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Wireess repeater

Posted on 2012-03-24
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Last Modified: 2012-04-08
I have a situation with a wireless router whose signal is not reaching a particular device.  I've heard I need a wireless repeater but I'm not sure what to look for.  Any guidance in choosing one?
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Question by:jesusislove333333
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by:Serg
Serg earned 140 total points
ID: 37762009
You can use a wireless access point in a "repeater mode", but there is a lot of nuances, issues of compatibility... What wireless router are you using?
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by:masnrock
masnrock earned 140 total points
ID: 37762521
You could do an access point or a router and configure in repeater mode as mentioned? If the device you're worried about is something stationary near an electrical outlet, you could also do powerline networking instead.
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Darr247 earned 140 total points
ID: 37762862
The best solution is running cat5e to expand wireless range. (as unintuitive as that might sound.)
Next-best is powerline networking.
With both of those, you can turn almost any wireless router into an AP (which, for some reason are usually more expensive than wireless routers, though they offer less features) by simply disabling the expansion unit's DHCP server and connecting it (either directly by cat5e or with cat5e via powerline) LAN port to LAN port with the main router. i.e. not using the expansion unit's WAN/Internet port.

3rd best is a Wireless Bridge (aka Client Bridge), with the expansion unit talking to the main unit wirelessly, and client device[s] connected via cat5e to the expansion unit.

4th best is a Repeater, where the expansion unit talks to both the main unit and the client[s] wirelessly. This method cuts bandwidth in half, since the expansion unit has to split its radio time talking to the main unit and the client[s].

The cheapest way to do a repeater is using a WRT54G/WRT54GS/WRT54GL with a semi-directional antenna connectorized to fit, with DD-WRT firmware.
e.g. WRT54GL + 8dBi patch w/4' RP-TNC plug

The cost rises quickly with dual-band and/or highly-directional and/or 11n MIMO.

It's not much more to have non-MIMO 2.4GHz-only 11n setup, though... e.g. WRT160NL + 8dBi patch antenna w/4' RP-SMA plug, and again using DD-WRT firmware in Repeater Bridge mode... which should give about twice the speed (130Mb/s maximum) as an 11b/g-only setup.
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