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Ok here's my problem:

I travel a lot, and sometimes my MacBook Air has issues connecting to some hotel wifi's, while my Android phone connects fine. Also, I have a Lenovo Android tablet that sometimes has trouble connecting to certain hotel networks (not necessarily the same networks that my MacBook Air has problems with!). The only device that never fails to connect properly (knock on wood) is my Android phone (Samsung Galaxy S5).

I'm getting fed up with having to use my tablet when I want to use my laptop, use my laptop when I want to use my tablet, or resort to my phone when all else fails.

I know I could get an external wifi dongle for my laptop, but then that would probably (?) not work with my tablet (even through OTG), right?

So what I'm wondering is this: Is there some device out there that can connect to a WiFi network, and at the same time act as a WiFi hotspot? Using such a device could potentially let me connect to one of these problematic WiFi's (supposing it too does not have the same problems connecting as my laptop and tablet have!), and at the same time let my laptop and tablet connect to it's hotspot. I've tried looking for something like this, but not sure what it would be called?

  • Some regular Wi-Fi adapters certainly support that. – grawity Dec 18 '15 at 11:06
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It's called a WiFi repeater or range extender.

You might also consider using your Samsung phone to connect via WiFi, and then enable Bluetooth tethering on that phone -- if your other devices support internet access via Bluetooth, they can connect that way.

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The devices you name which you have trouble with aren't no-name devices.

Therefore, assuming that the connectivity problems result from weak WiFi signals. Each of the devices will have slightly different weaknesses, and hotel WiFis are rarely optimised.

While you could place a WiFi repeater / range extender at some favourable place in your hotel room theoretically, that will give you a good signal strength but throughtput will collapse if the root cause are too few access points in the first place, as I suspect. Because the repeater will reduce bandwidth for everyone to 50% by design, and things are going to get worse due to collision problems because of different visibilities.

In my view, a quality solution would be a USB WiFi adapter with the option to connect a WiFi antenna via a shileded cable.

  • Why will the repeater reduce bandwidth for everyone to 50%? Is that assuming the repeater both connects and acts as an access point on the same frequency? But aren't there repeaters that use different frequencies or channels or how ever that stuff works? – Magnus W Dec 25 '15 at 18:59
  • Can you find a device marketed as a WiFi "repeater" which is able to bridge between two channels? – Run CMD Dec 29 '15 at 6:02

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