagos we spend much of our time helping folk to install computerized nav kit, internet access in Southern Europe & extended wifi.  Simple to those in the know but totally baffling to all others.

    Clear step-by-step setting up instructions & fault-finding in plain English ‘free from computer speak’ is a very strong selling point. 

    Simplicity is a very obvious advantage of the iPad.

    A halfway house is the excellent after-sales consultancy you offer but it must be extremely time consuming.  There could still be a market for well written instructions for popular devices.

    Will not be able to assess the 036NHs performance with the R36 until our return to Lagos (3 weeks hence) but from previous experience, anticipate it will slightly out perform the 036H in a dense environment but maximum range will be about the same.

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