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108 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 82653 3-May-2011 22:56
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Hello,

I am having a nightmare time trying to boost the wifi around a friends home.

The house is made very solidly. Thick solid concrete floor between ground and 1st floor. Walls are very solid too. At the top of his spiralled staircase is an open area where the desktop pc sits in a corner connected to a wireless adsl router. This router is not strong enough to pierce the floor or walls for the majority of the home so it basically covers the upstairs providing only low or poor wifi signals downstairs in the living areas.

So, what I thought I'd do is buy 2 access points and use them in repeater mode.
I bought 2 x TP-Link TL-WA901ND access points.

My problem is that after configuring the repeaters correctly (I think) they appear to be doing nothing to boost the signal and the laptop(s) are still getting their primary signal from the adsl router upstairs.
I put one repeater at the base of the stairs and another in the kitchen/family area. I connected through wifi the first repeater to the adsl router upstairs and the second repeater I connected through wifi to the first repeater to create a sort of stepping/shuffling of the signal from the top floor, down to the stairs and into the rest of the downstairs home.

The pc upstairs has been set with a staic ip as to has the adsl wifi router, repeaters, and clients. All devices are in the same subnet.

I read on the TP-Link website's FAQ's for creating a repeater environment that the security must be set to WEP or the repeaters wont connect. BUT, I feel this an outdated FAQ article because WEP should not be used on Wireless N hardware, which these access points are.

The adsl wifi router does not support WEP at all as a security option so it was impossible for me to set the adsl router and the two repeaters on the same security standard unless I went to WPA/PSK AES for example but that contradicts the FAQ article which I suspect is oudated.

I was wondering, is it possible to offer a wifi AP without it having it's LAN port connected via ethernet back to the adsl router or can you only have a wifi repeater for this solution?

Now this should be a basic thing to set up. I have never had such a rough time so any steps/tips/tricks are greatly appreciated. I have already spent a total of 5 hours trying multiple configurations.

Thank you,
Steve.

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  Reply # 465060 3-May-2011 22:58
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WDS repeating is problematic and not part of the wifi standard.

Run the cables and just use them as accesspoints.




Richard rich.ms



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Master Geek


  Reply # 465063 3-May-2011 23:04
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That's not what I wanted to hear :) but good to know.
My problem is that I cannot run cables to these AP's.

He is with Telecom Xtra, are you allowed to connect two adsl routers logging in to same account on the same dsl line?

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 465069 3-May-2011 23:24
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2 devices on the same line will not work, they will both just not achieve sync, even if one is powered off IME.

Perhaps look at some of the powerline bridges, and hope that your power cabling there is a bit more friendly than others who have tried them.




Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 465079 4-May-2011 00:00
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Start with the basics

1) unsecure it and try forcing b/g mode

2) retry with n mode

3) then try raising the security to wep, then wpa-psk/tkip, then try wpa2-psk/tkip




Ray Taylor
Taylor Broadband (rural hawkes bay)
www.ruralkiwi.com

There is no place like localhost
For my general guide to extending your wireless network Click Here






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Master Geek


  Reply # 465080 4-May-2011 00:03
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thanks, I prob wont be back there to try again for a few days but I will let you know how I got on.
I do not like being beaten! :)

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  Reply # 465101 4-May-2011 06:16
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WDS/repeater mode means an instant 50% drop in max throughput, which is less than ideal. If you have all N devices this is OK, but have any G devices and it'll kill your network speed.

The best way to configure a network is still to use wired AP's.



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Master Geek


  Reply # 465140 4-May-2011 09:13
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Bugger, what a sh1t. Ok, thanks for the info. He's getting a new laptop ina few days that will have wireless N so we'll see how it goes then. Otherwise it's back to the drawing board because cabling is not an option.

Cheers.

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  Reply # 465156 4-May-2011 09:41
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If you are surfing the net, the speed drop from WDS wont be that noticable
Personally I would go with the netcomm powerline adapters. It will perform much better than trying to do it with WDS which can be tricky and not very reliable.




Ray Taylor
Taylor Broadband (rural hawkes bay)
www.ruralkiwi.com

There is no place like localhost
For my general guide to extending your wireless network Click Here






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Master Geek


  Reply # 465170 4-May-2011 10:07
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Sweet I'll check them out and see what they cost. I'm unfamiliar with how they work, care to break it down simply for me?

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  Reply # 465219 4-May-2011 11:47
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I managed to get a TP-link repeating an  N wifi signal to increase range
was using WPA2-PSK
Had to use 'Universal Repeater Mode' and obviously link it to the original AP's MAC address and make sure you have the correct WPA key in there.
I didn't muck around with WDS or anything like that... Universal Repeater Mode just repeats everything it hears from the original AP AFAIK.
Seemed to work ok.

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  Reply # 465222 4-May-2011 11:49
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Yes +1 for the Netcomm powerline adapters. Much more stable than wi-fi for me in one end of my house. Despite the lower thru-put, it works much better than a sometimes flacky wi-fi connection. Certainly better from the WAF perspective anyway, who is only web browsing and answering email.

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  Reply # 465274 4-May-2011 13:17
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The powerline adapters are super simple
You just plug a network cable into the adapter, then plug it into the wall socket.

Then at the other end of the house, you just plig another device into the network cable, into the adaptor then plug that into the wall

And hey presto!
its just like a long ethernet cable. Most are rated for 85mbit+ so they are usually faster than wifi in most cases. I recently installed some into a church that had its 2 story office block attached to one of the wings. It was built in the 30's after the Napier earthquake and made of solid concrete. Being inside reminds me of a mental institution or jail without the bars. Anyhow no wifi would get through, but the netcomms handled the super old wiring in the building quite okay.

You can use more than 2 powerline adapters in the house, and some allow you to create little sub networks by programming them with software they came with.

So at location 1 you have your router, plugged into the access point, and powerline adapter
Then at location 2 you have the access point plugged into the power line adapter.

Set the same SSID / network name on both access points, same security and same password - but different channels, at least 5 apart. So if you use channel 1 down stairs, use channel 6 or 11 up stairs.
The laptop will then roam between them accroding to which has the better signal.




Ray Taylor
Taylor Broadband (rural hawkes bay)
www.ruralkiwi.com

There is no place like localhost
For my general guide to extending your wireless network Click Here






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Master Geek


  Reply # 465301 4-May-2011 14:18
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Loads of advice and info. Thank you all for the help. I wasn't even aware such a thing and it sounds like an ideal solution.
I will def update to let you know how I get on.


Churs.

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  Reply # 465327 4-May-2011 15:26
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I had a powerline networking in my old but rewired house. It was reliable, but speed topped out at about 8Mbps even though it was rated for 200Mbps or something crazy like that. Still 8Mbps is still quick enough for most things, but mine was for streaming potentially high def video so it wasn't enough for me.




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