Author Topic: Question router repeater wifi  (Read 1115 times)

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Offline tiago1986

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Question router repeater wifi
« on: June 14, 2021, 09:21:02 pm »
is it possible to buy a good router or wifi repeater on Aliexpress for a low price? I currently have a second TP-LINK TW-WR541G router outside my room to distribute wifi throughout the rest of the house but my father has a samsung galaxy A10 smartphone and is always complaining that the wifi is slow so I wanted to spend as little as possible to improve it
 

Online james_s

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Re: Question router repeater wifi
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2021, 09:43:28 pm »
I have no experience with the routers you can buy on Aliexpress. I did face a similar problem with my mother's house though it's an old single floor house that has been added onto several times over the years so there are lots of walls and no good place to locate a router that was close to everything. I ended up installing a couple of used Aruba "Instant" access points, older enterprise grade hardware that didn't cost very much, it's been working great. There are also consumer wireless mesh systems you can get.
 

Offline David Hess

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Re: Question router repeater wifi
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2021, 10:36:46 pm »
is it possible to buy a good router or wifi repeater on Aliexpress for a low price?

I would say no to both.  Consumer routers are junk, and Wifi repeaters are a flawed concept.
 

Offline tiago1986

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Re: Question router repeater wifi
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2021, 10:40:14 pm »
what buy?
 

Offline PKTKS

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Re: Question router repeater wifi
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2021, 12:23:57 pm »
what buy?

2 answers:

- CHEAP SOLUTION:  A bunch of CAT5e cable and any cheap AP
from tp-link to dlink to tenda to wtf fit budget...

- NON CHEAP SOLUTION:  a serious powerful radio AP capable
of doing at least 3 or 4 walls of concrete.. with some rebar...

expect a big device like outdoor units from tenda ubiquiti mikrotik
or like the  Wavelink outdoor unit Omnidirectional.. made for outfits

3 walls of concrete can be done with Omni more than that
only directional dishes.

Have a look at  Wavlink AC1200  consumer grade cheapo...

Paul
« Last Edit: June 15, 2021, 12:26:17 pm by PKTKS »
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: Question router repeater wifi
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2021, 07:02:17 pm »
I agree that the concept may be flawed, but the repeaters (aka WIFI extenders) do work.

I helped my relative install an extender just about 10 days ago.  The one we happen to get is NetGear WN3000RP-100NAS.  Don't take that as a recommendation, I don't like the set up at all, but it does work.  Oh, the manual is awfully hard to understand...

This is how that one works in a nut-shell

First:
- In our case (our selected choice of repeater), the set-up process is very unforgiving.  If you make a mistake or took too long and something timed out, best bet is to factory-reset, so have a paper clip ready.  None of the screens I used were "correctable" when a mistake was made.

What it does is:

- It can be setup as an access point or extender.
- If you are extending, you should do the set up close to the main WiFi (say main WiFi SSID is main_WiFi).  You want to avoid loosing the connection during set up.  But just in case, get that paper clip handy.  Factory-reset is much easier than to try to correct the mistake.

- You are given a "URL" in the manual.  Boot it up, and you can WiFi connect to the extender's default SSID (or hardwire) and set it up using the Netgear provided URL.
- First page: You are asked to select Access Point or Extender.
- As repeater/extender, during the very unforgiving setup, it scans available networks. 
- You select SSID main_WiFi as the one to be extended.
- You will need to properly connected to main_WiFi with appropriate password/security first.  Once that is successful...  You are given a few more screens of questions (like extender's SSID, password, etc.  Say you choose extender SSID as Ext_WiFi), complete those screen.  (My suggestion is to change only SSID but use default password so as to finish the unforgiving set up screens quickly.  After initial set up, you can go back in to change the password)
- Once set up is completed ...  Now you can move the extender (in theory) to elsewhere as long as that new spot still have some signal.  The netgear extender has an LED showing if the extender has main_WiFi signal (or not).  In my case, I pre-tested areas with my "Smart" Phone's WiFi.  The best reception happens to be at a location that is very hard to get to, but has reasonable signal to main_WiFi, and I found no reason not to leave it right there since repeater's signal  covered the rest of the apartment nicely.
-  You can now connect to Ext_WiFi, and the extender in-turn pass it along to main_WiFi, bi-directionally.

Result:
It does work -- now my relative can move anywhere in her space and got great coverage.

Issues:
- IP address issue (which I have not explored in detail since it is not here but at my relative's home).  The extender is default IP 192.168.1.250.  The main_WiFi's subset happens to be the same.  So once connected, you can't get to your extender using IP address, but you can get to the extender's set up via the NetGear provided URL.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2021, 07:21:20 pm by Rick Law »
 

Offline fordem

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Re: Question router repeater wifi
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2021, 03:21:55 pm »
I agree that the concept may be flawed, but the repeaters (aka WIFI extenders) do work.
<SNIP>
I helped my relative install an extender just about 10 days ago.
<SNIP>
It does work -- now my relative can move anywhere in her space and got great coverage.

What you may not be aware of, is that whilst your relative now gets great coverage, she can only get 50% of her available throughput.

Most WiFi repeaters use a single radio and can not transmit & receive simultaneously, so they must first receive data from the access point and then transmit that data to the end user, so whatever bandwidth is available from the ISP, only 50% is available to the user, and this performance hit repeats for every extender in the chain, two extenders in series results in a 25% throughput.

Kind of a lousy solution when the complaint is slow WiFi.

Yes, I am aware that there are dual band repeaters allow one radio to be used for the "backhaul" and the other for device connections, these also have serious shortcomings that I'm willing to discuss should the need arise - the only true solution to poor coverage is to install additional access points hard wired back to the router.
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: Question router repeater wifi
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2021, 08:59:28 pm »
I agree that the concept may be flawed, but the repeaters (aka WIFI extenders) do work.
<SNIP>
I helped my relative install an extender just about 10 days ago.
<SNIP>
It does work -- now my relative can move anywhere in her space and got great coverage.

What you may not be aware of, is that whilst your relative now gets great coverage, she can only get 50% of her available throughput.

Most WiFi repeaters use a single radio and can not transmit & receive simultaneously, so they must first receive data from the access point and then transmit that data to the end user, so whatever bandwidth is available from the ISP, only 50% is available to the user, and this performance hit repeats for every extender in the chain, two extenders in series results in a 25% throughput.

Kind of a lousy solution when the complaint is slow WiFi.

Yes, I am aware that there are dual band repeaters allow one radio to be used for the "backhaul" and the other for device connections, these also have serious shortcomings that I'm willing to discuss should the need arise - the only true solution to poor coverage is to install additional access points hard wired back to the router.

Yeah, I am aware of the probable lost of through put.  After getting the repeater working, out of curiosity, I walked near (1 meter away) the main WiFi, took measure of the through put, and compared against the through put a meter away from the repeater.  It was actually worst than 50%.  I had about 1/3 of the capacity.  That said, 30% is better than 0% which was what she had before.  With remote-work due to lock down, that 30% kept her job going.

My relative's issues was an account ownership issue!  Wrong address on the ISP end - so the repeater was a temporary solution until things are flushed out.  She now has it hardwired right into her space.

I agree with you 100%, hard-wire and create another access point is the best bet.  That is one of my reservation about this new "mesh" WiFi which Fios (Verizon) appears to be pushing with their marketing.  Besides back-hauling, I don't particularly like cluttering up the air-wave.
 

Online james_s

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Re: Question router repeater wifi
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2021, 03:32:19 am »
I agree that the concept may be flawed, but the repeaters (aka WIFI extenders) do work.
<SNIP>
I helped my relative install an extender just about 10 days ago.
<SNIP>
It does work -- now my relative can move anywhere in her space and got great coverage.

What you may not be aware of, is that whilst your relative now gets great coverage, she can only get 50% of her available throughput.

Most WiFi repeaters use a single radio and can not transmit & receive simultaneously, so they must first receive data from the access point and then transmit that data to the end user, so whatever bandwidth is available from the ISP, only 50% is available to the user, and this performance hit repeats for every extender in the chain, two extenders in series results in a 25% throughput.

Kind of a lousy solution when the complaint is slow WiFi.

Yes, I am aware that there are dual band repeaters allow one radio to be used for the "backhaul" and the other for device connections, these also have serious shortcomings that I'm willing to discuss should the need arise - the only true solution to poor coverage is to install additional access points hard wired back to the router.

That depends on why it's slow. A weak signal can result in far less than 50% bandwidth and make the whole thing slow to a crawl, in these cases a repeater does work to improve the situation drastically. In most cases the bottleneck will be the internet connection (WAN) rather than the internal wifi. Whether a repeater makes sense depends on the situation.
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: Question router repeater wifi
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2021, 03:28:47 pm »
Even the best case scenario will add another cycle of receive+transmit in order to repeat.  Regardless of how great the repeater is, more latency time is unavoidable with the added receive+transmit.

It really is a case of "better than nothing."  It works, but you pay in performance (and of course added dollar of buying, powering, and maintaining it).
 

Online james_s

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Re: Question router repeater wifi
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2021, 06:06:11 pm »
Sometimes "better than nothing" is all you really need. Running a wire to handle the backhaul may not be an option in some cases. It's like using an adapter to make something work, sometimes the choice is either that or nothing at all, better alternatives are impractical. If it achieves an adequate result at an affordable price then it's worthwhile.
 


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