Increasing Wi-Fi Range

Westwood

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 17, 2012
Messages
3,561
Probably stupid questions, but here goes it.

Got the Router/Modem on one far side of the house. Opposite side of the house has nothing.

Do I just plug this:

https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-AC75...56504&sprefix=wifi+range+,aps,169&sr=8-3&th=1

61xNxQEJfkL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

into the wall somewhere near the center of the house, and that's it? No need to run cables or anything?

These things actually work or are they gimmicky?

Thanks.
 
Joined
Dec 1, 2011
Messages
888
WiFi extenders are mostly crap. It might be worth a shot, given the relatively low cost, but don't be surprised if they are flaky and cut into your usable WiFi bandwidth. Be sure to buy from somewhere with a decent return policy.

Is it at all possible to run an ethernet cable to the other end of the house and set up a proper access point? That would be the best solution.

Do you possibly have coax for cable TV (not satellite) near the existing router and the other end of the house? MOCA adapters could be used to extend the network to the second AP location.

Similarly, powerline ethernet adapters are another option. Some even integrate the WiFi AP.
 

daglesj

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
5,287
Yeah if its extending range then powerline and another WAP it is. In the UK I get to deal with a lot of large huses with brick or stone walls. Extenders are always a waste of time.
 

blackmomba

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 5, 2018
Messages
402
TP Link RE450 here and working fine for about 2 months

Not sure what "cutting into your usable wifi bandwidth" means but the way this one works is that it just creates new SSIDs that you use instead of your original ones
 

Vengance_01

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 23, 2001
Messages
6,217
I agree wifi extenders usually suck. Recommend power line over Ethernet if the conditions are right or upgrade wireless to a true mesh wireless systems and dedicated backhaul channel and disable wireless built into router. My 2 cents
 

Logan115

n00b
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Messages
16
Yeah if its extending range then powerline and another WAP it is. In the UK I get to deal with a lot of large huses with brick or stone walls. Extenders are always a waste of time.

Well, I can totally agree with that, sometimes it's all about house construction and extenders will not help. But it also depends on how you vast you can extend your network. I've discovered this website in looking for modem which would be compatible with CenturyLink. And I think that ZyXEL PK5001z is gonna be the best choice for ratio of quality / price. Don't you think?
 
Last edited:

daglesj

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
5,287
The other issue with extenders is the whole 'pass the parcel' way they work, not good for latency I would imagine.
 

Col_Temp

Weaksauce
Joined
Jun 1, 2020
Messages
101
Another consideration is that most of the wireless APs now have such good antenna you really don't need the extenders the way you used to.
I second the run a cable (Make it Cat6 or 7 not 5) and put an AP in the middle or fudged towards the other end.
 

IdiotInCharge

NVIDIA SHILL
Joined
Jun 13, 2003
Messages
14,712
The other issue with extenders is the whole 'pass the parcel' way they work, not good for latency I would imagine.
I assume that it could get pretty bad if the RF environment is congested and that causes issues with the backchannel(s), but in general, we're only talking about a few milliseconds per mesh hop. Basically, not enough to matter for anything except gaming, and even gaming should still be acceptable.
 

daglesj

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
5,287
I assume that it could get pretty bad if the RF environment is congested and that causes issues with the backchannel(s), but in general, we're only talking about a few milliseconds per mesh hop. Basically, not enough to matter for anything except gaming, and even gaming should still be acceptable.

Still a 'pigs ear' solution whichever way you look at it though.
 

Westwood

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 17, 2012
Messages
3,561
AC1350 jobber showed up today. I think I have it all fingered out. I named the two SSID off the extender the exact same as the router. I read that's the way it should be setup. Went out to the shop and still had four bars. Kiddo's room the same. Hard to tell with the SSIDs being the same, but it looks like its connecting just fine.
 

blackmomba

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 5, 2018
Messages
402
Hey where did you read that giving the same name to the new SSIDs was the way to go? My AC1750 gave me the option to use different names so I did
 

IdiotInCharge

NVIDIA SHILL
Joined
Jun 13, 2003
Messages
14,712
Hey where did you read that giving the same name to the new SSIDs was the way to go? My AC1750 gave me the option to use different names so I did
Using the same name may help with device roaming; using different names allows you to force 2.4GHz or 5GHz. One may be more optimal than the other for your situation, and neither is 'perfect'.

Currently, I keep my main AP (a UAP-AC-Pro) with both radios on the same SSID, and I have a secondary AP that uses a different one that I believe I've limited to 2.4GHz only. So far so good in an apartment with rather crowded RF spectrum.
 

ep3w

Gawd
Joined
Apr 4, 2008
Messages
647
The biggest advantage of using the same SSID is your device will handle roaming between the access points without user input. It should be relatively seamless on the user end and will latch on to whatever has the strongest signal.
 

x509

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
2,209
I agree wifi extenders usually suck. Recommend power line over Ethernet if the conditions are right or upgrade wireless to a true mesh wireless systems and dedicated backhaul channel and disable wireless built into router. My 2 cents
My router is a Netgear R8000 Nighthawk X6. Can I keep using this router and build up a true mesh wireless network?
 

ep3w

Gawd
Joined
Apr 4, 2008
Messages
647
My router is a Netgear R8000 Nighthawk X6. Can I keep using this router and build up a true mesh wireless network?

It really depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you want all the access points working in the same "ecosystem" with one management interface, then no. Could you probably piecemeal multiple devices together and create wireless bridges with it? Yes, assuming your router is capable, but you may see some not insignificant performance hits.

You could also disable the wireless functionality of it and only use it as a router with other "mesh" access points.
 

blackmomba

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 5, 2018
Messages
402
Using the same name may help with device roaming; using different names allows you to force 2.4GHz or 5GHz. One may be more optimal than the other for your situation, and neither is 'perfect'.

Currently, I keep my main AP (a UAP-AC-Pro) with both radios on the same SSID, and I have a secondary AP that uses a different one that I believe I've limited to 2.4GHz only. So far so good in an apartment with rather crowded RF spectrum.
The biggest advantage of using the same SSID is your device will handle roaming between the access points without user input. It should be relatively seamless on the user end and will latch on to whatever has the strongest signal.

Thanks guys, great info as per usual
 

x509

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
2,209
It really depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you want all the access points working in the same "ecosystem" with one management interface, then no.
I can live without that.
Could you probably piecemeal multiple devices together and create wireless bridges with it?
That's what I want to do, ideally.
Yes, assuming your router is capable, but you may see some not insignificant performance hits.
Any reason that my router is NOT capable?

This router has 1 2.4 GHz band and 2 5.0 GHz bands. Could I dedicate one of the 5.0 GHz bands to the bridges?
You could also disable the wireless functionality of it and only use it as a router with other "mesh" access points.
How would that work? The cable modem is next to the WiFi router, which is on the first floor of the house. Most of the wireless devices are actually on the second floor, if that matters.
 

ep3w

Gawd
Joined
Apr 4, 2008
Messages
647
Any reason that my router is NOT capable?

Every manufacturer is going to have slightly different implementation of wireless bridges. Based on a quick google search it actually appears your specific router does not support wireless bridge mode (but other netgear routers do). I could be wrong, others more familiar with it may know more, it just depends on whether this functionality is enabled in the firmware or not. I've only attempted wireless uplinks with Ubiquiti devices.

How would that work? The cable modem is next to the WiFi router, which is on the first floor of the house. Most of the wireless devices are actually on the second floor, if that matters.

Remember your "wifi router" is actually a router and a wireless access point in one device. Since it appears yours does not support wireless bridge mode (again I'd double check that) what one setup may look is: cable modem-->router (r8000 w/ the 2.4 and 5ghz radios disabled)-->wireless access point (connected via ethernet). If this wireless access point supported wireless bridges then it could wirelessly link with another wireless access point on the 2nd floor.

Here's an example of a device that's just a wireless access point and supports wireless bridging but there's certainly many options.
https://store.ui.com/collections/unifi-network-access-points/products/unifi-flexhd

Generally your best bet though is use wireless bridges as a last resort as others have suggested. Do you have coax to the second floor? You may be able to use MOCA adapters to get a wired connection to the 2nd floor then put another wired access point (and still use the r8000 as the router and access point on the first floor).
 

x509

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
2,209
Every manufacturer is going to have slightly different implementation of wireless bridges. Based on a quick google search it actually appears your specific router does not support wireless bridge mode (but other netgear routers do). I could be wrong, others more familiar with it may know more, it just depends on whether this functionality is enabled in the firmware or not. I've only attempted wireless uplinks with Ubiquiti devices.



Remember your "wifi router" is actually a router and a wireless access point in one device. Since it appears yours does not support wireless bridge mode (again I'd double check that) what one setup may look is: cable modem-->router (r8000 w/ the 2.4 and 5ghz radios disabled)-->wireless access point (connected via ethernet). If this wireless access point supported wireless bridges then it could wirelessly link with another wireless access point on the 2nd floor.

Here's an example of a device that's just a wireless access point and supports wireless bridging but there's certainly many options.
https://store.ui.com/collections/unifi-network-access-points/products/unifi-flexhd

Generally your best bet though is use wireless bridges as a last resort as others have suggested. Do you have coax to the second floor? You may be able to use MOCA adapters to get a wired connection to the 2nd floor then put another wired access point (and still use the r8000 as the router and access point on the first floor).
ep3w Thanks for all this good info. I actually have two older 5 MHz routers that I was thinking I could somehow use. MOCA to the second floor? I'll have to investigate that. Ethernet to the second floor? A local contractor said, "Sure. $1200+materials." So I'd rather not do that. That all said, used to have a D-Link 1522 (from memory) which did have wireless bridge mode, and I put my laser printer on the LAN directly. Now my laser printer is USB'ed to my desktop, and if my desktop is in hiberation mode, printing doesn't work from other systems. Pain in the tush.
 

x509

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
2,209
1200 + materials to fish wire? What materials? The wallplates?
The wire, etc. Maybe also a $200 bottle of wine for the contractor. :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:

Yeah, that seems like a lot to fish one wire, when there is an attic and a crawl space below the house. But, who knows. Maybe with the lockdown, all these guys are superbusy with people fixing up their homes.
 

ep3w

Gawd
Joined
Apr 4, 2008
Messages
647
Sounds like the quote of someone who doesn't actually want the work.

G.hn over coax is another alternative that's a little cheaper than MOCA adapters BUT it requires the coax be dedicated to it (it cannot share the line with cable tv for example like MOCA can). I've been going through this same issue of how do i get better internet to different floors without putting holes in the walls (or paying someone to put holes in the walls).
 

x509

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
2,209
Question about Ethernet over MOCA. Is that a point-to-point setup? Or could I have one MOCA adapter next to my cable modem + router, and two MOCA adapters in different rooms on the second floor? Just wondering.
 

ep3w

Gawd
Joined
Apr 4, 2008
Messages
647
Either setup would work assuming the coax is all connected together via splitters. You just need one adapter per location you want to access it if that makes sense.
 
Top