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So, We have a wifi router in our bedroom and in there we get speeds of 36 Mbps. In the lounge, we have the extender and that extender means we get a full signal in the other side of the house, but even when the signal is showing full, we're now only getting speeds of 5 Mbps. This is consistent regardless of device.

What's going wrong?

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    Does the extender theoretically support anything faster? Which band does it use? In other words, can the extender be the limit?
    – Aganju
    Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 11:57
  • In the description of the extender it says it supports "Transfer speed: N300." Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 12:39
  • Can you give us the brand and model of the extender? How is the extender connected, WiFi or Ethernet? What is the signal strength the extender is getting from the router? If it is WiFi, it is likely suffering the same poor signal issue the devices suffered without the extender.
    – CharlieRB
    Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 13:41
  • Yes, it's a Belkin N300 WiFi Range Extender. It's connected by WiFi. Not sure how to check it's signal but can try tonight. Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 13:51
  • A Wi-Fi range extender is going to top out at a maximum of half, but probably a quarter, of the direct Wi-Fi speed. This is because Wi-Fi is a shared medium, and a Wi-Fi device cannot both send and receive at the same time. Wi-Fi devices must also yield to other devices on the same frequency, even if the other devices are not in the same network (think about your router, extender, hosts, a neighbor's Wi-Fi router and hosts, and/or Bluetooth devices).
    – Ron Maupin
    Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 2:19

3 Answers 3

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Some time has passed since the initial question was asked, but I'm not thrilled with the answers here.

You say you are getting a 36mbps speed in the bedroom, where the router is, and only getting a 5mbps speed in the lounge, where the repeater is.

Assuming that there is no interference from other devices, and there is a relatively clear path between the router and the repeater:

What you could do to improve this situation is put the repeater halfway between the lounge and the bedroom. When you connect your device from the lounge, you should get a better transfer speed.

Why? Because the speed of the transfer drops in an exponential manner the further the repeater and router get away from each other. By keeping the repeater a shorter hop from the router, and then your device a shorter hop from the repeater, you keep the signal stronger along the whole path, rather than having a weaker/exponentially slower signal between the router the device.

Hope this helps even though some time has passed.

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Belkin has a decent support page about this: http://www.belkin.com/us/support-article?articleNum=42276

I'm not sure that range extender can actually go any faster, but the two things I'd try first from that support page are:

  1. Check the channels as mentioned in the Interference section. Especially make sure that they are not the same as your router. Interference can really slow down the transfer rates. (Microwaves are terrible at that!)
  2. See if there is a firmware upgrade. Even if your range extender is new, the firmware could be outdated and they may have made significant improvements.

That being said, Wifi extenders will always be slower than the actual router. This is because:

  1. The wifi extender has to split its bandwidth between interacting with the router and interacting with the clients. This means you're starting with only 1/2 of the bandwidth.
  2. The wifi extender is likely to be much less powerful in terms of processing speed than your "real" router.

There are a few better options if you have range issues in your home:

  1. If possible, move the router to a more central location in your home. If it is near an outside wall, you'll be broadcasting a good chunk of your signal outside your house.
  2. If your home is really big enough to need a second access point, you'll be better off using a second wireless router in access point mode rather than going with a range extender.
  3. If you can get a network cable from your router to your access point or range extender, you can avoid the automatic loss of 1/2 of your bandwidth that goes along with the wifi to wifi extension.
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Wireless networks are also susceptible to obstructions that may lead to low signal. Oftentimes, the signal gets reflected, refracted, or absorbed by the obstruction.

Common sources of interference are:

Neighboring wireless networks Microwave ovens 2.4 GHz cordless telephones Bluetooth® devices Wireless baby monitors

To solve the problem, change the channel and SSID on your access point or router. Preferred channels to use are 1, 6, 9 and 11 since they're considered as non-overlapping channels. Read more..

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