Anyone have any recommendations on how to extend range of my wireless network within my house? I have a Linksys WRT54GL. The wireless is good on 1st floor of my house but fades in and out on edges of 2nd floor.
I wasn't sure how to extend the signal but after doing some research, it seems like what I need a repeater. There are so many out there that I'm having a hard time deciding what to get.
Would love to hear from the gang here on your experiences with them and any recommendations you may have.
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A wireless repeater / bridge / access point usually cost more than a router, though they have lesser functions. Best solution, get a cheap wireless router (refurbish will work too), and preferably ones compatible with DD-WRT firmware. Turn off DHCP for this second router, then setup it up as a wireless repeater bridge. If wireless repeater bridge is not part of the function of the original firmware, flash it with DD-WRT firmware, which will give you the functionality.
Keep in mind that repeaters can introduce their own issues.
Antenna relocation and/or using high-gain antennas are also possible relatively low-cost remedies for a local range problem. It is also EASY to make your own high-gain (e.g. 15+dB) antennas. If you go for a retail antenna, look for quality, not just price. Similarly to cables in the marketplace, there are high quality inexpensive antennas and poor quality very expensive antennas. Can search HWA for more on this.
Even if a given device doesn't have a detachable antenna, it may be more worthwhile to replace it with a unit that does, instead of going the repeater route.
So I can in effect "daisy chain" wireless routers? Does the second router pick up the signal from the first? Reason I ask is that I have no hard wiring on 2nd floor and don't want the hassle of doing that.
My suggestion is to just get a new higher end dual band router. In the long run you will save money and the hassle. Plus you'll most likely get much better coverage and performance.
For example, I would go out and get either a Netgear wndr-3700 (older model) / wndr 4000 (newer model) or a Cisco/Linksys 4500. Both are dual band 2.4ghz and 5ghz. Change your clients to N 2.4ghz only or 2.4/5ghz adapters.
When I went from a wore out WRT54G to a NetGear wndr-3700 it was like day and night. I had stronger power and reach going from G to N. AND since the processor in the newer router, the speed both in transferring wirelessly and wired improved greatly, due to faster processor, gigabit lan ports, more internal memory, stronger wireless signal, and faster speed of N over G.
If you want to test this theory out, I would do is go to a retailer that has a good return policy, get one of the routers I mentioned, test it out compared to your current setup.... If it does not work out... then just do a return. Then you can go the route of add a wireless repeater to your current setup.
As John mentioned, adding a repeater can introduce new issues that you wont have without it. Plus the added costs with the possible of it being just as much as if you were to buy a new mid grade wireless router. The two router I mentioned are considered the higher end of the consumer routers.
If you got the IP bandwidth...... I'd go with a new faster wireless router and retire that WRT54G router.
Something just occurred to me. A few months ago I got Time Warner to upgrade my broadband (for free if you believe it or not) and part of that included a new cable modem which apparently is also a router. It has 4 ports in the back and I think the guy also said it can be a wireless router but I told him I didn't want to use it that way for a couple of reasons:
- I already had the wireless router mentioned above
- the modem is in the basement next to my desk and I was worried about the signal getting upstairs
The modem is a Motorola SURFboard SBG6580
Anyone familiar with that model? Before I go out and buy another wireless router, I'm wondering if I could just move the modem up to the 1st floor and use it as my wireless router also.
Excellent David, the Motorola SURFboard SBG6580 is a gigabits, wireless N, modem / router / switch 3 in one unit. You should utilize it, since you're probably paying monthly rent for the unit, and you're currently only using part of its power. The default IP for the unit is 192.168.100.1. You should setup your computer to a static IP of the same subnet (e.g. 192.168.100.10), then wire up (cat5 or 6) your computer to one the LAN ports of the modem. Get into the unit using a browser and the its IP above. Default username is "admin" and password is "motorola". Go into the setup to re-enable the wireless function and set it up to the settings you want.
Test the modem to see how good the wireless coverage. You can move the modem around the house, as long as you have a cox cable in the proximity. Hope you have one those houses that already have cable through the walls of the house to different locations. If modem already give good coverage, great, retire the WRT54GL. If not, use the WRT54GL as your wireless repeater bridge. You need to flash it with DD-WRT to do that. Depended on your technical level, it may be a bit of challenge and keep in mind that flashing firmware always runs the risks of turning the router into a brick. But I am sure members in this forum can give you some guidance, if you ended up going that route.
I also have a motorola SURFboard SBG6580 located in the corner of our basement office. It's great, but doesn't reach the farthest reaches of the main floor. I also have a SBG901 wireless cable modem sitting in the closet. How would I go about converting the SBG901 into a repeater? Is that possible?
The quest for great wireless connectivity continues. I've given up on the Motorola SURFboard SBG6580. The reception with it was even worse. It could have something to do with the placement but I also didn't like that I had to contact TWC to get wi-fi functionality turned on and off as I was doing testing. If you've ever contacted TWC's tech support you know what I'm talking about.
So I ended up buying the ASUS RT-N56U. Because I don't have to string coax for it, I have a bit more flexibility on where to place it and I don't have to deal with the TWC nonsense. Reception is better but I'm still having some problems.
I'll make another post because I have a few questions but they're not exactly related to the original topic.