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Old 01-28-2013, 10:40 AM   #1
MrDudeMan
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Default repeating wifi to a nearby location

I need to repeat a wifi signal to a secondary location and somehow maintain at least 50Mbps (more would be better...). The secondary location is approximately 200ft away from the primary location. See the attached picture for a visual. Running a wire to the secondary location is impossible.

The router at the primary location is a Linksys E2000. I walked to the pink line at the secondary location with my laptop and the signal was 50Mbps with bursts at > 80Mbps. My laptop is only capable of 144Mbps, but the router should be able to do 300Mbps.

I'm not sure which way to go to provide good performance while maintaining cost sensitivity. Ideally this would be accomplished with one device: a wireless repeater or something that could provide the same functionality. The DHCP server is the Linksys E2000 and it would be nice if both locations could use it.

This Ubiquiti AP seems to be a solid choice for range, but I can't figure out if it can act as a repeater or if it will only be an access point. Also, should I be looking at a repeater or should both locations have different wifi networks to prevent the bandwidth/2 problem that I've been told arises from using repeaters?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 01-28-2013, 11:18 AM   #2
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Repeater cuts the Signal by 50% at the point of repeating.

You can maintain the same level by using two units to Repeat.

One AP configured as a Wireless Bridge feeding with a short cable a second unit working as a Regular AP.


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Old 01-28-2013, 11:23 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackMDS View Post
Repeater cuts the Signal by 50% at the point of repeating.

You can maintain the same level by using two units to Repeat.

One AP configured as a Wireless Bridge feeding with a short cable a second unit working as a Regular AP.


Assuming they are on different wifi channels, right?

Also, it should still be possible to get > 50Mbps even with a repeater I think. I'd like to do this with one device if my previous statement is true because of cost, but I'll get two if not.
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:32 PM   #4
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Set up a point-to-point link using Ubiquiti NanoStation M5s between the two buildings and place a second AP in the second building with the same SSID/PSK as the first, but on a different channel.

The point-to-point bridge will get 100mbps at that range, and your clients will connect to whichever one is stronger.

While this seems similar to a repeater, it's really not. A repeater, by virtue of the way it works, cuts your aggregate bandwidth in half. Remember that wireless access points and clients can only send or receive at once, and only to one client at a time. So if the AP is waiting for a response from a device connected to the repeater, nothing else can talk to it. I would recommend staying away from repeaters if at all possible, as it's the surest way to tank the performance of your wireless network.

Use a bridge and a second AP. They'll be the same broadcast domain, but you'll have three separate collision domains instead of just one. Far superior setup.
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:39 PM   #5
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Rating of network hardware is given based on lab and chipset ratings. They has nothing to do with real world functional settings.

While in good Wired networks the actual Functioning is rather close to the ratings a in the Wireless the ratings is No more than some sort of broad indication of chipset used, it has very little to do with the real world functioning.

Wireless hardware ratings does not take into consideration the specific computer that it is used On, the rating and quality of the Antenna (most Entry level so called "Antenna" are just a name to a small piece of wire) and all the environmental factors are Not part of the Data Sheet.

To get 100Mb/sec. 200 feet away using Entry level hardware installation is most of the time an unrealistic goal.

If anything, you should get a strong good AP equipped with good High gain directional Antenna. Connet the AP to the Router via wire and install it in a Window facing directly Zone 2 (assuming that you clear line of sight).

In Zone 2 put in a facing window another AP with good directional Antenna and configure it as a Wireless Bridge.

Then feed with a wire the output of the Bridge to a Wireless Router placed inside Zone 2.



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Old 01-28-2013, 01:41 PM   #6
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I have a linksys EA2700 serving my zone 1 and then a linksys RE1000 serving a similar zone2, which actually has a switch connected to it running a printer and pc (wired), however it can also serve the same SSID. Originally I attempted to put it at the edge of zone 1 as you indicate, but found it works best if it has a stronger signal, then go out from there. I have found it to be quite reliable.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drebo View Post
Set up a point-to-point link using Ubiquiti NanoStation M5s between the two buildings and place a second AP in the second building with the same SSID/PSK as the first, but on a different channel.

The point-to-point bridge will get 100mbps at that range, and your clients will connect to whichever one is stronger.

While this seems similar to a repeater, it's really not. A repeater, by virtue of the way it works, cuts your aggregate bandwidth in half. Remember that wireless access points and clients can only send or receive at once, and only to one client at a time. So if the AP is waiting for a response from a device connected to the repeater, nothing else can talk to it. I would recommend staying away from repeaters if at all possible, as it's the surest way to tank the performance of your wireless network.

Use a bridge and a second AP. They'll be the same broadcast domain, but you'll have three separate collision domains instead of just one. Far superior setup.
Thanks - this seems like a straight forward solution. Why M5 instead of M2 or M900?

Jack - I do have a clear LOS, so I may end up using Nano M5s to do what you said. Depending on cost, though, I may try something like what LongN3ck suggested. I don't know the throughput requirements of Zone 2 yet, which makes this difficult to figure out up front. I'm sure it's substantially lower than Zone 1, but I also don't want to neuter the performance.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:18 AM   #8
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I recommend the M5 so that your backhaul link doesn't have a chance to interfere with your client APs. The M5 is the same price as the M2. You could use any of the three, though. The M900 is not necessary if you have clear line of sight.

In regards to a repeater, it will kill throughput on the ENTIRE network, not just in "zone 2." A client bridge that can rebroadcast is an idea, as it will divide to two collision domains, but it will not be as high performance as a dedicated point-to-point link.
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:09 AM   #9
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I went with two M5s. It's been running for a few months now and the connection has been rock solid. The repeaters are literally miles away from each other and the transmission rate is pegged at 11.1MB/s, which means the wireless link isn't the bottleneck. Impressive.

Thanks again for the help everyone.
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