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Do range extenders slow network for n/n connections?

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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November 4, 2012 6:58:45 PM

So, I posted a thread a while back about my wifi issues. I live in a mother-in-law type home. The main house is about 60 feet away, and this house that I am in, is not wired for internet, so I connect to our wifi in the main home. Because it has to carry the signal outside and then back into our house, I get poor speeds. We are on a 50 megabit connection down, and of which we see around 35-40 when hardwired. When on wifi in our house, I get usually around 8-10 megabits, and I did once see 20.

I can't feasibly run a cat5 across the yard, but I could of course buy a huge roll of direct burial cable, but I had a question about something else:

I have a netgear N dongle to pickup the wifi, and I just bought a wifi extender that supports N, and of course our router is N as well.

It's not that I get low signal really, most of the time I get 3 bars, sometimes 2, sometimes 4. The problem is that terrible unreliability and speed loss.

So, if I place the range extender here in my home, and connect to the router in the main home, will it decrease my speed here with my N dongles? I read that it cuts it in half, and that would end up being just as bad as not having one at all! I just hope this was inaccurate.

EDIT: I bought the EDIMAX EW-7438RPn N300 extender, and I have the Comcast Xfinity gateway which is the modem and router combination. I dislike that unit, but we also have a Cisco N router that I can use if necessary.

I just can barely use the internet here sometimes. I can't play online games because of the terrible lag, and can't watch videos because it takes way too long to buffer/load. I have to even connection share with my xbox just to get it to connect at all. :( 

I should also add that I will be connecting to the wifi extender wirelessly, and not through the ethernet port on it. I'll have it on the other side of a wall, less than 10 feet away from my dongle receiver.
November 4, 2012 7:22:52 PM

Yes the cheaper repeaters cut it in half. They use the same exact channel to retransmit the data. There are repeaters that cost more that have 2 radios in them and they run a connection between the repeater and the router on one channel and the connection between the repeater and the PC on another. Those type of repeaters do not slow the traffic down as much because they can tranmit on both radio channels at the same time.

Still it most likely will do little good. The repeater needs to be places midway between. If you put it right next to the PC it is repeating the signal to it is just silly.

The best wireless solution you have is to put in outdoor direction antenna with a bridge and run a cable inside. You could then hook the cable to a AP to in effect make a repeater. I have used these with good results and they cost less than $60 each... you may want to try one on the remote end first and see if it can connect to the router

http://www.ubnt.com/airgrid
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November 4, 2012 7:38:39 PM

john-b691 said:
Yes the cheaper repeaters cut it in half. They use the same exact channel to retransmit the data. There are repeaters that cost more that have 2 radios in them and they run a connection between the repeater and the router on one channel and the connection between the repeater and the PC on another. Those type of repeaters do not slow the traffic down as much because they can tranmit on both radio channels at the same time.

Still it most likely will do little good. The repeater needs to be places midway between. If you put it right next to the PC it is repeating the signal to it is just silly.

The best wireless solution you have is to put in outdoor direction antenna with a bridge and run a cable inside. You could then hook the cable to a AP to in effect make a repeater. I have used these with good results and they cost less than $60 each... you may want to try one on the remote end first and see if it can connect to the router

http://www.ubnt.com/airgrid


Forgive me, but why would it be silly to have the extender around 10-15 feet away? The router itself is around 60-65 feet from this computer, but I don't have a safe place to put it other than as far away from me, but still in between the router and myself.

I thought i'd put it there so that it'd boost the signal here since it's so slow.

I will at least try it, but if it does not work, I may have to just get a 100 foot spool of direct burial cat5 and move the router over here. The connection is so unreliable. Sometimes it is fast and great, and other times, it takes 10 mintues to load a 360p youtube video. :/ 

Edit: Would my connection be half of what it would be hardwired? Or half of what it is normally via wifi? I get usually 8mbps without the extender via wifi, so with it, would I get 4? Or around 25, since we get 30-50 mbps when hardwired.
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November 4, 2012 9:14:56 PM

Mostly its silly because if the PC can't get good signal all the repeater is going to do is get the same bad signal. It cannot magically create data that was lost in transmission. In actually will make it worse since it now is transmitting on the same frequency and interfering with the already weak signal from the router. Repeater work best when they can be place in a location that has good signal and repeat them to one that has poor signal.

Note signal strength is not the same as signal quality. Slowness is caused by errors. Best example is 2 radios playing on different stations in the same room, you can hear each very well but they make listening to ether very difficult.

. It all depends how good a signal the repeater can get. The key reason you see slowness is the wireless router or pc is already retransmitting the data every time it detects a error. In theory once the repeater gets a good packet from the router after many retransmission it can send it to your pc very quick since it is so close and you will get few retransmissions. So it may only be slightly worse than using only your PC, but then it comes back to why would you do this if it makes it worse. If the repeater is able to get better signal that the PC with less retransmission then the extra transmission to your PC may gain you something because the total number of packets transmitted would be less.
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November 5, 2012 4:18:20 AM

Well I guess I will have little no choice but to use direct burial cable and bring the router over here if we want to get N speeds. It's just mostly that I don't want to dig up the yard and whatnot. Well if that is what it takes, so be it.
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November 5, 2012 4:38:44 AM

You are better off getting a high power wireless access point. I got the AMPED WIRELESS! AP20000G! and it's got hardcore coverage! can easily stream videos from 150ft away! very easy setup too.

http://www.ampedwireless.com/products/ap20000g.html if you wanna check it out.

and no worries about halving your BW and all that. just run the cable from the router to the access point and it will set up quick.

I love my access point and I highly recommend it! I would totally get more of thier stuff. Very powerful!
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November 5, 2012 8:25:03 AM

remixedcat stop posting advertisements. All access points have to follow the exact same legal restriction on transmit power. If it would transmit more power it would be illegal. There are very few AP that do not transmit at the full legal power. Go read the FCC regulations before you believe marketing hype and learn how transmit power is calculated.

You can say IT WILL GO 150FT all you want but that is untrue since you have no idea of the environment it is being placed in. Just because it works at 150 in some lab that means nothing.
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November 5, 2012 8:33:40 AM

This is not in a lab this is at my house and there's mixed construction @ 1818 sq ft @ 4BR 2BA 2 story (with a very large yard) (since it originally built in 1910, however there are have been renovations in 1975 and 1982 and 1992, and my own spanning from 2009-this year) and 5 other detectable APs close by, as my neighbors are around 20 ft on one side and 15 ft on the other and there are 2 houses behind mine. I live in an area that's a typical city grid, however there are no houses in front of mine. Mixed years of build of all houses in my block. Very congested with APs. I can always pick up 5-7 APs at any time in my block.

I love my AP20000G! I am very happy about it, of course I'm gonna recommend it!!!! LOL.

My netgeat wgr614 could not pull off the things my Amped Wireless AP20000G can! I am very happy I got the Amped!
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November 5, 2012 9:53:46 AM

Be happy with it but do not post that as a solution to every thread you find. If you had done it once fine but most your posts are I LOVE MY AP GO BUY IT no matter the problem.

Just because it works in your house means nothing at all. Besides your house in no way exceeds 150ft and you are not streaming video at those distance so stop exaggerating. In this case he is passing through multiple exterior house walls which again you are not.

You transmit power of your AP is only half the problem. It must also be able to hear the other device. The only way to effectively do it from the AP end is to increase the antenna gain but then you must reduce your radio transmit power to stay legal. It is a trade off and why almost all AP perform exactly the same, they have come up with the optimum solution and everyone uses it.
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November 5, 2012 9:58:41 AM

I walked a ways a away from my house and streamed video. It was 150 feet away. Worked great. I will be doing a video review of the AP20000G so stay tuned! ;-)
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November 5, 2012 2:15:12 PM

john-b691 said:
Be happy with it but do not post that as a solution to every thread you find. If you had done it once fine but most your posts are I LOVE MY AP GO BUY IT no matter the problem.

Just because it works in your house means nothing at all. Besides your house in no way exceeds 150ft and you are not streaming video at those distance so stop exaggerating. In this case he is passing through multiple exterior house walls which again you are not.

You transmit power of your AP is only half the problem. It must also be able to hear the other device. The only way to effectively do it from the AP end is to increase the antenna gain but then you must reduce your radio transmit power to stay legal. It is a trade off and why almost all AP perform exactly the same, they have come up with the optimum solution and everyone uses it.


That's exactly right and what I suspect is my issue. It's that it has to go through the main house, across the open yard and into my house, then to the other side of this house. I'm still going to give this extender a shot, but it's not that I need more signal, it's just that it's such a slow response sometimes. Again, it's not always terrible. Sometimes it's fast, sometimes it's slow and what I want to do is fix that so that it's always fast. I mean, we do pay for 50 megabit internet after all.
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