A friend has a condo on FL, but is coming back tonight....
He said his WiFi router/AP is located at one end, and he needs a better signal at the other end on the balcony.
I've never played with any of the AP Range Extenders.... Any suggestions to try ? BTW - if they receive and re-broadcast the signal, how can you tell the difference between the orig and repeated signal ? Do you usually set them up with different SSID's ? Do you keep them on seaparete channels - like 1, 3, 7
How many walls in between the other end and the balcony? If it's 2 or more, run CAT5 or use power line networking (HomePNA).
That explains why you're still sane. Range Extenders do work, but only if the end points can't hear or see each other. If there's more than one path between end points, they get confused.
Nope. They all suck. You can easily demonstrate the problem. Put a laptop in the same room as the wireless router. Run a benchmark test between the laptop and a fast desktop plugged into the router via ethernet using iPerf or JPerf. Bug me for instructions. The speed should be excellent if there's no interference. Now, program and install your favorite Range Extender in the same room. Run the benchmark test again and try not to panic at the results. I've done this demo about 8 times for various clients, all of whom were magically convinced that Range Extenders and repeaters are a bad idea. The best I've been able to do is about 1/3 of the max speed from the first test.
To be fair, if you place the laptop somewhere where it cannot hear or see the wireless router, with the repeater half way in between, it will work reasonably well. I installed one of these in a location that had to make a right angle turn around a thick block wall with a repeater. However, the minute the end points can hear each other directly, the speed goes down.
Most are programmed with your system SSID. They will only repeat packets with your SSID. Some really awful implementations allow you to insert SSID=ANY which will rebroadcast literally anything it hears.
It's channel 1, 6, or 11. All the radios must be on the same channel for a range extender to work. They must also have the same SSID.
There are systems crudely called "back to back repeaters" which have two radios in the "range extender". Instead of the typical "store and forward" type of repeater, these all having each radio on a different channel and with a different SSID. You can build one of these with an access point, for picking up the laptop signal, and a wireless client bridge, for connecting to the wireless router or access point.
I use an ASUS WL-330gE to extend the signal (Repeat - uses the ip address) about 6 meters from a D-Link DWL-G700AP through a couple of walls to the back of the house. The signal from the DWL-G700AP can be "seen" by the client - a Powebook FW800 - although the signal is weaker, but the client connects to the repeater. I know, because I often check the MAC address
EnGenius long range outdoor routers have a repeater function where you connect to a SSID then broadcast on another SSID, on the same channel. That would probably be what would work best for you. It could be used indoors too.
You can put it anywhere you can get a signal. It gets power through POE. A cable can be run from the Lan port to give wired internet to computers. It's powerful enough to cover an entire house and a long way outdoors. The power/range can be adjusted, but that's mostly for using it as a bridge.
On the access point setting you have as many as four SSID to use.