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Wifi extender/booster - what is the difference?

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Wifi extender/booster - what is the difference?

Old 16th Apr 2020, 13:32
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: UK
Age: 55
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Thread ressurection alert.

I'm spending an increasing amount of time in my shed. Three ladies in the house (don't ask). However, as my shed is about 100ft from the house obviously the wifi won't reach. The shed is fully powered from the circuit breaker box in the house. Question is, will these plug in extenders work over that sort of distance? If so, any recomendations?

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Old 16th Apr 2020, 13:54
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Seat 0A
Posts: 7,980
I use a powerline system (TPLink) where you plug in a little box to the mains, connect the box to the main router, then plug the other little box into a mains socket at the other end of the house, then I hang a cheap wifi access point off it's ethernet socket. Works well. Basically, ethernet going via the mains power circuit from the main router to the wifi access point.

Similar to these:

and this on the end:

Note: they're Aussie dollars. Halve them for pounds.
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Old 16th Apr 2020, 16:58
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
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I am with Capn Bloggs on this.
I have used my mains electricity for this sort of set up from when it first became available in the UK, thanks to a techie friend in the Elec industry.
Technically, he assures me, I could receive my whole Internet connection over our electricity supply..........but it is location dependent.........it was "politics" that stopped that.

TP link gadgets from router to any old nearby plug, and then TP near wherever I need ethernet style speeds.

The only place spared this is the man cave. I have not informed SWMBO of this omission.
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Old 16th Apr 2020, 18:45
  #24 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: France
Age: 64
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All good

Agree with CB and AO as above.
I've been using 2 TP-Link Wi-Fi extenders over the mains circuit for a few years and move them around as necessary, up to 50 metres away on an extension lead.
I used to have the occasional problem when having visitors and several devices attached to the network. I found myself dumped of the network and needed to re-connect which was a minor inconvenience.
However, even this was solved when my son configured the extenders to bear the same name as the router so you can move seamlessly from one to the other without changing the settings on your device.
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Old 16th Apr 2020, 19:30
  #25 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: UkK
Posts: 87
I'd highly recommend the Ubiquiti UniFi range of products which can be meshed and offer superb signal. Just make sure you turn off the main router wifi if using these to stop the interference.
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Old 16th Apr 2020, 22:13
  #26 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Farnham, Surrey
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Our home is a bungalow (sort of) which is based on two 17th century cottages merged together under a single roof with extensions. The walls of the original cottages are mainly flint, which is opaque to microwave frequencies so getting wifi coverage in some areas (like the daughters' bedrooms) was difficult.

But it was completely solved using a mains Powerline network. I use cheap TP-Link 300Mbps devices (you can even get them in Sainsburys). One unit is plugged into a wall socket and connected to the router using an ethernet cable I then have separate wireless adapters in both of the girls' rooms, and a wired one in the dining room (that's been there for a month because SWMBO is currently using it as her office). Each unit just plugs into a mains socket and creates a local wifi access point (with its own SSID and key) filling the bedroom or an ethernet socket that is just plugged in when needed. The original two have run without missing a beat for several years, and the LAN speed varies between 100 and 190Mbps at each node (it's never clear why - my theory is that it's actual routing/switching functionality is a bit crude), but as I only get 12Mbps broadband (WAN) speed I'm not that bothered.

These units work very well PROVIDED YOU FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS. You must plug them directly into wall sockets - not extension leads of any kind, because the twisted wire flex of the extension lead seriously chokes the signal - plugging it into a 2-foot extension lead to a 4-way mains adaptor knocked the speed of the network back to under 1Mbps. Using an almost identical block on a 1.5m lead it wouldn't work at all. So plug it directly into the wall socket (and make sure it isn't one of those special wall sockets with "surge protectors"). If you can't spare the socket. Plug the main unit straight into your router with a piece of decent cat 5e or Cat 6 ethernet cable. For the wireless access points at the other end, set them up with unique SSID names - NOT THE SAME NAME AS YOUR ROUTER! I've seen people get very confused about this - you're not extending the existing wifi, you're adding additional wifi networks.So they need separate names (you c an use whatever key/password you like). I use a cheap one and it's perfectly reliable.

Finally - we have a summer house 80 yards down the garden which has power - a buried armoured cable with large, solid conductors. If I plug one of the powerline units into a socket in the summer house I can get well over 60Mbps wifi over most of the garden (thin wooden walls!)

€0.000003 supplied,

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Old 17th Apr 2020, 03:13
  #27 (permalink)  
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I would have the same SSID throughout, use mesh routers such as the successor to the Deco M9+, and be prepared to use a Powerlink-type connection as the backhaul between devices. However, with beam-forming and 802.11ax, you might just be able get a wireless backhaul connection at that distance. With the added bonus, you get Bluetooth and Zigbee support everywhere. We use a mix of Deco kit and, together with the management tools, have been very happy.
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Old 17th Apr 2020, 06:29
  #28 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Farnham, Surrey
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If you use the same SSID throughout then some devices have problems because they seem to get confused which one they are talking to, and just stall. It's much simpler to use different SSIDs and to allow the device (laptop, phone, tablet etc) to swap to another one as they move in and out of range.

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Old 17th Apr 2020, 07:06
  #29 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: UkK
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As PDR1 says, if you use the same SSID and password on different models of kit, the device will not handover between AP's very well. If using managed kit such as UniFi then this is all handled for you.
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Old 17th Apr 2020, 07:44
  #30 (permalink)  
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Because it supports .11k/v/r. Just buy compliant hardware and avoid random cheeep stuff.
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Old 17th Apr 2020, 08:44
  #31 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Away from it all
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A cheap and reliable solution I have used for ages is to daisy chain two similar routers together to increase wifi coverage at home. Just Google for several specific setups.
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Old 21st Apr 2020, 15:27
  #32 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2002
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Thankyou everyone for the (very) informed replies. Much of which went above my head but hey ho I'll muddle through.
I think a booster/extender is the best bet for me as then it will cover the entire garden. Its mostly for streaming music while I'm hiding...sorry, working in my man cave.

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Old 24th Apr 2020, 21:44
  #33 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Southport
Posts: 1,094
Another advantage of the multiple router solution is you can have the kids attach to one and you&spouse attach to the other, with different rules (time/filtering etc) on each. Plus it gives you more WiFi bandwidth for you all to play with than just having one router/access point. (A wireless extender doesn't give any more absolute bandwidth, just a boosted signal which may help get the signal further).
We have the standard Sky (black) router on a high shelf under the stairs, linked to an EE one on the back bedroom window sill by Ethernet cable. The kids can only connect to the EE one, which has firewall rules that cut everything off 11pm - 6am. We can connect to both, so have 24/7 access in the house and day access in the garden. Both are 802.11n so plenty bandwidth for all. Works really well. Not hard to set up all details via Google.
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 16:52
  #34 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: UK
Age: 55
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Thanks again for the replies.

After chatting to a mate who's probably forgotten more about this sort of thing than I'll ever know I went for a Ubiquity outdoor AP.


Works very well, I just needed to route an ethernet cable from the router/PoE adapter in the living room through the garage to an external wall and round to the back of the house. Oh its a bugger to set up as the controller is through the internet, not direct to the unit itself.
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