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Is a dual band (2.4GHz & 5GHz) wireless repeater better than a high power one?

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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August 22, 2013 3:01:29 AM

My network speed keeps dropping down after using a regular wifi repeater, I was told by some guys that it's normal because usually a repeater uses the same radio/frequency (2.4GHz) to accept incoming and outgoing packets from clients as it does to forward those packets on to the next wifi router and accept replies. So effectively you get half the bandwidth, as each packet must go over the air twice - from the client to the repeater, then from the repeater to the wifi router. I happen to found on Amazon that there are actually dual band repeater 2.4G/5GHz and I wonder if it really does the trick to improve the wifi range while maintain the network speed, I assume it accept the incoming packets in one frequency (say 2.4G) and forward those packets out in the other (say 5GHz), is it reliable?

Or would a high power wireless repeater be a choice? For example:

http://www.amazon.com/Amped-Wireless-Wireless-N-Repeate...

Thanks!

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a c 110 F Wireless
August 22, 2013 5:16:47 AM

Saying "high power" is the same as saying "new and improved". The only devices that do not transmit at the maximum legal power are some portable battery powered ones that do it to conserve power.

If the device can work as you say then yes it will be better because it uses 2 radios so it starts with double the bandwidth ...and is still cut in half.

The problem is almost all the consumer grade equipment manufacture mislead you into thinking they can do that. There tend to be 3 types of dual band repeaters. The worst are not "simultaneous" so you must pick a band and they only do that one. The next are just a 2.4 and 5 repeater in a single box. They only repeat their respective signals. Then you have true repeaters. These are the devices that have been around for many years before you could even buy a "repeater" in walmart. These devices work as you describe. They use 2 radios (some even have multiple radios in the same band) and they use one to talk to the main router and a second to talk to the clients. One of the key indicators you can do this is you can also use different ssid and security. The connection back to the main router is generally called back haul in most these. There are a couple consumer devices that can do this but you may be better off with a client bridge hooked back to back with a AP. Now this can just be 2 routers that have the ability to run in client-bridge and ap modes.
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a b F Wireless
August 22, 2013 5:53:38 AM

Mikel A said:
My network speed keeps dropping down after using a regular wifi repeater, I was told by some guys that it's normal because usually a repeater uses the same radio/frequency (2.4GHz) to accept incoming and outgoing packets from clients as it does to forward those packets on to the next wifi router and accept replies. So effectively you get half the bandwidth, as each packet must go over the air twice - from the client to the repeater, then from the repeater to the wifi router. I happen to found on Amazon that there are actually dual band repeater 2.4G/5GHz and I wonder if it really does the trick to improve the wifi range while maintain the network speed, I assume it accept the incoming packets in one frequency (say 2.4G) and forward those packets out in the other (say 5GHz), is it reliable?

Or would a high power wireless repeater be a choice? For example:

http://www.amazon.com/Amped-Wireless-Wireless-N-Repeate...

Thanks!



As you say, using a repeater will degrade performance rather significantly, but it's better than no performance at all if you have blackspots in the home.
The Dual Band repeater will merely "repeat" the 2.4GHz & 5GHz bands, but will not interlink them as you say. That is impossible.

I recommend either:

- Using a repeater (which will mean degraded performance where the repeater is located). The one you posted is fine.

- Use an Ethernet cable or Powerline adapter between two access points/routers, and then use different channels on the same SSID. This will retain wireless performance.
http://bestwirelessroutersnow.com/tp-link-tl-pa4010kit-...

- Investigate upgrading your main router to Wireless AC (if you haven't already done so). It's increased coverage could fill the void in your home. The Asus RT-AC66U is well regarded - http://bestwirelessroutersnow.com/asus-rt-ac66u-review/

- Upgrade your antennas if they are detachable
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August 22, 2013 9:32:02 PM

bill001g said:
Saying "high power" is the same as saying "new and improved". The only devices that do not transmit at the maximum legal power are some portable battery powered ones that do it to conserve power.

If the device can work as you say then yes it will be better because it uses 2 radios so it starts with double the bandwidth ...and is still cut in half.

The problem is almost all the consumer grade equipment manufacture mislead you into thinking they can do that. There tend to be 3 types of dual band repeaters. The worst are not "simultaneous" so you must pick a band and they only do that one. The next are just a 2.4 and 5 repeater in a single box. They only repeat their respective signals. Then you have true repeaters. These are the devices that have been around for many years before you could even buy a "repeater" in walmart. These devices work as you describe. They use 2 radios (some even have multiple radios in the same band) and they use one to talk to the main router and a second to talk to the clients. One of the key indicators you can do this is you can also use different ssid and security. The connection back to the main router is generally called back haul in most these. There are a couple consumer devices that can do this but you may be better off with a client bridge hooked back to back with a AP. Now this can just be 2 routers that have the ability to run in client-bridge and ap modes.


Could you recommend some models on the repeater of the 3rd kind?

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a c 110 F Wireless
August 23, 2013 4:54:56 AM

Most the good ones I know of are not cost effective for a home users. Engenius used to sell one I for some reason cannot locate at the moment only their fake one like everyone else has. Generally it is cheaper to use 2 devices a client bridge and a AP and build your own. You may be able to use outdoor ones sold by ubiquiti but it is still cheaper to buy a couple of boxes and put them together.

It is very unfortunate that most consumers have no clue how the technology works and buy strictly on price...but then again most people who buy repeater/extenders put them right next to their computer and figure it is doing something.
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