Networking & Wireless forum


Access Point or Wifi Signal Booster???

by unstopablethunder / January 1, 2013 7:16 PM PST

Got 1 Linksys WRT54G Router on the ground floor which uses PTCL DSL Internet and 1 D-Link Wireless N Gigabit Router on the first floor which uses World Call Cable Internet of my house. So yeah we have two internet connections.

Getting weak signals from both of the routers in my room on the far left side of the house and little to no signals in the basement.

So what I want to ask is that should I purchase better routers or should I go with a signal booster of some sorts like an Access Point or a Range Extender?

Also is there such a device which would catch signals from both of these differently configured routers ( different internets, different wireless security keys etc ) and then boost them throughout the house if placed in an area where both the router signals are strong???


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All Answers

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by sunwatcher / January 1, 2013 11:44 PM PST

You may get better coverage by replacing the WRT54G with a newer wireless N router, but that really depends on the router's location and obstacles between devices.

Wireless repeaters or range extenders are convenient to set up, but reduce data throughput. They're okay for general web surfing, but you may encounter problems when streaming media and experience slower file transfers. I believe a repeater will only work with a single wireless router and not multiple ones simultaneously.

An additional access point is a better solution, but you will need wiring between your existing router and access point. You can run a cat 5 cable or link devices with powerline adapters.

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thanks but
by unstopablethunder / January 2, 2013 12:08 AM PST
In reply to: Options

Even if I replace my Linksys one with a new more powerful router what about the other router on the first floor?

One of my connection is 1 Mbps, I get around 130 KB/s on this and the other one is 4 Mbps, I get around 500 KB/s on this one, so would a range extender/signal booster still reduce their streaming and download speed considering my internet speeds are not very fast to begin with, so I won't be consuming high amount of bandwidth.

And about the access points, I've seen a few wireless ones which don't require any cable, I'm assuming they catch signals from the wireless routers and then amplify them ... right? Would these devices hinder my internet speeds like you suggested about range extenders?

And I have seen a few range extenders and access points by Netgear which stated they have dual router access capabilities, can anyone confirm this?


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Access point vs repeater
by sunwatcher / January 2, 2013 1:39 AM PST
In reply to: thanks but

You will not likely benefit from replacing the DLink since it is an N-wireless router.

A range extender will further decrease the bandwidth to wireless devices, I believe by roughly half. Music streaming might be okay, but web video streaming will likely be out of the question.

A wireless access point must be physically connected to a device that provides a network connection, normally a modem/router. The "wireless" part just means that it provides wireless connectivity to client devices. The range extenders (or repeaters) are the ones which require no physical connection to any other device. All types of repeaters will reduce your throughput, so I tend not to recommend these unless you can live with the slower speeds.

When you state "dual router access capabilities", are you sure it's not "dual band wireless"? Dual band is more common with better routers, and may help with wireless reception. But again, location and obstacles are the limiting factors.

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Netgear yes
by Yellowbird77 / January 2, 2013 4:54 AM PST
In reply to: thanks but

I have cable from Comcast and my own Motorola Surfboard dual band modem. Next I have Netgear's latest greatest dual band router carefully placed in my first floor. I have a total of 4 bedrooms, 3 tv's, 4 computers, and 4 portable Kindle Fire and laptop items. They all stream like mad with no loss of speed.
I did a lot of research and I have been an electronics buff for many years... going back to the 1970's. I know my hardware and this works.
If you place your router and your recieving computers carefully, there is no reason why you can't receive the signal. Just remember, you're picking up a radio signal. Don't allow any large metal objects between the router and the receiver (computer or tv).

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Yellowbird77, which NetGear do you have?
by MeganKelleyHall / March 22, 2013 5:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Netgear yes

I also have a cable/wifi modem from Xfinity/Comcast. We have many dead zones in our house. No Blu-ray/Netflix, no wifi in any of the bedrooms, no wifi on the opposite side of the house (where my husband's office is located.) No one will give me any answers. Not Comcast. Not our electricians. I'm stumped. Our modem is on the first floor. Will "Netgear's latest and greatest dual band router" work as an extender or booster or repeater or whatever you call it? Does it need to be hardwired? Any information would be immensely appreciated.


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