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Scenario:

  • 3 floor townhouse (top floor, middle floor, first floor AND basement)
  • Verizon Fios Wireless Modem/Router in basement
  • The 4 ethernet ports on the router are connected to various ethernet plates throughout the house (min 1 per floor)

Given my setup, I'd like to enhance the WiFi signal on my 3rd floor. What type of device can I plug into the ethernet plate on my 3rd floor to reblast the WiFi signal? I'd like to keep the same SSID. I've tried the wireless extenders that grab the current wifi signal and reblast it (little ones that plug into outlets) and I've never had much success with them, so I'd like something that plugs directly into the ethernet port on my 3rd floor.

migrated from serverfault.com Apr 25 '15 at 18:36

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

  • Why would try to 'grab' an already weak and thus slow signal rather than use wired access to rebroadcast from? That does not suffer from signal degration to (due distance, walls etc) and it is not on a shared medium. So why not just plug in a Wireless Access Point into such an existing wired connection ? – Hennes Apr 25 '15 at 18:42
  • I'm pretty sure that is what I'm asking. I do NOT want to use a device that tries to take an existing wifi signal and enhance it. I want something that plugs into my router (via my ethernet wall plate.) – Brian David Berman Apr 25 '15 at 18:43
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    Such a device is called a 'Wireless Access Point'. – Hennes Apr 25 '15 at 18:44
  • So... router => wall plate => wireless access point => done? – Brian David Berman Apr 25 '15 at 18:47
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    Yes. Though finding a pure wireless accesspoint might be a challenge. Most of the time these devices come in a single box which combines the WAP, routing and a switch. You can usually disable the extra functionality. Which means that you might already have suitable hardware. Just configure it not to use the weak wireless signal but the wall connection as a source. – Hennes Apr 25 '15 at 19:01
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The device you are looking for is a Wireless Access Point. It usually has one more more antenna's (which may be internal) and one or more wired network connector.

These devices are getting rarer though. Most of the time people want a modem, a routes and a wireless access point. It is cheaper to build a single device which can do all three functions than to build three separate devices.

Still, as long as you can turn off unneeded functionality even such a complex device will do. Your wireless extenders might actually be quite close to the desired functionality. As long as they allow the right settings they will work fine as a W.A.P. Just connect one port to the regular wired access point (which you described as ethernet plates) and configure it properly. (e.g. no DHCP on these. If using 2.4GH then preferable on different bands then the wireless in the cellar etc.)

If you have a device with antenna's then look at the diagram below. You see that I drew the wireless signal as orthogonal to the antennas. Orientating these in the right way might help a lot to get a better connection on different floors (at the cost of signal strength on the floor the device is on).

Sketch

  • I actually have a floor above the "middle floor" – Brian David Berman May 1 '15 at 15:04

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