Extending WiFi Coverage

Discussion in 'Networking' started by Hellhammer, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. Hellhammer

    Hellhammer AnandTech Emeritus

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    The situation: I live in a four-floor house, which means there is quite a bit area for WiFi to cover. The router and modem are located in the bottom floor and as a result, the WiFi signal upstairs is fairly poor (keeps dropping by time to time). My parents' office and my sister's room are located on the top floor and frankly they are quite annoyed by the fact that the WiFi is unreliable. So, (obviously) they asked me to do something about it.

    There is no Ethernet wired around the house and moving the router isn't really an option (there aren't any better spots for it). However, the WiFi is fine in most of the top floor (e.g. kitchen gets full signal and never drops) so it's really only the office and my sister's room where the WiFi sucks.

    I guess what I'm asking here is: Is it possible to buy for example another router and wirelessly extend the WiFi coverage? Note that there are no Ethernet ports upstairs and running a wire from the current router to a new one isn't an option either. Basically, can the second router pick up the signal from the main router and extend it? Like I said, the signal is fine in the kitchen so the second router could be placed there.

    Thanks to everyone in advance. I'll be straight here and just admit that I know pretty close to nothing about networking and hate it in every possible form.
     
  2. ControlD

    ControlD Diamond Member

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    It could be possible that some routers have built in wireless repeater functionality. If not, you can buy a router that is supported by DD-WRT and then use the wireless repeater function built into DD-WRT. I have been using an old Linksys WRT54G in my house as a repeater and it works pretty well. I now have good coverage in my entire house. The only drawback is that you lose half your bandwidth on the repeater due to the nature of having to receive and repeat each packet.
     
  3. s44

    s44 Diamond Member

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    You can't run something like this to a somewhat better position?
     
  4. Hellhammer

    Hellhammer AnandTech Emeritus

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    Thanks. I came by DD-WRT when googling but I prefer a confirmation from an actual person since this is really an area I don't follow.

    Is something like this similar to what you linked?
     
  5. JackMDS

    JackMDS Super Moderator<BR>Elite Member
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    First deal with the Current Main Wireless Router, even a Repeater/Extender solution is pending on it.

    It might be that getting a Good Dual Wireless Router and connecting it with short wire to the current Router (used as an additional Access Point) will be a good first step.

    If you decide to do so, get a Wireless Router that can be flashed with. DD-WRT.

    Then if a repeater is needed you get a second unit that can be flashed with DD-WRT, that process insure that the repeater works.

    The above is Not a theory I have few systems that work this way.

    Wireless devices just like SSDs present a wide gap in performance between what Marketting specs. claim and actual reality.


    :cool:
     
  6. s44

    s44 Diamond Member

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    Actually, the Zyxel is fancier, basically a pre-programmed repeater like you were thinking of setting up yourself.

    The one I linked is a *wired* extender, to get your initial radio output up from the basement a bit so you don't have to mess around with repeating signals and the like.
     
  7. Hellhammer

    Hellhammer AnandTech Emeritus

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    The problem with wires is that there is no good way to pull a wire from the basement to a better location without it looking awful. Will that Zyxel work for what I'm trying to achieve? Bandwidth or anything like that isn't a concern, as long as the connection stops dropping they'll be happy.
     
  8. AD5MB

    AD5MB Member

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  9. DooKey

    DooKey Golden Member

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    Maybe powerline networking is the way to go?
     
  10. s44

    s44 Diamond Member

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    It should be OK.

    You can't run Cat6 along the floor/wall to, say, the staircase up from the basement? The Monoprice is a wall/ceiling mount so it doesn't need a "router" space.

    Powerline might work too, depending on how the house is wired.
     
  11. dirksquarejaw

    dirksquarejaw Member

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  12. JackMDS

    JackMDS Super Moderator<BR>Elite Member
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    Wireless issues is Not a simple affair and it is highly depending on the environment.

    People tend to provide solutions that work in their environment and might Not work in other people environment.

    As an example ceiling AP is suitable for large open space environment on might not work well in your case.

    Extender dependents on chipsets and one device might not work with the others of different chipset.

    Repeater, it does work it cuts the Speed into half.

    So whatever your choice is, if it does not really a "for-sure solution" for your specific environment make sure that you can return the hardware if it does not work.


    :cool:
     
    #12 JackMDS, Nov 24, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012