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I recently moved into a new apartment, and we've found that the wireless connection we've set up isn't accessible in all rooms. I'm thinking about buying a new router and running it as a repeater in bridge mode.

I've heard that running a repeater slows things down for computers using it. What I'm not sure of, though, is if it will slow down connections for everyone in the house. Will I still experience a slower connection speed when I am within range of the original wireless router?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

A wireless repeater is slower for those connecting to the network using it. This is because it uses the same radio to accept incoming and outgoing packets from clients as it does to forward those packets on to the next wifi router and accept replies.

So effectively you get half the bandwidth, as each packet must go over the air twice - from the client to the repeater, then from the repeater to the wifi router.

It will not affect anyone directly connected to the original wifi router (other than from having to share it among more people).

If you are in range of the wifi router and so connect to it rather than the repeater, you will get normal performance.

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Thanks for spelling this out for me! Couldn't find a clear explanation on whether or not it will slow things down for everyone online. – Paul Jun 20 '12 at 3:42
@Paul What if the repeater uses the same SSID as the main router? Then the user does not have the chance to choose between connecting to the main router or the repeater. What happens to the answer of the original question considering this setup? – aytunch Oct 26 '15 at 15:36
@aytunch The above only applies when connected to the extender. The SSID doesn't make a difference. If you have the same SSID on both, and happen to connect to the main router with a decent connection, you'd get the same speed as normal. – Paul Oct 26 '15 at 21:22
What happens in this configuration: router @ 150mbps, repeater @300mbps, client connected to repeater gets 150mbps or 75mbps? – Shishir Gupta Nov 4 '15 at 11:16
@ShishirGupta I am not sure. 300Mbps means two antennas / datastreams - but I don't know if you can use one for interacting with the client at 150mbs and one interacting with the next hop at 150mbps. – Paul Nov 4 '15 at 12:57

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