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Apr 1, 2020 - 12:40:39 PM
744 posts since 9/7/2005

Now that I and many of you are trapped at home and cuddled up with either your banjos, cats or laptops, I am finding that what used to be pretty good wi if in our home is gradually deteriorated to the point that I have to wander about the house to sometimes get a page to finish loading. Sometimes I have to find a spot next to the router to get things to load. This has been slowly happening for a few months not just since the virus pandemic.
It is so annoying that I am considering getting a wi fi extender, one of those plug in gizmos that boosts the signal a bit and give better coverage and ups download speed.
I look on the web and they seem to come in many flavors, prices and abilities. Was wondering if any of you have had experience with them. Snake oil, internet con job to BS you or do they actually work.
Any particular features to look for, any particular brands that have performed as expected or should I just invest in a comfy chair next to the router.....which only sorta works!

Apr 1, 2020 - 12:45:57 PM

3067 posts since 7/28/2015

Are you sure it is the wifi and not the ISP?

Apr 1, 2020 - 12:56:40 PM

744 posts since 9/7/2005

Not sure of anything any more, but when I sit in my favorite chair to respond to you, the circle-y thing just goes round and round forever. If I get up, disturbing the cat in the process, and go downstairs next to the router, all works fine. By the way when we first got our “upgraded service” it worked just fine even out in my garage. That has long ago given up the ghost and gradually the service has continued to be less and less vigorous. Maybe the rumors of the isp’s gradually slowing down your feed till you pay more and “upgrade” once again are true. I do believe they have -their- best interests at heart, surprise, surprise! Who would have thought?

Apr 1, 2020 - 1:10:23 PM

banjonz

New Zealand

10911 posts since 6/29/2003

I had a similar problem here. My home office where the cable comes into the modem is at the read of my house. My wifi router gives a good signal downstairs but deteriorates upstairs where the bedrooms are. My cell phone gets a low signal but ok for some browsing and social media chat. I tried an extender once that plugs into a power outlet but it really made no difference. No matter where I place the thing I just couldn't improve the coverage upstairs. There may be different types of extenders but I don't have the $$$ to try them all. Good luck in your search.

Apr 1, 2020 - 1:27:48 PM

bluenote23

Canada

1077 posts since 12/4/2012

I have a TP Link AC 12000 wifi extender. My router is on the ground floor and the signal will not work about 30ft away on the next floor. I plugged in the extender on the next floor and now the signal reaches. You do need to set it up (like you would set up your router) and the set up instructions in the manual are not great.

Apr 1, 2020 - 2:13:59 PM

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

24265 posts since 8/3/2003

I just got a new computer, Windows 10, and am finding that often I have to restart the computer in order to get my e-mail or get some things on the internet. I've checked with my provider and it's not their problem, so it has to be my brand new computer. I don't care for Windows 10, too many glitches and problems.

Apr 1, 2020 - 3:01:44 PM

2118 posts since 5/2/2012

I looked at extenders/repeaters/ boosters awhile back, and they come in a couple different flavors. There are single channel, dual channel and dual radio devices. Here is an article that explains the  differences I think you will find performance (and price) increases as the technology involved gets more complex.  That said, with all the kids home from school and adults working from home the internet probably has a tough time keeping up with all the traffic.  My church did a live stream on FB a week and a half ago and it worked well.  Other local churches are also starting to live stream and so the number of people watching is increasing as well, and they experienced some lags this past Sunday.  

Apr 1, 2020 - 3:06:15 PM

bluenote23

Canada

1077 posts since 12/4/2012

Just a correction. My extender is an AC 1200 Wi-Fi Range Extender RE-305.

Edited by - bluenote23 on 04/01/2020 15:15:06

Apr 1, 2020 - 3:20:05 PM
Players Union Member

RV6

USA

1331 posts since 2/3/2012

I've got a piece of cardboard about 3 feet tall and the width of aluminum foil with  aluminum foil attached to it.   I have it leaning against the wall behind my WiFi router.  It boosted the performance quite a bit.    My router is at least 65 feet away from the shop where I'm typing this and I have full signal strength.  There's several walls between my computer and router.

Apr 1, 2020 - 3:30:47 PM

conic

England

765 posts since 2/15/2014

quote:
Originally posted by Texasbanjo

I just got a new computer, Windows 10, and am finding that often I have to restart the computer in order to get my e-mail or get some things on the internet. I've checked with my provider and it's not their problem, so it has to be my brand new computer. I don't care for Windows 10, too many glitches and problems.


New computer great, Windows 10 is a pain at first, there is a way to change the interface so its exactly like the classic view, I did mine a few years back as well as other tweaks never had any problems since 2016, use this forum.https://www.tenforums.com/.

Now: wifi hits your speeds very hard even without the extender which will half it again. my provider now does speeds of 1Gbps but I  only pay for 300Mbps "hard wired to the router" but as I have a big house I only get 25Mbps wifi at the other end 40' away but lots of walls and it was only 15Mbps so I  moved my router around for optimum signal strength ( you can download an app to your phone for signal strength meter ). I then took a USB wifi dongle and attached it to a 6' usb extension and moved it for optimum signal which is near the ceiling. job done . 

You can on most routers access the setup of it and there are channel settings you can change which I think the theory is if you have a neighbour close it will clash if he is on the same channel a bit like the old cb radio days

Apr 1, 2020 - 3:41:46 PM

conic

England

765 posts since 2/15/2014

Apr 1, 2020 - 3:53:50 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

23446 posts since 6/25/2005

I had one with my old AT&T service, and it worked fine—reaching the back end of the house. Don’t remember the make. Don’t need it with my cable internet setup now. I’ve had good luck following the CNET reviews for such components.

Apr 1, 2020 - 4:03:18 PM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

12226 posts since 5/24/2005
Online Now

I bought higher priced extender, put it on second floor, ran the setup. But it has its own address that does not seem to be looked at by phone or TV or computer. You have to go to availables list and connect it? I visited with att guy and he said att has a priority extender that syncs with their router. And is automated. In the old area of 2+3 story homes he claims it works great with their router. Especially noticeable if you have their fiber optics connection. Brad

Apr 1, 2020 - 4:13:32 PM

10906 posts since 6/17/2003

 I use a Netgear extender that just plugs into a wall outlet and have been very happy with it.  I  can always move it to an outlet in a different  location if needed.

Apr 1, 2020 - 4:32:18 PM

LukeL

USA

20 posts since 9/14/2017

The best extenders are the ones that work in correspondence with your main router. If you get a third party extender like the Netgear plug in, it will never work seamlessly, and often require switching networks. Apple used to do it best with the AirPort Extreme router and Express extenders, but those are since discontinued and might not be supported too much longer. I know Comcast has a setup with their xFi system that works well, and many other companies do it well.

I have Google wifi in our house with three base stations, and it is all seamless.

@Dogfeathers what router do you use?

Luke

Apr 1, 2020 - 5:04:52 PM

744 posts since 9/7/2005

quote:
Originally posted by LukeL


@Dogfeathers what router do you use?

Luke


Luke, I have a AT&T Uverse NVG599

Apr 1, 2020 - 6:05:10 PM

1517 posts since 11/17/2018

Some things you can check on your router -

Before making any changes, write down or screenshot your current settings.

If you are using auto channel select, try using channel 1, 6, or 11 for 2.4 Ghz, and 153 for 5 Ghz.

Using a WiFi analyzer can show you who is using what channels in your area, your signal strength, and your signal-to-noise ratio (SNR)...

Windows...

NetSurveyor, Acrylic WiFi, inSSIDer, Wi-Fi Scanner (Lizard Systems).

Mac...

netspotapp.com/best-wif...r-mac.html

Wireless Security should be using WPA2-Personal with AES encryption.

Select NG-Mixed for 2.4 Ghz and AC/N-Mixed for 5 Ghz if it's available on your router.

WMM should be turned on for both bands, and try the Beacon Interval at 100 and RTS Threshold at 2346.

Reboot the router and test your wireless connections.

Apr 1, 2020 - 6:12:24 PM

6649 posts since 5/26/2003

For several years I ran the same TP Link extender mentioned above and it eliminated the majority of my dead spots but was a bit of a hassle in practice. 

I am now using an Orbi mesh router system with 3 nodes placed in various locations. I have seamless coverage one end of the house to the other, from the basement to attic and out in the yard. My devices connect automatically to the node with the best signal. 

Apr 1, 2020 - 6:19:16 PM
likes this

1517 posts since 11/17/2018

Another consideration is the number of wireless devices you have connected.

The 2.4 Ghz band is better over longer distances, but transmits data at a slower speed.

It is also the most popular and as a result, subject to more use in your neighborhood. If "everyone" is using channel 6 on the 2.4 Ghz band, that channel will be even slower, and subject to drop outs.

The 5 Ghz band transmits data at a faster speed, but is better over shorter distances.

There is also not as much saturation by other users in your neighborhood.

So in "designing" your wireless home network, and if you have both 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz capability, consider "balancing" some of the devices by utilizing some on 2.4 and some on 5.

For example, I have our TIVO box, TV, and my wife's Kindle Fire reader on 5 GHz, and the laptops on 2.4 Ghz.

Apr 1, 2020 - 6:22:40 PM

1517 posts since 11/17/2018

quote:
Originally posted by Dagnabbit

TP Link extender.


Range extenders can cut bandwidth in half because they rely on a single wireless radio to both listen for and broadcast data.

It's better to use wireless access points (known as an AP).

Apr 1, 2020 - 6:40:28 PM
Players Union Member

Brian T

Canada

16500 posts since 6/5/2008

If I ever felt "trapped" in my own house, I would have busted out of here long ago.

I keep all the computer rubbish & WiFi on one 8' desk in one room.
It is not going to crawl out and infect the rest of my house.
Three computers with a stack of printers and a scanner in the middle.

Apr 1, 2020 - 6:47:06 PM

1232 posts since 7/12/2004

I've had good luck with a TP-Link TL-WA850RE. It's low cost, very low profile and covers a medium-sized place with very thick terra cotta walls. It's easy to set up and you never have to touch it again.

Apr 1, 2020 - 7:08:44 PM

6649 posts since 5/26/2003

quote:
Originally posted by OldNavyGuy
quote:
Originally posted by Dagnabbit

TP Link extender.


Range extenders can cut bandwidth in half because they rely on a single wireless radio to both listen for and broadcast data.

It's better to use wireless access points (known as an AP).


I know. I used it as an access point for most of its life. Speed however, wasn't an issue in either mode. 

Apr 1, 2020 - 8:36:46 PM

106 posts since 4/4/2010

Check out EERO.


eero.com

Apr 2, 2020 - 3:18:30 AM
Players Union Member

OM45GE

USA

96583 posts since 11/7/2007

I have two extenders from Verizon that are linked to my main router. We have excellent WiFi throughout our large ranch style home.

You should try rebooting your router by completely powering it down. Many routers update their firmware and security on restarts.

Apr 2, 2020 - 4:39:59 AM

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

24265 posts since 8/3/2003

quote:
Originally posted by conic
quote:
Originally posted by Texasbanjo

I just got a new computer, Windows 10, and am finding that often I have to restart the computer in order to get my e-mail or get some things on the internet. I've checked with my provider and it's not their problem, so it has to be my brand new computer. I don't care for Windows 10, too many glitches and problems.


New computer great, Windows 10 is a pain at first, there is a way to change the interface so its exactly like the classic view, I did mine a few years back as well as other tweaks never had any problems since 2016, use this forum.https://www.tenforums.com/.

Now: wifi hits your speeds very hard even without the extender which will half it again. my provider now does speeds of 1Gbps but I  only pay for 300Mbps "hard wired to the router" but as I have a big house I only get 25Mbps wifi at the other end 40' away but lots of walls and it was only 15Mbps so I  moved my router around for optimum signal strength ( you can download an app to your phone for signal strength meter ). I then took a USB wifi dongle and attached it to a 6' usb extension and moved it for optimum signal which is near the ceiling. job done . 

You can on most routers access the setup of it and there are channel settings you can change which I think the theory is if you have a neighbour close it will clash if he is on the same channel a bit like the old cb radio days


Good information but.....

My computer guru fixed my new computer so it looked and worked like Windows 7.  My router is next to my computer and there's nothing else that connects to it so..... I still have a problem that can't seem to be solved.  I'm wondering if it's the old "pass the buck" from the provider to the guru and back?   Neither seem to think it's their fault or their problem.  I just know I never had this problem when I had my old computer.   Wish I had it back. 

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