How can I widen my wireless network?
Like many Reg Hardware readers, I have an 802.11g Wi-Fi network at home. But there are places where it just doesn't reach. Has anyone got a good suggestion as to what I can do about it?
I had considered putting in some Powerline Ethernet mains-connected network adaptors, but I don't want to be limited to a fixed place for internet access.
What I really would like to do is have maybe one or more wireless access points that can all host the same WLAN, allowing me to take my laptop and Nokia N95 anywhere and connect without having to enter three different SSIDs and passwords.
Is this possible?
I did think about moving to 802.11n too, but I'm waiting until I next upgrade my laptop and get it bundled before I buy an 802.11n basestation.
Multiple access points!
1 Wired router, connected to 3 Wireless Access Points. Each Acess point uses almost exactly the same settings, the DCHP server should be set to the Wired Routers IP address.
The one difference; overlapping access points must use a different channel, so you use 1, 6 and 11. It gets more complicated with more access points.
And you end up with one ultra big wireless network, which you can roam around in. It's expansive tho, the cheapest I can find 1 Wired Router and 3 Access Points for is well over £100.
Second AP works for me
Connected to the first using Powerline ethernet out of one of the 4 ports on the original router.
The kit I bought allegedly worked in repeater mode but I couldn't get DHCP to work through it. Set them up as above, turned DHCP off in the second AP so that requests would go through to the original one. Seems to work fine with a variety of laptops pdas and phones.
There are two other alternatives:
1) A second AP set as a Repeater
2) A second AP with the same SSID and encryption key. This is possible, it doesn't do any harm and we use three access points within our building using this method. As far as your laptop is concerned it is the same wireless network and will flick between the different ones as needed.
Wireless Range Extenders
What you need there is a wireless range extender. There are several on the market, but it's probably best if you could find one made by the same people who made your router (they usually play better together, in my experience).
A single extender shouldn't cost more than £30. Some companies even offer small, wall-mounted extenders (about the size of the average plug), if you don't fancy having an extra normal sized router lying around the place.