Wireless extender

janhoedt
janhoedt used Ask the Experts™
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Hi,

I have a wireless router for my home network (cable). Now I would like to have, on the same wireless network as my router an extra wireless access point to widen the range of my wireless network.

So in short:

INTERNET => WIRELESS ROUTER with some pc's attached => wireless accesspoint with some devices + wireless to which some wireless pc's can connect

Maybe it's not all clear, but it isn't totally to me either. I just want to figure out what extra device I need to buy. My current router is a Linksys E3000 with GB ports and wireless on it. On of these GB ports I would like to use to put a switch on (again some pc's on it) which has also possibility to give wireless access, but this should be the same ip-range/network  as the router.

I hope we can figure out what device I need to buy.
Thanks.
J.
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Commented:
I have had a good experience with these tiny devices in Access Point mode:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833320025

There are two ways to extend the range of a wireless network:
1. Access Point connected to your main Wireless Router via network cable (there can be physical switches in between if you want).
2. Wireless Repeater not requiring any cabling - they simply hear a wireless network name and repeat it.

Wireless Repeaters aren't as good as they sound - they cause WiFi echos and add lots of latency to a wireless network.  I'm told one wireless repeater can be ok but have had horrible network performance even running just one.

The good home-use access points are generally easy to setup.  You tell them they are an access point for your wireless network name (as opposed to wireless router) using a web-based wizard built into them and plug them into either your wireless router's built-in hub, or into a switch that is in turn plugged into your wirelss router.

Author

Commented:
Ok, so I'll go for option 1.
My current router is fully configured for all my internal pc's (port forwarding, gaming etc).
This wireless access point doesn't distribute ip's (DHCP) but is an extension of my lan/will just extend my wired network ...?
I do will have two wireless networks (my router and the wireless access point). Not sure how I should configure this so my lan (10.158.123.x) won't be split up.
Commented:
Right, the AP won't do any distributing of IPs on its own.  APs are basically helpers and try to be as invisible as possible.  Think of them as managed hubs letting our wireless router still be in charge.  APs can live in our normal IP address space and take on the name of our regular wireless network - they won't show up separately in wireless network lists or anything like that and we don't have to add any new subnets to our network.  I do like to give them a static IP address just so I know what address to connect my web browser to if I ever want to reconfigure them.

The general setup process varies from AP to AP but assuming they have a setup wizard it should go something like this:
- Get the default IP from the instructions
- Plug the AP in and connect your web browser to the APs default IP (you might have to change your own NIC temporarily to be able to talk to the default IP).
- If there's a setup wizard it should ask you if you want it in AP mode, router mode, repeater mode, or adapter mode.  Choose AP mode.
- It should ask what wireless network the AP will live in.  Just give it the name of your main wireless network.
- At some point it will let you specify the APs IP address.  Just give it an IP address from your normal LAN IP address range.

Author

Commented:
Great, thanks!

Author

Commented:
One more thing, could you give me a good wireless access point (Netgear, Linksys ...) that has 300 mbps and is good price/quality?

Author

Commented:
... which has also 1 gb switch-ports ... cause I'd need this for my servers.

Author

Commented:

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