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Best setup to extend wireless signal?

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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December 3, 2012 4:08:36 PM

Hi everyone,

I am confused about which setup to used as I am new to the networking scene. I know there are repeaters, range extenders and wireless access points for devices to connect wirelessly, im just confused about the technical side of what they each do and the advantages and disadvantages.

My current situation: My computer is located at the basement and my router and modem is at the top floor of the house. My house is just under 2000 sq ft. In my basement I can't seem to get a signal, I do a lot of gaming so i would like to have a reliable and consistent wireless connection. At first i was thinking about getting a range extender, as it is inexpensive and seems to work for a lot of people. I was thinking about purchasing this range extender. I read that range extenders, create another network aside from the router, so I cannot connect to any devices that are connected to the 'router' network such as a wireless printer. Besides this, is there any other fallbacks to using a range extender? And are range extenders the same as wifi boosters?

http://ncix.com/products/?sku=49261&vpn=ERB9250&manufac...

After some research on the forums i can across repeaters, i read that repeaters are bad because since they repeat the signal from the repeater to the device, the bandwidth is half because the signal must go back to the repeater before it can reach the wireless router. I was wondering if the range extender i posted above will have the same problem.

Lastly, if i were to set up a wireless access point, in my current situation how would i do it? And what are the shortcomings of this setup?

Thank you for taking your time to read
December 3, 2012 4:57:16 PM

Range extenders and repeaters are the same thing in most cases. The only way to get a repeater that does not cut the bandwidth in half is to use a repeater with 2 radios. It still in effect cuts the bandwidth in half but since you have 2 time the radio it balances out. Almost all repeaters that have 2 radios are commercial and have prices to go with it. It cheaper to buy 2 routers and run one as a bridge and connect it back to back to the second running as a AP. Many of the newer routers can run as AP/ROUTER/BRIDGE depending on what you need.

To run JUST the AP you will need a ethernet cable to run between the router and the AP. This is your best option since the farther you can get the ethernet cable the less total radio distance you have.

It tends to be tricky to run radio signal vertically the devices are designed to output most their power horizontally. You will need to experment with how you mount it. External antenna also give you a little more flexibility to play around to see if you can get the maximum signal.
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December 3, 2012 5:44:28 PM

Thank for replying. So if i use an AP i have to connect to the router through an ethernet cable? I cant connect it wirelessly? I dont think i'll be able to do that with my current setup. I was wondering if for example, this would work

http://ncix.com/products/?sku=49505&vpn=EAP9550&manufacture=EnGenius&promoid=1310

If all else fails what about a powerline? Other than the fact that its not wireless, is it inferior to APs in anyway?

john-b691 said:
Range extenders and repeaters are the same thing in most cases. The only way to get a repeater that does not cut the bandwidth in half is to use a repeater with 2 radios. It still in effect cuts the bandwidth in half but since you have 2 time the radio it balances out. Almost all repeaters that have 2 radios are commercial and have prices to go with it. It cheaper to buy 2 routers and run one as a bridge and connect it back to back to the second running as a AP. Many of the newer routers can run as AP/ROUTER/BRIDGE depending on what you need.

To run JUST the AP you will need a ethernet cable to run between the router and the AP. This is your best option since the farther you can get the ethernet cable the less total radio distance you have.

It tends to be tricky to run radio signal vertically the devices are designed to output most their power horizontally. You will need to experment with how you mount it. External antenna also give you a little more flexibility to play around to see if you can get the maximum signal.
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December 3, 2012 7:10:01 PM

If the powerline adapters work in your house you will get much better performance that any repeater. If you need wireless on the far end you would plug the AP into the powerline extender and treat the powerline extender as a ethernet cable. It will still work better to not have the AP at the end unless you absolutely need wireless. Powerline systems work in most houses but be sure you can return them there are houses that due to strange wiring they refuse to work.

I would only use a repeater as the last option. Games already have problems with just a single wireless connection and now you have in effect 2 along with the additional complexity of a repeater.
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December 3, 2012 7:11:53 PM

Best answer selected by Zerix.
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December 3, 2012 7:12:22 PM

I think im going to be going with the powerline network. Thanks so much for your help.
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