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Help Requested for Simplest Wifi Signal Booster


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21 replies to this topic

#1 cv91915

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 09:52 PM

I need to get a wifi booster/extender for my parents.

 

I had an inexpensive Netgear model (https://www.bestbuy....p?skuId=2733324) picked out until I read that it would require them to switch networks in order to use the amplified signal (although it would be easy to pick the correct one, since it would be the name of their current network plus "- EXT").

 

Do they all work like this?  I was hoping to just amplify the signal they already have without requiring them to switch to a different network when they're on the extreme other side of their house / out in one of the garages.

 

By far the most important consideration is simplicity.  Their Internet service will never be fast enough to require 802.11ac, for example.





#2 BRBiz

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 10:04 PM

Probably the simplest is actually Apple routers. You can setup mulitiples and they connect and stay connected. Setup is very easy if you use a Apple device.

Edited by BRBiz , 21 November 2017 - 10:05 PM.


#3 credit_help

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 10:25 PM

I need to get a wifi booster/extender for my parents.
 
I had an inexpensive Netgear model (https://www.bestbuy....p?skuId=2733324) picked out until I read that it would require them to switch networks in order to use the amplified signal (although it would be easy to pick the correct one, since it would be the name of their current network plus "- EXT").
 
Do they all work like this?  I was hoping to just amplify the signal they already have without requiring them to switch to a different network when they're on the extreme other side of their house / out in one of the garages.
 
By far the most important consideration is simplicity.  Their Internet service will never be fast enough to require 802.11ac, for example.

As long as they have the same SSID, the switchover to different access point should be transparent.

Have you checked the Wirecutter site?

https://thewirecutte...wi-fi-extender/

Or even the mesh WiFi systems:

https://www.lifewire...systems-4139748

Edited by credit_help, 21 November 2017 - 10:31 PM.


#4 mrjuggalo9er

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 11:20 PM

https://www.google.c...195.5eqefsfue5I

Sends the signal through your electrical outlets, very easy, around 20% speed loss....I worked as a service tech for a cable company for a few years....

#5 cv91915

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 08:14 AM

Probably the simplest is actually Apple routers. You can setup mulitiples and they connect and stay connected. Setup is very easy if you use a Apple device.


As soon as I replace their router, tech support responsibility transfers from AT&T to me, which is not an option.

#6 mk_378

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 08:46 AM

As soon as I replace their router, tech support responsibility transfers from AT&T to me, which is not an option.

You're not being realistic. When you bring in any third-party piece of equipment, you will have to support it.

The ISP supplied combo modem / router / wifi boxes, as a rule, are terrible. Very good chance the whole house could be covered with one good access point well located.

Edited by mk_378, 22 November 2017 - 08:47 AM.


#7 cv91915

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 09:15 AM

 

As soon as I replace their router, tech support responsibility transfers from AT&T to me, which is not an option.

 

You're not being realistic. When you bring in any third-party piece of equipment, you will have to support it.

The ISP supplied combo modem / router / wifi boxes, as a rule, are terrible. Very good chance the whole house could be covered with one good access point well located.

 

 

We are DIY on our own networks and have quality equipment in both of our homes.

 

I am not willing to support the main hub for their TV and Internet service, which is installed by their provider at the only point where service currently enters the home.  I will (and do) support anything that connects to it.



#8 cv91915

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 09:23 AM

 

I need to get a wifi booster/extender for my parents.
 
I had an inexpensive Netgear model (https://www.bestbuy....p?skuId=2733324) picked out until I read that it would require them to switch networks in order to use the amplified signal (although it would be easy to pick the correct one, since it would be the name of their current network plus "- EXT").
 
Do they all work like this?  I was hoping to just amplify the signal they already have without requiring them to switch to a different network when they're on the extreme other side of their house / out in one of the garages.
 
By far the most important consideration is simplicity.  Their Internet service will never be fast enough to require 802.11ac, for example.

As long as they have the same SSID, the switchover to different access point should be transparent.

Have you checked the Wirecutter site?

https://thewirecutte...wi-fi-extender/

Or even the mesh WiFi systems:

https://www.lifewire...systems-4139748

 

 

 

If their current network name is "Dingleberry," in order to use the wifi service extended by the device I linked in my OP they would have to connect to "Dingleberry-EXT."  

 

On a single device, even if they've connected to both Dingleberry and Dingleberry-EXT in the past, unless the Dingleberry signal disappears completely (vs. just getting weak) I don't see the device automatically switching to Dingleberry-EXT.  I could be wrong.  My understanding is a little crude, so please bear with me.

 

Device = one of two iPads or an iPhone or a Moto G Android phone, if any of this matters.



#9 cv91915

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 09:26 AM

 

I'd do this for us, but this is overkill for my parents.  On a scale from crude to elegant, I think we need a solution that's akin to washing laundry on rocks at the river.  They'll be happy with "good enough."



#10 CTSoxFan

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 09:29 AM

Any extender I have used is similar to what you have outlined with the EXT.  I highly recommend a mesh system.  I use the Orbi and it works beautifully.  Full coverage everywhere because I have 3 access points (overkill), but all use the same network so no issues with swapping. The google one is $125.  I know you aren't looking to spend a lot, but this will be money well spent.

 

Google Wifi:  https://store.google...uct/google_wifi

 

Orbi: https://www.amazon.c...1&keywords=orbi

 

eero: https://www.amazon.c...1&keywords=orbi



#11 mk_378

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 09:29 AM

I would turn off the wifi in that hub device entirely and go from there. Connect your own router system to its Ethernet port so you use the AT&T box only as the source of Internet.

Mesh systems are good here but if there is a detached garage that is far from the house, powerline may be a better way to link to it. Assuming of course it is on the same power pole transformer.

Edited by mk_378, 22 November 2017 - 09:33 AM.


#12 credit_help

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 09:36 AM

 

I need to get a wifi booster/extender for my parents.
 
I had an inexpensive Netgear model (https://www.bestbuy....p?skuId=2733324) picked out until I read that it would require them to switch networks in order to use the amplified signal (although it would be easy to pick the correct one, since it would be the name of their current network plus "- EXT").
 
Do they all work like this?  I was hoping to just amplify the signal they already have without requiring them to switch to a different network when they're on the extreme other side of their house / out in one of the garages.
 
By far the most important consideration is simplicity.  Their Internet service will never be fast enough to require 802.11ac, for example.

As long as they have the same SSID, the switchover to different access point should be transparent.

Have you checked the Wirecutter site?

https://thewirecutte...wi-fi-extender/

Or even the mesh WiFi systems:

https://www.lifewire...systems-4139748
 
 
 
If their current network name is "Dingleberry," in order to use the wifi service extended by the device I linked in my OP they would have to connect to "Dingleberry-EXT."  
 
On a single device, even if they've connected to both Dingleberry and Dingleberry-EXT in the past, unless the Dingleberry signal disappears completely (vs. just getting weak) I don't see the device automatically switching to Dingleberry-EXT.  I could be wrong.  My understanding is a little crude, so please bear with me.
 
Device = one of two iPads or an iPhone or a Moto G Android phone, if any of this matters.

You can edit the network name and remove “-EXT”.

#13 cv91915

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 09:44 AM

 

 

 

I need to get a wifi booster/extender for my parents.
 
I had an inexpensive Netgear model (https://www.bestbuy....p?skuId=2733324) picked out until I read that it would require them to switch networks in order to use the amplified signal (although it would be easy to pick the correct one, since it would be the name of their current network plus "- EXT").
 
Do they all work like this?  I was hoping to just amplify the signal they already have without requiring them to switch to a different network when they're on the extreme other side of their house / out in one of the garages.
 
By far the most important consideration is simplicity.  Their Internet service will never be fast enough to require 802.11ac, for example.

As long as they have the same SSID, the switchover to different access point should be transparent.

Have you checked the Wirecutter site?

https://thewirecutte...wi-fi-extender/

Or even the mesh WiFi systems:

https://www.lifewire...systems-4139748
 
 
 
If their current network name is "Dingleberry," in order to use the wifi service extended by the device I linked in my OP they would have to connect to "Dingleberry-EXT."  
 
On a single device, even if they've connected to both Dingleberry and Dingleberry-EXT in the past, unless the Dingleberry signal disappears completely (vs. just getting weak) I don't see the device automatically switching to Dingleberry-EXT.  I could be wrong.  My understanding is a little crude, so please bear with me.
 
Device = one of two iPads or an iPhone or a Moto G Android phone, if any of this matters.

You can edit the network name and remove “-EXT”.

 

 

How?



#14 CTSoxFan

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 09:48 AM

In the setup of the unit you can change the name, although in my experience I still had handoff issues.



#15 credit_help

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 09:48 AM

 

 

 

I need to get a wifi booster/extender for my parents.
 
I had an inexpensive Netgear model (https://www.bestbuy....p?skuId=2733324) picked out until I read that it would require them to switch networks in order to use the amplified signal (although it would be easy to pick the correct one, since it would be the name of their current network plus "- EXT").
 
Do they all work like this?  I was hoping to just amplify the signal they already have without requiring them to switch to a different network when they're on the extreme other side of their house / out in one of the garages.
 
By far the most important consideration is simplicity.  Their Internet service will never be fast enough to require 802.11ac, for example.

As long as they have the same SSID, the switchover to different access point should be transparent.

Have you checked the Wirecutter site?

https://thewirecutte...wi-fi-extender/

Or even the mesh WiFi systems:

https://www.lifewire...systems-4139748
 
 
 
If their current network name is "Dingleberry," in order to use the wifi service extended by the device I linked in my OP they would have to connect to "Dingleberry-EXT."  
 
On a single device, even if they've connected to both Dingleberry and Dingleberry-EXT in the past, unless the Dingleberry signal disappears completely (vs. just getting weak) I don't see the device automatically switching to Dingleberry-EXT.  I could be wrong.  My understanding is a little crude, so please bear with me.
 
Device = one of two iPads or an iPhone or a Moto G Android phone, if any of this matters.
You can edit the network name and remove “-EXT”.
 
 
How?
https://kb.netgear.c...eless-extenders

https://kb.netgear.c...ngs-of-WN3000RP

https://kb.netgear.c...r-using-an-iPad

Edited by credit_help, 22 November 2017 - 09:55 AM.


#16 mk_378

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 10:04 AM

In the setup of the unit you can change the name, although in my experience I still had handoff issues.

Handoff is the same whether the SSID (visible name) is the same or different.  The access point also broadcasts its MAC address (BSSID), and this is how a link is created and maintained.  In other words the user sees a list of SSIDs, but the OS uses those only as an intermediate stage to make a connection with a BSSID, which is one AP in a possible group bearing the same SSID. 

 

Only after the connection with the original AP drops, the phone starts probing for any known wifi SSIDs and connects to the strongest BSSID that is found.

 

I have read about an Android app called wifiswitcher that forces a handoff before the signal drops to zero, but I have not tried it yet.


Edited by mk_378, 22 November 2017 - 10:09 AM.


#17 cv91915

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 01:37 PM

https://www.google.c...195.5eqefsfue5I

Sends the signal through your electrical outlets, very easy, around 20% speed loss....I worked as a service tech for a cable company for a few years....

 

Unless I am misunderstanding, this is the same type of item I was originally looking at.  https://www.bestbuy....p?skuId=2733324

 

I think I'm going to go this route, even with the -EXT issue.  It's as simple as it's going to get without buying a new router, new wifi distribution system, etc.

 

Thanks to everyone for your input.



#18 credit_help

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 01:56 PM

https://www.google.c...195.5eqefsfue5I

Sends the signal through your electrical outlets, very easy, around 20% speed loss....I worked as a service tech for a cable company for a few years....

 
Unless I am misunderstanding, this is the same type of item I was originally looking at.  https://www.bestbuy....p?skuId=2733324
 
I think I'm going to go this route, even with the -EXT issue.  It's as simple as it's going to get without buying a new router, new wifi distribution system, etc.
 
Thanks to everyone for your input.
I think the one you bought is a just WiFi extender. This uses electric lines inside the building for network.

Edited by credit_help, 22 November 2017 - 01:57 PM.


#19 mk_378

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 02:19 PM

There are two things to consider when setting up an extended network with multiple access points:

 

1. Placing the APs where the users will have a good wifi signal over the entire intended coverage area.

2. "Backhauling" the data from each AP to the house's cable / DSL / etc. modem  and thus ultimately to the Internet.

 

A simple wifi extender like the WD3000RP uses the same wifi radio for the users and the backhaul.  This means that it needs a wifi link to the main router for (2) to work.   On the other hand, for condition (1) you'd like to install it where there is no wifi signal from the main router.  Ultimately you compromise and put it at a mid-way point.

 

The best backhaul by far is an Ethernet cable.  If the house is fairly new it may have some cat 5 / 6 cables installed during construction.  Or it would be relatively easy to run them through the attic or basement.

 

There are units mentioned in this thread that look like the WD3000RP but backhaul through the power wiring.  This sort of system requires another Ethernet to power line converter that you would install at the modem and connect to it with a short Ethernet cable.  Often this device is included in the box as a kit.  The power line backhaul does not require a wifi path from the main router to the extender.  That lets you place it basically anywhere there is an outlet connected to the same power system as the one at the main router.

 

Power line Ethernet can be hit or miss, depending on the wiring and other devices in the house, and whether you can get the two devices on the same "leg" of the power supply.  But it has gotten better. 



#20 cv91915

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 09:03 PM

 

https://www.google.c...195.5eqefsfue5I

Sends the signal through your electrical outlets, very easy, around 20% speed loss....I worked as a service tech for a cable company for a few years....

 

Unless I am misunderstanding, this is the same type of item I was originally looking at.  https://www.bestbuy....p?skuId=2733324

 

I think I'm going to go this route, even with the -EXT issue.  It's as simple as it's going to get without buying a new router, new wifi distribution system, etc.

 

Thanks to everyone for your input.

 

 

 

I picked one of these up and set it up at their house this afternoon.  It works perfectly.

 

The location that was chosen lends itself to using the new Dingleberry-EXT as the default network on all of their devices, so I connected them all that way.

 

Dad is thrilled with how fast msn.com loads on his iPad in the garage.  :lol:

 

Thanks again for the input.



#21 credit_help

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 09:07 PM

 

https://www.google.c...195.5eqefsfue5I

Sends the signal through your electrical outlets, very easy, around 20% speed loss....I worked as a service tech for a cable company for a few years....

 
Unless I am misunderstanding, this is the same type of item I was originally looking at.  https://www.bestbuy....p?skuId=2733324
 
I think I'm going to go this route, even with the -EXT issue.  It's as simple as it's going to get without buying a new router, new wifi distribution system, etc.
 
Thanks to everyone for your input.
 
 
 
I picked one of these up and set it up at their house this afternoon.  It works perfectly.
 
The location that was chosen lends itself to using the new Dingleberry-EXT as the default network on all of their devices, so I connected them all that way.
 
Dad is thrilled with how fast msn.com loads on his iPad in the garage.  :lol:
 
Thanks again for the input.
Nice job.

#22 Konrad2012

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 09:41 PM

Dad is thrilled with how fast msn.com loads on his iPad in the garage.  :lol:
 
Thanks again for the input.


Think how impressed he will be loading up xvideos.com!




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