Wifi Extender to replace Powerline

Discussion in 'Broadband' started by Davey, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. Davey

    Ian Jackson Guest

    But at least it's supposed to be balanced. And it seems to work, as very
    few radio amateurs have any problems whatsoever with xDSL radiation.
    Funny that!
    Ian Jackson, Jun 28, 2014
    1. Advertisements

  2. Davey

    Martin Brown Guest

    Neither were POTS telephone lines, but in practice they work
    surprisingly well at RF otherwise ADSL would be impossible.
    Martin Brown, Jun 28, 2014
    1. Advertisements

  3. At least with phone lines they add filters so that existing equipment
    that might short circuit the RF can't do so.

    With PLT any equipment that is virtually a short circuit at RF is just
    left there and the PLT devices just blast out higher power to compensate.
    Brian Gregory, Jun 29, 2014
  4. Davey

    Ian Jackson Guest

    That is very true. There must be lots of domestic equipment which has a
    bit of filtering on the mains input, which has a couple of (say) 0.01 uF
    capacitors from the live and the neutral to the earth.
    Ian Jackson, Jun 29, 2014
  5. Davey

    Graham. Guest

    Graham., Jun 29, 2014
  6. Davey

    Ian Jackson Guest

    I'm not really sure what's troubling you that much. While there are a
    few silly comments, there's a fair amount of factual information there.
    [FWIW, 54 years here, BTW!]
    Ian Jackson, Jun 29, 2014
  7. Davey

    Davey Guest

    I was just looking at Wifi Extenders as offered on Amazon, and
    whichever one I look at, whether it's TP-Link or Netgear, there are
    reviews both in great favour and in great denial.
    So, reverting to the original concept of this thread, I am asking for
    recommendations for brand and model of Extenders to do this. Meanwhile,
    I'll look for suitable signal strength monitoring methods.
    BTW, I use Ubuntu, so a Linux application would be more suitable than
    Davey, Jun 29, 2014
  8. Davey

    Graham J Guest

    You've misunderstood my earlier post in reply to this.

    The power output of all WiFi devices is limited by regulation, in order
    that they can be operated license-free. So no make or model will
    necessarily be any better than another. There may be some slight
    difference in receiver sensitivity, so there may be small perforemance
    variations from one model to another.

    However, there are some high power 5GHz models which require you to buy
    a license. An example is the:


    I've used these across open fields in the fens. You still need line of
    sight, but it ought to be possible to run some outdoor grade cat-5 cable
    to a suitable mounting point, taking the other end through the wall to
    your router. Note you have to put the RJ45 connector on the cable AFTER
    you have threaded it through the waterproof bushing, so make sure you
    have a cable tester handy.

    Put one on the house wall, and the other on the roof of your workshop.
    Cable them up to their respective PoE adapters and connect a network
    switch (or 2.4GHz access point) to distribute the service in your workshop.

    Line of sight range is specified to 30km; so your few hundred metres
    might be covered even if it is not line of sight. You might find you
    can bounce the signal off an intermediate wall, perhaps covered in a
    refelective surface.
    Graham J, Jun 29, 2014
  9. If you mean a wireless-to-wireless extender, you need to be aware that
    the maximum data rate will be halved, but if that isn't a problem they
    can work very well. Another solution is to run an ethernet cable from
    the router to an access point at a more favourable position for
    wireless coverage, which will give you the full speed, albeit with a
    cable over part of the route.

    The Edimax EW-7228APn can be configured as an access point, or a
    wireless-to-wireless extender, or a wireless to ethernet bridge
    (effectively a wireless adaptor for computers, printers etc that only
    have ethernet connections), so it's a good one for experimenting.

    There used to be a Linux version of InSSIDer, which only got as far as
    a beta version (I think), but it worked. I don't see any mention of it
    on their website now but it might still be available somewhere. I've
    seen mention of an application called Kismet, but haven't tried it.
    There's bound to be something suitable if you have a look. There's
    even wireless survey software for Android and iPhones now.

    Roderick Stewart, Jun 29, 2014
  10. Davey

    Davey Guest

    I haven't misunderstood your information about power, I was looking for
    help on reliability, as the units offered and reviewed on Amazon all
    had mixed reviews. Apologies for not making that clear.
    That Solwise unit might actually be overkill, looking at the spec.
    Funny that they don't mention the price, unless you go to a different
    And Solwise do seem to offer Homeplugs for most enquiries of this
    I have found that I might be able to able to get a line-of-sight
    location for the Extender, preferably with a remote PSU (wallwart)
    rather than plug-into-wall type, as it would be mounted high up next to
    a window, hidden behind a curtain, so I am back to looking for a
    simple Wifi Extender. I found this (the Solwise site and I just don't
    seem to get on very well together):
    and yes, I know that it needs a wall socket, so it is only a starting
    point for discussion. It has one good and one bad review, but I do not
    intend to buy it anyway.
    I see Edimax as a manufacturer, are they any good? I don't know them
    Davey, Jun 30, 2014
  11. Davey

    Davey Guest

    Thanks. I see you mention Edimax, about which I asked in my reply to
    Graham J. I will look at that unit.
    I dug out a laptop and booted it into Windows 7, and it found several
    networks nearby, with bars representing signal strength.
    Davey, Jun 30, 2014
  12. Davey

    Davey Guest

    Thanks, I'll take a look.
    Davey, Jun 30, 2014
  13. Davey

    Graham J Guest

    Davey wrote:
    All WiFi and powerline Ethernet devices are unreliable; I've seen
    failures from all the makes I've tried (ok so not an exhaustive list).
    When the time comes to replace a failed unit the new model is
    different and requires more learning, different mounting, and such; so
    replacement is always inconvenient.

    I've seen an Engenius unit fail - and that one was on top of a mounting
    pole, so replacement was non-trivial.

    OK so RJ45 sockets mounted in the wall or in Ackermann floor boxes -
    they also fail; but generally the damage is mechanical (users smashing
    chairs into wall sockets, or standing on the patch cables plugged into
    open floor boxes).
    Graham J, Jun 30, 2014
  14. Davey

    Martin Brown Guest

    You have to learn to read between the lines and decide whether the
    reviewer is an expert or a clueless muppet. It usually shows up as an
    item where the average is 3* but distribution of scoring is bimodal with
    a peak at 1* for muppets and 5* for experts.
    The only thing to watch is if you have Apple kit not all chipsets work
    well with them. You can often subvert an old Wifi router into being a
    WIfi extender if you have a spare under its advanced config options.
    Martin Brown, Jun 30, 2014
  15. So will I. Maybe one day I can escape from Microsoft altogether.

    Roderick Stewart, Jun 30, 2014
  16. Davey

    Davey Guest

    I almost have, but not 100%.
    Davey, Jun 30, 2014
  17. Davey

    Davey Guest

    Well, I have no Apple stuff, but I also am very much a novice when it
    comes to playing around with setups and so forth.
    Davey, Jun 30, 2014
  18. Davey

    Davey Guest

    This may not be suitable for my setup, a laptop and a router with Wifi.
    I get "wavemon: no supported wireless interfaces found" when I
    launch it. Maybe it wants Smartphone technology rather than PC
    technology. I have no idea what the 'Orinoco series of cards' means,
    nor wireless kernel extensions, which are listed as requirements.
    Davey, Jun 30, 2014
  19. Davey

    Davey Guest

    The Edimax EW-7228APn is available from CPC. I assume that, despite
    being quoted as 'Supports Win 2000/XP/Vista/7/8, it will also work with
    Linux? Why not? It's purpose here is to allow communication between an
    IP Camera and the router, from which it goes to a Zoneminder PC. Maybe
    the 'supports' reference is more to do with a setup CD and software.
    Even if it needs Windows to set it up, it should work after that on its
    own, with the PC running Linux.
    It also has the 'remote' PSU, which suits me.

    My current IP camera, which is a basic 'starter' unit, needs to be
    replaced by a better unit, so I will look for one of those to order at
    the same time.
    Davey, Jun 30, 2014
  20. Davey

    Graham J Guest

    Davey wrote:
    It's really unlikely that you will actually need the manufacturer's
    setup CD.

    The last time I can remember actually needing one was for a Netgear ME
    102 - it dates from 2003 - needs a USB connection to the Netgear
    management program.

    For the Edimax the documentation should tell you the device's default IP
    address. Set up a computer with a different IP address on the same
    subnet, confirm you can ping the device, then open a web browser at that
    IP address. You should see the setup page for the device. After that
    you should be able to configure it how you want.

    But if you didn't know that already should you really be doing this?
    Graham J, Jun 30, 2014
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.