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Thread: WiFi range extender (repeater)

  1. #1
    P.Schuman
    Guest

    WiFi range extender (repeater)

    just wondering - since this topic frequently pops up -

    How well do these types of devices work in the real world ?
    http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=267

    If it has to receive, process, and then re-transmit the air frames,
    what kind of delay/latency do you encounter - ie gaming ?
    What SSID does the "extender" transmit ?
    How can you tell if you are connected to the "extender" vs the real AP ?
    --
    ----------------------------------
    "If everything seems to be going well,
    you have obviously overlooked something." - Steven Wright



  2. #2
    seaweedsl
    Guest

    Re: WiFi range extender (repeater)

    On Apr 8, 8:51 pm, "P.Schuman" <pschuman_no_spam...@interserv.com>
    wrote:

    I presume that you are asking about the "repeater" mode for this not
    the AP mode.

    As Jeff or anybody else will tell you, one big issue is that they cut
    thruput in half since they are store-and-forward repeaters trying to
    do it all with one radio.

    They are not universal and usually require specific matched routers to
    work at all. Linksys to certain Linksys, D-link to certain D-link,
    etc.

    In my experience, using DD-WRT (the most robust and flexible)
    routers in this mode, it is very hard to get the repeater to work
    with WPA security. Some claim to and others don't. But mine got
    caught up a lot and only really worked right with WEP or no security
    That was a deal killer for me.

    Also, they don't seem to work consistently. I had that DD-WRT
    repeater installed for a distant client and they were always calling
    that it didn't work, wasn't connecting. I'd go out and reboot various
    things in different orders and it would work again. Then I installed
    a two radio repeater (-)-)-) ethernet client ----AP -)-)-)-),
    and everything became reliable.

    Some people HAVE reported success with repeaters and swear by them.

  3. #3
    me@privacy.net
    Guest

    Re: WiFi range extender (repeater)

    seaweedsl <seaweedsteve@gmail.com> wrote:

    >Also, they don't seem to work consistently.



    sounds like a better antenna is best bet over repeaters
    then?

    agree?

  4. #4
    esar
    Guest

    Re: WiFi range extender (repeater)


    "P.Schuman" <pschuman_no_spam_me@interserv.com> wrote in message
    news:EiVKj.2974$iK6.2958@nlpi069.nbdc.sbc.com...
    > just wondering - since this topic frequently pops up -


    Hi

    > How well do these types of devices work in the real world ?
    > http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=267


    Well, it will cut your pipe in half, so it depends on your traffic. If your
    traffic is just internet traffic, you probably won't notice too much of a
    difference, but if you have a lot of heavy LAN traffic, you will definetly
    notice a big difference. Also, this repeater can only be used with certain
    WAP's. Read the fine print.

    > If it has to receive, process, and then re-transmit the air frames,
    > what kind of delay/latency do you encounter - ie gaming ?


    I played around with "repeater mode" in my WAP's a while back, but for the
    reason mentioned above, I stopped using them as "repeaters". I'm not sure
    about latency, but heavy LAN performance was horrible. I ended up stringing
    "repeaters" by simply cabling new WAP's, using the same SSID/channel. Also,
    I have an other "repeater" that is two devices working together: a
    wireless-ethernet bridge connected to a WAP using the same SSID/channel as
    the SSID it is "repeating". This basically gives you an "over-the-air
    repeater" without the pipe cut in half. (I'm using 802.11a, hence the
    reason for the several repeaters throughout my house.)

    > What SSID does the "extender" transmit ?


    The same SSID as the AP being extended. Same channel too. In "repeater
    mode", they are transparent. Garbage in, garbage out.

    > How can you tell if you are connected to the "extender" vs the real AP ?


    By the connected MAC BSSID...



  5. #5
    esar
    Guest

    Re: WiFi range extender (repeater)


    "esar" <none@none.none.not> wrote in message
    news:47fd1805$0$4930$4c368faf@roadrunner.com...
    >
    > "P.Schuman" <pschuman_no_spam_me@interserv.com> wrote in message
    > news:EiVKj.2974$iK6.2958@nlpi069.nbdc.sbc.com...
    >> just wondering - since this topic frequently pops up -

    >
    > Hi
    >
    >> How well do these types of devices work in the real world ?
    >> http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=267

    >
    > Well, it will cut your pipe in half, so it depends on your traffic. If
    > your traffic is just internet traffic, you probably won't notice too much
    > of a difference, but if you have a lot of heavy LAN traffic, you will
    > definetly notice a big difference. Also, this repeater can only be used
    > with certain WAP's. Read the fine print.
    >
    >> If it has to receive, process, and then re-transmit the air frames,
    >> what kind of delay/latency do you encounter - ie gaming ?

    >
    > I played around with "repeater mode" in my WAP's a while back, but for the
    > reason mentioned above, I stopped using them as "repeaters". I'm not sure
    > about latency, but heavy LAN performance was horrible. I ended up
    > stringing "repeaters" by simply cabling new WAP's, using the same
    > SSID/channel. Also, I have an other "repeater" that is two devices
    > working together: a wireless-ethernet bridge connected to a WAP using the
    > same SSID/channel as the SSID it is "repeating". This basically gives you
    > an "over-the-air repeater" without the pipe cut in half. (I'm using
    > 802.11a, hence the reason for the several repeaters throughout my house.)
    >
    >> What SSID does the "extender" transmit ?

    >
    > The same SSID as the AP being extended. Same channel too. In "repeater
    > mode", they are transparent. Garbage in, garbage out.
    >
    >> How can you tell if you are connected to the "extender" vs the real AP ?

    >
    > By the connected MAC BSSID...
    >


    [Adding]

    Reading seaweedsl's post reminded me something about all my DWL-7100AP's
    (mentioned above), they don't support WPA in "Repeater Mode". They only
    support WEP. A quick look at the "emulator" for the DWL-G800AP shows that
    it also does not support WPA in "Repeater Mode".

    http://support.dlink.com/emulators/dwlg800ap/

    You are better off runing a second WAP cabled directly to a router or
    through a wireless-ethernet bridge... If you want it to be a "repeater",
    simply just use the same SSID/Channel. This is how my WAP's are setup and
    it works fine. My laptop, PDA, etc automatically (and seamlessly) reconnect
    themselves to the stronger AP's as I move them around my house. I'm using
    (mainly) all D-Link...





  6. #6
    Jeff Liebermann
    Guest

    Re: WiFi range extender (repeater)

    On Tue, 8 Apr 2008 20:51:33 -0500, "P.Schuman"
    <pschuman_no_spam_me@interserv.com> wrote:

    >just wondering - since this topic frequently pops up -


    If it appears frequently, then perhaps using Google Groups search to
    read the comments might be useful? My rants under "repeaters suck"
    at:
    <http://groups.google.com/groups?as_q=repeaters+suck&num=50&as_ugroup=alt.internet.wireless=&as_uauthors=Jeff+Liebermann>
    In case you missed the obvious, methinks that repeaters suck and no
    better than wi-fi jammers.

    >How well do these types of devices work in the real world ?
    > http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=267


    They don't. I have a pile of assorted boxes in my office junk pile,
    from customers, that were once used as repeaters. Fortunately, most
    are multi-function devices, which can also act as access points, so
    they're not totally wasted.

    Short summary of problems:
    1. Half your *MAXIMUM* thruput. Actually, your maximum speed will be
    considerably less than half. Typical is about 30% of maximum speed.
    2. Downloads are erratic as connecting directly to your access point
    still causes the repeater to resend everything it hears.
    3. Airtime used is doubled. For every packet you send, you use twice
    the airtime. That's not a problem if you only have a few wireless
    clients, but it's fatal in high traffic (coffee shop, convention,
    hotel) environments.
    4. Only a few repeaters will do WPA encryption. The lack of WPA
    support is a security problem.

    Here's an experiment you can easily try. Setup a wireless router and
    wireless client in a room. Short range, good signal, lots of speed.
    Also setup some kind of computer plugged into the wired ethernet port
    on the router. Run some benchmarks with IPerf to download and upload
    between the two computers. It should be quite good.

    Now, plug in a repeater in the same room. The idea is to insure that
    the wireless router, wireless client, and repeater can all "see" each
    other. Configure the repeater to repeat on your SSID. Try the
    benchmarks again. It will be far less than half the thruput, even if
    you are allegedly directly connected to the wireless router.

    >If it has to receive, process, and then re-transmit the air frames,
    >what kind of delay/latency do you encounter - ie gaming ?


    The delays will be erratic and depend on the connection speed. They
    won't be because of the 50% loss in max thruput. The latency will be
    from lost packets due to collisions. If you can ping your wireless
    router and get typically 2-3msec responses, with a repeater in the
    room, it will vary from 2 to perhaps 100msec, all due to packet loss.
    Again, the problem is not the actual added latency. It's the erratic
    and unpredicable latency caused by packet loss that will drive you
    nuts.

    >What SSID does the "extender" transmit ?


    They filter packets based on SSID and only retransmit those with the
    correct SSID. If you have more than one SSID, you will need two
    repeaters. If you are trying to change the SSID in the network, in
    order for you to chose which device to connect, you can't do it.

    >How can you tell if you are connected to the "extender" vs the real AP ?


    Methinks your wireless client manager should have a status page, that
    shows the connecting SSID and it's corresponding MAC address. Check
    the MAC address. (I'm not 100.0% sure about this and too busy to
    double check.)

    --
    Jeff Liebermann jeffl@cruzio.com
    150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
    Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558

  7. #7
    danny burstein
    Guest

    Re: WiFi range extender (repeater)

    [ snip ]

    Ok, I understand the problems with the "repeaters"
    that reuse the same frequency as the original access point.

    How's about something that I could put in my window (or roof)
    that would "see" the original access point using, say,
    channel 1, and then re-feed it out into a second fcaility
    on channel 11? (and vice versa).

    I've done this using a Mac Mini [a] on the window shelf,
    taking that signal and "sharing it via ethernet"
    out to an Airport on a different channel.

    [a] it has a built in 802.11 card

    I haven't been able to do complete speed diagnostics,
    but I know it works...

    Is there a commercial grade "box" that has this
    all built in? I've looked around a bit and haven't
    found one, but it's such an obvious applicaation
    I must be missing the obvious.

    Price, within reason, isn't a concern.

    Thanks


    --
    _____________________________________________________
    Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key
    dannyb@panix.com
    [to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]

  8. #8
    Jeff Liebermann
    Guest

    Re: WiFi range extender (repeater)

    On Wed, 9 Apr 2008 22:21:40 +0000 (UTC), danny burstein
    <dannyb@panix.com> wrote:

    >How's about something that I could put in my window (or roof)
    >that would "see" the original access point using, say,
    >channel 1, and then re-feed it out into a second fcaility
    >on channel 11? (and vice versa).


    Sure. No problem. Two boxes and two antennas. One box is a wireless
    client, that connects to whatever on Ch 1. The other is a common
    wireless access point (or wireless router with the router section
    ignored), to which you connect to on Ch 11. They are connected
    together with an ethernet cable between LAN ports. (You might need a
    crossover cable).

    However, if you're going put all this stuff on the roof, you might as
    well just put the wireless client radio on Ch 1 on the roof, use PoE
    to deliver power via CAT5, and put the wireless access point on CH11
    inside the house.

    >I've done this using a Mac Mini [a] on the window shelf,
    >taking that signal and "sharing it via ethernet"
    >out to an Airport on a different channel.
    >
    >[a] it has a built in 802.11 card


    No problem. Basically, you're using the Mac Mini as a wireless
    ethernet client radio. See the FAQ at:
    <http://wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Wi-Fi#Wireless_Ethernet_Bridges>
    Not all of these will work. Verify that it has a "client mode"
    feature.

    >I haven't been able to do complete speed diagnostics,
    >but I know it works...


    Back to back radios work just fine. No self-interfernce, no slow
    down, and tolerable flow control (due to ethernet).

    >Is there a commercial grade "box" that has this
    >all built in? I've looked around a bit and haven't
    >found one, but it's such an obvious applicaation
    >I must be missing the obvious.


    Probably, but methinks you could easily build your own out of
    commercial hardware. If not, look for a box that has dual radios.

    >Price, within reason, isn't a concern.


    Yeah sure. That's what they all say just before they start
    negotiating the price downwards.

    --
    Jeff Liebermann jeffl@cruzio.com
    150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
    Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558

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