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Wireless Router "Booster" ?

Old 09-22-14, 10:20 AM
  #1  
Homebrew01
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Wireless Router "Booster" ?

I have a wireless router at home for internet access for laptops & phones. But the signal does not reach to the farthest rooms. So if you are surfing on a smart phone, it uses the phone link instead and sucks up data usage.

The current router is better than the previous, but still not good enough. Is there something like a repeater or booster I can use to push the signal further ? Or do I need a stronger signal from the router ?
Are routers rated by signal strength in some way ?
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Old 09-22-14, 10:34 AM
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Can you still buy a WiFi repeater? They used to be a thing, and some routers used to have a repeater mode also.

I checked, yes, they are still available.

Some routers have interchangeable antennas also, so you could conceivably get bigger ones.
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Old 09-22-14, 01:29 PM
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I had to do both, get a repeater and a bigger antenna for the routr at my last place. The technology has gotten cheap, should be able to get the repeater for ~$20. It just plugs into a power outlet somewhere between the router and the problem area.
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Old 09-22-14, 01:39 PM
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I use an apple airport express to extend my wifi network. Easy to setup and you can stream music through it as well.
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Old 09-22-14, 02:40 PM
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I went the apple networking route with an Airport Express in one end of the house acting as the router and another one on the other end of the house as an extender. This isn't the cheapest approach but it is simple to setup and use. The performance is fine and I stream music through almost constantly.
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Old 09-23-14, 10:06 AM
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I can't remember the brand/model of wifi extender I have, but it works well & was easy to set up. I'll try to remember to check when I get home tonight.
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Old 09-23-14, 10:12 AM
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The AE express is a good suggestion (and it's pretty decent, as others have pointed out) for music. Also you can use your powerline to extend your network. I live in an old home that is tough on my wife network (brick walls throughout the house including the interior). I've had good luck with netgear powerline adapters. You can run it wired from your router and then plug an ethernet cable on the other end or get an adapter that will let you set up a wifi access point.
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Old 09-23-14, 10:26 AM
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I usually just get a wrt54g (l I see them on sale for $35 or so every now and then) or similar, install ddwrt and bridge.

Not usually very easy to set up so your choice depends on what you have more of, time or money, and how much you enjoy tinkering.
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Old 09-23-14, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
I usually just get a wrt54g (l I see them on sale for $35 or so every now and then) or similar, install ddwrt and bridge.

Not usually very easy to set up so your choice depends on what you have more of, time or money, and how much you enjoy tinkering.
this but i use shibby instead of wwdrt on a e900 linksys if i recall
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Old 09-23-14, 03:14 PM
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I've got my router connected through my microwave oven.

1200 Watts, baby!
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Old 09-23-14, 04:06 PM
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It may be more trouble than you are looking for, but you will get much better performance if you pull a cable from your modem to an access point. That's what I did when I had the same problem. The whole project cost a couple hundred bucks and and the better part of a day.
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Old 09-23-14, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
It may be more trouble than you are looking for, but you will get much better performance if you pull a cable from your modem to an access point. That's what I did when I had the same problem. The whole project cost a couple hundred bucks and and the better part of a day.
Are you saying "mount the wireless router in a high, central spot in your house, you fool"?

If so I agree.
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Old 09-23-14, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
...tough on my wife network...
Typo of the year, or living the dream?
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Old 09-23-14, 05:35 PM
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You didn't mention your brand/model of router. Many newer routers have power setting as a security feature. Before you do anything else just check your settings and make sure you are transmitting at a higher level of power.
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Old 09-23-14, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Don Marco View Post
Typo of the year, or living the dream?
A little bit of both!
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Old 09-23-14, 06:02 PM
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This would be a completely different way to solve your problem, but does your cable company offer its own managed routers? Many are starting to offer that now because essentially they serve the dual purpose of serving as home routers and also "hotspots" for other cable subscribers. The bandwidth in the new routers can be segregated so that the public isn't drawing from your allotment.

I have one and the signal is much better than the consumer grade stuff I had before. Might be worth checking into with your provider.
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Old 09-23-14, 07:25 PM
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I got a NetGear EX6100 Wifi Extender at lunch today. It was a bit of a pain to set up, partly to a mistake in the instructions, but they have free chat help for 90 days I think. It works well, but the downside that I didn't realize until near the end is that it actually creates a separate network name, so you have to connect to the new Netgear network, instead of the original. With a smartphone, I can envision scenarios where you might have to toggle back & forth between networks depending on which part of the house you're in.

I thought it would be a simple "repeater" that would send/recieve signals. But it will be fine.
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Old 09-23-14, 07:44 PM
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That should resolve your issues just fine, well done.
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Old 09-23-14, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by gl98115 View Post
I've got my router connected through my microwave oven.

1200 Watts, baby!
Yeah, but it's on a timer...
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Old 09-23-14, 09:38 PM
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I had an old WRT54G with the high-gain antennas... man, I had great coverage clear across the yard and in the detached garage and probably across the street (but I never tried it).
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Old 09-23-14, 10:02 PM
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I got tired of the pains of setting up wireless years ago. I just have a hardwire router and a 100' network cable running through the Attic into the bedroom from when I rented the room out.
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Old 09-23-14, 10:20 PM
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I use a passive PoE(Power over Ethernet) setup to put another router in the middle of my apt for wifi coverage. The trick is to turn DHCP **OFF** on the secondary router to avoid IP address conflicts, and connect the network connection to LAN port, not the WAN. How far between your current router and the dead zone(ethernet has a theoretical run of 350ish feet)?
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Old 09-25-14, 08:45 AM
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Sorry for the late response, but I finally remembered to look at the extender I have.

It's an EnGenius ERB9250. It was simple to set up (connect it to a computer via ethernet, log in & adjust settings, disconnect & go), and works great. And unlike the Netgear you picked up, it maintains the existing network name so switching off between signals is seamless.

Surely there has to be a way for the Netgear to have the same network name as your existing network?
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