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This question is a follow-up to TP-Link TL-WA701N not working good as wireless extender

I have a TP-Link TL-WR340G wireless router and a TL-WA701N wireless extender available. My network is WPA2-protected and I discovered that, in order to enable wireless bridging, I must switch to WEP (almost secure as open network).

Only because my house walls are thick, I want to extend the wireless range across the apartment to let my tablets work everywhere and transparently switch from an AP to another. Another requirement is that all clients are within the same subnet or, better, that clients behind the second AP are not NATted and accessible by clients on main station.

How can I configure my network to achieve WPA protection, range extension and transparent switching?

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Idea 1

Buy a Powerline extender, connect to one of the LAN ports of main station and to the only LAN port of the extender (possibly use the power-over-ethernet adapter provided with the AP to save a power plug), configure the extender as a wireless with the same network parameters (SSID, protection) as the parent AP, but possibly on a different channel. Disable DHCP on extender, allow it to obtain a lease via Ethernet.

Clients are supposed to connect to the AP with the best signal and keep their DHCP lease. When they change the AP, the switches inside both the device should notice that a certain MAC address is available on another path and update the switching tables accordingly.

Cons: having to buy a powerline extender, not sure whether I can really save a power plug or I must connect both

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Buy a TP cable (it is much cheaper) and connect devices with cable. Do the rest as proposed in this answer. –  Serge Sep 28 '12 at 12:24
    
Do you mean a plain old Ethernet cable? I'd have to make lots of holes in the walls (the APs are far) –  djechelon Sep 28 '12 at 12:33
    
Yes, exactly. About the holes: May be you may avoid making a lot of holes - The cable might be 185 meters long between devices. Anyway, this is one of options for you. –  Serge Sep 28 '12 at 12:38
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