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Range Extenders, do they work?
Posted by: Microman
Date: January 12, 2018 10:19PM
Currently doing some remodeling. Had to move TV and added an Ethernet Cable and the Coax for Cable to that room to hold the TV and Tivo.

But the computer is sitting across the same TV Room, but using wireless. The Wifi Router is still in the back room, but I am having some difficulty getting a fast reacting internet. Seems slow to move to a new site.

So how do range extenders work? Or do they?

Thinking of a cheap TP-Link that sells for $20

Just don't understand if a computer or device can't connect to the router why would adding another wireless device in the same area give a better connection.?
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Re: Range Extenders, do they work?
Posted by: billb
Date: January 12, 2018 10:29PM
You don't put the second one where it can't get a signal, you put it close enough so that it does and then you have two overlapping


unless you can run ethernet to each router, then you keep a distance between them so the weak spot is in the middle



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Re: Range Extenders, do they work?
Posted by: Onamuji
Date: January 12, 2018 10:40PM
They usually work okay when positioned properly. Line of sight between both router and target-device is a good shorthand way to position the extender if you're not in a position to do a proper WiFi site survey.

It's often useful to match the maker of the router and repeater/extender.

For large homes, mesh networks are better than WiFi extenders.

If you're extending the network to a device that's always going to be parked at the same spot, consider powerline Ethernet.



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Re: Range Extenders, do they work?
Posted by: Winston
Date: January 12, 2018 11:07PM
Quote
Microman
Currently doing some remodeling.

So how do range extenders work? Or do they?


Well, the guys who put insulation up in our attic found they worked well.





wink smiley



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Be seeing you.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2018 11:09PM by Winston.
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Re: Range Extenders, do they work?
Posted by: Winston
Date: January 12, 2018 11:15PM
I've always thought that WiFi range extenders were a compromise. They cut the bandwidth in half, as the extender has to take a signal in, then forward it.

If you already have ethernet in the room where the WiFi signal is weak, instead of using a range extender, why not add a WiFi access point to that room? Most WiFi routers can be turned into an access point*, which would give you ethernet ports for the TV, Tivo if it needs it, and things like an Apple TV or Roku in the future. And you'd have full-speed WiFi near the computer.

There are probably WiFi access points which also have a built-in ethernet switch, but they probably are not much less expensive than a WiFi router.

Or you could get an ethernet switch and and a WiFi access point which only has one ethernet jack.


Good luck.

- Winston

* You turn off the routing function in the WiFi router - disable DHCP and NAT, and putting it in "bridge" mode, to make it a WiFi access point and ethernet switch.



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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2018 11:17PM by Winston.
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Re: Range Extenders, do they work?
Posted by: Buzz
Date: January 13, 2018 01:12AM
We had pretty good luck similar to Doc's suggestion; using powerline Enet adapters on a couple of nodes, and sprouting wifi access points from there. The powerline thingy turned out to be the only viable way to get the satellite receiver hooked up, so on that end we used a 4 port powerline adapter to include the sat dish and a wifi access point. Cost was in between your cheapo extender, and a real mesh setup. The only times I've really had success w/ wireless extender products has been where the proximity has been fairly close... like putting the extender near the doorway closest to main source router to extend coverage from that doorway into its adjoining room; not skipping rooms and going down halls, etc.. In urban areas like here, there's just too many competing signal to deal with, so if you can get the powerline thing to work, it becomes viable rather quickly.
==
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Re: Range Extenders, do they work?
Posted by: billb
Date: January 13, 2018 01:13AM
Quote
Winston
I've always thought that WiFi range extenders were a compromise. They cut the bandwidth in half, as the extender has to take a signal in, then forward it.


.

What difference does it make if your router has 8 times the bandwidth of your modem ?



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The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
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Re: Range Extenders, do they work?
Posted by: Fritz
Date: January 13, 2018 07:06AM
we have an old Amped REC15 extender that covers the 1st and 2nd flr well enough to stream. Used that as a guest node mostly.
It was originally bought to extend the service of a house we were staying at.
The upstairs has a MoCA extension on it to a 2nd ActionTec router.
That combo kicks butt.



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Re: Range Extenders, do they work?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: January 13, 2018 08:17AM
Another vote for powerline. We've had great success with it in our house. Just plug the adapter into the wall up on the third floor where the router is, and then put the other adapter on the first floor, where the other wifi is. Works really well for us
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Re: Range Extenders, do they work?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: January 13, 2018 09:24AM
Micro,

The better ones work nicely. Wirecutter recommended a model from TP-Link which I'm using at a friend's house. It's dandy. No issues with bandwidth. hardwire ethernet lines are solid if feasible. Powerline can work in some places. MoCa is another option. A mesh system or high power system like a NetGear Orbi may be the best choice. Lots of different options. You have to choose what is most suitable in your location and what you can afford.

Robert
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Re: Range Extenders, do they work?
Posted by: jonny
Date: January 13, 2018 12:04PM
I've got a TP link 5g. Works great.
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Re: Range Extenders, do they work?
Posted by: Winston
Date: January 13, 2018 12:48PM
Quote
billb
Quote
Winston
I've always thought that WiFi range extenders were a compromise. They cut the bandwidth in half, as the extender has to take a signal in, then forward it.


.

What difference does it make if your router has 8 times the bandwidth of your modem ?


I assume you mean if the stated top speed of your WiFi is 8 times that of your internet connection. But in the real world the WiFi connection doesn't get full speed. Due to overhead in the transmission, and interference (neighbors who have WiFi, microwave ovens, intervening walls, etc.), achieved speeds are usually a lot less than the theoretical maximum.

As you pointed out, you need to put a repeater where it gets a decent signal. But because you are trying to extend the signal, the repeater will be some distance from the WiFi router. So it probably is not getting a full-speed connection itself. Then you are cutting what it gets at least in half.

My experience using a repeater also showed it cut the speed about in half. So we ran additional ethernet wires, so I could add another WiFi access point at the other end of the house. I do admit that this was some years ago, probably with 802.11g, not the current 802.11ac. But the 5 GHz WiFi used by 802.11ac, while fast, is less able to penetrate walls and has a shorter range than 2.4 GHz.

And if ethernet is available in the same room, and you can get WiFi there for a reasonable cost, why not do that instead of using a repeater or powerline? (Powerline requires that you buy two additional devices, vs. one for a repeater or WiFi in the same room.)


Good luck.

- Winston



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Be seeing you.
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Re: Range Extenders, do they work?
Posted by: jdc
Date: January 13, 2018 03:18PM
Can you raise the router higher? We have a typical tack home, about 1800 SF, and the router was in the middle of the house, but only a foot off the ground. wifi was so so.

Moved it to the top of a cabinet, behind a clock but now 5 feet off the ground -- and wifi is stellar everywhere, even on 5G. My office is near the far corner and I get full speed.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Range Extenders, do they work?
Posted by: Microman
Date: January 13, 2018 06:05PM
Maybe I could take my old Buffalo Router and make it another access point.

Can I

ROUTER ----> Router as Access Point ----> Switch -----> Router as Access Point
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Re: Range Extenders, do they work?
Posted by: Winston
Date: January 13, 2018 11:48PM
Quote
Microman
Maybe I could take my old Buffalo Router and make it another access point.

Can I

ROUTER ----> Router as Access Point ----> Switch -----> Router as Access Point


Short answer, yes. But if you can run ethernet from the ROUTER to each device individually that would be better.

The scenario you listed implies that you need internet in three locations, with the second location requiring only wired internet, and for whatever reason, you have to daisy-chain the connections. If you don't need to daisy-chain, it would be better to connect each Router as Access Point and the Switch directly to the ROUTER (assuming the ROUTER has three open ethernet ports).


For example;
Router in basement>ethernet wire to>Router as Access Point in Kitchen
>ethernet wire to>Switch in Family Room (for various ethernet wired devices)
>ethernet wire to far room>Router as Access Point in far room.


The way I'd wire this is:

MAIN ROUTER in Basemenet (4 ethernet ports, but 6 needed)
>ethernet wire to location 1 - Router as WiFi Access Point
>ethernet wire to location 2 - Switch to wired ethernet devices
>ethernet wire to location 3 - Router as WiFi Access Point

Or, as I understand things based on the conversation so far:

MAIN ROUTER (presumably with 4 ethernet ports) via ethernet to:
> Router 1 as WiFi Access Point for near part of house
> Router 2 as Wifi Access Point for far part of house > ethernet for Tivo/TV at far part of house
plus: Router 2 as WiFi Access point for computer at far part of house.


Good luck.

- Winston



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