Extend Home Wifi

If like me your house has a few rooms and you’re finding that the wireless signal from your ADSL modem can’t quite reach the kitchen, it might be worth thinking about extending your wireless network.

We had this problem a couple of years ago when a radiator upstairs blocked all but a little bit of the wireless signal and the back garden is a complete wireless black spot.

I researched around and looked at getting a wireless repeater and even tried it out with a pair of Netgear WN203’s. It was patchy at best…. The access point in the shed could only occasionally receive the signal from the one in the kitchen, so being able to use the wireless hotspot in the garden was hit and miss.

So having researched a number of solutions and tried out a couple, these are my recommendations for extending wireless coverage.

Run an Ethernet cable to the point where you’d like wifi coverage and then put a wireless access point in instead of a repeater/extender. A wifi access point will connect to your network via the Ethernet cable and broadcast its own new wireless network rather than trying to connect to your existing wireless network. This will be far more reliable than a repeater/extender!

If you have multiple access points (your ADSL wifi modem is one!), make sure they are on different wifi channels, but all on the same mode (b/g/n). If you’re still using 2.4Ghz wifi (b, g or n modes), use channels 1, 6 and 11 as they don’t overlap – see here for more details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WLAN_channels#2.4.C2.A0GHz_.28802.11b.2Fg.2Fn.29

If you have multiple access points, use the same wifi SSID and password! (This one really annoys me when people have multiple access points at home [or at the hotel on holiday in the Netherlands] and they don’t have a roaming network.) If you use the same SSID and password (case sensitive!), users can roam between the access points as if they are all the same access point! There is a short delay between swapping from one access point to another.

This is my home network with two wifi SSIDs, one for guests and one for home users. All three access points are on different channels to avoid clashing and the two access points on the left have the same SSID to enable roaming between the two.
my-wireless

(This is not an advert for Netgear technology! Although I do use Netgear products at home as in the past they have been reliable, the current products don’t seem to have the same reliability as yesteryear. I will be swapping out the WN203’s this year and the DGN2200 is v1, before the new bloatware they put on the new models. That device will be swapped for another brand when it finally stops working – not long now!)

Remote Printing – E-mail – Part 3 Printer POP3

(Unfortunately this is the second time I’m writing this as I trashed my database to correct an apostrophe problem before thinking about the post I’d just written…)

I’ve just switched hosts this week and was updating various settings in my network when I logged into the Kyocera Command Center and came across a page that I’ve probably seen before, but never understood what it could do. The Kyocera printer can listen to up to three POP3 addresses on a scheduled basis and print those emails out! Basically it does everything I’d written in Part 1 – for free and without me having to write/maintain/run it… So far though, I’ve only gotten it to print the attachments on emails – but that’s what I want it for.

Configuring Kyocera Printer POP3

Open Advanced -> POP3 -> User 1(, 2 or 3)

Edit the User page accordingly – ask your Host/ISP if you are unsure of any settings

advanced-pop3-user1

When complete, click Test to make sure the settings are working.  If they are you’ll see the following

pop3-test

Click “Back to the previous page” and Submit the page to save the settings.

Next, click on the General tab…

general-tab

and fill in the page with appropriate values

advanced-pop3

Submit the changes to save them

To test everything is configured correctly and that the printer is listening, send an email containing a single page PDF to the address specified on the User page.

The PDF should be printed – might take a few minutes depending  on the interval value you’ve specified.

Voilà!

Setting up email in the Kyocera Command Center

One of the reasons I purchased the Kyocera FS-1035MFP was due to the email functionality.

On the night I received the device and plugged it in, I tried to send a document via e-mail, only to receive an error report from the device stating that the device didn’t have smtp access. A bit of doh… moment there.

So at the weekend I set up the devices e-mail functionality. Log into the device on the IP address you’ve given it (In my case http://192.168.0.11). Click on Advanced and then SMTP. You’ll be presented with the below page – without the values filled in.

The next part requires a little bit of knowledge on email authentication and connection details. My web host doesn’t offer the ability to send e-mails without paying extra, so I send emails from my ISPs email address and receive on my usual addresses. To send email using my ISP, I have to authenticate using port 587, STARTTLS and the username and password supplied by the ISP. By default the Kyocera ships not using SSL, so if you need to use security (SSL), click on the link on the page “Select On for the SSL setting to use SMTP Security. Click here”. Pick the security settings you want in the page shown below and save (submit) the page. It’s likely the device will need re-starting to take on board that change. When you log in next time the address will be https://192.168.0.11.

Go back to the SMTP page and fill in your email details, then click test. If you get a success message, you know you’ve set it up correctly. Go to the bottom of the SMTP page and click save (submit). The next area on the SMTP page is for configuring the address which will appear in emails from your printer. E.g. Kyocera@abcd.com. The first time I set up the settings I chose a max email size of 5000KB, tried it out and found that a single side was larger than that. Hence it now reads 15000KB. Bear in mind that some email providers limit emails at 10 meg (7.5 + bloat). Save the page when happy. Feel free to fill in more on the SMTP page, but I haven’t bothered.

The next page is a link on the SMTP page – E-mail Recipient 1, 2 and 3. Each page represents an address which will receive a notification email on failure or at a specified point in time. Fill in an email address which will receive the notifications and choose the options you wish that address to be told about. E.g.

Click the send button to test it out and when happy save the page. Add more reciepients by selecting “E-mail Recipient 2” or “E-mail Recipient 3” if wanted and repeat the above.

That’s it! Your printer will now spam notify you when a problem occurs and you can also send scan emails from the device.