Resolved Question

Do repeaters, bridges, etc. all cut Wi-Fi speed in half?

I have an old metal-walled mobile home that I plan on converting to a combination shop and man-cave; it's about 200 feet from my home's computer room, where I have a Netgear WNDR3400 wireless-n router. The only place in the trailer where I can "see" my home network is the kitchen window, and I thought about putting a Wi-Fi repeater there to extend the home network into the trailer. But I have read that using a repeater will cut the network's Wi-Fi throughput in half -- which would not please my wife and daughters back at the house. Is there a simple, relatively inexpensive way to extend the network to the trailer without slowing everything down?

Eventually I may have Charter install a separate cable hookup there, which would allow a separate high-speed Internet connection too. For now, I just want to "share" Wi-Fi to the trailer ... and keep peace in the house. Happy

Discussion is locked

daddywalter has chosen the best answer to their question. View answer
Follow
Reply to: Do repeaters, bridges, etc. all cut Wi-Fi speed in half?
PLEASE NOTE: Do not post advertisements, offensive materials, profanity, or personal attacks. Please remember to be considerate of other members. If you are new to the CNET Forums, please read our CNET Forums FAQ. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Reporting: Do repeaters, bridges, etc. all cut Wi-Fi speed in half?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Comments

Best Answer

- Collapse -
Maybe 4 times lower. Think about it.

Count the packet hops.

PC and router = 1 request and 1 reply.

PC, repeater = 1 PC request to repeater, 1 repeater to router, 1 router to repeater and 1 repeater to PC.


Maybe now you see why I use Routers as a WAP over repeaters.

BRIDGES are a different case. I'd need more detail to count the packets.
Bob

- Collapse -
Router at each end?

Bob, if I understand what you're saying I should use a wireless router instead of a repeater in the mobile home's kitchen window. Well, that's both simple enough and a faster solution for me, since routers are available locally while I'd have to order a repeater or bridge online. Thanks much.

- Collapse -
Answer
repeater/bridge

Wireless is shared bandwidth and is half duplex. Unlike a wired connection that has one path dedicated for transmit and another dedicated for receive you only have 1 frequency in wireless. Means you can't be sending and receiving at the same time. So if you were to use a repeater on the same frequency it will indeed cut your bandwidth in half. It is actually much worse since there is no way to prevent 2 devices from talking at the same time only a method to correct it after it happens.

Good news is most repeaters allow you to use 1 channel to talk to the remote location and another channel to talk to your PC. You still of course will have your repeater competing with your pc's in your house but it is the same as use your shop PC in the house directly. All the PC compete with each other. The key reason people do not notice this is the PC;s are not actually active at the same time. If you have a number of machines streaming video...especially highdef from media servers you can really see the slow downs.

Using a bridge at your remote location would not be affect your wireless anymore than any other device. It would limit you in most cases to connecting your remote PC via etherent since a bridge that does wireless to wireless is a "repeater".

- Collapse -
Bridge/repeater

Thanks, Bill, for clearing up my confusion over bridges vs. repeaters, and for your explanation of how repeaters affect the rest of the network. Looks like I may be able to get wireless into the trailer without a lot of hassle.

- Collapse -
My understanding is quite different

my understanding was that a Wireless N repeater would cut your speed more then adding one more pc do to the fact that it operates on half duplex. this would mean that said repeater would only be able to send out Signal at Half the speed of what it receives. for example if your modem sends out 100mbps to your Wireless N router when connected to wifi through your router you will only get 50mbps. but if you add a Wireless N repeater it will take that 50mbps coming form your router and extend the range but 1/2 it again so you will only get 25mbps when connected to wifi through said repeater effectively 1/4ing the speed coming from your modem. this is way i recommend setting up an AP other wise know as an Access Point especially if using the Wireless N protocol, AP's are hardwired and so do not cut your speed any more than your router dose. if you are using a Wireless AC router and or repeater its not as important bc the Wireless AC protocol is full duplex meaning it sends out the same speed it takes in. however, and this applies to both N and AC repeaters if you place the repeater in an area with out strong wifi coverage said repeater will cut down on your network speed bc the speed it is receiving is already lasser thanks to the poor signal (just like how the further you get from your router the less signal and speed you get on your pc).

- Collapse -
Answer
I bought this . . .
- Collapse -
Dish antenna

I'm sure the Hawking dish would let me get a strong signal at the trailer window, but then I'd be tied to the kitchen sink (where the window is) by the USB cable. What I'm looking for is a way to essentially retransmit the house's Wi-Fi network throughout the trailer (a single-wide mobile home) so I can use the kitchen/living room end as a man-cave, and the bedroom end as a workshop and storage -- with Wi-Fi throughout. Or am I missing something?

- Collapse -
Answer
It depends

my understanding was that a Wireless N repeater would cut your speed more then adding one more pc do to the fact that it operates on half duplex. this would mean that said repeater would only be able to send out Signal at Half the speed of what it receives. for example if your modem sends out 100mbps to your Wireless N router when connected to wifi through your router you will only get 50mbps. but if you add a Wireless N repeater it will take that 50mbps coming form your router and extend the range but 1/2 it again so you will only get 25mbps when connected to wifi through said repeater effectively 1/4ing the speed coming from your modem. this is way i recommend setting up an AP other wise know as an Access Point especially if using the Wireless N protocol, AP's are hardwired and so do not cut your speed any more than your router dose. if you are using a Wireless AC router and or repeater its not as important bc the Wireless AC protocol is full duplex meaning it sends out the same speed it takes in. however, and this applies to both N and AC repeaters if you place the repeater in an area with out strong wifi coverage said repeater will cut down on your network speed bc the speed it is receiving is already lasser thanks to the poor signal (just like how the further you get from your router the less signal and speed you get on your pc).

CNET Forums

Forum Info