Multitool.org Forum
+-

Hello Lurker! Remove this ad and much more by logging in.


Wi-Fi Extenders?

us Offline cody6268

  • Absolutely No Life Club
  • *******
    • Posts: 5,560
Wi-Fi Extenders?
on: December 13, 2021, 05:02:36 PM
I'm looking at purchasing a Wi-Fi extender to fix a bit of a complex problem.

I am looking at moving my PC back to where I originally kept my PC--in a computer desk upstairs. The problem is that when I had a PC up there, we had dial-up (and there is a phone jack). When we got internet through Comcast, the PC was usually in my room at the time. I moved it back to my room, and it's now on Wi-Fi, as is most stuff here. 

The problem is that this upstairs apartment is a virtual dead zone. There is one bar on one side , and zero bars on the other. The cell signal here is weak, and nonexistent in that part of the house. So--cell Wi-Fi is definitely not the solution. There is a coaxial connection, which strangely was put above a shelf built above a closet, supposedly for a TV, which means I'd need to run a cable and conduit.


So far, looks like a Wi-Fi extender may be the only solution to the problem, but it causes problems in and of itself.

I'm not sure where to put it. There is a moderate Wi-Fi signal at the foot of the steps, where the first outlet close to the upstairs is,  and then there is no signal at the head of the steps, where the second outlet is.

And do they really work? What model should I look at getting? Comcast at least sells, and does not rent their model, the X-Fi Pod. But it is more than double what I could find anywhere else. One is apparently included in some plans, but I don't know about mine. Another problem is that those I see on places like Amazon are hit and miss, even some from respected brands like Netgear.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2021, 05:15:08 PM by cody6268 »


wales Offline GearedForwards

  • No Life Club
  • ******
    • Posts: 2,589
Re: Wi-Fi Extenders?
Reply #1 on: December 14, 2021, 12:11:35 AM
Extenders work, I use one from Netgear that boosts the signal from one side of the house to the far end of the garden. That said, if you're specifically looking to tackle a PC connection I'd instead recommend a powerline adapter. They use the electrical wiring in the house to give you an ethernet port, it's a more stable (and usually faster) connection than WiFi. The wiring in my house is original (40+ years) and copes well with a couple higher speed powerline adapters.

Once you have the ethernet port in the room you have the option of just running it into a small switch and using an old router as an access point to cover that dead zone, you could even cobble together your own mesh if you wanted.

This is my preferred approach and something I'd recommend as you want to get into IT, it gives you more opportunities to play with hardware and grow your set up if you want to whilst exposing you to more technologies.
Check out my Youtube channel  for gear reviews, comparisons, and carry philosophy.

Love belt carry? Consider doing the Batman Challenge!


us Offline Poncho65

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Just Bananas
  • *
    • Posts: 77,712
Re: Wi-Fi Extenders?
Reply #2 on: December 14, 2021, 07:17:38 PM
We use one in our house and they do work :salute: Our router is in the backroom of our house and that room is brick inside and out... it messes with the signal a bit :whistle: :facepalm: :D We added a Netgear wifi extender about 20 or 25 feet from the router and now the rest of the house has wifi as good as what part of the house that had good wifi before :tu:

I hook to mine via an app on my smartphone. It allows you to name the network and put whatever password you want and a few other settings :salute:


us Offline cody6268

  • Absolutely No Life Club
  • *******
    • Posts: 5,560
Re: Wi-Fi Extenders?
Reply #3 on: January 02, 2022, 01:44:14 AM
I went ahead with a Wifi extender, and it's not really working great, mostly due to sparse outlets. One or two bars at best. Very weak. And slow. Thus, the power line adapters may be my only solution.


I have a question about the Powerline adapters. The upstairs apartment is on a separate breaker, but I think is daisy-chained off the main breaker. How does this affect things?


wales Offline GearedForwards

  • No Life Club
  • ******
    • Posts: 2,589
Re: Wi-Fi Extenders?
Reply #4 on: January 02, 2022, 03:56:31 AM
I went ahead with a Wifi extender, and it's not really working great, mostly due to sparse outlets. One or two bars at best. Very weak. And slow. Thus, the power line adapters may be my only solution.


I have a question about the Powerline adapters. The upstairs apartment is on a separate breaker, but I think is daisy-chained off the main breaker. How does this affect things?

It may increase latency vs the alternative scenario, but it should still be better/more consistent than you're getting now. Just bear in mind that your connection will be interrupted by any fuses along the way tripping, but that shouldn't be a regular occurrence.
Check out my Youtube channel  for gear reviews, comparisons, and carry philosophy.

Love belt carry? Consider doing the Batman Challenge!


us Offline ezdog

  • No Life Club
  • ******
    • Posts: 1,705
Re: Wi-Fi Extenders?
Reply #5 on: January 02, 2022, 04:30:20 AM
So it might help to understand that the Extenders usually cut your actual throughput in half,just the nature of the beast.
They usually use the same radio inside to make the WiFi connections to your other main unit and then also to your computers but they can not do them at the same time and so they time share the signal through the radio and cut performance in half in the best circumstances.

So they developed the Mesh systems for WiFi which I am sure you have heard of and these now all use seperate radios inside to keep the two things that they do at full speed and usually they will give much better performance than a simple extender.

I didnt catch what your main WiFi is either and often the only full speed way to extend WiFi is with a matching extender or Node that is from the same manufacturer as your WiFi base.

Again though you dont mention or I didnt understand where your existing cable entry and router and existing WiFi is and you will need to connect any new system there.

I use Ubiquity Mesh Systems all the time and they have an entry level system sold as AMPLIFY wireless and the nodes are each about $100 and they work so well that you might even be OK with just a single unit and no extender as in many installs they so outperform the one you get from the cable company that it is all you need but they are also scalable and can Mesh wirelessly or wired pretty easily and I imagine could easily solve you problems if you can find one.

Lately I have used a new system called Vilo that is under $70 for a 3 node Mesh system which is a crazy new low price point and another worth looking into.

The only drawback is that you will need to setup your existing system to not operate and connect the new one to your router so it can be configured as your system.
You can do this all from a phone but it is easier for some people than others so know in advance what you are getting into if you dont have experience with these things. They are pretty simple but........YMMV too.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2022, 04:40:16 AM by ezdog »


no Offline Vidar

  • No Life Club
  • ******
    • Posts: 1,728
Re: Wi-Fi Extenders?
Reply #6 on: January 02, 2022, 06:18:28 AM
It might not have much transfer value to your case, but we got two extenders to other buildings. Both roughly 80-100 meters away with free sight between the buildings. Works quite ok most of the time - heavy snowfall seems to create some issues.

I had an office back in the day in a building that housed a bank vault on the same level. The vault had major concrete walls with thick steel and what not inside. This vault was directly inline between my office and the printer room, and thus I had  zero wifi signals passing through. The solution was a big directional outdoor WiFi antenna aimed at some suitable billiard like angle to bounce any signal off a nearby building. It still wasn't great, but I could connect and print. (I could also detect any Wifi network for a very long distance). Anyway, it isn't all about extenders, but also the antennas.
"Simple is hard"
(Partial disclosure: I design tools for a living).


england Offline Kev D

  • Absolutely No Life Club
  • *******
    • Posts: 8,312
Re: Wi-Fi Extenders?
Reply #7 on: December 01, 2022, 12:36:28 PM
So it might help to understand that the Extenders usually cut your actual throughput in half,just the nature of the beast.
They usually use the same radio inside to make the WiFi connections to your other main unit and then also to your computers but they can not do them at the same time and so they time share the signal through the radio and cut performance in half in the best circumstances.

So they developed the Mesh systems for WiFi which I am sure you have heard of and these now all use seperate radios inside to keep the two things that they do at full speed and usually they will give much better performance than a simple extender.

I didnt catch what your main WiFi is either and often the only full speed way to extend WiFi is with a matching extender or Node that is from the same manufacturer as your WiFi base.

Again though you dont mention or I didnt understand where your existing cable entry and router and existing WiFi is and you will need to connect any new system there.

I use Ubiquity Mesh Systems all the time and they have an entry level system sold as AMPLIFY wireless and the nodes are each about $100 and they work so well that you might even be OK with just a single unit and no extender as in many installs they so outperform the one you get from the cable company that it is all you need but they are also scalable and can Mesh wirelessly or wired pretty easily and I imagine could easily solve you problems if you can find one.

Lately I have used a new system called Vilo that is under $70 for a 3 node Mesh system which is a crazy new low price point and another worth looking into.

The only drawback is that you will need to setup your existing system to not operate and connect the new one to your router so it can be configured as your system.
You can do this all from a phone but it is easier for some people than others so know in advance what you are getting into if you dont have experience with these things. They are pretty simple but........YMMV too.

Mesh is definitely the way to go, you will get a far better wifi signal.  I moved from extenders to the Eero mesh system a while ago and also upgraded that again to the Eero pro 6 system when my home internet got a significant speed boost from my ISP.  Even with extenders I struggled to get a good wifi signal out in my garage approx 30 feet from my house, since moving to a mesh system I not only get a good wifi signal in the garage but also right at at the bottom of my garden 130 feet away which I wasn't expecting.  The problem is they are very pricey, the extenders were very cheap in comparison.


 

Donations

Operational Funds

Help us keep the Unworkable working!
Donate with PayPal!
December Goal: $300.00
Due Date: Dec 31
Total Receipts: $50.00
PayPal Fees: $3.08
Net Balance: $46.92
Below Goal: $253.08
Site Currency: USD
16% 
December Donations

Community Links


Powered by EzPortal