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Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 146877 1-Jun-2014 11:07
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Hi there I need to try and figure out whether a wifi range extender would be suitable or any other suggestions.

I live in a house that's been split into 2 places.  The neighbours allowing us to share the wireless network connection but for certain devices they get average connections with multiple cut outs at times.

The neighbours pc / wifi setup is in the exact opposite corner of the house too our lounge where it's most needed.  I can get pretty good and constant connection to their network on my HP Netbook but it's a netbook so is sluggish and slow to open new pages and will not respond when I have more than a few pages open for long periods of time (sometimes minutes of unresponsiveness) which is frustrating. 

Our main pc in our lounge is a HTPC connected to a 50 inch tv and we do all our media viewing and everything else through this.  The coverage for the xbox connected to the tv is fine as is our cellphone coverage (tolerable) but the HTPC is just intermittent and having it cut out when trying to load webpages or download stuff is annoying (plus obvious windows update take forever).

So my question is would a wifi range extender eg a Netgear N300 wireless range extender in our bedroom (closest jack points to the neighbours pc) do the trick or can I use something like this connected to the HTPC

http://laptopbattery.co.nz/Networking-and-internet/Bluetooth/AC1200-Wireless-Dual-Band-USB-Adapter-LBN51525.htm and would it do a better job.

Any other suggestions are appreciated. There's some good specials this weekend so hopefully gonna get the chance to do something about it at a good price.

Cheers.

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Uber Geek
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Biddle Corp
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  Reply # 1057441 1-Jun-2014 11:22
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May or may not work - it's not really possible to answer that question.

Range extenders in general are a poor solution as you immediately half the throughput of the wireless because of the nature in which they work.

The biggest issue however it placement - they're a solution to poor coverage, but need to be located where the WiFi signal is strong. Most people try and put these in a poor coverage area to improve coverage in said area, which is something that simply can't work. Having a device with poor RSSI connected also drags down the performance of the main AP/router.

The best solution would be Ethernet over power extenders combined with an AP, which should work fine in your scenario as you'll likely be on the same phase, but once again it's something that may or may not work.





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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1057455 1-Jun-2014 11:45
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I forgot to mention the HTPC is using a USB Wifi N300 dongle to connect. Although does also have built in wireless.

I am not sure I'd be able to do the ethernet option due to the houses being completely separate in all ways except we share a common wall (basically like your average flat type house is).  Plus I don't want to ask to have anything plugged in at their place.

Do you think the Netis USB adapter would be of any use???

 
 
 
 


423 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1057526 1-Jun-2014 13:46
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I wouldn't go with the Netis adapter. For one you don't want to use 802.11ac as that's 5Ghz only, and 2.4ghz tends to have greater range than 5Ghz (5Ghz tends to have greater speed). It could well function as a decent 802.11n 2.4GHz adapter though.

I'd go with a wireless range extender (some routers can be reconfigured as a range extender, if you want a cheaper option). Try putting it right next to the HTPC, connect the HTPC to it via ethernet and use it as a bridge. If that doesn't work then you can try putting it in between and using it as a wireless range extender. In short, this allows you to try both options with one device instead of being limited to client only, and also allows you to connect more than one device. Just go for a cheap 802.11n 2.4GHz 300mbps (or even 150mbps) one off trademe, ideally (but not necessarily) something that can run DD-WRT/OpenWRT/Tomato as that'll give you more routing options (but stock firmware on most routers can do this as well). You should be able to get something for <$20. If you're in Auckland I can sell you one.

As sbiddle said, if you can get a wired connection (ethernet, or powerline, or something similar) for part of the connection that'd usually be a better idea.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1057533 1-Jun-2014 13:58
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If you want to buy a USB adapter from laptopbattery, I'd say this is the one to go for - http://laptopbattery.co.nz/Networking-and-internet/Wireless-Networking/Premiertek-High-Power-300Mbps-usb-9dBi-antenna-LBN51020.htm . At least if you're after range.



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  Reply # 1057560 1-Jun-2014 14:25
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It wasn't so much that I have to or want to use laptopbattery but I got a link for something that sounded potentially useful from pricespy. As for the link above that does sound pretty good. I'm really just looking for something that will give me a more reliable connection as my htpc us what I'd prefer to be using instead of transferring from the 10" netbook. I'd like to browse the internet on 50" TV and be able to get my updates without it taking hours & multiple retries. I need to actually update from Windows 8 to 8.1 since they've announced they're removing support.

Jbhifi have a N300 range extender on special with 30% off so might get the local Noel Leemings to price match & try the first suggestion if that doesn't work well enough then may try the other with the usb option above. Of course keep the suggestions coming until I post I've found a good enough solution.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1057563 1-Jun-2014 14:29
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Which N300 range extender were you looking at?



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1057567 1-Jun-2014 14:34
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The Netgear one down to about $54 model number is n1000rp or something similar (I'm not home now visiting my partner in hospital we had a baby girl on Friday). Sadly $ is a issue for us otherwise I'd have my own internet connection with no range problems.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1057570 1-Jun-2014 14:49
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Congratulations to you and your partner.

The WN1000RP might do what you want, but I wouldn't bet on it. Also doesn't have a single ethernet port on it, so you can't plug any wired devices (like your HTPC) into it if you choose to.

If you're in Auckland, I can give you a Netgear NP803n for free. You can put it into repeater mode and use it as you would the WN1000RP.



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1057581 1-Jun-2014 15:25
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Thanks for the offer & congrats however I'm about a hour north of Wellington so unless you'd be willing to post (I'm happy to pay for postage) I'll have to try the extender option first as if not then I can get a refund & try the other.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1057583 1-Jun-2014 15:45
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Sure, why not, although probably not until late in the week. I'll send you a message.

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