Every wireless user has at some point had a problem with a wireless signal lacking in strength. This may be due to walls, floors, or other obstructions in the link – or because routers and client are simply too far apart. Such wireless connection problems in the home network can be solved by a so-called “wireless repeater”.
Wireless repeaters / range extender can give an improvement from a bad signal.
A wireless repeater is a kind of radio amplifier, which amplifies a weak radio signal from a router giving a more desirable connection.
Wireless repeaters / range extender
Instead of the term repeaters some manufacturers use the term “range extender”. Other terms such as a wireless bridge can also be used. Whatever they call it the main goal is still the same to give dead Wi-Fi zones in a home or business a good signal.
Most routers now come with a WPS button that can make for a easy setup to connect a range extender. To use WPS simply plug the repeater into a wall outlet, wait a moment, then press the WPS button on the repeater and then the WPS button on the router. Shortly thereafter, the repeater is connected to the encrypted Wi-Fi on your router. After doing these simple steps your wireless repeater should be ready to use.
Same or different WLANs
Some repeaters automatically copy the settings when connecting to a router, such as the SSID and WPA password and use this data for your own Wi-Fi, which in turn connect the clients. When a range extender does this it simply mimics the exact settings of a router and increases the signal. This has the advantage that all the clients in the home network, which already have the wireless access to your router, can connect instantly without any additional setup.
Anyone who uses a repeater as a wireless extension or bridging, however must understand data will not be transmitted as fast as a connection straight to a router. When transmitting data via the repeater theoretically available transmission bandwidth is halved.
The reason: When a extender sends a packet of information the packet goes first to the repeater, and then by the repeater to the client. During this time, the router must wait, because the transmission channel is not yet released. Only when the second transmission path from the repeater is completed to the client, the router can send the following package.
Basically a repeater will half the speed data can be transmitted. This has been a known problem for years and many manufactures are building much better repeaters to send and receive better signals.
Often this is not a problem with most devices such as a laptop that uses wireless N. It can send and receive at up to 300 Mbps. Most internet cable modems and DSL modems transmit at 20 Mbps.
Dual Band Repeater
Many manufacturers now offer repeaters that can transmit in the 2.4 GHz and 5-GHz band, this includes routers and wireless adapters. The 5 GHz band is especially interesting because it is not overcrowded like the 2.4 GHz band. 5 GHz doesn’t travel as far as 2.4 GHz but since there is less traffic, less data packets collide that can cause signal loss.
Tips for buying repeater
Reading reviews from real people is the best way to judge a repeater. Amazon or forums is a good place since so many other people that have bought a repeater will leave a review of it.
Wreless Range Extender On Amazon
TP-Link N300 Wi-Fi Range Extender (TL-WA850RE)