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  1. #1
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    Extending A Wireless Network?

    Hi,

    My brother has a wireless network but lives in a large old house with thick walls and the wireless coverage from his router isn't good (some clients can't get a connection in some parts of the house. What I want to do is to attach a wireless device to the end of a network cable running from his primary router and so extend the wireless coverage without, if possible, any additional configuration and I am looking at wireless access points, wireless repeaters and wireless boosters ... I am a bit confused by them, are they the same or different and if the latter what does each do?

    Kyu

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    Re: Extending A Wireless Network?

    Kyu, this has a pretty good explanation for your options. Schematics play a big part in the setup of the network. Off the cuff, I'd say a hi-gain antenna on the main router and repeater(s) would be the best option.
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Re: Extending A Wireless Network?

    I've just (well, on Saturday!) installed this to act as a wireless access point* which I can carry around with me from room to room and just plug into a 13A socket, wherever the laptop and I happen to be at the time. You just need an ordinary homeplug at the router end, with a patch cable going from it to one of the router ports.

    See the possibilities of this idea in the diagrams. An alternative would be to scrub the idea of wireless entirely, and just have a homeplug with an ethernet patch cable in each room where you want to connect a PC/laptop.

    I've had a pair of ordinary homeplugs (the 'nominal' 85 Mbps ones) for nearly two years, to connect downstairs to upstairs, when I couldn't get my Buffalo wireless router to send a wireless signal through several walls at a sharp angle and near a water tank. And that was with a high-gain antenna with ever so many dB! A third 'ordinary' homeplug of a completely different make joined the (LAN) network on Saturday as soon as it was plugged into a 13A socket!

    * I think you can set this Wireless access point up alternatively as a wireless client (presumably to act as a second source/repeater of the same wireless network), but I haven't looked into this. Perhaps use it in a fixed location to set up a second network on a different channel, and connect to whichever wireless network happens to have the stronger signal wherever you are at the time?
    BATcher

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  4. #4
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    Re: Extending A Wireless Network?

    Wow...I think I'm going to go buy a set of those! Very neat.
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  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Extending A Wireless Network?

    I would recommend installing two (or more) Wireless Access Points. Set them up to use separate channels, and configure your portable PCs to use a channel somewhere in between. For example, I have one access point that uses Channel 11, a second access point that uses channel 3 and all my laptops set to channel 7. Roaming takes care of the rest.

    I ran a single ethernet cable around to connect my second access point, but I really like <!profile=Batcher>Batcher<!/profile>'s suggestion of using your house power to hook up additional access points.

    StuartR

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    Re: Extending A Wireless Network?

    So a wireless access point allows clients to attach to the original router without significant configuration, yes?

    Kyu

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    Re: Extending A Wireless Network?

    Each Wireless Access Point allows users to connect to your network. They all need to be configured, by setting the SSID, Encryption type and password, Channel Number etc.

    When you refer to your router, I guess that you have a device that is router, wireless access point, DHCP server and many other things all built in. I also assume that you have already configured the wireless network on your router. You should configure the second wireless access point identically, except for the channel number where you should aim for a separation of at least 6 channels if possible.

    StuartR

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    Re: Extending A Wireless Network?

    So something like this then?

    54Mbps 11g Wireless Access Point with Bridge

    Kyu

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    Re: Extending A Wireless Network?

    That device would do, depending on exactly how you want to set up your home network.

    Most Wireless Access Points only have 1 Ethernet connection, so it may be wiser to buy a second router/wireless access point and set it up to just behave as an access point. This would allow you to connect more Ethernet cables for local fixed devices.

    StuartR

  10. #10
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    Re: Extending A Wireless Network?

    And this?

    TRENDnet 300Mbps Wireless N Access Point

    I think that one is better but it worries me that it is the MIMO tech or whatever ... will it be compatible with the existing networks and 54g clients?

    Kyu

  11. #11
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    Re: Extending A Wireless Network?

    Wireless N devices are compatible with existing 802.11b and 802.11g devices.

    Do you definitely have a way to route a physical Ethernet cable from your existing router to this device? If this could be difficult then have another look at Batcher's suggested solution.

    StuartR

  12. #12
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    Re: Extending A Wireless Network?

    Hi Stuart,

    Yes, the physical cable is there

    Kyu

  13. #13
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    Re: Extending A Wireless Network?

    lol, IMO Batcher's solution is a better option all around. It offers easy expandability
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    Re: Extending A Wireless Network?

    Not quite the same problem but I just extended my own network using an old Netgear modem router ... in essence I just put it on my physical network (upstairs ... my primary router and connection to t'Internet is in my cellar/office), disabled all the advanced functions and configured a portable to access it.

    It worked fine the only issue would be that if the portable is moved to another part of the house it may lose that signal but my 13 year old daughter (most frequent user of portable in question) is easily capable of reconfiguring wireless connections on it. When I have a bit of spare cash I'll try and get a passive extension that allows free movement (no re-configuration required) around the house

    Kyu

  15. #15
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    Re: Extending A Wireless Network?

    I use an old Linksys wireless router in a very similar way, it routes everything through to my main ADSL/Router/Wireless/do-everything box, including DHCP and DNS requests.

    I have configured both Wireless routers to use the same SSID, encryption method and password. They are on different channels (3 and 11) and the laptops in the house happily roam between them with no user configuration needed.

    StuartR

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