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Problem with wireless extender

I have an extremely odd issue going on with a wireless extender.  Let me start off by saying I stronly believe in running a cable, but that's just not an option at this point.  We had a Linksys small business router in our main office and a netgear wireless router/extender in a shop about 35-40 yds away.  It worked fine for a year.  A lightning storm blew out the router in the shop.  We replaced it with a new one of almost the same exact model, but it just would not stay connected to the signal.  It would connect, then drop out a few minutes later.  We tried a few different model extenders from different manufacturers, with the same result.  

The one that we finally got working was a Netgear WN3000RP.  It was doing the same thing as the other extenders but we read that there was a known issue with WPS connections failing and causing the connection to drop over and over.  We upgraded the firmware and the connection was finally good.  We also decided to upgrade the Linksys Wireless G router to a newer Netgear N Router.  The signal is 41% and when it connected it was very fast.  So once we got all of this connected and stable it worked for about a month.  Now the connection has dropped and will not connect at all.  At first I could login to the WN3000RP, but after restarting it, I can ping it, but I can't even log in.  So this is about the 5th extender in 1 month.  I've replaced the power strips, cables, restored to factory defaults.....Are these extenders really this cheap?  Or do I have something else going on?
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Sean Rhudy
Asked:
Sean Rhudy
1 Solution
 
garycaseCommented:
Extenders are notoriously unreliable, as they are completely dependent on various elements that can effect the wireless signal between the router and the extender.

I've found this to be a FAR better solution to extending a wireless signal in cases where you can't simply run a cable to another access point (or the system that needs the connection):
http://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-Powerline-Wireless-N-Extender-XAVNB2001/dp/B0046SQ8VW/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1347077421&sr=8-8&keywords=wn3000rp

The only potential issue I can think of for your situation is that the power in the two locations must not be on different transformer legs -- i.e. if you have different main panels the powerline extender may not work.     Only way to know for sure is to try it.

If powerline isn't an option for your situation, is it possible to run a cable for at least part of the distance, so the router and extender are closer together??
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Another solution is point-to-point wireless networks.  They require extra dedicated hardware including narrow beam antennas.  But because of that, they deliver more signal with less interference.  This company handles many different brands:  http://www.gnswireless.com/wireless_bridge_kits.htm
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rindiCommented:
I've been using a netgear wn2000rpt for about an year now without any issues at all, but the router it was connecting to had issues. If the router wasn't working properly I also couldn't connect to the extender (unless I resetted it to factory defaults). Rebooting the router usually helped. Make sure both the router and the extender have the newest firmware.

Also, I strongly advise you to turn WPS off on both the router and the extender. It opens up an attack point to allow the WPA security to be cracked, and it could also be the reason for the issues you have had.
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profgeekCommented:
Is powerline ethernet an option?  I have had good luck extending wireless in this way.  Connect powerline wireless adapter to the area where your extender currently sits and you should get a much better (and consistent) signal.
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Sean RhudyPresidentAuthor Commented:
It's a completely separate structure, so it probably is on its own transformer.  Out of the 3 or 4 different models that I tried, none of them allowed me to turn off WPS, which I was amazed by.
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rindiCommented:
Maybe you just didn't find the option, as it probably isn't called turn off. On mine under WPS settings I have to put a checkbox on "Disable Device's PIN " to turn it off.
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Sean RhudyPresidentAuthor Commented:
Well now I can't even login to it.  I can ping the device, but it doesn't bring up the GUI.
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rindiCommented:
Have you checked the Router, powered that off and then back on? As I mentioned earlier whenever I had issues the problem was the Router and not the Extender.
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Sean RhudyPresidentAuthor Commented:
But if I'm plugged right into the extender, why would the router make a difference?
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rindiCommented:
It get's it's info from the router, like IP, gateway etc. Often if it can't connect properly to the router it also isn't accessible.
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