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Any good wifi extenders / repeaters for my router?

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by minstreless, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. minstreless

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    Im sharing my wireless network with my neighbor from time to time, but im uncertain on how i should configure my router (tp link archer c2 with newest firmware update) to improve the signal. I have placed the router as close as i can so it's closest to his house (the signal at my place is all good, but at his place, the signal switches from 1-3 arrows rather frequently when we test 2.4ghz).

    his house is about 15-20m away from mine.

    my current setup is this:

    2.4ghz > 11bgn mixed, channel 11, channel width auto, wds status disabled.
    5ghz > 11a/n/ac mixed, auto channel (should i try manual channel, or?), channel width auto, wds disabled.

    either way, i have come to the conclusion that my neighbor needs a wifi extender, but which one should he go for? any recommendations? so far, this caught my attention: Ubiquiti Unifi AP - any words about it?
     
  2. Kursah

    Kursah Moderator Staff Member

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    UniFi AP's are really good for the price, I've deployed dozens. They use a java app that runs in a web browser window to manage, your you can do cloud based managing (cost more to do tho). They're easy to setup, and you only send one wire, the Ethernet cable to where the AP will be mounted. That provides power and data, but requires using a POE switch (Power Over Ethernet) or a POE Injector (it includes one). I would recommend the AC Pro for best results and solid bang for the buck, though the cheap UniFi AP that only does N-band is a damn good unit for the price...set it and forget it kinda deal.

    If you or your neighbor has a small homegrade wifi router, odds are you can set it to AP mode and do the same thing. Not quite as clean of an install or wireless signal as a dedicated AP. Now you can get a mesh AP network, but that involves more devices and setup in many cases. I don't recommend it in this case.

    One thing to keep in mind for both of these options is you'll need to perform a physical wire run to make it work. Not a big deal in many cases, but some folks are not comfortable doing that nor want to pay someone else to. Depends on your guys' priority and needs with this.

    I've used Linksys/Cisco wireless range extenders, where it picks up the wireless signal and relays it. If that's what you're after I've had great results with the Linksys RE6500 as something that is very affordable. It even has ports to be a remote switch to cabled devices in essence making it act as a wireless bridge. I've been impressed by them but ultimately you will lose out on performance, throughput and latency compared to a cable run. But whether it is a big deal or noticeable is reliant on you and your neighbor's experience with the deployed technologies.
     
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  3. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    rukus t301 is one of the best I have used. I was able to get full INET speed for about 400 meters away! I need to try a longer distance when I get another one to test.
     
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  4. Kursah

    Kursah Moderator Staff Member

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    Ruckus hardware is amazing, the cost though...that can make people spit out their coffee. AP-wise I've had great success with the R500 and 600's for quite a while now...excellent devices but still a tough sell at their price point for smaller applications. For a home user I doubt a $1000+ device is necessary. ;)
     
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  5. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    Oh yea I understand the costs but if his neighbor can throw down some per month, it would pay for itself sooner than later.
     
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  6. Pete1burn

    Pete1burn

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    I can second the recommendation for Unifi APs. I have a small enterprise network running in my house with two UAP-ACs and it's absolutely fantastic. Manage it all from a java applet in your browser, and it's fully featured. Definitely the way to go without breaking the bank.
     
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  7. v12dock

    v12dock

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    +1 UAP-AC awesome performance/features for the price
     
  8. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1 The Exiled Airman

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    Run a drop (designed to be burried, can run ethernet signals) from your home to theirs hook up via ethernet to wifi router in their home...
     
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  9. Pete1burn

    Pete1burn

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    If they live in a place where it freezes, it'll have to be encased in that gel stuff. It's not that simple...
     
  10. Kursah

    Kursah Moderator Staff Member

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    It is that simple in many cases even cooler regions in my experience. Dig a trench, lay PVC, pull wire through PVC, terminate. We hit below freezing up here every year with this past winter being one of the coldest and longest below 0, 32, and 60F on record. A coworker of mine dug a 200ft trench to his shop, ran PVC tubing, and pulled 4 CAT5E Ethernet cables (cheap switch trunking), low-grade stuff that was leftover from an interior project and hasn't had any issues. The gel stuff I am thinking of is the goop to allow the cable to slide, cable lube...I'm not familiar with a wire run antifreeze though...that sounds like something I need to read up on...especially if we see more winters like last year's. I am familiar with dielectric grease for moisture exposed contacts as well and various types of antifreeze solutions but not for Ethernet cabling. I am interested!
     
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  11. Pete1burn

    Pete1burn

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    The pipe would have to be completely waterproof and buried far enough down so that it wouldn't be exposed to varying temperatures in a wide enough range to allow moisture buildup. Condensation forms, gets inside the wires or connectors, and then freezes and it goes kaboom. Then you have to dig up the channel. They sell ethernet cables designed for burial that are encased in gel, or you can get specialized cables that run a cable through a gel casing. But I think we're getting off topic a bit. :)
     
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  12. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1 The Exiled Airman

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    2-6 pair drop cable, some were encapsulated drop, others aren't. Terminals could be enc or pedastal, aerial, pole, or mc10.
     
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  13. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    You would be surprised at some of the older stuff we decommissioned that is still working many years after being installed. We have found old conduit full of water and mud and anything else you can think of and the cable or fiber still works. Its like 75$ a day here to rent a Ditch Witch and PVC piping with all of the glue is decently cheap. By the time you purchase say a wireless bridge setup and power it, you could have hard lined the whole run.
     
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  14. Kursah

    Kursah Moderator Staff Member

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    I was typing the same thing out, just had far more words to it. Exactly what we see up here...there's some clients we've picked up where the exposed runs have survived many harsh winters and weather events, still transferring full signal somehow... which is unfortunate because it makes selling infrastructure replacements nigh impossible.

    That being said, wireless bridge, wireless extender or a physical run all will work here...depending on performance needed and permanence of deployment will ultimately decide which one to go with.
     
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  15. Dethroy

    Dethroy

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    While the Ruckus antenna hardware is amazing, the software is not and in case the master goes offline, the whole network may see some downtime while electing a new one which is simply unacceptable in a business environment tbh. We've exchanged all our Ruckus APs with Aruba APs and couldn't be any happier.
     
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  16. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    In iraq I helped the 25B's run cat5 and we ran that stuff over head in high temp weather. Only time it ever messed up was when a hmmwv's antennas smacked them down. LOL
     
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  17. minstreless

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    Ok lets see here..

    My neighbors house is 15-20m away from my house. Crossing/wiring a cable to thrir house is out of the question. We want something more simple than so. Why? Cuz they are more away than home, but when they are home, they should be able to use the internet as they wish with about the somewhat similar "strength" as me, even if im closer to the router. They got some laptops and mobile devices connectin to the network for simple internet use. Nothing advanced. The thing is that the router is at MY house, sooo.. will this Unifi AP work if it is installed to his place, or? Or will that Linksys re6500 that kursah mentioned work better for this matter?

    Ps: KEEP the cost to about $100. No need for something too advanced, as mentioned.

    Also, here it gets down to 115 fahrenheit when it decides to get cold, soooe yeah... (that is pretty much the average temp around here dec-late march)
     
  18. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1 The Exiled Airman

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    Ive made ethernet work on existing wire from the 70s/80s in old apartments, of course short runs.
     
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  19. Kursah

    Kursah Moderator Staff Member

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    The UniFi AP needs a physical Ethernet run as I stated earlier, my apologies if I didn't make that clearer. A wireless access point like that gets its network from a physical connection and provides extended wireless as if being another wireless router without the router/firewall part. Now the AC Pro might do up to 600ft, so he might get better signal in his house from yours if you used that as your AP...but if you're happy with your current wifi signal it is more of a waste IMHO.

    You could do a wireless bridge but that would also use up some of your bandwidth cycles on your current router and he'd need a router on the other end, but that would be a bridge that would be a wireless version of a physical connection...sorta...but slower and higher latency (thought might not be noticeable).

    What kind of signal can you get in his house at the wall nearest your house? Would your neighbor be willing to mount the RE6500 there? The device just needs a decent signal..I was able to get a signal repeated on a third floor of a hotel turned retirement village when the SonicWall N was on the first floor in the lobby...there was litterally no room left in the conduit to run even one Ethernet wire and the cable/telco wouldn't authorize access...that RE6500 pulled signal and then had damn good range for it's provided wifi network. I have constantly been impressed by these devices when I MUST use them...which is as-sparingly-as possible...where you can run a wire...where you can't this device should work well for a budget. The device is easy to setup and walks you through the process, pretty easy to accomplish. It just needs power, and as I said before can act as a network switch meaning he could add physical devices to the network...but keep in mind it would be YOUR network unless you setup a guest network just for him on your current router which is definitely recommended.

    The simplest options will be a physical run + neighbor provided router or AP, or RE6500. :toast:

    Ya I've had to re-use some CAT3 and olllld runs where there were no other options...it worked...not well. LOL.
     
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  20. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1 The Exiled Airman

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    It worked well enough for tv service. Uverse.
     
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  21. Caring1

    Caring1

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    If your neighbour only picks up 2.4GHz, get him to get a better wireless receiver, at their expense.
     
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  22. minstreless

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    See, that is what is confusing me a lil bit.. a wireless receiver is not the Unifi AP but something else?

    My neighbors request is simply that he gets better wifi signal at his place than what he does right now. He wants to strengthen the signal quality. HOW can we do that? What device does he need to get better wifi signal? I have the router at my place. And yes, my neighbor WOULD mount any device that strengthens the signal, so he would definitely mount that RE6500, IF that is what it takes to improve the signal quality. But, wouldnt he then need to stretch a cable from that router to my router, or?

    I forgot to mention that i have also a spare Linksys wrt54gl that im not using.. would that be of any help, or? If so, how can we setup that router to connect with the one i have..?
     
  23. Caring1

    Caring1

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    He could get this type, a USB dongle
    [​IMG]
    or a PCI-e type if he has a tower computer with a spare slot
    [​IMG]
     
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  24. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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  25. SnakeDoctor

    SnakeDoctor

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    A Dlink-1665 should also do the trick if don't want to spend much.I have also setup many older model Dlink1360 in Repeater mode/Extend SSID in the past they seem to do the trick.Neighbour would have one Lan port his side and connect wireless
    The UniFi AP's are differently better quality .I'm not too sure if any of there products would have repeater function.

    As you got 802.11ac its would work fine with your setup
    http://www.dlink.com/uk/en/products/dap-1665-wireless-ac1200-dual-band-access-point

    N300
    http://www.dlink.com/uk/en/products/dap-1360-wireless-n-open-source-access-point-router
     
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