How To Set Up Your Wi
ByBrian Nadel19 March 2020
Wi-Fi extenders have gotten more affordable, but they’re still tricky devices to set up. Here are some tips on where to place your extender to boost your Wi-Fi network’s reach.
While your typical router generally has more than enough reach to fill an apartment or small house with Wi-Fi, it may not have the range to cover a larger home. Inevitably, dead spots will crop up in larger homes that get in the way of relaxing with a Netflix movie in your favorite easy chair, listening to your favorite tunes on Spotify while barbecuing on the porch or providing guests in the attic bedroom with Internet access.Using a Wi-Fi extender can help to fill in the gaps by taking your routers existing Wi-Fi signal and rebroadcasting a fresh signal thats aimed at the homes unconnected nooks and crannies. While extenders have gotten cheaper and easier to use, they still can be tricky to set up. They not only require some forethought and planning but some trial and error.
- Bigger and better: The best mesh Wi-Fi routers cover the whole house
Here are seven tips and tricks for Wi-Fi extenders that will help you put data in its right place everywhere.
What Are Wifi Extenders
- A wifi range extender is actually a device that gets plugged into any electrical source like a socket or so.
- This device is designed to expand the wifi signals to the places in your house that are considered dead zones.
- Your balcony, the backroom in the upper portion, your front lawn, or your backyard is the most vulnerable areas where the wifi device fails to extend the signals.
- In this situation, wifi extenders work as a connecting source between your personal devices and your best wifi router.
Upgrade Your Wireless Router
Your network speed can be influenced by the age of your router, what wireless standards it supports, as well as how good its processor and antennas are. Check with your ISP to determine what hardware is supported with your service. If you have been using the same router for several years, it could be time to upgrade.
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How Far Can A Wifi Extender Be From A Router: 6 Simple Tips On How To Do It
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Working at home has become a relevant part of most peoples lifestyle during the previous year. And because of this shift in working structure, there is quite a demand for all-around, flexible WiFi connectivity wherever you are at home.
The optimal distance between a WiFi Extender and a WiFi router usually depends on the location of your workstation and the capacity of the router. In most cases, putting the extender halfway between the router and the device should be sufficient.
Not a lot of people know how to install a WiFi extender effectively. This is especially the case for those who havent used this device before. This task is even more complicated when you live in a house that doesnt have uniform spacing or other users sharing your WiFi.
How far should the WiFi Extender be from your router? We will learn more about WiFi extenders and their installation in this article.
There Are Areas In Your Home That Have Slow Wifi
Maybe your WiFi router is located in the home office upstairs, but you spend most of your time downstairs where the signal works, but can be slow and annoying. A lot of homeowners just live with these situations and work around the slow areas. Maybe youve learned that you cant stream a video in the kitchen or Facetime in the living room. Maybe your kids know that they have to go upstairs for gaming. Instead of suffering through slow WiFi in certain areas of the home, consider a WiFi booster. It will be an instant performance boost that will let you rethink how you use parts of your home.
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Use Netspot To Plan Your Wifi Extender Purchase
To select the best WiFi range extender, you should check your current WiFi coverage to see where the weak spots are. In theory, you could take your smartphone or laptop and simply base your analysis on the WiFi strength indicator icon, but a professional wireless site surveillance app such as NetSpot will give you much more accurate results.
NetSpot comes with two survey modes: Discover and Survey. The former mode is great if you want to get a quick overview of all WiFi networks in your area, but the latter mode is what you need for a comprehensive WiFi survey.
Even though NetSpot satisfies the needs of professional network administrators, its accessible even to casual users. The polished, modern user interface removes all complexity from wireless network surveilling, allowing you to generate detailed signal heatmaps with a few clicks.
It all starts with a map of your local area. You can either upload an existing map or create a new map using NetSpots map-building tools. After that, its time to walk from room to room until you cover the entire area. NetSpot will then analyze the gathered data and present you with results.
All Of The New Routers Announced At Ces 2021
If you’re willing to spend more than $200 on a mesh router, you’ll start seeing options that support the newest, fastest Wi-Fi 6 speeds, as well as tri-band models with an additional 5GHz band that you can dedicate to traffic between the router and the extenders. If you can afford it, my recommendation is to invest in a system that does both, as tri-band design paired with Wi-Fi 6 makes for one of the most powerful combos you can get in a mesh router.
Later in 2021, we’ll start seeing mesh routers that support Wi-Fi 6E, which adds in exclusive access to the newly opened, ultra-wide 6GHz band. I’ve got plenty of information on systems like those in my full mesh router rundown, so be sure to give that a look, too.
That said, if all you need is for your current router to maintain a steady signal one or two rooms farther into your home, then a simple range extender will probably do just fine — especially if you buy the right one. For my money, the TP-Link RE505X, the D-Link DAP-X1870 and the TP-Link RE220 are the best places to start.
Netgear Ax1800 Mesh Extender Review: Setup And Software
The Netgear EAX20 can be installed using a connected browser or the companys Nighthawk app . Using my iPad Pro, I started by creating a Netgear account, selected that I wanted to use it as a range extender and read through placement tips.
After plugging everything in, the app scanned for and quickly found the extender.
The EAX20 let me pick which host networks to use and connected after I plugged in the passwords.
The app allowed me to change the admin password and wanted answers to two verification security questions unfortunately, it took two tries to get my answers to be accepted. The app then built the extended network.
With everything working, the app offered to create a QR code that can be shared and snapped to get the LANs connection details. The last chore is to decide if I wanted to extend the warranty to two years and add support . At the end, the process finishes with a firmware update.
It connected on the first try with 137Mbps available of my 200Mbps broadband service. All told, it took 7 minutes to install.
While the app provides a consolidated main page with lots of information, the browser approach allows more configuration using mywifiext.net.
The choices include turning the MU-MIMO, Wi-Fi 6 and SmartConnect functions on or off. At any time, I was able to dim the LEDs and adjust the extenders transmission strength.
Upstairs Downstairs: Better Signal In Multistory Homes
If you have a ranch house or a single-floor apartment, you should be home-free. However, when setting up an extender for a floor above or below the router , youll need to take account of the extra height and all the wood, steel and plaster in your floors and ceilings building materials that can absorb part of the Wi-Fi signal. Solve this by moving the extender closer to the router than you might if both devices were on the same floor. In fact, it often works best in multi-story situations if the router and extender are roughly above or below each other.
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Do Boosters Repeaters And Extenders Slow Down My Internet Speed
Yes, boosters, repeaters, and extenders may slow down your internet speed. This is because your devices connect to the extender first, and then the extender connects to your modem/router, which then connects to the internet. Boosters, extenders, and repeaters extend the infrastructure of your Wi-Fi network, so they can cause slowing that will be particularly noticeable while gaming, using a VPN, transferring large files, or uploading photos or videos.
How To Tell When To Replace Your Router Due To Age
The biggest thing that kills routers over time is heat, as these devices tend to run hot and usually rely on passive cooling. Plus, we often shove them in closets or other areas that don’t get a lot of air circulation. If the router’s in a confined space, it probably has dust-clogged vents.
Wear and tear, damage due to heat, and outdated technology are critical factors to consider. You can replace components like your router based on an arbitrary age, but doing so can be a waste of money if you end up replacing things too soon.
The other significant factor that plays into replacing a router due to time is outdated hardware. You have to look at specific features and standards to determine whether or not a router is outdated for sure, but if your router is more than ten years old, you’re probably two or three significant revisions out of date.
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Choose Cable When Possible
It may seem counter intuitive after all, you are extending your wireless network but using cable to connect two buildings is always the most reliable method in terms of speed and latency.
Despite its reliability, cable also has its limitations. Regular Cat 5 or Cat 6 cable can only be run for about 328 feet, plus you have to use the right materials and make sure its properly installed, so that it doesnt erode or sever. Optical fiber cable can be run for much longer distances, but these types of installations can be very expensive and involve obtaining digging permits and otherwise dealing with complex city regulations.
Use Bandwidth Quality Control Apps
Yep, the bane of each wireless connectivity network ever since its inception: WiFi leechers. Users with unauthorized access to your network will hog down the resources, making them slow and unusable at times.
To battle this, consider using WiFi Quality control apps to monitor your bandwidth and block MAC addresses that arent yours. Dont forget to use a strong password, or hide your SSID.
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Are There Routers That Have Built
Yes, you can get a mesh router system for around $250. This replaces your router and also extends the range of a home Wi-Fi System. Amazons Eero Wi-Fi Mesh System functions as a router and extender system in one. Its expansive 5,000 sq. ft. coverage area should keep you streaming happily from any part of your home.
How To Set Up A Wireless Extender
Not very long ago, setting up a range extender required a bit of technical expertise and a good deal of patience to find the best location . But most of today’s routers and range extenders support WPS , which makes pairing the two as simple as pressing a couple of buttons, naming your new extended network, and creating a network password.
Moreover, nearly all manufacturers offer web-based setup wizards and illustrated instructions that will help you configure basic wireless settings. Some extenders are equipped with LED status indicators that tell you if the extender is too far from the router. Extenders can also offer advanced router-like features such as guest networking, access scheduling, and media server capabilities.
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How To Tell When Its Time To Replace A Router
The easiest way to tell that it’s time to replace a router is when the router is physically broken, but routers don’t always break down all the way all at once. Signs that a router might be on the way out include slower speed, reduced range, and other malfunctions.
Age is another strong indicator as to when it’s time to replace a router. You can’t determine when it’s time just based on a number, but age has a bearing on factors like general wear and tear, heat damage, and outdated technology. If your router has reached a tipping point in all of those categories, it’s time to upgrade.
The final way to tell it’s time to replace a router is when it lacks a few of the most important features found in modern routers. Features like longer ranges and mesh compatibility are important if you have a lot of space to cover. USB ports and the ability to connect network-attached storage are important across the board. Wireless standards also improve over the years, so if your router uses an outdated protocol, it’s time for an update.
The Purpose Of A Wifi Extender
If youre in the basement and youre trying to have a conversation with your spouse who happens to be in the office on the second floor, it’s not going to be a very productive chat. It’ll be even worse if someone left the TV on in the living room. Distance and extraneous noise can make it hard for people to communicate with their voices. The same goes for wireless internet signals: distance and other interference can weaken your signal and make it hard to access the internet in certain parts of your home.
A WiFi extender is like an intercom for people who want to talk to each other from separate rooms. It allows your router to have a conversation with a device that is otherwise too far away. The result: you can carry your laptop or tablet anywhere in your home and enjoy a high-quality internet connection.
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