I have a wireless environment consisting of a Linksys WRT54G (I will get the specific model) and 2 Nikon WT-4 Wireless Transmitters connected to Nikon cameras. 1 of the cameras is placed fairly close to the Linksys AP while the other is located probably 50ft away and through a number of walls. Using inSSIDer, the closest camera has a signal strength of -20-30dB while the furtherest is down around -60-70dB. The poor signal strength means that, from time to time, the camera can not connect to the server and the transfer rate is typically dismal. There are a number of other wireless networks active in the area.

A few people have suggested using a wireless repeater. However I recall reading something about this configuration causing more problems than are solved because of the duplication of the signal. There are also online suggestions for antenna modifications but most seem to be directional and perhaps not so good for receiving from the low-power transmitters.

Given that I have a Linksys WRT54G, I was investigating going down the path of DD-WRT and taking advantage of the multiple virtual interfaces to use it and another WRT54G in a AP/bridge arrangement.

Does a wireless repeater sound feasible with this setup? Is it worth spending the time to set up the 2 WRT54Gs with DD-WRT firmware?


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    Directional antenna is, in fact, very good for low-power transmitters: using a pair you, after positioning, can easily obtain a good quality link over 10-15km and more. – whitequark Aug 24 '10 at 14:08
  • +1 @whitequark - that should be been an answer; it's pretty much what I was about to post. – DMA57361 Aug 24 '10 at 14:48
  • @whitequark directional antenna? focus each of the WRT54G antenna in the direction of a camera? the cameras are moving but i guess they probably wouldn't move more than 5 degrees either side of the line of the antenna – Ajw Aug 24 '10 at 15:05
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    no, you need a specially-crafted antenna like one of these, stock antennas of any wireless router are omnidirectional and thus, generally, provide very weak signal. – whitequark Aug 24 '10 at 15:17
  • @whitequark I'm going to try a couple of high-gain omnis first, as recommended by a colleague. I've also been advised to only use a repeater as a last resort. Since you commented I can't recognise your answer. – Ajw Aug 28 '10 at 8:35

Yes, there are many other things you can do, like changing the position of your router and removing barriers, or keeping it at a higher level.

But still, the best way to extend the range is to use a wireless repeater. If you seriously want to increase the range, get one.

Also, if you have a second router (like an old one), you can configure it to work as a wireless repeater too.

  • Don't forget about using aluminum foil. – digitxp Aug 24 '10 at 14:47
  • Thanks. Any benefits over using DD-WRT over a wireless repeater? Having never used a wireless repeater before, any recommendation on a brand/model? Do they repeat all wireless signals or do you configure the SSID or MAC addresses? – Ajw Aug 24 '10 at 14:52

I agree that the best way to carry that operation out would to be install a range extender. You won't have to buy an extender specific to your router either, as they can work with any combination. I have a TP-Link on my Netgear router and it works fine.

If it IS possible to move your router to a location with less interference or higher up in the building, i'd recommend that before buying an extender.

an extender will repeat all wireless signals, but you can hook a LAN cable to certain repeaters or set specific MAC addresses in the setup page. Tp-Link and Netgear seem to be the best repeaters out there, as I haven't had a lick of trouble with either company's repeater products.

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