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Topic # 145341 15-May-2014 13:11
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I've got a two story house and our router is located downstairs at one end of the house.  Signal strength upstairs at the opposite end of the house isn't too hot and I've been given orders by SWMBO to get it sorted.

We do have an unused LAN cable running from the router to one of the rooms that has the low Wifi signal, and I was wondering if it's possible to get a device that can plug into the LAN cable (which in turn plugs into a switch which is connected to the router) that can broadcast a signal for that end of the house?  So not exactly boosting the Wifi signal but converting wired to wireless?

If so then how does this integrate in with the existing Wifi?  (I.e. is it an extension of the existing one or a new one with its own SSID, etc?)

Failing this maybe a Wifi booster would help, but how do they work?

The router is a Vodafone Home Gateway model HG556a if that matters.

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  Reply # 1045540 15-May-2014 13:24
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Get a DrayTek wireless AP very easy to setup

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  Reply # 1045628 15-May-2014 15:55
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Couple of options:
- Use a cable to get an IP connection to a different part of the house and hang a different wireless access point off it.
- Use HomePlug devices (one cable only, one with a wireless Access Point built in) to get wireless to a different part of the house using the house power lines to connect the two devices.
- Use a Universal Repeater that sits in the middle of the house (it only needs power) and relays betweent he VOdafone wireless router and devices in the far reaches of the house.

I've done all 3 at different times.

Network cables are faster and more reliable, but a pain to retro-fit in a house.

The HomePlug devices are pretty good, but need rebooting a few times a year when they stop communicating (switch off and on), and also their 'reach' between one part of the house and another can be limited based on how the house wiring is run.

I have a DrayTek DAP700 Universal Repeater at home that was used for 2 months before I upgraded to a router with much stronger wireless (and so I don;t need the repeater any more).  It's been sitting on a shelf for 3 months, and so has around 6 months of a 12 month warranty remaining.  Yours for $50 incl freight if you want it with a 14 day money back guarantee.




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  Reply # 1045649 15-May-2014 16:38
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If you happen to have an old router lying about, check whether it has a compatible dd-wrt build.  The instructions for setting dd-wrt up as an access point are here http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Wireless_Access_Point

I
t will save you the cost of an AP.



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  Reply # 1045677 15-May-2014 17:06
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Thanks guys, it certainly looks like the DrayTek DAP700 will do what we want.

Since we've got a LAN cable running up that end of the house we could just plug the AP into that.

A few questions:

Does the AP have it's own SSID or does it reuse the existing router's SSID?
If I was walking around the house will a wireless device (i.e. an iPad) go from using one AP to another depending on which signal is strongest? Or will it keep trying to use the AP it was originally connected to?
Does the AP have it's own IP address?
The router is set up to dynamically hand out addresses to devices, will the AP get an address from the router or does it have a static address (I'm just looking at the manual for the DAP700 and one of the first things it tells you to do is plug it in and then try to go to 192.168.1.2 to configure it, but that address might already be in use by another device on our LAN)?



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  Reply # 1045678 15-May-2014 17:10
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Glassboy: If you happen to have an old router lying about, check whether it has a compatible dd-wrt build.  The instructions for setting dd-wrt up as an access point are here http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Wireless_Access_Point

I
t will save you the cost of an AP.

I do have an old Dynalink RTA1025W but it's not on the dd-wrt supported list. frown  Thanks for the suggestion though!

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  Reply # 1045680 15-May-2014 17:12
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setup the second AP with all the same configuration, except disable DCHP, DNS etc, give it a static ip so you can access it and just plug a lan cable in.

set the second AP to run on a different channel (say pick 1 and 6.)

that will make it act as a dummy AP as such.


as you move around, devices will roam between the two APs (some devices can be a bit sticky sometimes however.)




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  Reply # 1045681 15-May-2014 17:14
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MurrayM:
Glassboy: If you happen to have an old router lying about, check whether it has a compatible dd-wrt build.  The instructions for setting dd-wrt up as an access point are here http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Wireless_Access_Point

I
t will save you the cost of an AP.

I do have an old Dynalink RTA1025W but it's not on the dd-wrt supported list. frown  Thanks for the suggestion though!


any old modem can be made to act as an access point if you mess around with it enough.. need to break it to the point that it only holds the wireless AP open and doesnt think its making a connection and everything will pass through almost perfectly.




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  Reply # 1045682 15-May-2014 17:14
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MurrayM: Thanks guys, it certainly looks like the DrayTek DAP700 will do what we want.

Since we've got a LAN cable running up that end of the house we could just plug the AP into that.

A few questions:

Does the AP have it's own SSID or does it reuse the existing router's SSID?
If I was walking around the house will a wireless device (i.e. an iPad) go from using one AP to another depending on which signal is strongest? Or will it keep trying to use the AP it was originally connected to?
Does the AP have it's own IP address?
The router is set up to dynamically hand out addresses to devices, will the AP get an address from the router or does it have a static address (I'm just looking at the manual for the DAP700 and one of the first things it tells you to do is plug it in and then try to go to 192.168.1.2 to configure it, but that address might already be in use by another device on our LAN)?


Because you have that cable, you can use any wireless access point.  (You can even use an old ADSL router with wireless built in as an access point if you have one - ask me for tips on this if you want to do that/)  The DAP700 would have let you boost the wireless signal without having a LAN cable back to the main router.

You could use the same SSID or a different one.  Personally I use a differennt SSID so I can manually connect to the one I know to be closest to where I will be working.

Roaming or hopping between SSIDs is dependent on the device you are using and how aggressively it tries to hold the same connection or look for stronger connections.  The router has nothing to do with this (in a basic domestic environment).

Any additional AP will have its own IP address.  Typically the second device has it's DHCP (handing out addresses) feature DISABLED and the additional AP will have a fixed IP address.  Typically you would have the second AP connected to just one computer to configure it before plugging it into your main network, to prevent IP address clashes.




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  Reply # 1045688 15-May-2014 17:35
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If you want to also stream music to that room, (and you have any Apple iDevices), then another option is to pick up a refurbished Airport Express from the online Apple store for $108 with full warranty. Plug it in to the LAN cable, then power up, and configure with Airport Utility on any Apple device or Mac or PC. If you tell it to set up a new wireless network with identical SSID and password as your existing Huawai modem, but different channel, and enable airplay, you will be able to stream music to a connected stereo in that room from anywhere in the house as well.

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  Reply # 1045702 15-May-2014 18:13
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As already mentioned, the best performance is to use the LAN cable and put an AP upstairs on the end of it.

I personally would do the above, and make sure the second AP has a different static IP to the main router downstairs, DHCP server switched off, and put it on a different channel.

A repeater/booster will halve the bandwidth of your existing wireless setup as they operate on the same channel forwarding packets between each other not at the same time (wifi is only half-duplex) holding things up for clients.

Putting a second AP on another channel shouldn't degrade the performance of either AP is channel's are far enough apart. ie AP1 on channel 1 and AP2 on channel 11.  1 and 6 sounds good, but to close together there is some small interference/overlap with the two even at the recommended spacing.

I prefer to avoid channel 6 as it's closer to the microwave oven.


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  Reply # 1045740 15-May-2014 19:21
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kiwirock: 

I prefer to avoid channel 6 as it's closer to the microwave oven.


now this is something i was not aware of..




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  Reply # 1045764 15-May-2014 19:38
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My mirowave oven has the centre frequency written on the back.

My old one was a little higher making channel 6 more usable than 11. But the current one is 2.44Ghz which is closer to 6 (actually channel 7) than 11. The old one was a cheap oven though and it leaked a little causing my wifi to drop out.

For my Igloo boxes they use Channel 1, all my other devices not wired channel 11.



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  Reply # 1046129 16-May-2014 10:36
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Thanks guys, I get it now.  I think I'll try setting it up as a second AP wired back to the switch that hangs off the router.  I won't try using it's booster mode.

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  Reply # 1049879 20-May-2014 16:29
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hi guys, I've got an old Vodafone SHG1500 that I was wanting to use as an Access Point as I've now got VDSL with the HG556a (similar situation as OP)

 

I couldnt see it on the dd-wrt build compatible list, is anyone able to elaborate on how to set this up in this fashion?

 

cheers

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