What device(s) do I need to extend my wireless home network based on the following requirements:

  1. link between primary wireless access point to the device(s) in question has to be wireless
  2. not using the "wireless extender - with lose of throughput" or "power line usage"

So I'm thinking of a device that can be setup to receive/use the primary AP wireless signal, and then create it's own separate wireless network. So primary AP might be upstairs, the device(s) I'm asking about might be at the bottom of the steps, and the devices I'm trying to get internet access to are on the lower floor.

Does such a device exist? Or do you need to but two devices (a wireless receiver & a seprate wireless AP/router)?

  • 2
    I recommend dropping requirement #1, fishing a long cat5 wire through walls from your current access point to the other end of your home, getting another router similar to the one you have, configuring it with the same SSID and security information, disabling dhcp on the new router, setting an IP for the new router in the subnet of your existing network (but not in the dhcp range used by your current router), and connecting the wire you ran to a LAN (not the WAN) port of the routers at both ends. This should let your roam without dropping your connection. – Joel Coehoorn Nov 18 '11 at 5:21
  • Also: I challenge your premise for requirement #2 - a single wireless extender does not need to mean loss of throughput, if you can get one that extends the network on a different channel than the original. – Joel Coehoorn Nov 18 '11 at 5:25
  • @JoelCoehoorn oh - re #2 that was something I read - what should I look for in a wireless extender spec to confirm it can do this Joel? – Greg Nov 18 '11 at 6:06
  • You need to be sure that it's repeats the signal on a different channel from the one it listens on. – Joel Coehoorn Nov 18 '11 at 14:20
  • @JoelCoehoorn: Can you please direct me someplace where I can find a detailed explanation of your comments (or be so kind as to give one yourself..)? – Isaac Kleinman Aug 9 '13 at 14:14

While the premise of #2 doesn't appear to have any foundation, this is how I would do what you are after.

Get two dual-band 802.11n DD-WRT compatible access-points (such as a linksys). These come with 2.4ghz and 5ghz radios. Decide on one frequency for the APs to connect to each other, and the other for users to connect.

So lets say you use 2.4ghz for users (as most devices will support 2.4), and 5ghz for the link between the two APs (better penetration).

Install dd-wrt on them both, the on the 5ghz frequency band define one as an AP with an SSID name such as "link", on an empty channel in your environment. On the other AP, define it as a client to the first AP. Once this is done, you now have a layer 2 network spanning the two APs. Anything plugged into AP1 can talk across the wifi to anything plugged into AP2 on the same subnet.

Then configure the two 2.4ghz radios with the a different SSID name to the 5ghz one - say "users" - but use the same name on both. Put the APs on different channels to each other - choose from 1, 6 or 11 depending on your environment.

Now you have a wifi network for users joined together with a second wifi network. Moving from one location to the other will result in a transparent handover.

  • thanks - re "While the premise of #2 doesn't appear to have any foundation" - this was something I'd read (I thought) re repeaters - thanks for clearing this up – Greg Nov 18 '11 at 6:08
  • Paul - is installation of dd-wrt the only way to solve? Know if there's a solution that could work with out-of-the-box components? – Greg Nov 18 '11 at 6:10
  • The scenario I have described is how I have accomplished something similar to your requirements. dd-wrt was the best option I could find at the time. You could just go for WDS, but your question didn't allow for it. – Paul Nov 18 '11 at 6:12
  • oh, by WDS you mean via an "extender"? (which I seem to have misread this would give some throughput degradation). So in fact using a device such as a "Netgear WN2000RPT Universal WiFi Range" or "Cisco Linksys RE1000 Wireless N300 Range Extender" would be quite OK then re not losing 50% of throughput? – Greg Nov 18 '11 at 6:18

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