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      06-16-2012, 07:45 AM   #1
flyfs6
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Router and repeater

I'm looking to expand the range of our wireless router and I need some guidance with choosing the appropriate solution/hardware.

The current set up is cable modem from which the ethernet goes into the wifi router (an Asus RT15).

  • I was thinking of buying a new router and a repeater(s) to extend range.
  • I have heard of the power line adaptors but I'm not sure how effective they are, also another issue is that this application requires european two round pin plugs. If I used three pin with an adaptor, would it still work?
  • I have also thought about having ethernet cable run up to the third level, but this isn't the neatest of solution. How would extreme would effect performance if the cable was run along the outside of the building?

The building is split over three levels and I'd like to have wifi on the third. Its around 1000 sq ft of space. Currently only the room directly above where the router is gets good signal. The construction doesn't help signal penetration here because the building is a constructed I think out of concrete blocks and everything is pretty damn solid.
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      06-16-2012, 08:42 AM   #2
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I assume you have checked for updated firmware?

That particular router is not great - have a look at this one:
http://www.broadbandbuyer.co.uk/Shop...roductID=10020

I am not a fan of homeplugs and I have no idea why what the issue is with 2 pin plugs - they come with UK 3 pin?

You could run an Ethernet cable outside but will either need to use exterior grade Cat 6E cable or put in a conduit. A single Ethernet cable, whether indoor or outdoor, is only designed to function over a distance of about 100m (328 feet). Some networks operate successfully with Ethernet cables run 200m or more. When extended past the recommended limit of 100m, Ethernet reliability and performance may suffer, and results can vary from one cable to the next. Active hubs or other repeater devices can be installed with a series of CAT6E cables to greatly extend the range of an Ethernet outdoor network.

A repeater is cheap. Dont know much about them though - but if you buy a a new dual band router make sure you buy a dual band repeater like this one
http://www.broadbandbuyer.co.uk/Shop...roductID=13006
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      06-16-2012, 09:29 AM   #3
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I would always cable if you can.

Wireless repeating or bridging can be a bit hit and miss, especially if you're planning to run anything real-time over it (music or video).

As Fulcrum said, look for an external Cat 5e cable.
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      06-16-2012, 12:28 PM   #4
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I have an old, rambling farmhouse, with thick walls, subsequently covered with vapourshield plasterboard, so the range within the house is poor (although I can pick up my neighbours WiFi quite happily!)
I have tried quite a few things, and decided that cable is the best way to go - more secure too.
I too tried the repeater method and it made no difference - the repeaters I came across are of two types, one that retransmits on the same channel, so you can wander about the house with your laptop without having to retune, and the type that picks up the original router signal and retransmits on another channel, so there is no chance of interference - but no good if you want to use your laptop on the hoof.
However, I then picked up a BT Broadband router (for free from Freecycle - still shrinkwrapped). I'd heard that they had a better range than normal. I had to flash the router to make it work from my obscure ISP (the BT one will ONLY work with BT unless it is flashed - an easy job). I can now get good signal throughout most the house and an acceptable singal in the "fringe" areas - e.g. at the end of my kitchen. It is worth trying different postions for your router too. I wanted to have mine in the Study, and have my printer cabled in to it, to make the printer wireless from the laptop. I couldn't get the range though, and it is now in a spare bedroom about 2 feet away from where I wanted to use it, but it's 2 feet of solid wall!

Mike
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      06-16-2012, 06:29 PM   #5
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Repeaters are junk

I bought 4 home plugs and setup a couple of wifi routers as access points in addition to the main wifi router, ie turned off dhcp unless it's an actual access point. Set the ssid and password the same and same encryption type. I believe the channels can be different.

Then plug them into the home plugs and other end home plug to router. Providing your on the same electrical circuit the main router will give out dhcp fine. You can also wirelessly roam around the house with almost seamless handover (a device might take literally 2 seconds to hook onto the new signal, no reconnecting manually if all is set up right).

I used a android app called wifi analyser which helped me choose the wifi channels with the most transmitting power and position the wifi boxes. Took me ages to finally get to this solution.

To note: when a home plug says 85mbps expect like 20mbps. Even plugged in adjacent rooms. Get at least 200mbps ones.

Last edited by briers; 06-16-2012 at 06:36 PM.
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      06-17-2012, 04:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briers View Post
Repeaters are junk

I bought 4 home plugs and setup a couple of wifi routers as access points in addition to the main wifi router, ie turned off dhcp unless it's an actual access point. Set the ssid and password the same and same encryption type. I believe the channels can be different.

Then plug them into the home plugs and other end home plug to router. Providing your on the same electrical circuit the main router will give out dhcp fine. You can also wirelessly roam around the house with almost seamless handover (a device might take literally 2 seconds to hook onto the new signal, no reconnecting manually if all is set up right).

I used a android app called wifi analyser which helped me choose the wifi channels with the most transmitting power and position the wifi boxes. Took me ages to finally get to this solution.

To note: when a home plug says 85mbps expect like 20mbps. Even plugged in adjacent rooms. Get at least 200mbps ones.
^^^^
This +1
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      06-17-2012, 05:06 PM   #7
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I have used homeplugs very successfully but have also used a wireless access point (an edimax) which extends the range of my router to use with my iPad. There are several solutions from which you will have to pick according to your circumstances but I would agree with having an n router if your equipment has n capability.
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      06-19-2012, 06:02 AM   #8
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Thanks for the recommendations. Its for residential use, but at the same time I want to buy best kit within reason. Wifi will mainly be used on the ground floor where the modem/router will be. On the second level its more for convenience and on the third level it will hardly be ever used but will be nice to have it going that far.

I'm not going to be able to get a cable through the house because without causing a mess. Cabling makes sense though, and will consider routing it from the outside. But if I go down that route I will need to find some extreme cabling which will cope with extreme winters (-50*c)

If I did get a new router. Say like two TP link routers with multiple modes (router/range extender). Will the range extender require a LAN cable to get the internet to it or will it pick up signals from the router wirelessly?
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      06-19-2012, 06:39 PM   #9
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Repeats wirelessly but like I said if the current signal is weak on the upper floor it will bond to that poor signal producing lower speeds for repeating. Plus I found this setup caused the routers to constantly freeze.

Nothing wrong with trying first but if you find issues just get 2 homeplugs and reconfigure as access points.
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      06-22-2012, 03:17 AM   #10
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I use a TP-Link Range Extender so that I can pick up wireless in my extension and it works fine. I also use Orange branded ethernet homeplugs for streaming to my TV and they work fine as well. Extender was 17 on Amazon and homeplugs were 24 on ebay.
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