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How best to improve range.. homeplugs or wireless

tubbs

Active Member
Hi

Hoping for some advice on how best to improve my range and still maintain reliability/speed etc.

My house is fairly big but more rectangle shape than square so my internet has to go a far distance. I have phone sockets at each end of house and in the centre, if I were to put the router at one end then it struggles to reach the other end at all, so currently my router sits in the middle of the house and reaches the office at one side and my av room at the other and works fine, however the mrs doesn't like the box sitting in the hall so here lies the problem. I see a few options and wondered if anyone can offer advice which is better, pros and cons etc.

Option 1 is to place router at one end, then have a wireless repeater say in the middle (roughly where router is now) which would repeat the signal to the av room, would this be the equivalent speed/strength that the av room currently gets from the router in the same spot, or does it weaken every time its repeated? I have on standard O2 Thompson G router, is this even possible of repeating the signal? I know an old netgear router I have cant do it unless the wireless is turned off (or so I was told), thus needing 2 extra wireless repeaters, unless this new product http://www.netgear.co.uk/home/produ...enders/wireless-range-extenders/WN3000RP.aspx can work with any wireless router?

Option 2 is to again place the router in the office, but have it plugged into a homeplug like this dLAN® 200 AV Wireless N ... Application examples ... devolo AG , then the other end that repeats the signal can be picked up in the av room via wireless, would the signal given off by this product be equal to that of a designated repeater or match the current signal of the router placed in same spot?

I think the only difference in option 3 is to have the other end of the homeplug in the av room, this enables direct connection through ethernet and still broadcasts wireless to that end of the house.

Any help and even more/better suggestions welcome, although hard wired cat5 etc is not possible.
 
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themediaman

Active Member
I am on cable so not got any direct experience..........

If you have phone sockets at each end of the house then you could plug in your Thomson G router in one, and your other wireless router, netgear in the other, providing you have more than one filter..........

the netgear can then be configured as a wireless access point by turning of its DHCP function and giving it its own IP address, some fiddling with the two routers broadcasting channells may be needed to avoid interference, someone on here should be able to explain it better than that though.......
 

STdrez625

Banned
Hmm Option 3) Ditch the Mrs and get someone less fussy? (i know you love here deeply, really)

Why not use homeplugs and connect wired in the Avroom. obviously all your kit will require power so the sockets are there, and wired solves a helluva lot of problems?
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
Is the signal strength marginal or non existent with the router in your preferred position?

I had some success in a previous house with an external aerial from these guys who advised on the correct connector.
Solwise - 2.4GHz Indoor Antenna
That pushed a marginal signal into a full strength one - might be worth investigating?

Another trick I saw on the gadget show (but definitely worked) was putting a reflector made out of cardboard covered with foil between the aerial and the outside wall it was next to. I was sceptical it would help but it was a noticeable improvement.

Until recently I had 3 Buffalo branded routers set up as router and 2 WDS repeaters. This was rock solid but not fast enough to stream Freeview recordings from my Windows7 PC to a connected playstation. The signal from any one unit as repeater wasn't better than when it was running in dedicated router mode.

If the cheap and easy antenna and reflector don't make a difference I'd be tempted to look at the homeplug option.
 

beerhunter

Distinguished Member
If you have phone sockets at each end of the house then you could plug in your Thomson G router in one, and your other wireless router, netgear in the other, providing you have more than one filter..........
No the OP can't. It just won't work. You can only have one modem on a line.
 

beerhunter

Distinguished Member
Any help and even more/better suggestions welcome, although hard wired cat5 etc is not possible.
This question get asked at least weekly and so you should start with the WiFi and HomePlug FAQs.

You can definitely improve WiFi coverage by installing extra Access Points. In each case use different channels (At least two channels away from any that are currently in use by you or neighbours.)but the same SSID. That will allow you to "roam". You can connect the Access Points to the router via Ethernet or HomePlugs. (Connecting them to the router via WiFi, like the Netgear Wireless Extender, is not recommended.) Plridcyt like the DLAN WiFi however are recomened and work well but you can achieve the same effect by re-employing olkd kit (see below).

You can convert spare routers into Access Points by switching off their DHCP Servers (Again how to has been posted many times.) and connecting them via Ethernet or HomePlugs.
 
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tubbs

Active Member
If you have phone sockets at each end of the house then you could plug in your Thomson G router in one, and your other wireless router, netgear in the other, providing you have more than one filter..........

the netgear can then be configured as a wireless access point by turning of its DHCP function and giving it its own IP address, some fiddling with the two routers broadcasting channells may be needed to avoid interference, someone on here should be able to explain it better than that though.......

so 2 routers can both pick up the signal on 1 telephone line? I have multi sockets yes but they are all on the same line. I didn't think you could put 2 routers on the same line and have both pick up the broadband :confused:

Hmm Option 3) Ditch the Mrs and get someone less fussy? (i know you love here deeply, really)

Why not use homeplugs and connect wired in the Avroom. obviously all your kit will require power so the sockets are there, and wired solves a helluva lot of problems?

Both of your points are worth considering :D, yes the homeplugs are simple but perhaps the more expensive way, forgot to add I already use my home electric sockets to extend my phone sockets, same kinda thing as the homeplugs but for phone sockets, and in the case of the av room there would be a phone extender and a homeplug both running into there, dont know if one effects the other?

Is the signal strength marginal or non existent with the router in your preferred position?

I had some success in a previous house with an external aerial from these guys who advised on the correct connector.
Solwise - 2.4GHz Indoor Antenna
That pushed a marginal signal into a full strength one - might be worth investigating?

Another trick I saw on the gadget show (but definitely worked) was putting a reflector made out of cardboard covered with foil between the aerial and the outside wall it was next to. I was sceptical it would help but it was a noticeable improvement.

Until recently I had 3 Buffalo branded routers set up as router and 2 WDS repeaters. This was rock solid but not fast enough to stream Freeview recordings from my Windows7 PC to a connected playstation. The signal from any one unit as repeater wasn't better than when it was running in dedicated router mode.

If the cheap and easy antenna and reflector don't make a difference I'd be tempted to look at the homeplug option.

yeah i seen the gadget show ages ago and sure I tried that from the preferred position, its that long since I tried it here I cant recall if the signal was marginal or non existent, I know I did buy a bigger antenna from maplins to try on the router but didn't really help.
 

tubbs

Active Member
This question get asked at least weekly and so you should start with the WiFi and HomePlug FAQs.

You can definitely improve WiFi coverage by installing extra Access Points. In each case use different channels (At least two channels away from any that are currently in use by you or neighbours.)but the same SSID. That will allow you to "roam". You can connect the Access Points to the router via Ethernet or HomePlugs. (Connecting them to the router via WiFi, like the Netgear Wireless Extender, is not recommended.) Plridcyt like the DLAN WiFi however are recomened and work well but you can achieve the same effect by re-employing olkd kit (see below).

You can convert spare routers into Access Points by switching off their DHCP Servers (Again how to has been posted many times.) and connecting them via Ethernet or HomePlugs.

so i don't really need the homeplug kit with wireless, could buy cheaper homeplug and add my spare wireless router with few tweaks? one good thing about the homeplug wireless version tho is if I sit it in the hall its small compact unit, whereas a router in this spot puts me back to square one, although not if I position in AV room which I guess the homeplug is for really.

No. He got it wrong

yeah I was busy posting and seen your original comment thanks.
 

tom 2000

Distinguished Member
I am new to these topics so please be patient.
I have just changed over to a fibre connection and so bought a new Rangemax cable router. All is set up okay. I now have a spare rangemax modem router DG834N. Can I configure the old router as a wireless repeater? If so I do not know where to start and would welcome pointers.
Thanks.
 

beerhunter

Distinguished Member
Can I configure the old router as a wireless repeater?
The answer to that is maybe. In other words I don't know. The reason being that I don't like repeaters because they use up WiFi bandwidth.

However you CAN reconfigure your old router as a Wireless Access Point and Ethernet Switch. How to has been posted here many times because this question gets asked at least one a week. Twice (so far) this week. :D
 

tom 2000

Distinguished Member
Thanks. I shall read further. This is not my field at all, what is? I have fiddled a little and only resulted in some sort of conflict between the two routers loosing Internet access. As I say I will read on.
 

tubbs

Active Member
You can convert spare routers into Access Points by switching off their DHCP Servers (Again how to has been posted many times.) and connecting them via Ethernet or HomePlugs.

I've done this, all seems fine except when connecting xbox to the AP the NAT is strict, I used this guide Disabling DHCP in a Netgear Wireless Router, I then tried the last step "Placing an ATA device into the DMZ of a Netgear Wireless router" but didn't really understand what it was so simply clicked default DMZ server and entered the routers ip address, think thats what it meant. Anyway xbox is still strict using the AP, any ideas?[/SIZE]
 

tubbs

Active Member
You MUST disable DHCP and the "converted" router and, if it is a cable router, you MUST NOT use the WAN port to connect it to the other router.

defo done that, i can connect to the net from the netgear router so it must be working to some degree, just the xbox says the NAT is strict and thats where I'm stuck.
 

themediaman

Active Member
strict NAT, is that not something to do with open ports etc...........maybe try opening specific game ports and forwarding them to the XBOX.......
 

tubbs

Active Member
sorted, was actually the tomson router doing the strict NAT, so a quick re boot sorted that :)
 
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tubbs

Active Member
In each case use different channels (At least two channels away from any that are currently in use by you or neighbours.)but the same SSID. That will allow you to "roam".

As I seem to have this working okay just a bit more curious about the above, if I set both to the same SSID, do the passwords need to be the same also? This will defo work yeah?
 

tubbs

Active Member
beerhunter... one more thing if you can help? all seems to be well apart from the individual devices being able to roam, my blackberry for example seems to seamlessly roam as I walk around the house, however with a pc and xbox at one end of the house it appears you have to disconnect then reconnect to pick up the better signal. I tested this by switching WAP off, the signal drops as they pick up other end of house, switch on WAP they don't auto connect to it until I go through the disconnect/reconnect procedure.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Roaming decisions are made by the client devices rather than the infrastructure (AP's.) Some devices constantly hunt for the best signal, some will doggedly hang on to whatever they are associated with until they absolutely have to let go.

Some devices allow some control and let you tune the behaviour yourself. Quite a few NIC drivers I've seen on Windows have a "roaming agressiveness" setting you can tweak.

Of course, if your gizmo offers no such facility, then you are in the lap of the device manufactuers implementation.

Roaming can be a bad thing if you do it too often. For example, let's imagine you are equally between two AP's and roaming super agressively. Each roam (can) cause a "blip" in the connection as the roam takes place. OK if web surfing, but not so good if you're streaming a video or on a VOIP call (or maybe online gaming.) Thus there's an argument for being somewhat conservative about roaming.
 
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tubbs

Active Member
Roaming can be a bad thing if you do it too often. For example, let's imagine you are equally between two AP's and roaming super agressively. Each roam (can) cause a "blip" in the connection as the roam takes place. OK if web surfing, but not so good if you're streaming a video or on a VOIP call (or maybe online gaming.) Thus there's an argument for being somewhat conservative about roaming.

So maybe just having two SSID's, one for each end of house, apart from mobiles and laptops at least gaming consoles and pc's will have a dedicated AP
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
It's tough to offer simple advice on whether to use multiple SSID or a single one. Both ways have pro's and cons.

Still, it'll cost you nothing to try it both ways. You could give single versus multiple SSID a trial of (say) a week or two each way, and see which you think avails you the greatest benefit/convenience.
 

tubbs

Active Member
Having some difficulties after buying and installing some homeplugs, the plugs themselves work fine, the problem lies with the netgear DG834 that I'm using at the end of the line as a wireless range extender after disabling DHCP as mentioned earlier in this thread. The problem I'm experiencing is incredibly slow download speeds when connecting wireless, when connecting to the Ethernet ports of the Netgear (or direct to the homeplug), in effect using the Netgear as a bridge (I think), the speeds are as expected tested using some speed checkers, however when I pull the cable and connect to the Netgear wireless again the speeds drop to an almost non existent level, in fact the speed checkers just wont even complete the download test, it does perform the ping test and returns an ok result, the few times it has performed the download test and reported terribly figures it funnily enough does the upload test and seems to perform that as expected. I've changed the channel thinking something could be causing interference and although I have found some slight differences there is no real improvement. The wireless router is situated in my tv room beside xbox and plasma.
 
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