Wireless range extenders

Discussion in 'Home Networking' started by Daniel James, Jun 14, 2014.

  1. Daniel James

    Daniel James Guest

    The situation is: Two adjacent stone buildings. There's a WiFi router
    in one building, but not in the other. The WiFi signal from the first
    building can be picked up quite well in just a few places in the second
    building ... but (typically) not where it would be convenient to use

    I was wondering whether the cheap range extenders one sees are any good
    -- something like the TP Link WA730 that can be had for around £15,
    maybe? The kind that plug into a mains socket would be no good because
    the WiFi signal isn't strong at floor level, where the sockets are.

    There's no possibility of running a cable between the buildings, or
    using Powerline/HomePlug.

    I'd be grateful for any insights from others with experience of this
    sort of kit.
    Daniel James, Jun 14, 2014
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  2. I've used them to help people, and it may do what you need. The issue is
    whether it will give a useable signal where you actually want it to, which
    will depend on what there is to block the signal between the amplifier and
    the required location.

    Also bear in mind that these do introduce extra lag into a connection and
    slow it down quite a bit too. Worth bearing in mind.
    Simon Finnigan, Jun 15, 2014
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  3. Because every packet has to be fitted onto the radio medium twice,
    they halve the bandwidth available.

    What about a second Wifi access point or router in the first building,
    but with a directional aerial mounted externally pointed at second
    building? May still not give the coverage you want though.
    Andrew Gabriel, Jun 16, 2014
  4. Daniel James

    Daniel James Guest

    Yes, I'm aware of that ... though I suppose a range extender could
    retransmit on a different channel ...

    The cheap ones I'm looking at don't.
    The immediate concern is a holiday home that is close to the landlords'
    office. We have permission to use the WiFi but the signal is patchy.
    Last time I stayed there the best place to work was standing up with
    the laptop on the pantry window-sill ... I think putting a range
    extender placed there would get usable WiFi to the kitchen table, which
    would be a distinct improvement, and maybe into the lounge.

    This isn't a "business critical" installation -- and I certainly don't
    feel I could ask the landlords to change their setup just for my
    convenience. You're right, though, that would be a better solution --
    so would a lot of things ...

    My question was really along the lines of "I know this isn't the best
    way to do this, but if I do it this way can I get away with cheap kit,
    and what cheap kit would you recommend?"

    If I wanted to spend a little more money I'd probably get a client-mode
    AP and plug that into a powerline device in the pantry, and connect
    that to a powerline WiFi device in the lounge.

    Thanks, though -- to you and to Simon -- for your thoughts.
    Daniel James, Jun 16, 2014
  5. Daniel James

    cl Guest

    I use a TP-Link TL-WA7210-N for exactly this situation (well, it's a
    boat in my case, but very similar). It does the job very well. I
    actually have a wireless router connected to the TP-Link to provide
    local WiFi access but you can do it with just the TP-Link.
    cl, Jun 16, 2014
  6. It still adds quite a bit of lag. For browsing the net the loss of speed
    doesn't really matter mind you.
    Be wary of trying to daisy chain extenders. Difficult to get right and
    bloody slow to boot :)
    It might be worth getting an old router that can take a wifi signal and
    give you a few Ethernet connections to share it on as a secondary mode.
    I.e. It can act as a wireless extender OR share a wife connection over
    Ethernet. That let's you do one option and then upgrade later if wanted
    without needing to replace anything.

    I use a cheap d-link router which cost about £10. But also bear in mind
    that a better router might give a better signal. My new router that cost
    about £100 gives me a much better signal than my older net gear one. As in
    I can get 100 meg on speedtest on the ipad when on the same room, and 20-30
    meg down the end of the garden, about 10m past where the old router stopped
    working entirely, and that was at a couple of meg at best.

    But then again, getting 100 meg over wifi only helps if your net connection
    can feed the data that quickly ;-)
    Simon Finnigan, Jun 16, 2014
  7. Daniel James

    Henry Law Guest

    Too much detail for this newsgroup ...
    Henry Law, Jun 16, 2014

  8. You know what I mean :)
    Simon Finnigan, Jun 17, 2014
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