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Zyxel wap3205 or Asus RT-N12 c1 better as a repeater/range-extender?

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August 14, 2012 9:21:23 PM

What performs better as a repeater, the zyxel wap3205 or the asus rtn12 c1 on dd-wrt firmware (since the asus's stock firmware is terrible)

both the models available at the store have two 5dbi antennas,


which has better connectivity and signal reception of the host AP that is to be extended?

and which one can better broadcast the host AP that is being extended? in terms of connectivity and range


p.s i'm not concerned about the number of Lan ports
August 16, 2012 1:10:25 AM

I doubt anyone here is going to be able to address the finer points that differentiate these two routers. As repeaters, they’re fundamentally based on the same principles; establish a wireless client to the primary router, then establish a secondary AP. To that extent, it doesn't matter.

That said, assuming they have *generally* similar specs, I'm going to recommend dd-wrt if only because it offers so much more flexibility. You can create both bridged and unbridged repeaters. You can adjust the power output up to 250mW.

Now in terms of performance, you always take a hit w/ these types of repeaters since they have to split their time between the two modes (client and AP). And that can mean as much as HALF your throughput is lost, at least for local transfers (for internet access where the available bandwidth is typically so much less, it’s much less of a concern). But even under the best of conditions, some apps don’t work well over a repeater, specifically those which demand very fast response time. All that jumping between client and AP mode can make some almost unusable (e.g., VOIP)!

That’s why in some cases you might want to consider creating your own repeater. All you need is a wireless ethernet bridge connected to a wireless AP. And now each AP can use different freqs/channels and avoid all these problems!
August 16, 2012 11:56:02 PM

eibgrad said:
I doubt anyone here is going to be able to address the finer points that differentiate these two routers. As repeaters, they’re fundamentally based on the same principles; establish a wireless client to the primary router, then establish a secondary AP. To that extent, it doesn't matter.

That said, assuming they have *generally* similar specs, I'm going to recommend dd-wrt if only because it offers so much more flexibility. You can create both bridged and unbridged repeaters. You can adjust the power output up to 250mW.

Now in terms of performance, you always take a hit w/ these types of repeaters since they have to split their time between the two modes (client and AP). And that can mean as much as HALF your throughput is lost, at least for local transfers (for internet access where the available bandwidth is typically so much less, it’s much less of a concern). But even under the best of conditions, some apps don’t work well over a repeater, specifically those which demand very fast response time. All that jumping between client and AP mode can make some almost unusable (e.g., VOIP)!

That’s why in some cases you might want to consider creating your own repeater. All you need is a wireless ethernet bridge connected to a wireless AP. And now each AP can use different freqs/channels and avoid all these problems!



Yup thats very true. I was mostly looking for opinions from users who may have had experience with the performance of one or both of these devices.


Your suggestion about the wireless ethernet bridge, would a setup as such look like this:

side A = primary network with internet that needs to be extended
Side B = side with dead spots/ poor coverage

AP 1 acting as the bridge receiving/sending data by wireless to side A; and AP 2 connected by wire to AP1, sending and receiving data by wireless to clients on side B


Am i close to the idea you meant?

Related resources
August 17, 2012 12:27:09 AM

I'm not sure we're on the same page anymore, or precisely what Side A and Side B mean to you. You’ve now introduced the notion of the APs being joined by "wire", which is not where we started. We started by discussing the use of wireless between the APs.

You basically have three options.

Option #1: APs connected by wire
[primary router](lan)<-- wire -->(lan)[secondary router (ap mode)]

An ideal setup since wire is always easier to work with, more reliable, cheaper, etc., but not always practical.

Option #2: APs connected over wireless (traditional repeater)
[primary router]<-- wireless -->[secondary router (client + ap mode)]

It works, but it does so by splitting its one radio between two tasks (wireless client and AP), neither of which can be done at the same time, thus cutting your potential throughput in half.

Option #3: APs connected over wireless (DIY repeater)
[primary router]<-- wireless -->[wireless ethernet bridge](lan)<-- wire -->(lan)[secondary router (ap mode)]

Now we’ve preserved bandwidth because we’re using two radios instead of one, each dedicated to the same tasks. The wireless ethernet bridge creates the wireless client w/ its radio, and the secondary router the AP w/ its radio, with each presumably using different freq/channels, but obviously at the expense of more hardware.
August 24, 2012 6:55:59 AM

Thanks eibgrad, I follow. So now how would I go about setting up a wireless ethernet bridge?
a b Ĉ ASUS
August 24, 2012 12:55:37 PM

They actually do make devices with 2 radios which is option 3 in a single device.

Problem is that there is no constant naming and the cheap manufactures try to make it sound like their product do everything the more expensive ones do. Used to be that the word "repeater" meant 2 radios and "extender" meant only 1.

Hawkins tech used to have very good doc on their site but now the only place I can find it is on amazon.

Look at HAW2R1 on amazon. There is a table that show the different models.

I have used this device and it works ok... not as good as the commercial avaya but a fraction of the cost.

The key is to have 2 radios but it still does slow you down but not as much as the single radio devices do.

Just a note these are still not full repeaters like the avaya products but they are as close as you can get.
August 24, 2012 1:52:36 PM

I assume you intend to build your own repeater.

You can either buy a standalone unit (aka client/internet adapter, gaming adapter, ethernet converter), or else use a commercial router that supports it, or dd-wrt/tomato compatible router. Once you have one, you connect it to the remote AP like any USB/PCI wireless adapter on your PC. You specify the SSID, wireless security, etc., and get a connection. Finally patch it to the AP. Pretty simple.
August 24, 2012 2:09:01 PM

bill001g said:
They actually do make devices with 2 radios which is option 3 in a single device.

Problem is that there is no constant naming and the cheap manufactures try to make it sound like their product do everything the more expensive ones do. Used to be that the word "repeater" meant 2 radios and "extender" meant only 1.

Hawkins tech used to have very good doc on their site but now the only place I can find it is on amazon.

Look at HAW2R1 on amazon. There is a table that show the different models.

I have used this device and it works ok... not as good as the commercial avaya but a fraction of the cost.

The key is to have 2 radios but it still does slow you down but not as much as the single radio devices do.

Just a note these are still not full repeaters like the avaya products but they are as close as you can get.


But the killer is the cost, at least for a home user, even for the so-called budget models. Let's face it, these manufacturers are going to cut corners anywhere they can at the price levels that interest us, and thus using a single radio has become the norm. Most manufacturers don’t even mention the number of radios. But the big clue to you as a consumer is when the wireless AP portion of the repeater configuration doesn’t offer a selection of freq/channel. Now you know it’s just using the same radio as the wireless client.

So in the end, you’re almost always better off to just create your own. You can even mix/match freqs (2.4GHz & 5GHz) if need be, which if available at all w/ commercial two-radio repeaters, would probably drive the price off the charts!

That’s a common theme in networking. A lot of things available commercially can be done much cheaper by using individual components and knowing how to mix and match them. What the manufacturers do is play off your ignorance or your desire for convenience. And before you know it, that $30-40 repeater you could have built yourself is now $150 or more.

!