Wireless repeater choice

Posted:
in Genius Bar edited January 2014
Where I work, we use a wireless router and it is positioned between rooms. All these rooms have solid concrete walls and the signal strength is poor.



I wanted to go all wired because we do big file transfers and wireless doesn't really cut it so we always have to use USB pens or portable hard drives. This would cause too much clutter though and so wireless is the only route.



I was looking at using wireless repeaters but they tend to just bounce whatever signal is received and I'd have to put these inside the rooms. What I'd rather do is have one ethernet cable going into each room and then into a wireless access point. However, I can't see any devices that would suit, the wireless repeaters don't seem to have ethernet ports. Apple's airtunes plug thing seems to but I don't know if it boosts the incoming signal or if the ethernet port is for connecting some drive.



So a few questions:



- what is the best option to use

- do I need to use wireless repeaters that are compatible with my router (it's a Cable & Wireless model)

- could I get away without an ethernet cable? Would the repeater boost a weak signal from inside the room enough? Recommendations for what models people have used would be appreciated and what improvement it made.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 4
    In general, a WDS signal can not be "strengthened". Here is why: If the signal from the primary wireless WDS router is one signal bar when it hits your repeater then that portion of the chain is the weak link. The repeater can present your wireless desktop with full signal strength, but it will be subjected to the weak link back to the primary.

    I don't know what sort of repeaters you are looking at, but if you use a standard wireless router that has the ability to join a WDS network as a secondary and if that device will reliably talk to your primary, you will have an ethernet port to play with. Then you could run an ethernet cable above the ceiling, park the repeaters in strategic places, and achieve your connection goal. The big caveat is making sure that your primary will talk to whatever device (and yes Apple's Express would be a candidate) you choose. Theoretically, they should all work under IEEE's 802 protocols, but reality is different!
  • Reply 2 of 4
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,232moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sherman Homan View Post


    In general, a WDS signal can not be "strengthened". Here is why: If the signal from the primary wireless WDS router is one signal bar when it hits your repeater then that portion of the chain is the weak link. The repeater can present your wireless desktop with full signal strength, but it will be subjected to the weak link back to the primary.



    Yeah, I would have to position the repeater right next to the door probably. This is an option but as you said the big problem is making sure the router will talk to the repeater.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sherman Homan View Post


    I don't know what sort of repeaters you are looking at, but if you use a standard wireless router that has the ability to join a WDS network as a secondary and if that device will reliably talk to your primary, you will have an ethernet port to play with. Then you could run an ethernet cable above the ceiling, park the repeaters in strategic places, and achieve your connection goal. The big caveat is making sure that your primary will talk to whatever device (and yes Apple's Express would be a candidate) you choose. Theoretically, they should all work under IEEE's 802 protocols, but reality is different!



    Yup, I think that's what I'll do. If I use a wired connection, there shouldn't be any compatibility issues though would there?



    For example, say I used one of these:



    http://www.dabs.com/productview.aspx?Quicklinx=48ST

    http://www.dabs.com/productview.aspx?Quicklinx=22ZR

    http://www.dabs.com/productview.aspx?Quicklinx=2CS8



    I should be able to take an ethernet cable out of one of the 4 ports on the modem/router I already use and plug it into one of those devices. Then I would turn off DHCP on it to allow the main router to handle the IPs.



    How do I ensure that the connections all go to the local router without turning off the wireless on the main one? Also, I read in one of those product reviews that the router doesn't support PPPoA connections, which is what I currently use. I wouldn't have thought it would matter if the data can go direct from the router I'm using into a computer.



    Another thing I was wondering is whether or not it's possible to use a computer as a wireless repeater. Some computers get better signal strength than others and it would have been easier if they could be used to pass that onto nearby machines, without resorting to using internet connection sharing.
  • Reply 3 of 4
    mrtotesmrtotes Posts: 759member
    Have you considered HomePlugs?



    Up to 200Mbps Ethernet using your building power cables to transfer the data to wherever your devices are.



    http://www.webuser.co.uk/products/De..._3604-213.html



    http://www.devolo.co.uk/uk_EN/index.html
  • Reply 4 of 4
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,232moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mrtotes View Post


    Have you considered HomePlugs?



    Up to 200Mbps Ethernet using your building power cables to transfer the data to wherever your devices are.



    http://www.webuser.co.uk/products/De..._3604-213.html



    http://www.devolo.co.uk/uk_EN/index.html



    Yes, it's funny you should mention that. I came across that a little while ago and I forgot about it. I think it was the cost that put me off there because you only get two in a box and I don't know if I'd be able to plug them into a wireless router. It seems like a really nice idea but I wouldn't want to risk it.
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