Which Access Point to buy? EDIT:Question about setting it up

oliB

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Hi!

I'm looking into WiFi, or Wireless LAN, Access Points. We already have a WiFi-capable router, but unfortunately it's sitting in our basement, because that's where all the network cables start. Because of this, there's only a very (!) weak signal on the 1st floor and no reception whatsoever on 2nd, 3rd and so on. ATM we don't use it at all, due to the aforementioned reason and the fact that there's an ethernet outlet in every room. I really want to extend the range of our WiFi network though, because my laptop is basically useless when I'm at home and I'll even get a WiFi enabled cellphone within the next couple of weeks.

I've been doing some reading and it looks like I need a WiFi Access Point. This could either be used as a repeater, or a stand-alone Access Point when plugged into one of the network outlets (for instance on the 2nd floor), right?

Now the question is, which one should I get? Maybe some of you guys are already using an AP and/or can give some feedback, give advice which one is good, has a strong signal, etc.!

Thanks in advance! :)
Oliver
 

Xeon SX

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Had that problem too, so I replaced a router with a switch and connected a router to a switch with a cable on the second floor, switches are fast and cheap so it now works great.
 

oliB

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Certainly a solution...this would work in my case, IF the router wouldn't double as the telephone system. But it does, therefore moving the router to another location is not really an option.

Thanks anyway, looking forward to more replies! :)
 

hokiethang

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Xeon SX said:
OK, so the router must stay where it is....
Then check this out http://www.netgear.com/products/details/WGXB102.php
or this http://www.netgear.com/products/details/WG602.php

But i guess your choice should depend on the your router. I heard netgear routers work best with netgear adapters so getting the same brand extender will help with signal strength.
I have two Netgear WPN824s and they seem to work very well. I have one in the basement which covers the basement and the first floor. I have the second to cover the upper floor (because one of the rooms where I need coverage had very unpredictable coverage). I also use a WRT54G as a bridge for my Tivo and use an Airport Express to connect my other Tivo and xbox to the internet. the WPN824 has something like 7 internal antennas, and it calculates which configuration of antennas would produce the best coverage for the devices connected to it. I like it a lot, and it seems to be more reliable than other netgear products i've used.
 

flyingfridge

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Don't get a repeater. They're a pain in the arse and you limit yourself later if you ever need to change your network around. You have wires already, so place another access point on the second floor. I have a Linksys WAG54G, which is reasonably old now, I'd recommend looking at the newer standards before buying. To be honest, I haven't looked at wireless gear since i bought all my stuff a couple of years ago, so i'm not exactly sure what's on offer at the moment.

I can say DON'T go D-Link. I had D-Link gear and it's truly Abysmal. Really. It is. Don't touch it.

I can't recommend Linksys highly enough. and the best bit is it operates on a Linux based kernel, so there are a few third party mods out there for it which means you can toy around with it and give it a bit of extra oomph. Very very good stuff.
 

hokiethang

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flyingfridge said:
Don't get a repeater. They're a pain in the arse and you limit yourself later if you ever need to change your network around. You have wires already, so place another access point on the second floor. I have a Linksys WAG54G, which is reasonably old now, I'd recommend looking at the newer standards before buying. To be honest, I haven't looked at wireless gear since i bought all my stuff a couple of years ago, so i'm not exactly sure what's on offer at the moment.

I can say DON'T go D-Link. I had D-Link gear and it's truly Abysmal. Really. It is. Don't touch it.

I can't recommend Linksys highly enough. and the best bit is it operates on a Linux based kernel, so there are a few third party mods out there for it which means you can toy around with it and give it a bit of extra oomph. Very very good stuff.
I agree on the Dlink avoidance, I have never had good experiences with their hardware. I'd say they are best avoided.

As for the linksys routers, they aren't bad but in my experience their radios aren't that strong. With the linux firmware you can turn the power up on the radios, which helps a little, but if you go too high you have a chance of bricking the router. If you want to give the linux firmware a try you need to find a WRT54GL or get a pre-revision 5 WRT54G (as the revision 5 and later one use Vxworks, which is much more difficult to replace).
 

TechZ

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MIMO technology AP/Routers, from what I have seen, are simply amazing, the range is unbeatable.
 

Peter3hg

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TechZ said:
MIMO technology AP/Routers, from what I have seen, are simply amazing, the range is unbeatable.
I replaced my old G router with a G+ Mimo and I agree the range is much improved aswell as the speed.
 

hokiethang

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peter3hg2 said:
TechZ said:
MIMO technology AP/Routers, from what I have seen, are simply amazing, the range is unbeatable.
I replaced my old G router with a G+ Mimo and I agree the range is much improved aswell as the speed.
yeah I can attest to the MIMO technology (the WPN824 has it). I have a fairly large house and two of them saturate the house with coverage, 5 bars everywhere.
 

oliB

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Thanks for the input guys! :)

hokiethang said:
peter3hg2 said:
TechZ said:
MIMO technology AP/Routers, from what I have seen, are simply amazing, the range is unbeatable.
I replaced my old G router with a G+ Mimo and I agree the range is much improved aswell as the speed.
yeah I can attest to the MIMO technology (the WPN824 has it). I have a fairly large house and two of them saturate the house with coverage, 5 bars everywhere.
At the moment I'm tending towards one of those WPN824s instead of just an Access Point. Given the fact that hokie has two in his house, they should also work in my case (I'll plug it into an ethernet outlet on the 1st floor), right?

Even though a WPN824 Router is probably more expensive than an AP, it seems to be really good for what I want to do. I'm really impressed with the NIMO technology, it has seven (!) antennas, etc. I also read a couple of reviews and they were really good too, most of them said it was the best WiFI Router ever.

So, should I go for one of those? (price doesn't really matter)

TIA
Oliver
 

Peter3hg

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7 antennas is just excessive my Belkin Mimo has 2 external antennae and it has the same range as that Netgear.
 

hokiethang

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oliB said:
Thanks for the input guys! :)

hokiethang said:
peter3hg2 said:
TechZ said:
MIMO technology AP/Routers, from what I have seen, are simply amazing, the range is unbeatable.
I replaced my old G router with a G+ Mimo and I agree the range is much improved aswell as the speed.
yeah I can attest to the MIMO technology (the WPN824 has it). I have a fairly large house and two of them saturate the house with coverage, 5 bars everywhere.
At the moment I'm tending towards one of those WPN824s instead of just an Access Point. Given the fact that hokie has two in his house, they should also work in my case (I'll plug it into an ethernet outlet on the 1st floor), right?

Even though a WPN824 Router is probably more expensive than an AP, it seems to be really good for what I want to do. I'm really impressed with the NIMO technology, it has seven (!) antennas, etc. I also read a couple of reviews and they were really good too, most of them said it was the best WiFI Router ever.

So, should I go for one of those? (price doesn't really matter)

TIA
Oliver
I'm happy with my purchase. The only reason I have two is because my roommate's computer is in a closet, on the other end of the house, and any time someone would turn the microwave on, the signal would degrade a bit.

The seven antennas aren't actually active all at once, they reconfigure themselves based on the devices that are connected to the wireless router. The lights on the top indicate which antennas are active, and they seem to change frequently, but it's possibly the best wireless router I have ever used (the WRT54G is in the running only because I can put linux on it).

I'm personally weary of Belkin products, as at least here in the US, they are definitely way overpriced. You can get better features for less for most everything they make.
 

oliB

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Here's short update:

I finally got my WPN824 today! :)
Let's see how setting this thing up works out. I'll try to get it up and running before the weekend.
 

Peter3hg

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peter3hg2 said:
TechZ said:
MIMO technology AP/Routers, from what I have seen, are simply amazing, the range is unbeatable.
I replaced my old G router with a G+ Mimo and I agree the range is much improved aswell as the speed.
Update on my G+ Mimo aswell, basically it was shit and kept cutting out took it back, bought a hard wired one and am just using my old wireless router which thankfully never cuts out.
 

oliB

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Alright, the WPN824 is up and running! :)
Configuration was a breeze and the range is awesome! It seems to cover our entire house. (5 floors)

There's one problem though. I was always using our (wired) home network to exchange files between my laptop and my PC. Now with the laptop connected to the WPN824, this doesn't work anymore. The network printer stopped working as well.

So, just to reiterate:
The PC is connected to the "main" router in our basement via an ethernet cable.
The laptop is connected to theWPN824 via WiFi. The WPN824 is connected to our main router via an ethernet cable. The main router is configured as the gateway for the WPN824
I can't "see" the PC using the Laptop and can't see the Laptop using the PC.

Maybe this is an easy fix, but what am I supposed to do to make this work?
 

hokiethang

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oliB said:
Alright, the WPN824 is up and running! :)
Configuration was a breeze and the range is awesome! It seems to cover our entire house. (5 floors)

There's one problem though. I was always using our (wired) home network to exchange files between my laptop and my PC. Now with the laptop connected to the WPN824, this doesn't work anymore. The network printer stopped working as well.

So, just to reiterate:
The PC is connected to the "main" router in our basement via an ethernet cable.
The laptop is connected to theWPN824 via WiFi. The WPN824 is connected to our main router via an ethernet cable. The main router is configured as the gateway for the WPN824
I can't "see" the PC using the Laptop and can't see the Laptop using the PC.

Maybe this is an easy fix, but what am I supposed to do to make this work?
Plug the PC into the WPN 824. The reason they can't see each other is that the PC is on the "external" side of the WPN 824's internal router, and the laptop is on the internal side. If both are on the internal side, then the connection should work just fine.
 

oliB

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Thanks for the quick reply!

There's no other way to make this work? Damn...that sucks.
I could plug my PC directly into the router, as they are in the same room. (I guess properly setting up the port forwarding will be a PITA, though) The printer is on another floor, though.

There are several PCs and laptops all over the house. If they can't communicate with each other when the Laptops are on WiFi, this whole settup loses a lot (!!) of its practicality/helpfulness!
:(
 

hokiethang

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oliB said:
Thanks for the quick reply!

There's no other way to make this work? Damn...that sucks.
I could plug my PC directly into the router, as they are in the same room. (I guess properly setting up the port forwarding will be a PITA, though) The printer is on another floor, though.

There are several PCs and laptops all over the house. If they can't communicate with each other when the Laptops are on WiFi, this whole settup loses a lot (!!) of its practicality/helpfulness!
:(
I also have my WPN824 set to not route (i.e. not use the WAN or internet port on it). Basically move the ethernet cable from the router into one of the switch ports (not the one separated from the others), and clear the routing settings, and turn off DHCP, and in theory your WPN824 becomes just an access point, with no need to route at all. I have one WPN824 that does the routing and another which is connected through a few switches that I use just as a wireless access point. I didn't know that the PC wasn't close to the wireless ap (since I have my AP as my first level router, I didn't think about that).
 

oliB

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Thanks for your help! I did what you told me, I think.

Moved the ethernet cable into one of the switch ports, plugged my laptop into the WPN824 via an ethernet cable, reset it to factory specifications, disabled DHCP and set the WiFi key. The laptop was then able to access the internet as well my pc for instance, which is connected to the main router in the basement.

I then unplugged my laptop in order to try it with WiFi. Didn't work, no LEDs flashing on the WPN824. Looks like WiFi is disabled, I don't know why though.

Alright, so I reconnected my laptop to the WPN824 via ethernet to try and fix the problem. Now I can't access the config menu of the WPN824 anymore. Network and Internet are still working though. When trying to access the router by typing routerlogin.net into the browser, I just get redirected to the Netgear homepage.

I guess I have to do a hardware reset on the WPN 824 now...

EDIT: Alright, that did help. :)

I googled a little and found this:
Using WPN824, WGR614, or WGT624 Routers as an Access Point

Works like a charme now! :D
 
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