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A house has 3 floors, with thick floors and around 350m^2 total. The person responsible for setting up the electricity and networking in the house recommended to have the router and then 3 ZyXeL NWA APs (one per floor) - that was the only thing he wrote on the quote for the work.

But I am confused because APs are basically wireless switches, which as far as I understand they just relay an existing wifi signal. So if I have a wireless router, looking at NetGear NightHawk R7500, on the ground floor, I won't need an AP on that floor. I would need one probably on the top floor and cellar to extend the wifi range only. Is my reasoning not correct?

What would the recommended setup be for a situation like this?

migrated from serverfault.com Jan 14 '16 at 15:50

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

  • Generally speaking, if the AP's are completely wireless, you wouldn't want to install them where the WIFI signal is weak, you want the AP's to pick up a strong signal so they can rebroadcast a strong signal. – Fyrefly Jan 14 '16 at 15:56
  • I think the plan is to have the APs wired. – Paulo Matos Jan 14 '16 at 15:58
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You have two options:

  1. Ethernet cables going from your router/switch to each AP on each floor
  2. Wireless APs in repeater mode so that they take a reference wireless network and repeat it to extend the range.

The preferred method - although not very manoeuvrable - is to have Ethernet cables going from your main router/switch to each AP on each floor. This provides the best performance and all you'll need to do is plug in your APs, configure them to have IPs outside your DHCP scope, configure the wireless settings, done. As an aside: if the APs support PoE (Power over Ethernet) then you could even power the devices from the Ethernet cable alone - removing the need to place the APs near power sockets! If your router/switch supports PoE to power devices then get one, or you can buy PoE injectors that go just after the router sockets to each of the AP cables. Very good technology! http://www.airlivecam.eu/data/images/POE_48PB_app.jpg

Depending on whether the devices support "repeater" mode can also offer you a good solution - I do not know how difficult it is to configure each device (you'll need to and then install them) - but, as has been said, you'll need to install them into an area with a fairly "OK" wireless signal... IMHO I don't like repeaters unless I really have to...

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