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  #1  
Old 06-02-2012, 5:09 PM
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Question Using a spare wireless router as a repeater

My internet modem and wireless router are downstairs in one corner of the house and my laptop and gaming console are upstairs in the opposite corner of the house. The signal upstairs is pretty poor and its especially frustrating when gaming. I am looking into a cheap and relatively effective way to boost my wireless signal.

I am aware of the option of using an old router as a repeater. I have a some old routers lying around and it seems like an easy enough task from what I have read so far, so I think I will give that a shot. First, however:

Who has done this? Is it effective? Can any old router be used as a repeater or is there more to it?
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  #2  
Old 06-02-2012, 5:38 PM
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Just skip it entirely and get a couple of powerline adapters from Netgear. The used and refurbished ones are pretty inexpensive. Make sure that you're getting two in the package though, or you'll need to buy two.

Thing plugs in to your wall sockets, and CAT 5 from the router to the box, through the electrical wiring in your house, then from the second box through CAT 5 to your computer. They're great, and ten thousand times better than wireless.
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  #3  
Old 06-02-2012, 5:49 PM
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I think Mr. Negativity has the right idea... You can't use a wireless router as a wireless repeater. You would have to hardwire the second router with to the first, then use the same SSID on both. They have the standalone "repeaters" available, but don't work well. Although it's been a few years when I tried one.
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Old 06-02-2012, 6:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter.Steele View Post
Just skip it entirely and get a couple of powerline adapters from Netgear. The used and refurbished ones are pretty inexpensive. Make sure that you're getting two in the package though, or you'll need to buy two.

Thing plugs in to your wall sockets, and CAT 5 from the router to the box, through the electrical wiring in your house, then from the second box through CAT 5 to your computer. They're great, and ten thousand times better than wireless.
Interesting. You use these?
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Old 06-02-2012, 6:44 PM
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While it's possible to do with an old wireless router that's compatible with DD-WRT (and other similar firmware replacement), you will likely lose throughput and increase your ping times... bad for gaming. A hardwired option would most likely be HUGELY better than using a wireless repeater... of any sort for what you're doing.
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Old 06-02-2012, 6:52 PM
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DD-WRT can do it with the compatible router.
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  #7  
Old 06-02-2012, 6:52 PM
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Originally Posted by andrewj View Post
Interesting. You use these?


Yep. It's not the exact same model as that - mine are covered by an NDA so I can't really talk about them - but they're substantially similar to those that I linked.

Speed is quite good. You're not going to get gigabit speeds, but it's a HELL of a lot faster than wireless G. Depending on where in the house I am, it's faster than N as well. Powerline adapters, as a general class of thing, work best if you're both outlets are on the same breaker ... but mine aren't, and they're still just awesome. Plugging them into a surge protector doesn't seem to cause any issues with the connection either. Ping times seem to be unaffected - I get the same ping on speedtest.net whether I'm using wired, wireless or powerline connections.

Also, they're completely scalable. So long as you've got one plugged in to your router, you can just keep adding them to other locations in your house wherever you might want ethernet connectivity. I'm going to buy another one (of the type I linked, most likely, since they're directly compatible) and add it behind my television with a 4-port switch (although they do make a powerline adapter with a 4-port switch built in, and I might just do that) because I'd like to have a wired connection to the PS3, Wii, media player box and blu-ray player, so it'll take a little of the load off the wireless network.
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Old 06-02-2012, 7:13 PM
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If you have time warner for a internet provider, they will give you the powerline adapters. I have like four sets in my van.
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Old 06-02-2012, 7:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter.Steele View Post
Just skip it entirely and get a couple of powerline adapters from Netgear. The used and refurbished ones are pretty inexpensive. Make sure that you're getting two in the package though, or you'll need to buy two.

Thing plugs in to your wall sockets, and CAT 5 from the router to the box, through the electrical wiring in your house, then from the second box through CAT 5 to your computer. They're great, and ten thousand times better than wireless.
If you are going to be plugging in your computer anyway why don't you just run a cat5 from the router to the computer
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Old 06-02-2012, 7:26 PM
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Originally Posted by 707electrician View Post
If you are going to be plugging in your computer anyway why don't you just run a cat5 from the router to the computer


Because I'm married and would like to stay that way?
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Old 06-02-2012, 7:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Peter.Steele View Post
Because I'm married and would like to stay that way?
If your wife would divorce you for fishing a cat5 cable in the walls/under the house, you have bigger issues that internet connectivity
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  #12  
Old 06-02-2012, 7:40 PM
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Originally Posted by 707electrician View Post
If your wife would divorce you for fishing a cat5 cable in the walls/under the house, you have bigger issues that internet connectivity
I don't think we all have the proper tools for wall fishing.
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Old 06-02-2012, 7:45 PM
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Originally Posted by boltmopar View Post
I don't think we all have the proper tools for wall fishing.
If you have an electrician friend, they will. Wire coat hangers work just fine though!
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Old 06-02-2012, 7:49 PM
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Unless there is a fire break or what ever their called, or if your my mom who wants one in a room with a vaulted ceiling on an exterior wall. Crazy mom making me waste my saturday.
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  #15  
Old 06-02-2012, 8:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 707electrician View Post
If your wife would divorce you for fishing a cat5 cable in the walls/under the house, you have bigger issues that internet connectivity

I know how to wall fish.

However, my wife has never seen this skill demonstrated, and unless she sees it demonstrated, she refuses to believe that it exists. I refuse to pay someone else to do something I can do just fine on my own. (Actually, this is what she said about surround sound speakers, but it can be extended to any sort of household wiring.)

Therefore, powerline adapters. Cheap, quick, easy and oh so functional.
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Old 06-02-2012, 8:56 PM
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Do you have any cable in the area. I use the Actiontec Ethernet adapter, they work great.

http://www.amazon.com/Actiontec-Ethe...8695645&sr=8-1
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdawg86 View Post
You can't use a wireless router as a wireless repeater.
Well, you really shouldn't say things that just aren't true. There are several open-source router operating systems that you use to reprogram compatible routers to do just this. The Linksys WRT54xx series routers can be used and I "borrowed" a neighbors wifi for several months this way.
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  #18  
Old 06-03-2012, 12:00 AM
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I've used powerline network adapters before and they're a viable option if you have good wiring. Like wireless don't expect sustained throughput at much over 20% of the claimed speed. Amazon has a 500Mb/s (claimed) set of 2 for $92. I haven't tried these but Amazon has a great return policy.
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  #19  
Old 06-03-2012, 12:11 AM
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i have run DD-WRT as a repeater with no issues worked great as expected , but since have moved my whole network to Netgear powerline plugs and wont look back and only keep wifi for a few things we use like the kids Wii .....

in my in my building thats 40+years old i am getting a transfer rate of 215 Mbps works for me ....
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Old 06-03-2012, 8:54 AM
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Also, is there a reason you can't move your modem & router location?
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Old 06-03-2012, 5:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltmopar View Post
If you have time warner for a internet provider, they will give you the powerline adapters. I have like four sets in my van.
I am indeed with Time Warner. I will give them a call and see what they can do for me.
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Old 06-03-2012, 6:33 PM
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use a better antenna system if you cant run cat5 cable

http://www.ccrane.com/antennas/wifi-...A#.T8wQIdWIVRw
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Old 06-04-2012, 1:36 PM
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Sounds like you need a better router. I too have my network come into a corner of my house and had trouble reaching across the house with everything from A,B to G, even MIMO, but my newest router is N and I have no problem anywhere in my house.
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Old 06-04-2012, 1:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biff... View Post
Do you have any cable in the area. I use the Actiontec Ethernet adapter, they work great.

http://www.amazon.com/Actiontec-Ethe...8695645&sr=8-1
Actiontec, and Motorola NIM devices work well for MoCA, on any cable wire piped together. If you can't do copper Cat5 or better, use existing Coax, and use a NIM/MoCA style device as referenced. They work well in a FiOS config, and can talk amongst themselves too. You generally need a splitter that goes from 1-1000MHz if I recall correctly, I just got handed one down that will do 2-2150MHz that used to be used on a direct TV pipe, so I guess if it passes MoCA, you should be fine, but all splitters in every room to be split must support this freq-range being used... if you have a TV, AND also wish to pass MoCA=>Ethernet in the same room.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeepers View Post
i have run DD-WRT as a repeater with no issues worked great as expected , but since have moved my whole network to Netgear powerline plugs and wont look back and only keep wifi for a few things we use like the kids Wii...
Is there major latency when doing retransmit/repeating?
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Old 06-04-2012, 3:06 PM
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I bought a couple of netgear power line adapters about 2 years ago. My house is 4 years old. They work great as long as they are on the same circuit, but don't work at all across the breakered circuits. Have they improved them to work over the entire house now?
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Old 06-04-2012, 4:11 PM
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I would say powerline adapter for the win. I've used DD-WRT for this purpose before and the performance was iffy as hell. Hardline is the best way, but the powerline adapters are going to be way more consistent.
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Old 06-04-2012, 4:11 PM
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I would say powerline adapter for the win. I've used DD-WRT for this purpose before and the performance was iffy as hell. Hardline is the best way, but the powerline adapters are going to be way more consistent than dd-wrt or some kind of range extender..
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Old 06-04-2012, 4:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gorn5150 View Post
I bought a couple of netgear power line adapters about 2 years ago. My house is 4 years old. They work great as long as they are on the same circuit, but don't work at all across the breakered circuits. Have they improved them to work over the entire house now?
You have to add a powerline bridge between the circuits at the main board. The bridge only passes the Ethernet signal (no power). I would suggest a electrician install at least the 1st one.

For most homes a MOCA solution via coax is the best solution for extending throughout the house without mucking with things.
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Old 06-04-2012, 5:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loose_electron View Post
use a better antenna system if you cant run cat5 cable

http://www.ccrane.com/antennas/wifi-...A#.T8wQIdWIVRw
Better signal at the router will not always help, as the return signal capability of the wireless device is just as important.

On the 2.4 band it's very often an interference issue, either noise or co-channel from neighboring systems. Moving to N/5ghz (or A band) is often a the better solution all around if your devices are so capable (Not all 802.11 N devices will work on both the 2.4 & 5 ghz bands).
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Old 06-04-2012, 5:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NSR500 View Post
DD-WRT can do it with the compatible router.
Amen to that. This is what we do in the warehouse to bridge a printer to the far corner of the work area without running any cables. Got an old router running DD-WRT sitting next to the printer and it fills the bill. And you can not beat the price of DD-WRT... It turns a $40 router into a $200 router.

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Old 06-04-2012, 7:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gorn5150 View Post
I bought a couple of netgear power line adapters about 2 years ago. My house is 4 years old. They work great as long as they are on the same circuit, but don't work at all across the breakered circuits. Have they improved them to work over the entire house now?

The product that I have is from Netgear, and it works just fine across different circuits. No problems at all. The speed is substantially slower, but there is no additional latency, and it's still 4-5 times faster than what my internet speed is, so I really don't care. It's a lot faster than wireless in the same location.



Quote:
Originally Posted by socalblue View Post
You have to add a powerline bridge between the circuits at the main board. The bridge only passes the Ethernet signal (no power). I would suggest a electrician install at least the 1st one.

For most homes a MOCA solution via coax is the best solution for extending throughout the house without mucking with things.

Huh? Again, no problems here across different circuits in the house.
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Old 06-04-2012, 9:30 PM
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Default Add a second router at powerline adapter

I had the same problem you did. My ISP issued gateway was upstairs in the corner pretty much covering the upstairs. Downstairs had nothing, maybe one 1 bar. My WII, 2nd PS3 sucked, and of course I sometimes use ipad while eating, etc. Sooo, I put a powerline adapter at modem/gateway upstairs to start it, and put a wireline adapter downstairs in the kitchen area, with a Linksys WRT54G router I had laying around. Plug the ethernet cable into port 1-4,not internet port. It will tell router it is router behind router. I disabled DHCP in linksys so modem/gateway upstairs would still be DHCP server and everything can ping everything. I made my names different so i know which one is which. Wireless coverage solved. I also put a 3rd powerline adapter into master bedroom, and put a 4 port Gigabit switch to serve a desktop and network printer. Im not a network expert by any means but it worked for me. For ipads or mobile devices, it only takes a second to switch wireless networks since passwords are stored.
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Old 06-05-2012, 7:32 AM
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I have the Actiontec supplied by Verizon FiOS and bought a Verizon branded MoCA device off Amazon. Best $70 I spent. Funny part was the tech that came to swap my set-top box out had never seen or heardthe of one.
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Old 06-05-2012, 4:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdawg86 View Post
You can't use a wireless router as a wireless repeater. You would have to hardwire the second router with to the first, then use the same SSID on both. They have the standalone "repeaters" available, but don't work well. Although it's been a few years when I tried one.
You are completely wrong here. With third party firmware such as DD-WRT, OpenWRT, and Tomato you can easily set up a wireless access point to be a repeater.

http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Linking_Routers
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Old 06-05-2012, 4:15 PM
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Interesting. You use these?
Powerline adapters have known issues.
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Old 06-05-2012, 4:17 PM
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Powerline adapters have known issues.
Go on...
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Old 06-05-2012, 4:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Peter.Steele View Post
I know how to wall fish.

However, my wife has never seen this skill demonstrated, and unless she sees it demonstrated, she refuses to believe that it exists. I refuse to pay someone else to do something I can do just fine on my own. (Actually, this is what she said about surround sound speakers, but it can be extended to any sort of household wiring.)

Therefore, powerline adapters. Cheap, quick, easy and oh so functional.
Do it while she is gone then. And I would stay away from powerline adapters. You will have problems with them since the upstairs is more than likely on a different circuit.
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  #38  
Old 06-05-2012, 4:18 PM
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Originally Posted by andrewj View Post
Go on...
Google.
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Oppressors can tyrannize only when they achieve a standing army, an enslaved press, and a disarmed populace. -- James Madison

The Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms. -- Samuel Adams, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 86-87 (Pearce and Hale, eds., Boston, 1850)
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  #39  
Old 06-05-2012, 4:19 PM
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Powerline adapters have known issues.
so what are those issue when compared to WIFI ?

i would like to know what known issues there is with them as i have been Beta testing them for 3-4 years now ....
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Old 06-05-2012, 4:22 PM
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so what are those issue when compared to WIFI ?

i would like to know what known issues there is with them as i have been Beta testing them for 3-4 years now ....
How dare you ask him to elaborate, use google dammit!

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