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Post new topic WIFI Extenders?
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Author Topic:  WIFI Extenders?
Len Amaral


From:
Rehoboth,MA 02769
Post  Posted 7 Mar 2019 7:43 pm    
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Trying to get WiFi in my workshop about 120 feet from the house. Tried buying a WIFI extender/repeater to boost the signal. Anyway, it didn’t work so I returned it.

Anyone know of a booster gizmo to get better service? There are many of these things available and I was told some are better than others.
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Wiz Feinberg


From:
Mid-Michigan, USA
Post  Posted 7 Mar 2019 8:00 pm    
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Wireless extenders are usually most effective when they are placed halfway between the router and the room you are trying to reach. If the total air distance between the router and room is 120 feet, the extender should be 60 feet from both ends.

The channel and band also makes a difference. The 2.4ghz band travels farther and penetrates walls better than the 5ghz band. But, the 5ghz band has much higher data transfer rates. At 60 foot distances, the 2.4 gig range will reach farther. So, an extender should connect to that band on your router, then forward it on to the destination.

Your router should have select-able frequencies available for both the 2.4 and 5 gig bands. Sometimes other signals can interfere if they are on the same channel. Switching to a lower channel on the router and extender can overcome this interference.
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Len Amaral


From:
Rehoboth,MA 02769
Post  Posted 7 Mar 2019 8:39 pm    
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Wiz, thank yo so much for the info. Do you have any suggestion on the brand or model of the WIFI extender? I bought a Linsky that was supposed to have a 1,900 sq ft range but didn’t make a difference even moving it around the house.
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Jim Smith


From:
Valley Ranch (north Irving), TX, USA
Post  Posted 7 Mar 2019 9:43 pm    
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1900 square feet is less than 44x44 feet so there's no way it would reach 60 feet in either direction.
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Wiz Feinberg


From:
Mid-Michigan, USA
Post  Posted 8 Mar 2019 9:04 am    
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You will need an extender that has movable antennas to focus the beam. It will help if your router also has some antennas that can be aimed towards the out-building.

You will probably need to upgrade the router to something new and top of the line, with multiple antennas. Extenders and transmit a signal to a second extender to get longer reach. You just have to match the band, channel and SSID (and security codes).
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post  Posted 8 Mar 2019 10:27 am    
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I haven't researched it, but there are adapters to get connectivity via the AC power line. If you wanted wired Ethernet connectivity that would be one option. Connect an RJ45 Ethernet cable from the router to the AC power line adapter and in the remote workshop connect the PC wired to an AC power line adapter. Are there Wi-Fi to AC power line adapters? If they are that would be another alternative.
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Ken Boi


From:
Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 11 Mar 2019 5:37 am    
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Jack Stoner wrote:
I haven't researched it, but there are adapters to get connectivity via the AC power line. If you wanted wired Ethernet connectivity that would be one option. Connect an RJ45 Ethernet cable from the router to the AC power line adapter and in the remote workshop connect the PC wired to an AC power line adapter.


I use the Netgear XE104 Powerline in my home. Some years back I needed internet to a same floor room and also to an upstairs location and wasn't ready to run direct line through floors and walls (at the time, WIFI wasn't quite as robust as it has become today). It has served my purposes well. The associated app claims I am getting around 70Mbs to a local adapter and 25Mbps to the upstairs one (note that I have 250Mbps internet service). The speed depends on quality of the wiring, and I would assume distance. At the remote Powerline adapters, I hard-wire connect to my end devices. I would believe you could hard-wire connect a WIFI-router to the remote Powerline adapter to offer WIFI at a distant locale. Remember that all of this is dependent on the entire estate being on the same electrical wiring grid.
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Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post  Posted 11 Mar 2019 5:53 am    
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I have had wi-fi extenders help a lot in extending coverage within a house.

The Google wi-fi system has never failed to work for me with remote buildings.

https://www.amazon.com/Google-WiFi-system-1-Pack-replacement/dp/B01MDJ0HVG/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

Sounds like you would need 2 Google pucks. I've got these running well also in a 3 story house and they have full transmission speeds even on the rooftop.




Here's a review snippet:

"My property has a gazebo in the rear yard (you might have a patio or detached garage) that is a really long distance from the wireless router in the office, which is upstairs, at the front of the house. The gazebo has a flat screen television , ROKU, and Amazon Dot. Trying to stream Netflix or YouTube on the gazebo television was an exercise in frustration, with constant buffering. Alexa was pretty much off line every time I tried to use it.

Making matters worse, my home has terrible cellular coverage, so I rely on the Wi-Fi Calling setting on my iPhone to make and receive phone calls while at home. Even though I have a really good wireless router, calls were really hit and miss unless we were close to the router.

I installed three Google Wi-Fi pucks, I’ll call them, and the result was more than I had hoped for. The first is next to the computer in the office upstairs, the second is basically beneath that one on the floor below, and the third is as far back in the house as I could place it so that it would hopefully cover the gazebo.

My direct cable connection in the office had always clocked in at a solid 100 Mbps, with the downstairs computer at about 30 Mbps and the gazebo at 7 Mbps on a good day. The 30 Mbps wasn't terrible, but it's frustrating to be limited to 30 (or, ugh, 7) when you are paying for 100, simply because you are having to use a wireless connection. With the Google pucks installed (installation was sooo easy), I now get 100 Mbps at EACH puck, and the speed at the gazebo is over 30Mbps. What a joy to be able to use the outside television with lighting fast response and no buffering. Equally exciting, I can now use my cell phone anywhere in the house or out in the gazebo.

Here is the important point I want to pass along. Logic may not dictate the best placement of the pucks. It seemed logical to me that I would place the second puck in a line-of-sight position from the first, in a position that looks down on the third puck by the back door. But even though the app reported that everything was fine and dandy, when I tested the relative strengths of the pucks (easy to do with the app), number 2 reported only as “fair”, and the downstairs computer was only hitting 30 Mbps. I then tried moving number 2 to the ground floor, right next to the computer. That seemed counter-intuitive since number 1 now had to broadcast through a floor, and there was now a wall between 2 and 3, but with that change the remote pucks both showed as “great” and the connection speed jumped to 100 Mbps."
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Scott Duckworth


From:
Etowah, TN Western Foothills of the Smokies
Post  Posted 11 Mar 2019 6:44 am    
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You could run an outdoor rated CAT 5 cables from the house router to another router in the shop...
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Wiz Feinberg


From:
Mid-Michigan, USA
Post  Posted 11 Mar 2019 7:26 am    
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Scott Duckworth wrote:
You could run an outdoor rated CAT 5 cables from the house router to another router in the shop...


Cat 5 is outdated for modern Internet speeds from cable Internet providers. I recommend Cat 6e.
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Dale Foreman


From:
Crowley Louisiana, USA
Post  Posted 11 Mar 2019 8:14 am     Wifi
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Well, you could setup a fiber optic network!
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Jim Cooley


From:
The 'Ville, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 11 Mar 2019 10:39 am    
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I struggled with an unreliable signal in my house for a few years. I tried extender after extender, but none of them could do the job. I finally bought a Netgear Orbi. It is one of several WiFi mesh networks on the market. A mesh system typically has a base unit that connects to your existing modem via a Cat cable. The base unit then connects with a satellite unit or two placed elsewhere in your house. They "mesh" together set up their own WiFi network. The Google unit that Greg Cutshaw described above is another mesh product. There are several Orbi units varying in capable signal strength. I bought RBK 50, which the most powerful of that line. It is advertised to cover 5,000 square foor house. Mine is 2200. I didn't really need its full capability, but I found it on sale cheaper than my second choice, the Orbi RBK 40, or a Google 3-puck system.

Most of these systems have security features that allow you to rename the system and set up your own login credentials. Mine also has connections on the base and satellite units for other WiFi enabled units. For instance, my wife always complained about loss of signal strength to her ROKU. I connected a Cat cable from the Orbi to the ROKU, and now she can watch ROKU programming without interruption. You can also connect a smart TV, laptop, and other devices.

This isn't an Orbi commercial. There are other reliable products. I chose the Orbi because the other brands I was interested in require the user to be connected to Amazon Alexa or Google Home 24 hours per day. I didn't want that. Orbi has Alexa capability, but is it optional. I tested my download and upload speeds in my back yard, and now receive the same signal strength in the farthest corner of the yard as I do sitting here on a wired connection three feet from my modem.

One point to note is that neither an extender nor a mesh system can increase your WiFi signal strength beyond your incoming service's capability. For example, if you now get 20mbps download speed, you won't exceed that with one of these systems. As in my case, it can substantially increase your WiFi range, which amounted to the same thing for me.


Last edited by Jim Cooley on 11 Mar 2019 7:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post  Posted 11 Mar 2019 11:51 am    
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Running a hardwired cable always works best for remote buildings and is not expensive if you bury the cable yourself. Just plug in another router at the remote end of the cable and use it as a wireless point or 4 port switch!
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Godfrey Arthur


From:
3rd Rock
Post  Posted 28 Mar 2019 6:49 am    
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Although I'm not a fan of WIFI as 2.4ghz is the same frequency microwaves use to cook meat: Whoa!

Best to run hardwired, bury it in weatherproof conduit and as suggested put a router on the end of the cable.

Same thing if you enjoy flexneck out by the gazebo.

When in doubt, cable it out!

How much mobility do we really need?

If you have access to fiber optic, then go that route but keep in mind that optic cables can get dirty ends which means you have to dig them up to clean them and all that goes with that.

The more things change, the more they remain the same.
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