Spread the love! TechSpot Tech Gift Shortlist 2017

Can't move modem, would setting up wifi router as a repeater help?

By SmartSpot ยท 11 replies
Aug 11, 2017
Post New Reply
  1. I live in a large home and the wifi strength is poor on the top floor. The modem from the ISP can't be moved so I'm wondering what the best approach is? I heard that extenders/repeaters reduce bandwidth, but a router setup as one does not. Since there are other suites in the home, I would like to configure it so I'm the only one who can use the router/repeater/whatever the solution. What are my options? Any advice on specific models or brands are welcome.
     
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,869   +903

    I use an EoP device like this
    This creates one slot connection at the far end of the house where I can then add the WiFI router to serve that location.
     
  3. SmartSpot

    SmartSpot TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Does it need to be on the same breaker (circuit) or can it be on any outlet?
     
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,869   +903

    Mine are not :)(y)
     
  5. SmartSpot

    SmartSpot TS Rookie Topic Starter

    How exactly do these things work? What setup is required? Must the modem be plugged into the same electrical outlet on one of them?
     
  6. Gabriel Pike

    Gabriel Pike TS Enthusiast Posts: 58   +16

    Here is the thing with repeaters. when you set one up it reduces the available bandwidth to half to perform the repeater duplex function. So if you have a WiFi router that is capable of 50 Mbps then adding the second router as a repeater reduces total throughput to 25 Mbps in ideal conditions. If conditions are not perfect then a lower wireless modulation will occur thus reducing throughput to half of the modulation level. So you have a 50 Mbps router in repeater mode but remote side is only modulated to 10 Mbps, available throughput is 5 Mbps. I hope this helps in making this decision.
     
  7. Jollyriffic

    Jollyriffic TS Member Posts: 57   +23

    First thing I would do is buy a good router.
    What most of us in the network field own is a Mikrotik. they are far cheaper than all these junk routers you find at places like walmart bestbuy or other chain retail stores.
    Mikrotiks RouterOS Operating system is light years ahead of everything else on the market. It's got very advanced options, but they have a sort of quick setup for the less inclined users and works just fine without having to do much more than pop in your basic wifi info.
    Just for reference, my brothers $400 router with antenna sticking out of it like some sort of porcupine got 1/4 the range of my $60 Mikrotik router that has no external antenna. His and all other routers I've tested from the chain outlets all also require rebooting pretty much weekly where the Mikrotik simply never needs rebooted.
    here's their AC version https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BMMK4HI/?tag=httpwwwtechsp-20
    here's the one I have https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EQWUZM6/?tag=httpwwwtechsp-20 bought back in dec 2015
    Now should you actually need more signal, you can adjust all the way up to 1000mW but you likely will never need to adjust that.
    Do understand more mW isn't always a good thing, too high and you'll gain more noise in the signal causing speed and/or connection issues.

    if you need more signal strength for some reason, then you could do one or two things. first getting a better wifi adapter for the machine you're using, typically if it came with your computer, they tend to skimp on those parts opting for the cheapest one that has the "keywords' you'll be looking for. other option is to add antenna to the router as a mod.
     
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,869   +903

    Frankly, NEVER heard of Mirkrotk and reports say it's a B**** to configure. In some product areas, you really do get more bang for your buck and get what you pay for. I've always favored Netgear for decades and found them to be reliable and easy to configure. Suggest anyone interested in Routers review this first.
     
  9. Gabriel Pike

    Gabriel Pike TS Enthusiast Posts: 58   +16

    Mikrotiks are the best kept secret in the industry. They are painful to configure if you do not have serious routing experience. Same level of difficulty as Cisco or Juniper. What is said above though is correct. Nothing else in the industry performs as well for the price. I use a Mikrotik 2011 at my head end and Unifi AC-LR for wireless but this is not a setup for beginners or even most home users. However the flexibility of a Mikrotik is like having a network Swiss army knife.
     
  10. Jollyriffic

    Jollyriffic TS Member Posts: 57   +23

    The mirkrotik routers are like 900x easier to setup than netgear or any other router for that matter.
    You know that feeling when you use a weak computer/tablet, then jump on a monster rig.. that's the same feeling I get when working on friends or clients routers to set them up correctly. anything you get at normal stores is like a cpu from 2001 and the mirkrotk is like jumping up to a threadripper.
    They are ultra easy to configure you can do the simple stuff like this singular page and nothing else needs configured
    [​IMG]

    OR if you want to get all technical and configure your own custom stuff in the router, you flip to the webfig or terminal tabs and you can do things the other routers simply just have no way of doing.
    Once you use a router like this, you'll be disgusted by how garbage every router you've ever used actually is and the ridiculous prices they charge for the junk they are selling.

    You really only need to set the network name and wifi password, that's it.
    But if you want to do something custom, like put adblock on the router, you can look up a guide and follow it.
     
  11. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,869   +903

    Searching online, Amazon is the sole retailer for the U.S. domestic market. I find retailers in the Philippines, Australia and one for the EU.

    I am sure your recommendations are well founded, but with technologies, I've found that "when in Rome do as the Roman's do" at least gives me access to others with various experiences and which might be able to pull me out of the mud.
     
  12. Gabriel Pike

    Gabriel Pike TS Enthusiast Posts: 58   +16

    Here is where I buy all of my networking gear. Keep in mind most of what I do is more commercial in nature.

    http://www.doubleradius.com/
     

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...