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I live in panel-house (cube with concrete walls, reinforced with steel) which is part of bigger block. Recently I have successfully setup wifi network through the flat, but at the recieving end I have really bad reception (-80dB). One problem is the environment and the other problem is interference with other wifi's in the block. The radio spectrum is really overflowing...

I would like to move the AP to better position in flat, but the problem is, it would mean to lay ~12m of UTP cable which would be also mean reconstruction of the flat, to properly hide the cables.

So I was wondering if there is any better option. I'm considering two options listed below:

a) Use power network adapter. This thing is plugged into electric outlet and provides ethernet connection between 2-N places. The manufacturer says it can reach 300 meter, but I'm a bit skeptical about this number. The thing is, that our flat has only aluminum wires, roughly 25 years old... My another concern is security.

b) Second option I'm considering is to use WiFi repeater. I have drawn a simple diagram od flat layout: flat layout

The green AP would be the position of the repeater.

What is your opinion on the proposed setup options? Thanks for any feedback.

UPDATE: Some more details. The router I have is Tp-Link WR741ND, running N WiFi, 2.4 GHz. The router is locked by my ISP, so I cannot really tinker with it. 5 GHz is unfortunatelly not an option, because the PCs are laptops without 5GHz capabilities. Plus there are smartphones on the network which doesn't have 5Ghz either.

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Could you tell us what hardware (router) you use? Maybe it has the ability to go 5Ghz (instead of the normal 2.4Ghz). The 5Ghz. is much less used and maybe your no one uses it in your block and you can get better reception. also use a WiFi analyzer (on Android for example, to see the networks around you and choose a relative free channel) –  Rik Jan 13 at 8:59
    
I have updated the question with few more details. @Rik I cannot change the channel, as the router is locked by ISP. Also another channel would help with collisions and latency, but not with signal strength, I guess. –  jnovacho Jan 13 at 9:18

3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I've messed with everything you've talked about before, and I can make a few suggestions to how to go about it.

When homeplug works it works - but when it dosen't, you're out of luck. I'm using 15 year old copper wiring, and it works reasonably well, but I tested it before I went all in.

I strongly recommend testing with the cheapest kit you can find (I went with a ~75 dollar pair of 200 mbps Homeplug AV adaptors from aztech), then building out if it works - I've added a 500 mbps gig-e switch to my desk). Once you're sure it works, in typical configurations, you'd want to go for units with passthrough - this lets you actually use the plug, and isolates noise from systems that are plugged into that connector (so its perfect for places where you have PCs with SMPS - which produce noise).

Connections between paired devices is encrypted (AES 128) and should be reasonably secure. They come with a default private network name, so you may want to change that.

My network, simplified (I have another AP... and so on ) now looks like this

enter image description here

The two routers have different SSIDs and cover different parts of the apartment - I have complete coverage loss at a specific beam, and as such a repeater wasn't an option. Since the secondary router is not a DHCP server, the systems are on the same subnet. In theory this setup should let you run an AP in a different channel, or band, or even both.

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Do the Homeplug devices work like a bridge? The thing is I have locked router by ISP, so I need this Homeplug network to be invisible for the router. On the WAN isn't MAC filter, so this should not cause any problems. –  jnovacho Jan 13 at 9:59
    
They do, they're a 'dumb' device that generally just links two devices in your system. In my case there's no difference (other than speed) between 2 routers connected by ethernet, and the same routers with homeplug in between. Homeplug + a second router is precisely how I went with this –  Journeyman Geek Jan 13 at 10:03
    
Thanks for thorough info. I've found some cheap ~60USD in shop with 14 days return policy. So I will probably go with that. –  jnovacho Jan 13 at 10:14

I would go with the repeater option. The location looks good, 2.4GHz network should have good coverage from that location.

As for using 5GHz in this kind of flat - I would not suggest it anyway, unless your router supports dual band (broadcasting on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz at the same time). 5GHz may be faster and less saturated, but it doesn't penetrate walls nearly as well as 2.4GHz due to the higher frequency.

For saturation problems, you can probably change the channel number from the repeater settings to a less used channel. You can read more about changing channels here.

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I live in a concrete house (Germany) and I'm using tp-link powerline adapters - faster than wireless (though slower than the advertised speed) and they can be secured with 128bit aes

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