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WiFi Extender

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Last Modified: 2020-02-17
Hi Experts,

I know that that there are WiFi Extender products, but my question is not for these products, but rather, how to Extend my WiFi?

My apartment is close to 1200SQFT and used to have Bell Canada Internet Residential, which came  with 5 "Bell Pods" with a "Bell 3000" Router/Modem combo and my WiFi was good.

However, as I run a Web Design business from home, for one project I needed to get Static IP which was not offered through Bell Residential, so I upgraded to Bell Business. It comes with "Bell 2000" instead, but much higher down/upload speed 300/900 mbps. They don't provide the Bell Pods for business, saying that they only provide the bare minimum, and I need to build it up, which makes sense.

My networking aren't that great, but I'm not afraid of Router settings neither. So, my question is how can I extend my WiFi in economical sense. A few years ago, I had Rogers that also provided a Modem/Router combo, but I did add my own router and disable Rogers router feature, so I am able to do that as well if the Bell 2000 allows it.

My Bell is Fiber and the Fiber runs through the room with no WiFi, so I am also wonderig if I can take advantage of that by placing a device there, and then a Fiber extension.?However, currently my router in my office with a lots of wired devices.

I also came across https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ie4imVwn9vk, which talks about Samsung SmartThings and I like that signal bounces pod to pod and finds the less congested route. What I don't like is price tag.

Like I mentioned at the beginning, if I need a WiFi Extender that can use the same SSID - great, but I am not even sure how well that will work. I purchased once a WiFi extender, but did not really work well.

Thanks,
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Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
Look at a Mesh System, for a residential unit the size you're describing something like https://www.amplifi.com/instant
Put the supplied router into "bridge" mode and plug it into one of the Ethernet ports on your fibre router.  Arrange the remaining units so you have a series of overlapping circles of WiFi range from them. As you move between the units your WiFi signal is maintained seamlessly in the same way your cell call passes between beacons.
Fred MarshallPrincipal
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Commented:
You could use Netgear Powerline extenders which are similar technology.  PLW1000-100NAS)
There are a number of brands.
I'd be surprised if you need that many wireless ends in 1200 sq ft.
You should be able to add wireless ends like EX3700 - just check to make sure is compatiblel with PLW1000-100NAS.  It should be.
David FavorFractional CTO
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Distinguished Expert 2019

Commented:
Aside: The reason for this question seems to be buried in... "for one project I needed to get Static IP" which is best answered...

Never use a residential ISP for this, as you'll also require multiple backbone connections and a diesel generator to maintain uptime through power outages... for consistent operation of your static IP across all conditions.

Use a public hosting or provisioning company for your static IP (or 100s of static IPs as required).

Then drop the static IP at your residence, opting for a faster non-static IP connection (much cheaper for faster speed).

For super easy + fast WiFi coverage, pickup a Google 3x pack of 802.11ac running over 802.11s (mesh) for $200-$300 from Amazon.

Great coverage + you'll be up + running in a few minutes.
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Commented:
@Fred, the Mesh units don't use Powerline for data they are standalone repeaters they just need a power supply the data is entirely wireless up to the main router/AP,
Yes, that may be too many units, depends on building construction materials mine is mainly stud-work and the wireless router and two separate Mesh extenders work fine https://www.amplifi.com/amplifi-hd  (BTW there are loads of other suppliers, I just happen to like these :))
APD TorontoSoftware Developer

Author

Commented:
Fred, Are you saying...

Buy  only (1) of NETGEAR Powerline 1000 – Essential Edition (PL1010) and connect it with Ethernet as far as I can.

Then the NETGEAR WiFi Range Extender EX2700 - Coverage up to 600 sq.ft. and 10 devices with N300 Wireless Signal Booster & Repeater (up to 300Mbps speed), and Compact Wall Plug Design

will repeat the signal?

Also seems like theres no configuration.
APD TorontoSoftware Developer

Author

Commented:
Will multiple of extenders, actually "extend" the signal, almost linearly?


And can I keep the same SSID on all?
Fred MarshallPrincipal
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Commented:
Well, sometimes it's hard to know how to buy these things because generally they're sold in pairs.  But, nonetheless, there is one "sending" unit and can be multiple "receiving/remote" units .. if you will.  So, to have multiple receive/WiFi units, you have to buy them one at a time.

Here's how they work:
One unit is connected by Ethernet to your gateway router or to your wired LAN at least.
It plugs into a power outlet.
The power lines are used for a type of "wired" communication.

Then, another unit, with wireless access point type capability is plugged into a power outlet at some other location in the builidng.
It picks up the signal from the power line.
It transmits WiFi from there.
So, you might add a number of the latter at various locations in the building.

I've had very good results with these and also disappointing results.
The bigger the building, the more likely there can be limitations.
Also, it is said to help if the units are on the same "leg" of the AC power wiring.  So, some experimentation might be useful.
None of this really has much to do with the WiFi signal though...

Yes, you can keep the same SSID on all.  
That said, you might start out with different SSIDs so you will know what you're testing.
Then, once satisfied, you might make them all the same.

I might suggest that you buy a single pair like the PLW1000-100NAS and then move the WiFi unit around in the building to see what you get in each location.
Then you'll know if it's a good idea overall and how many additional units you might want.
And, if you do it this way then there's no real motivation to use different SSIDs as the testing has been done.
In doing this, you may move the wired unit around a bit from power outlet to outlet in order to get on the same "leg".  But, I've never had to do this.

Powerline extenders are just another item in the toolbox.
They fit where the communication over the AC power lines is adequate.
They don't use up bandwidth like wireless extenders might.
APD TorontoSoftware Developer

Author

Commented:
what do you think about (TL-WPA4220 KIT)
APD TorontoSoftware Developer

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Commented:
Does anyone see any issues with this, and if I set the SSID for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz the same as my Router?
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Commented:
Not convinced you'll get the same coverage but YMMV.
Yes duplicate the router AP settings.  But if all your devices are 5Ghz you'll not see any advantage running in mixed-mode.
2.4GHz is likely to give you better penetration of walls etc.
Principal
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Commented:
The Aigital device is capable as a router, as an access point and as a WIRELESS extender.  
I think you might intend to use the wireless extender mode.  
I usually try to avoid wireless extenders because they eat up bandwidth and because they are harder for folks to figure out how to best use them.
For, example, the placement of a wireless extender is "half way" between the wireless source and the wireless client.  That's often not obvious to the users.  I say "half way" in quotes because there's always attenuation of walls, etc.  The objective would be to get enough signal from the source so that the incoming signal to noise ratio is adequate.  And, then, to get enough signal to noise ratio at the client.  Moving away from "half way" tends to take away from one of those!  But, "half way" is just an arm-waving way of saying that.

The TL-WPA4220 KIT is a powerline extender such as I discussed earlier here.  

I would probably keep the 2.4GHz and 5GHz SSIDs separate but they can be the same for each band.  That way you have a choice re: which one to use.  In fact, I don't know what would happen if you tried to make them the same.  Never tried that!