Originally Posted by TwoCables
So, I live in my parents' basement, and I'm positioned at the very front of the house down here. The router (a Linksys WRT54GL
, stock firmware) is down here with me right on my desk along with the cable modem and moving them is not an option. I need the simplest solution possible, perhaps something I can put upstairs on the main floor.
My parents have a gazebo out in the back as shown below and they like to take their laptop out there and even though it functions, they say that the signal is just barely strong enough and so it reduces the performance noticeably as compared to being in the house (roughly where that chimney is, but on the main floor). I can see that because I'm literally at the front of the house in the basement (as close to the front as you can get, right about in the center and I'm facing West and so the router is right up against the wall). So, the router is as far away from the gazebo as is possible, outside of putting it in the front yard or something.
So as you can see, it's not exactly close! So do they need a WiFi extender, an access point, or should I get a better router? What's the best option without costing too much money?
Additionally, I don't know what's good or bad on the market, and so I need your help with that as well. I'd like to get them the best unit possible whatever that may be (extender, access point, or router) so that it does an excellent job and can keep working for as many years to come as possible. However, my parents said that they don't want it to be too expensive either. I don't know how much is too much for them, but I know that they probably wouldn't want the most expensive unit available either. Of course, that definitely depends on the prices out there too. I mean, to put it in another way: let's say that there's a better router that would solve this problem. That extender or access point can't cost more than that router. So, it has to be at a reasonable price. I'm open to getting a new router if the price is right and if it would solve the problem.
Again, we need something wireless that will go up on the main floor to be in the middle between the gazebo and the router. Either that, or a router that's known to be much more powerful than the WRT54GL
One final requirement: if we get an extender or an access point, then I would like it to have some kind of On/Off switch or button.
I thank you for looking!
Your best best would be to have another access point near the client devices. The access point can connect to the main router via ethernet or wireless signal(bridge/repeater).
Just turning up the transmit power(EIRP) on the main router won't necessarily help. This is due to the client devices only being able to transmit at a certain EIRP, which is substantially less than the router. Most client devices only transmit at around 32mW. The later generations of iPads transmit at less than that. So the client can hear the router well, but the router will have a hard time hearing the client device. They call it "Hidden Node".
I ran into the same issue at my house. I wanted a better signal in my living room for my Smart TV, PS3 and and WiFi enabled audio receiver. I also needed an ethernet hand off for my AT&T Microcell. I always have enterprise equipment laying around due to my profession. So I put an autonomous image on a spare Cisco 1252 access point and turned it into a Non-Root bridge. My Cisco ISR router is the Root Bridge in my office. They are wirelessly connected at 300mbps and provide ethernet hand off to a Trendnet Green switch. My wireless network is repeated over the 2.4GHz network as well.
The exact same scenario my not be achievable for you due to the price, but you can do the same with SOHO routers. You will need a router that will support wireless bridging, and and access point that will support wireless bridging. Both need to be dual band, and preferrably 802.11n capable. You will bridge(Backhaul) the networks over the 5GHz spectrum, and broadcast over the 2.4GHz spectrum. Put the access point nearest the other clients, so near the backwall on your first floor. Make sure the SSID names are the same. The subnet will be the same since the access point has no routing capabilities, it will send all request over the wireless backhaul to the router.
You second option is to run an ethernet line up stairs, or use Powerline ethernet adapters. If you use the adapters, make sure they have AES encryption between them. The data they trasmit can extend outside of your homes wiring infrastructure. With a solid ethernet connection, you can connect the access point to one of the router LAN ports. Set the access point up with the same SSID as the router. As with the wireless bridge scenario, all DHCP will come from the router due to the access point not have routing capabilities.
Either method will extend the ESSID upstairs, and out in your back yard. I wish I could give recommendations on which SOHO router/access point or Powerline adapter to use, but I can't. I mainly only deal with enterprise gear anymore.
Edit: This also helped my extend my wireless network to my garage. That way I can Jam out while working on stuff, and piss off the neighbors. Edited by Biscuits_N_Gravy - 4/20/13 at 7:59am