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I'd like to set up a wireless mesh/repeater network using multiple APs, most likely 3 or 4 of them around the house to ensure maximum signal strength.

I've got a lot of space to cover, and the client devices I'm using don't have good transmitters in them. It's all well and good having a laptop or PSP be able to hear the wireless AP, but it's useless if the device can't talk back.

I'm willing to go through some configuration pain, or even hardware mods if necessary.

Any ideas?

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Why not just buy one or two really good ones? –  ekaj May 15 '12 at 12:45
    
@ekaj Because I've got a lot of space to cover, and the client devices I'm using don't have good transmitters in them. It's all well and good having a laptop or PSP be able to hear the wireless AP, but it's useless if the device can't talk back. –  Polynomial May 15 '12 at 12:51
    
Meshing AP's is going to cause quality issues. Also the more AP's you have the more often your devices are going to be jumping from AP to AP. 4 in one house is going to cause ALOT of disconnects. With AP's a general rule is: more is less. –  Kyle May 15 '12 at 12:52
    
@Kyle I'm actually meshing outside of the house, too. The plan is to have one upstairs, one downstairs, one in the shed, possibly one in the garden. –  Polynomial May 15 '12 at 12:54
    
My answer here may help you: superuser.com/questions/408703/… –  Kyle May 15 '12 at 12:55

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Many routers which support custom firmware such as DD-WRT can be used to modify the operation of the router. Depending on the particular router, it may be possible to create a wireless client bridge or wireless repeater bridge, effectively extending your network to the range of both devices (so long as they are close enough to provide a reasonable connection between themselves). It's also possible to accomplish this kind of thing if the devices are physically connected over Ethernet cables, which reduces any bandwidth reduction from wireless repeater (not wireless client) mode:

Also take note of the fact that all repeaters, including this Repeater Bridge mode, will sacrifice half of the bandwidth available from the primary router for clients wirelessly connected to the repeater. This is a result of the repeater taking turns talking to not just one partner, but to two, and having to relay the traffic between them. As long as your internet bandwidth requirements are within this halved bandwidth amount there will be little or no reduction in "speed".

This may be undesirable for users with fast internet connections, or those using the wireless bandwidth fully (e.g. transferring files between computers over the LAN). For more details about linking routers, see this page from the DD-WRT wiki detailing the various methods in which routers can be linked physically or wirelessly.


Note that you can set up an OSLR Mesh Network with DD-WRT, although this will drastically introduce overhead (both bandwidth and computational). For a residential application, I would probably just broadcast individual networks covering different zones.

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