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On my home network, I have a wireless router in the basement.

On the second floor, I can barely get a signal, and would like to "extend" my wifi to the second floor. I do have Ethernet running from my router to upstairs.

Can I extend my wifi signal by buying a cheap wifi router and connecting that to router #1 and using that as an access point?

Or do I have to buy a specific device for this?

Thanks!

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Pringles Cantenna! - binarywolf.com/249/pringles_cantenna.htm –  Sathya Sep 14 '10 at 23:00
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migrated from serverfault.com Sep 14 '10 at 16:05

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5 Answers

I posted this before but can't seem to find it.

I would advise that if you can't get a device that supports bridging or repeating, the easiest thing you can do is to get a second wifi router and disable DHCP on it, then plug it in via ethernet to the primary router (make sure it is plugged in through a normal socket and not the router interface if it has one).

This should work fine and all DHCP requests will be handled by the basement router.

Also, if you want, you can keep the SSID and passkey the same, just change the channel to one that does not interfere: alt text

Whenever the signal drops, Windows will reconnect to whichever one is strongest.

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Why is everyone recommending a wifi bridge? he should use a Access Point first (or as you suggest a router with DHCP disabled), he said he has Ethernet running upstairs. –  Scott Chamberlain Mar 12 '12 at 16:12
    
Then why didn't you suggest it as an answer? –  Bart Silverstrim Mar 12 '12 at 17:09
    
@BartSilverstrim William did already (he also suggested doing a bridge too, but he did say to just use a router as a AP also) so I up-voted him. –  Scott Chamberlain Mar 12 '12 at 20:18
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Look for a wifi extender. You can get them from newegg and other vendors. Apple's Airports have this ability as well.

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Downvote without giving a reason? –  Bart Silverstrim Sep 14 '10 at 15:46
    
@Bart: Welcome to the internetz. Trolls need not apply. (I too hate drive-by downvotes). –  joeqwerty Sep 14 '10 at 15:54
    
@joeqwerty: I've been tempted to cruise the meta site and ask for a feature where you have to give a reason for your downvotes, but I don't know if it's worth getting involved in the politics. I'd support it for no other reason than it helps refine answers if you know what others thought was "wrong" with the given answer. –  Bart Silverstrim Sep 14 '10 at 15:58
    
I agree. It'd be nice to know why an answer was downvoted, if only for the purpose of enlightening the answerer. –  joeqwerty Sep 14 '10 at 16:05
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I down-voted this because this is a poor solution for the OP's situation due to the fact he has Ethernet already running upstairs. A wireless access point is a much better solution, you will have a reliable Ethernet connection instead of relying on the wireless reaching the repeater. –  Scott Chamberlain Mar 12 '12 at 16:10
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If you extend it using a second router, be sure to set that router to "bridged" mode. This turns of DHCP and allows machines connected to the second router to be on the same network segment as machines connected to the first router.

Also set the channels to a different value on each router. The best choice (assuming the are not already in use in your neighborhood) is 1 and 11 for the two routers because the frequencies don't overlap.

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You can extend you coverage by using a WDS link from your existing AP to a second AP downstairs. This is not the best way as you cut your throughput in half with every hop. To get full throughput the best way is to use a dual radio box that has one radio catching the "backhaul" signal and the second transmitting. You can also add a more powerful radio/antenna combination upstairs to get you a better signal down stairs. a Mikrotik board with UBNT XR2 and 7dBi antenna will get really good range. There are a number of options on this site.

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There are a few options available to you. One is to add a Wireless Repeater. These extend your wireless network range. They offer an easy way to increase the coverage of your wireless network. A wireless repeater will bounce signals, which may not have had the density to reach the destination device of their own accord, to remote wireless devices. They operate by effectively daisy chaining the wireless signal.

A simple change that could boost performance would be to change your wireless channel. Try altering your wireless router's channel through its configuration page to see if your signal gets stronger.

These two links provide quite an interesting insight into DIY wireless range boosting:

http://lifehacker.com/296367/boost-your-wireless-signal-with-a-homemade-wifi-extender

And this link is only applicable if you can replace your current router with a compatible router such as a WRT54GL:

http://lifehacker.com/178132/hack-attack-turn-your-60-router-into-a-600-router

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