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twr7cx

Adding another wireless access point

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I have a NetComm NB6PLUS4W Wireless ADSL 2+ router. Problem I'm having is that on the far side of my house the signal is very weak. Now the antenna on the router is not removable to be upgraded. So I'm looking at other options.

 

 

The first option that has been suggested to me is to run an ethernet cable to another wireless router such as the ASUS WL-520GU, locate the second router in a more central location and use this as the wireless access point.

 

 

Alternatively, in the settings on the NB6PLUS4W it has the option under Wireless it lists Repeater and says:

 

"Wireless Repeater

 

This page allows you to configure wireless repeater feature (also known as Wireless Distribution System) for your wireless network. Click "Apply" to configure the wireless repeater options."

 

So again using another wireless router device, but running DD_WRT in repeater mode.

 

 

I'm a bit new to this stuff, is anyone able to make any suggestions or comments that may help me? Also, is the ASUS WL-520GU a decent enough unit to use or is there a better alternative?

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I wouldn't bother with a dedicated range extender, they're massively overpriced.

 

As you said, your best option is to buy another wireless router, install dd-wrt and use that to extend your network. If you can run a cable to the second router you should, because your bandwidth is effectively halved if you connect the routers wirelessly (ie, the second router has to receive and send simultaneously). You'll still have plenty of bandwidth left over for internet and network games, but file transfers will be that much slower, and it adds another point of failure as well.

 

As far as good dd-wrt compatible routers go, I've had some success with the 520GU. It's dead easy to upgrade the firmware (much more so than the linksys routers) and they're very, very cheap. The only issue I've had is a pretty crap range between the 520GU and the primary router, but that could have just been the house/primary router/aliens whatever. I'm sure other people will have had different experiences.

 

If you're really worried about range, try the Linksys wrt160n. It's more expensive, but it has draft N with MIMO and all that stuff.

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I wouldn't bother with a dedicated range extender, they're massively overpriced.

$115.00 is massively over priced ? :P

Edited by bowiee

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As far as good dd-wrt compatible routers go, I've had some success with the 520GU. It's dead easy to upgrade the firmware (much more so than the linksys routers) and they're very, very cheap. The only issue I've had is a pretty crap range between the 520GU and the primary router, but that could have just been the house/primary router/aliens whatever. I'm sure other people will have had different experiences.

From what I understand, if I run ethernet to the WL-520GU and run it in WAP mode, use WAN bypass and then I could leave the wireless on the NB6 turned on, and just set the 520GU to a different channel with the same SSID and passkey. Would keep everything at high speed and provide to access points for the wireless.

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I wouldn't bother with a dedicated range extender, they're massively overpriced.

$115.00 is massively over priced ? :P

 

I'd agree that it's not overpriced, but it is twice the price of the second router option. Is it twice as good a solution?

 

Just had a look at the Linksys WRE54G and the big advantage with that is that I wouldn't have to run any more cables out to it. Would make the installation a lot cleaner for me. Will it be compatible with a different brand product (ie my Netcomm router?). Are they just plug and play or do they need to be set up?

Edited by twr7cx

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I wouldn't bother with a dedicated range extender, they're massively overpriced.

$115.00 is massively over priced ? :P

 

I'd agree that it's not overpriced, but it is twice the price of the second router option. Is it twice as good a solution?

 

Just had a look at the Linksys WRE54G and the big advantage with that is that I wouldn't have to run any more cables out to it. Would make the installation a lot cleaner for me. Will it be compatible with a different brand product (ie my Netcomm router?). Are they just plug and play or do they need to be set up?

 

Well it's a better solution than running a cable half way down your house, If you are going to do that you may as well move your modem/router half way down your house.

 

Here is a link to it's specs and info on how to set it up on PDF files. WRE54G

 

QUOTE: "Wide Compatibility

 

The Wireless-G Range Expander works with most Wi-Fi certified access points and wireless routers. And it works in with both Wireless-G and Wireless-B devices so you'll get the benefits of increased coverage even with a mixed network. "

Edited by bowiee

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I wouldn't bother with a dedicated range extender, they're massively overpriced.

$115.00 is massively over priced ? :P

 

 

Yes.

 

A $52 520GU with dd-wrt does exactly the same thing, while also providing 5 physical access ports (for consoles, non-wireless PCs etc) and a USB port which can share a portable hard drive over samba.

 

And if you're worried about build quality, range, whatever, get a WRT54G for around $70, which does the same thing, provides physical access points, is made by the same company, and has a higher transmission power.

 

Bwaaaaarg.

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I wouldn't bother with a dedicated range extender, they're massively overpriced.

$115.00 is massively over priced ? :P

 

 

Yes.

 

A $52 520GU with dd-wrt does exactly the same thing, while also providing 5 physical access ports (for consoles, non-wireless PCs etc) and a USB port which can share a portable hard drive over samba.

 

And if you're worried about build quality, range, whatever, get a WRT54G for around $70, which does the same thing, provides physical access points, is made by the same company, and has a higher transmission power.

 

Bwaaaaarg.

 

And he would still have to run a cable to it which he pointed out he does not really want to do. A dedicated range booster will do the job without running a cable. As I said if he is going to run a cable he may as well move his modem/router to a more central point in his house and spend no money.

 

And as for supplying physical access ports, that once again defeats the purpose of wireless. He would then have cables running to it to use them so it would be a pointless feature.

 

Of course he could just get a wireless N modem router and solve the problem, but that costs even more.

Edited by bowiee

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In order to run a cable to a second router I would have to also purchase a switch as I don't have any empty free Ethernet ports, so that adds an extra $30.00 plus the price of the cable onto the price of the router. End result is that the range expander is not much more expensive then. Plus there's the laziness factor, where it's less work for me to get it going. I have no need for any further non-wireless access points.

 

I appreciate the help from both of you, and cheers for taking the time to point out the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

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I wouldn't bother with a dedicated range extender, they're massively overpriced.

$115.00 is massively over priced ? :P

 

 

Yes.

 

A $52 520GU with dd-wrt does exactly the same thing, while also providing 5 physical access ports (for consoles, non-wireless PCs etc) and a USB port which can share a portable hard drive over samba.

 

And if you're worried about build quality, range, whatever, get a WRT54G for around $70, which does the same thing, provides physical access points, is made by the same company, and has a higher transmission power.

 

Bwaaaaarg.

 

And he would still have to run a cable to it which he pointed out he does not really want to do. A dedicated range booster will do the job without running a cable. As I said if he is going to run a cable he may as well move his modem/router to a more central point in his house and spend no money.

 

And as for supplying physical access ports, that once again defeats the purpose of wireless. He would then have cables running to it to use them so it would be a pointless feature.

 

Of course he could just get a wireless N modem router and solve the problem, but that costs even more.

 

 

Sorry if I didn't make myself clear. When I said it does exactly the same thing, I meant exactly the same thing. No cables involved. Almost all router hardware is perfectly capable of doing this, the networking companies just choose not to implement it in the firmware.

 

The WRE54G is essentially a WRT54G router with one feature added and everything else removed, hence, at $40-50 more, it's a massive ripoff.

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So using the WRE54G will also halve my wireless speed?

IMHO No It wont it is simply a signal boosta. but if there is some lag then it should not be bad enough to worry about.

 

Is it possible for you to move your modem/router a few feet after good placement can make all the difference. And it would be the cheapest option.

Edited by bowiee

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So using the WRE54G will also halve my wireless speed?

IMHO No It wont it is simply a signal boosta. but if there is some lag then it should not be bad enough to worry about.

 

Is it possible for you to move your modem/router a few feet after good placement can make all the difference. And it would be the cheapest option.

 

You're correct about it not adding noticeable lag - latency isn't an issue with these, and I've only noticed an extra 2-3 ms difference if that.

 

You're wrong about the bandwidth, though. It's not a simple RF booster, if it was then it would cost a lot less and wouldn't work near as well, if at all. The WRE54G is a repeater. It receives, decrypts and then retransmits data. It's this retransmission that cuts the throughput in half.

 

There's an extremely in-depth review of the device here:

http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/content/view/24690/96/

 

A relevant quote:

 

The important thing to note is that under best-case conditions, you'll get a maximum of around 10Mbps throughput when connecting via the WRE54G. Much better than the 2-3Mbps best-case repeated throughput you'd get from an 802.11b repeater, but nowhere near the 20+Mbps buyers unfamiliar with the throughput effects of wireless repeating might expect.

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I ended up buying the ASUS WL-520GU. I bought 2 actually the second is for the girlfriends house, but now I'm wondering if I should swap it for the Netcomm NB6PLUS4W (so she gets this one) and I use the 2 WL-520GU's. Is that a good idea or...? Just realised that it doesn't have the modem built in, so wouldn't be able to swap it for the NB6PLUS4W. Not an issue for the GF as she already has a modem.

 

Any idea how I actually set it all up now... I've got a LAN cable running to it. Then it has a LAN cable running from it to a PC it is next to (the LAN cable running to it used to go directly to that PC).

Edited by twr7cx

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