It turned out to be a piece of crap. You get what you pay for. I got terrible service, bad signal, bad syncing and having to restart the damn thing on a weekly basis. Then I just got tired of it. And I got this.
Night and day? Yeah. It has solved all of my connectivity issues. All of them. Highly recommended.
Am I correct in thinking that the WiFi extender is a separate element so if I was to have my wife Netflix TV in the bedroom it would have to point to a new WiFi point and not the original? Does this device have to be wired the Router that is located in the living room?
You could name the extender with the same SSID and hope that your devices roam correctly between them. But if you’re doing it for a TV (which presumably doesn’t move around), then I’d go with the suggesting of naming the extender a separate name.
Most extender are WiFi (though they often have ethernet ports to be wired in) connected to the base router. If you use it in WiFi mode, it does essentially cut the speed in half.
An alternative is to switch to a mesh network system, which is essentially integrated, more efficient extenders.
Wifi extension in the enterprise is called, “mesh,” and you can look for APs that create the same.
The tip is that the access point needs more than a single radio within a frequency. What’s done is it allows the extra radio to be used as a link from one access point to the other, aka backhaul, while the other radios perform the standard access point job allowing you to connect in an area that had low coverage.
Google and a few other vendors offer wireless sets of APs that do this, you should be able to find them now without issue.
I would also recommend if you are within the same household, consider powerline ethernet, which essentially is a pair of devices that led you use your household electrical wiring as the, “wire,” from one room to a distant room, and thereby plug in a STANDARD access point in the other room, allowing wireless roaming through the house.
Cheap wifi extenders do neither, and will use a the pair of standard radios (2.4 and 5Ghz) to connect as a CLIENT, back to your master access point. What this does is immediately cut in half all speed through that extender, since it has to both allow and talk to clients local to it, but also then transfer that traffic to the master AP, thus halving the speed through the same frequencies.
Summary: stay away from the terms, “repeater,” or, “extender.” Go with terms like, “mesh.”
I will put in a plug for the Asus Zen Wifi AX. Replaced my (Verizon-provided) router with one in the basement and one upstairs and it was plug-and-play and works fantastically. Not cheap, though, IIRC $400 for the two units. But supposedly future-proofed through the next round of WiFi standards.
I’ve had the Netgear Orbi mesh system for the past five years and it’s been an extremely reliable router. I keep thinking it’s time to upgrade to Wifi 6 or 6e, but I rarely have an instance where I wish wifi were faster. At this point, I’ll wait for Wifi 7.
Newer units are faster, some at 2000Mbps and above, but yep they can be finicky. But they might be a good solution for someone that already has another access point though. Mesh is the way forward though. I have three APs meshed right now at the house, no issues. However I keep my main unit which is connected with cable right at our large screen TV that sees the most use, thus the largest bandwidth is wired from that equipment out to the internet. The remote bedroom TVs work fine via wireless, but it’s not something I would want to test with 4K all the time.
Air Link has trouble working with mesh networks. It’s called out in their FAQs (as a best practice: non-mesh) and there are all types of attempted work arounds on reddit, none of which work for me unfortunately.
That’s true but for one I feel like I’m getting the suboptimal experience and also because of where my PC is located, the cable has to stretch out quite a bit and I feel somewhat at risk of entanglement. It seens odd to me that mesh makes it such that I can’t just Air Link it.
edit: I went back to try again and apparently Air Link has been deprecated. It is now Quest Link and it is able to pair with PC through my mesh network. Issue has been solved!
Hijacking this thread since it seems to be the most recent one that relates to my question.
I am about to move up in the world from terrible copper-based 20mbps internet to blazing fast 500mbps fiber thanks to my provider FINALLY (after a decade long wait) getting around to installing fiber lines in our neighborhood (only 2500+ potential customers, hardly worth the effort). Since my current wifi router is an 8-year-old ASUS RT-AC56U (which has been rock solid but is probably nearing the end of it’s useful existence) I figure it is time for an upgrade.
My home is two stories, and currently the wifi router sits in the home office on the first floor where my gaming rig is also located (and directly connected to the router via ethernet cable for max speed). We have several phones, three televisions, three laptops and a handful of other devices on the wireless network as well. My son also has a gaming rig, and his bedroom is located in the opposite corner of the house from the office, and on the second floor. Because of this, wifi to his room is not the greatest. I am thinking in addition to the new router also purchasing an extender I can install on the second floor above the office that will greatly improve coverage on that floor.
After doing some research at places like WireCutter and PCWorld, I’m thinking of this pairing:
Thoughts? I’d like to keep my total budget on this at around $150, and under $200 for sure.
EDIT : So after talking to a couple of other IT guys I have decided to go with the Ubiquiti EdgeRouter X at $59 paired with the Access Point U6 Lite for $99. Apparently this setup features GbE speeds all the way through with auto-sensing dual band and a really strong range w/o the need for an extender, which is pretty much exactly what I am looking for.
When folks start asking in-depth questions like this about home gear I push them towards a site catered to that:
He ranks wireless and wired routers of all types and some of the things he keys on are throughput.
Going with a 500mbps connection means you need a router that will handle traffic throughput at least to that 500Mb point, otherwise you sacrifice some of what you’re paying for. And though ports on routers are listed by link speed, they are NOT generally advertised by overall throughput through the router.
Glance over his lists and see if anything speaks to you there. Generally going with Wi-Fi 6 futureproofs you a bit. You’ll get a bit more throughput but the ability to handle a lot more devices without issue.
Since your router you picked there supports OneMesh, you really should get an extender that utilizes that instead of older extender technology. The short of it is that mesh allows a separate radio to handle access point to base communication. This means full throughput speed of your wireless if you choose to link by radio, instead of half-speed like older extenders did. Some of the models listed here have that, but I don’t see it listed for yours. You might want to email them for clarity.
I do like that they recommended Ubiquiti, just note that whatever you get needs to have that additional radio for use for mesh, whatever the vendor chooses to call it. I do know they have mesh capable APs, I don’t know which models do so, however.