Wireless Access Point vs Range Extender

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John Gray
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Wireless Access Point vs Range Extender

Post by John Gray »

A charity I'm doing some work for has a set of about 8 offices all the way down one side of the building. Each office is separated from the next by a brick wall. The wireless router is located in the front office. There are a few ethernet cables laid from the routers to some of the offices - but very few

Wireless signal strength is adequate up to about half-way down the building, but in the furthest office it is down to about -88 dB (according to inSSIDer), but amazingly one or two laptops can connect, albeit with agonisingly-slow service.

There would appear to be (at least!) three ways of dealing with the problem.
  • get a better router, perhaps with a directional aerial
  • put a wireless range extender in the middle office
  • put a wireless access point in the furthest office, on the single ethernet cable in that office
What would you do?

(I presume that the wireless range extender would use the same network name/SSID and channel as the main router, and that the WAP should have a different network name/SSID and a different channel.)
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StuartR
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Re: Wireless Access Point vs Range Extender

Post by StuartR »

I would go for your third option, put a wireless access point in the furthest office.

Last time I looked at range extenders they had many limitations, including no support for WPA/WPA2 passthrough.
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Claude
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Re: Wireless Access Point vs Range Extender

Post by Claude »

I agree 100% with Stuart on this one, experienced less than 2 months ago. (Everyone happy now over there)
Cheers, Claude.

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John Gray
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Re: Wireless Access Point vs Range Extender

Post by John Gray »

In which case no contest! Thanks!
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Re: Wireless Access Point vs Range Extender

Post by John Gray »

One final question: when setting up the Wireless Access Point's IP address, on the same subnet as the router and outside the DHCP scope defined on the router, should I leave the Gateway to the default of 0.0.0.0 or should I put there the IP address of the router? Does it matter one way or the other?
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Re: Wireless Access Point vs Range Extender

Post by RonH »

StuartR wrote: Last time I looked at range extenders they had many limitations, including no support for WPA/WPA2 passthrough.
Possibly of no interest but the Belkin 750 router extenders do operate with WPA/WPA2 passthrough giving the same security as the prime router. The security settings on my small home net are identical. Unless I do not understand what WPA/WPA2 passthrough really means :scratch:
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StuartR
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Re: Wireless Access Point vs Range Extender

Post by StuartR »

If you're hard coding the IP address of the access point then you should hard code the correct gateway too.

It does look as though the more recent extenders do WAP passthrough, but I still think you will be better off with a second access point, so long as you can easily run a cable to the required location.
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RonH
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Re: Wireless Access Point vs Range Extender

Post by RonH »

I guess that local cable will always be more secure than any form of wireless ... as you say Stuart 'if you can run it'.
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John Gray
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Re: Wireless Access Point vs Range Extender

Post by John Gray »

StuartR wrote:If you're hard coding the IP address of the access point then you should hard code the correct gateway too.
So that would be 192.168.2.1 because the router is a horrible Belkin which defaults to the '2' subnet?
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Re: Wireless Access Point vs Range Extender

Post by RonH »

So that would be 192.168.2.1 because the router is a horrible Belkin which defaults to the '2' subnet?

What does all this mean John?
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John Gray
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Re: Wireless Access Point vs Range Extender

Post by John Gray »

I'm not sure what it 'all' means, Ron, but:
  • I don't like Belkin routers, which have caused me various problems over the years.
  • The Gateway IP address is (I trust) that of the device which provides access to the internet
  • The '2' subnet, for Belkin routers, is its default subnet, meaning that (in simplistic terms) the range of IP addresses on the LAN is from !92.168.2.1 (the default IP address of the Belkin router) to 192.168.2.254.
    Most routers default to the '0' subnet (addresses 192.168.0.1 to 192.168.0.254), and a few to the '1' subnet (192.168.1.1 to 192.168.1.254) - and several routers now have 192.168.1.254 as their own default IP address.
I find out whether my WAP configuration works on Friday morning!
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Re: Wireless Access Point vs Range Extender

Post by RonH »

6 months ago John I purchased Belkin (N750 plus Range Extender) and it seems to function OK. However the extender (which I needed for outside coverage ... couldn't cable) does 'loose' its way from time to time but its easy to recover by a power off/on.

Why did I buy Belkin? It looked nice :innocent: and the sales rep was non pushy. Very technical ha! Wasn't a price consideration. Since purchase, during the odd time I have contacted Belkin they have been quick to respond. Looking at our local area using inSSIDer 3 I can say that I am the only Belkin user ... maybe not a good decision then. But as long as it works I guess that it is safe as possible all set to WPA2.
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Re: Wireless Access Point vs Range Extender

Post by sparkgates »

I have a 4 room office four computer are connected with router .I want to connect four more computer but other room at least 20 meter space it is possible to configure this system or it's work.

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Claude
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Re: Wireless Access Point vs Range Extender

Post by Claude »

Welcome to Eileen's lounge !

What is the office building ? Concrete ? You may need 2 wifi extenders, but, it should be possible
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Re: Wireless Access Point vs Range Extender

Post by Rudi »

I'm not a wi-fi technician, but in our large office building we have wi-fi boosters in various positions that amplify the signals to the extent that we can roam throughout the building and have decent connection. Whether boosters or extenders are the same thing...I wouldn't know. This is just my :2cents:
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Re: Wireless Access Point vs Range Extender

Post by StuartR »

In a typical office building you would have multiple Wireless Access Points, each of which is connected to a physical wire for its upstream network connection.
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