Wireless "repeater"

I’ve got my wireless home network, and the router is in one corner of the house (that’s where the cable line comes in). The house coverage is fine, but it’s getting nice outside, and the wife very much likes the idea of being able to laptop outdoors.

She can get a connection right outside the screen door on the patio, but not 5 feet away on our picnic table. Naturally, the patio is on the far diagonal from the router in terms of the house layout.

I’m looking for what amounts to a wireless repeater. Something I can stick in the house and effectively amplify the wireless signal so that it covers the patio.

I don’t need this thing to anything other than repeat (I don’t need hard ports, DHCP serving…) the existing signal. Does such a device exist? I’ve found some stuff that might do what I want, but it’s not certain and I’m not ordering anything on a hunch and a hope. It looks like one solution is an access point in repeater mode, but if I can find a plain repeater cheaper, that’d be ideal (no need to spend extra $$ for an AP just to set it to repeat).

Any suggestions?

You should try futsing with the wirless router that you have first. Sometimes just reogranizing it (see if you can set it any higher, jockey the antenna around) allows you to get better coverage.

Yep, such things exist. You can either get a signal booster for you router (have to get one to match your current router), or a for-real repeater that you run cable to and mount where you need it.

Buffalo makes a good repeater for around $50-$60.

They way I understood it, he doens’t want to run cable to it at all. Rather, it will boost the wireless signal it receives. Will a standard access point do something like that (seems like it should work).

True Quaro, and I don’t have enough experience with stand-alone WAP’s to be able to offer any guidance in that area. I have played with signal boosters, and they usually offer between around a 20% increase in signal strength for a normal residental house.

Another option is to try and find an antenna of some kind (assuming your router supports an external antenna) and try to mount that in a central location, but that option requires running some wire as well, and may not be any cheaper than an access point or repeater anyway.

A standard Wireless AP will work just fine as a repeater. No data cables necessary.

I had done some research on this a few months ago when my mom bought a new PC. She wanted to set it up in the one place that had the worst coverage (it also didn’t help that the router and cable are on the second floor while everyone else is on the first). Fortunately, I was able to shift things around a bit to get better coverage, but getting another AP was an idea I was toying with.

Hallo old thread!

Um… I am trying to get wireless internet access in a room at the far end of a large house with the main wireless internet router at the opposite end. Basically what I want is a wireless repeater, as illustrated in this nice drawing:

I went to my local computer shop, said I wanted a repeater, and the guy sold me a wireless router, telling me it could be used as a repeater. (It’s a D-Link DIR 300). I get it home, attempt and fail to get it to work as such, and after some hunting around on the internet find that it’s qualified to work as a wired repeater (ie, with a long cable running to my modem) but not as a wireless repeater. Which I’m a bit annoyed about. Anyway, I will take it back tomorrow… but! Can you help me, Qt3?

  1. Is there such a product as a wireless repeater for wifi internet? Can you recommend one?
  2. Am I right in thinking that I cannot use this DIR-300 for that purpose?
  3. Can you suggest some other creative way I might solve this problem?

Thanks in advance for any and all help! :)

I’d try looking for a “wireless range extender”, I got one for my parents to get from one end of their house to the other (a very large house, since its also a bed and breakfast), and it works fine. I just got one with the same brand as their router, which I think was linksys, and it works just fine.

As I understand it, a wireless router in client bridge mode might do what you want.

I’ve been told that it’s not universal that it will work that way. My roommate purchased a wireless router with that in mind and discovered evidence that it would not work.

As for the current question, finding a repeater may be a smart move, but I’d at least also consider upgrading your wireless, depending on what you are running (that was not specified in your post). Assuming you are running a G network, N has greater range and may work just fine in this situation, plus has other benefits and higher security. You could even get a dual band and only have to upgrade the receiver in your wife’s laptop.

Do you mean that not all wireless router firmware supports doing that? Yes, that’s true. For some of those that don’t, DD-WRT can help. That may be going beyond the level of effort desired here, though.

I’m in this same boat, again!

I’m trying to use a Linksys WRT54G running DD-WRT firmware to repeat the wireless signal from an AT&T 2Wire wireless modem/router. The 2Wire has a local ip of; and a DHCP range of 192.168.1.(64-253). Does that change what ip I’ll set the secondary to? I normally would set it to

I’m down like a CLOWN for some serious effort as I’ve completely exhausted my knowledge of wireless routing. Anybody gotta guide for this shit?

I seem to have found a way to make it work: http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Wireless_Bridge

That did it, it seems, but I’m still having a very strange problem.

The 2Wire modem/router is down the hall in the living room, through about 2 walls. When I have a regular wireless antenna on my wireless card on the back of my PC, I can usually see the wireless network, but can’t connect to it. When I have a super-gain-boosting antenna plugged in, I can connect all the time.

This is true even now that I’ve got my wireless bridge in my room. I would think with my new wireless bridge plugged in about 3 feet away I should have no problem seeing and connecting to the wireless network.


  1. My new wireless bridge isn’t working properly, and my regular antenna is trying and failing to connect to the distant wireless router. I don’t know how to troubleshoot this.

  2. There is some strange interference from the walls/floor in my room. I seem to be able to connect to my network when my computer is a foot or more away from the wall (and all the other cabling and wires connected to my computer). There is only one outlet in my room, so I have two orange extension cords (heavy-duty outdoor 14gauge/15amp) running around my room to carry power, and they both run right past the back of my PC. Maybe they’re contributing interference?

Well, using a laptop in another room I discovered that the newly configured bridge just isn’t relaying the signal. I’m not sure how to get it to, though. It may just be a wired bridge, which is useless to me. I may have to set up WDS. Ugh. This shit is annoying.

It could be that this is what you’re trying to achieve but that wireless bridge is essentially for connecting two wired network segments via wifi. In other words, one of your wifi routers is acting as a normal AP/router, the other is acting as a wifi client, just like the one in your laptop, except it happens to have a switch built in, into which you can plug other non-wifi capable devices.

In other words - the ‘wireless bridge’ device isn’t broadcasting wifi, it’s connecting to it and sharing it with wired devices. WDS is the only solution (believe me, I’m in a similar predicament) and that stuff is nasty - even if you flash both of your APs to run DD-WRT (or OpenWRT), I’m pretty sure that they have to be either the same type of AP (both Linksys, both Buffalo, both Netgear and so on) or they have to at least have the same wifi chipset (Broadcom, Atheros etc.).

I think WDS is indeed what I want.

Now the issue is disabling the wireless on the 2Wire router/modem and setting up both my Linksys routers in a WDS system. Someday when I haven’t already been at it for 3 hours… :)

Woot! Got it working, I think.

Go here for the ultimate (simple) walkthrough: http://meanderingpassage.com/2007/04/15/dd-wrt-setting-up-a-home-wireless-distribution-system-wds/