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WiFi boosters - Range extenders - whats your experience ?


CharlieH

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Do these range boosters or extenders actually do what they claim ?

 

Do you have one  and how good is it ? Would you recommend one ?

 

Thanks 

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Yes, they work. Depends on their physical location, the idea being the extender picks up original wifi signal  (or cable) as connection to the internet, then operates as another wifi router. 

Its not boosting the original signal as such, its another wifi access point .

ideally you need a location where the extender can pick up the original wifi signal, stairwell etc, to then feed the 2nd floor etc

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I have a Amazon fire tablet that could not connect to WiFi upstairs

in the bedroom, so I bought a cheap WiFi extender off Shoppe,just

225 Bhat, and now it works very good.

regards Worgeordie

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I have aTP extender which I gave up on, I found the speeds were much less that the input (like 6 times less) on both wifi EXT and cable EXT. I have wondered if theres something in my true router setup that is limiting it. Me and True is a match made to remove years off my life and grumpy episodes. Everything else about the TP including setup (via phone app) was good and they are not expensive.

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Using WiFi to connect to extender it was carp (maybe that will get past the banned word sheriff).  But using a physical cable to attach same unit has worked very well (much better than the old spare cable modem it replaced).   TP-Link RE200 AC750

 image.jpeg.598c7d2b668a0c586bf90d73e2335600.jpeg

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I got an extender too bit more expensive but works good. But personally id first invest in a good router for home. My asus router has a far better range then the router supplied by 3bb. Plus its faster more stable has more configuration options.

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18 minutes ago, robblok said:

I got an extender too bit more expensive but works good. But personally id first invest in a good router for home. My asus router has a far better range then the router supplied by 3bb. Plus its faster more stable has more configuration options.

3BB just came and fitted a new router (free of charge) as I took on Giga TV. It has 6 antennae and seems a lot stronger than the previous one, so my TO extender is now redundant.

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Just now, KannikaP said:

3BB just came and fitted a new router (free of charge) as I took on Giga TV. It has 6 antennae and seems a lot stronger than the previous one, so my TO extender is now redundant.

Nice, i got a 8000-9000 bt asus router with high memory and and processor and configurability and of course great wifi. 

 

But I am not the average user got so many devices connected to my internet 2 TV's 2 computers 1 laptop 2 phones 2 tablets and a NAS drive. 

So the better router makes sure that everything goes smooth. 

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Range extenders do tend to work however in my experience the speed is much slower (installed one in my parents house) so gave up on it. Better option in bigger properties is powerline networking to a LAN cable. Powerline networking can also be used as a new WiFi access point too which worked great for us.

 

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Use one that uses the power line for signal transport. You can have one in every room, they work great and are pretty cheap. All you need is the same phase.

Much better than wireless ra(n)ge extenders.

You also have the choice of WiFi or ethernet connection.

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I had a TP extender in a bungalow away from the house but on same power supply. The signal amplified to more than double the output of original WiFi modem. Mind you the original modem was old and basic with limited range, but the extender output was far greater, more than double, and testing output using Speedtest app. Buy a well known brand though, otherwise could be a wasted exercise.. 

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7 minutes ago, owenm said:

I had a TP extender in a bungalow away from the house but on same power supply. The signal amplified to more than double the output of original WiFi modem. Mind you the original modem was old and basic with limited range, but the extender output was far greater, more than double, and testing output using Speedtest app. Buy a well known brand though, otherwise could be a wasted exercise.. 

I can see that the strength of the signal coming from the extender could be greater, but how can it increase the speed. What goes in must come out and if your original old router was only pumping out say 50Mb/s, then so will the extender. No?

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I can only speak of an extender I used in California. We were using Xfinity wifi, and one room received no signal. I installed an extender and, in line of sight, it worked very well.

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You have nothing to lose by trying a cheap extender from Lazada.

 

I didnt want to run a cable to my TV in the rented home, the wifi was quite capable. but I needed the wake-on-LAN function. So I ran an ethernet from the extender to my TV. The extender has one client, the TV and quite capable of streaming 1080.

 

I had another Xiaomi extender in the kitchen to control the rice cooker, as the signal was so bad - but I upgraded my wifi from the 3BB supplied as another poster mentioned and everything runs a lot smoother.

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been used a Linksys wifi-to-wifi range extender, it works but with quite a bit of limitation. then later the best way connection is the cable-to-wifi extender, just reduce the load of the radio in the extender.

 

it was my fault laying out the router location. so eventually I moved the router location to a better spot. and I plan my devices as follow :

- work related and need fast speed, then keep them within the sight on 5MHz

- mobile devices, IoT, non-critical, all on the 2.4MHz, that has a lot better coverage

 

now, I don't use range extender anymore !

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I bought one and it made very little difference to speed upstairs. A waste of money really I thought. So GF son did some Google work, bought another router, ran cable from the router downstairs up to his room and connected the new router.... Brilliant. Speed great. 

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Better than extenders are mesh systems.

 

With an extender you need to change from one network name to another to use the extender.  i.e. If the current wifi router is "Home Network" then the extension will have a separate SSID (name) like "Home Network_ext."  As you move through your house/yard/office if you want to connect to the extender you need to disconnect from one network (the original router) and connect to another (the extender).  This can be disruptive if you are downloading or streaming.

 

With a mesh system, all the routers ("extenders") will all have the same SSID  and your device will switch from one to the other as necessary automatically, in the background, similar to how a cell phone passes from one cell tower to another.  This will allow continuous downloads, streaming, Skype, etc.

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21 hours ago, robblok said:

Nice, i got a 8000-9000 bt asus router with high memory and and processor and configurability and of course great wifi. 

 

But I am not the average user got so many devices connected to my internet 2 TV's 2 computers 1 laptop 2 phones 2 tablets and a NAS drive. 

So the better router makes sure that everything goes smooth. 

I have 2 TVs, a VOIP System, 2 IPTV boxes. 2 Notebooks 1 iPad, 1 IP Security System and 4 mobile phones all connected to my 3BB router. 

I am getting 858 down and 512 up.. No freezing or buffering. Everything works perfectly.

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34 minutes ago, Jeffrey346 said:

I have 2 TVs, a VOIP System, 2 IPTV boxes. 2 Notebooks 1 iPad, 1 IP Security System and 4 mobile phones all connected to my 3BB router. 

I am getting 858 down and 512 up.. No freezing or buffering. Everything works perfectly.

Did not even count my Voip. But it really depends how much you like your speeds. What your getting might not be perfect. I definitely noticed the difference. But I am a techie. I also like the configuration options of the more expensive routers. 

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7 hours ago, wpcoe said:

Better than extenders are mesh systems.

 

With an extender you need to change from one network name to another to use the extender.  i.e. If the current wifi router is "Home Network" then the extension will have a separate SSID (name) like "Home Network_ext."  As you move through your house/yard/office if you want to connect to the extender you need to disconnect from one network (the original router) and connect to another (the extender).  This can be disruptive if you are downloading or streaming.

 

With a mesh system, all the routers ("extenders") will all have the same SSID  and your device will switch from one to the other as necessary automatically, in the background, similar to how a cell phone passes from one cell tower to another.  This will allow continuous downloads, streaming, Skype, etc.

wpcoe talks about "mesh" wifi but few of us know this term. Here is a link to a Linksys page that explains mesh.

 

https://www.linksys.com/us/r/resource-center/whole-home-mesh-wifi/#:~:text=Mesh WiFi or Whole Home,password%2C unlike traditional WiFi routers.

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2 hours ago, longball53098 said:

wpcoe talks about "mesh" wifi but few of us know this term. Here is a link to a Linksys page that explains mesh.

 

https://www.linksys.com/us/r/resource-center/whole-home-mesh-wifi/#:~:text=Mesh WiFi or Whole Home,password%2C unlike traditional WiFi routers.

I have a WIFI extender but i do think that MESH Is better. I never heard of it before. I read about it but never investigated what it meant. I might push a mesh box somewhere as the difference of having to switch to a new network is annoying at times. 

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47 minutes ago, robblok said:

I have a WIFI extender but i do think that MESH Is better. I never heard of it before. I read about it but never investigated what it meant. I might push a mesh box somewhere as the difference of having to switch to a new network is annoying at times. 

I hadnt either in all honesty, but it would seem its not a cheap option in comparison but worth it perhaps for the convenience as you say. I think I"ll try the extender first as thats a cheap solution/fix and later when/if the router ever needs switching upgrade at that point.

 

Problem I have, is for some strange reason after a visit from TOT, the range has dropped dramatically, like 70% (5g) in the bedroom and is barely useable. It was never like that for years previously. I suspect the router may be, or did they switch a setting somewhere, the router supplied by them is not old, may be less than a year ago.

 

Found a good article on signal strength etc here:

https://eyesaas.com/wi-fi-signal-strength/

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10 minutes ago, CharlieH said:

I hadnt either in all honesty, but it would seem its not a cheap option in comparison but worth it perhaps for the convenience as you say. I think I"ll try the extender first as thats a cheap solution/fix and later when/if the router ever needs switching upgrade at that point.

 

Problem I have, is for some strange reason after a visit from TOT, the range has dropped dramatically, like 70% (5g) in the bedroom and is barely useable. It was never like that for years previously. I suspect the router may be, or did they switch a setting somewhere, the router supplied by them is not old, may be less than a year ago.

 

Found a good article on signal strength etc here:

https://eyesaas.com/wi-fi-signal-strength/

The difference is that you will have an extra network available. Its not as if your phone switches between those two it will hang on to the bad network (less signal strenght). It wont automatically switch to the extended network (has a different network name). So you have to reconnect your stuff. That is ok if you for instance always use your laptop or TV upstairs. Then you just use that stronger network by default. 

 

Its more for tablets and stuff that you use all around the house then at some point connection will drop and you will have to switch networks. With a mesh this is not the case.

 

That is strange that all of a sudden it dropped. It can only be the router or a setting in the router because your devices did not change.

 

To clarify what i mean what i mean with an extender and having two networks is that for instance your downstairsnetwork that you log onto is called rob and upstairs where you put the extender its called rob_ext 

 

As far as i know your phone or laptop or whatever wont change between those networks automatically (unless one has totally no range at that point). That would mean if your walking with your phone doing a skype video call it would drop and you would have to call again nd your phone would connect to the extended network.

 

Its not much of a problem if you use the extender to give better signal to a TV upstairs or a computer that is always used upstairs.

 

Mesh as i understand it just extends the range without adding an extra network name (to be honest that was what i thought extenders did before i bought one)

 

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I downloaded an app to test the signal strength. Heres what I discovered from that.

 

In the same room as the router (on 5g):

99% .30dBm (excellent)

99% .25 dBm (excellent) on 2.4

 

8m away 

5g 0.5 dBm speed same but weaker signal

2.4 0.3 dBm good signal but half the speed 

 

12m (Bedroom two walls away)

5g 0.75 barely useable reached the distance limit.

2.4 0.5 good strength but now only 30% of speed.

 

45m 

2.4   0.7 dBm but speed down to just 20% 

Amazed it actually worked at that range as I thought 30m would be about all.

 

 

 

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27 minutes ago, CharlieH said:

I downloaded an app to test the signal strength. Heres what I discovered from that.

 

In the same room as the router (on 5g):

99% .30dBm (excellent)

99% .25 dBm (excellent) on 2.4

 

8m away 

5g 0.5 dBm speed same but weaker signal

2.4 0.3 dBm good signal but half the speed 

 

12m (Bedroom two walls away)

5g 0.75 barely useable reached the distance limit.

2.4 0.5 good strength but now only 30% of speed.

 

45m 

2.4   0.7 dBm but speed down to just 20% 

Amazed it actually worked at that range as I thought 30m would be about all.

 

 

 

Walls are always a problem, a mesh or signal extender will work. But for instance if you put one in the bedroom you will have to change networks when in the bedroom (not that hard to do on the phone actually). If its a TV (with box) in the bedroom its even easier just once selecting the new network (as you wont move your TV)

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11 hours ago, wpcoe said:

Better than extenders are mesh systems.

 

With an extender you need to change from one network name to another to use the extender.  i.e. If the current wifi router is "Home Network" then the extension will have a separate SSID (name) like "Home Network_ext."  As you move through your house/yard/office if you want to connect to the extender you need to disconnect from one network (the original router) and connect to another (the extender).  This can be disruptive if you are downloading or streaming.

 

With a mesh system, all the routers ("extenders") will all have the same SSID  and your device will switch from one to the other as necessary automatically, in the background, similar to how a cell phone passes from one cell tower to another.  This will allow continuous downloads, streaming, Skype, etc.

how do you set up this please ?

nobody here seems to know what you are talking about.

 

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1 hour ago, SePl said:

how do you set up this please ?

nobody here seems to know what you are talking about.

 

I think the setup will be similar as that of an extender. You just connect the mesh thing to your network and place it somewhere in the house. Its just that Mesh is a lot more expensive (just had a look at invade IT) lots of options but all quite expensive. So price wise the extenders with different network names are cheaper but less convenient. 

 

My extender was easy to setup just press a button ont he router and one on the extender and they connected. I doubt that a mesh system is much harder. 

 

It does depend on what kind of router you have of course. But im sure if your a bit IT savey you can do it with the manual that comes with it.

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