What is a range extender?

What is a range extender?
What is a range extender?
2018-11-07 22:06:46 - last edited 2018-11-07 22:07:19

What is a range extender?

 

A range extender is a wireless networking device that allows for a WLAN (wireless local area network) coverage area to be expanded beyond its normal range.  Also called a repeater these devices, usually a plug-in unit, takes a signal form an existing wireless router or AP (access point) and transmits that signal farther than the original device was capable of doing.  With today’s device being more reliant of a wireless signal, these devices help ensure total cover throughout a user’s home.

 

So how do they work?  Well they communicate with network devices over a backhaul.  A backhaul is the way network devices communicate with each other.  A Range extender will receive a signal from a router and then send that same signal to the devices that are connected to it.  Range Extenders do not have a dedicated backhaul, so they can only communicate one way at a time, either receiving from the router then transmitting to the end user device or vice versa.

 

 

                               

  

Why is this important to know?  This one-way communication is the leading cause of the chief complaint about range extenders; “my connection is slow”.  The networks speeds are affected because the connected device has to wait to receive or transmit with the network based on which way the Range extender is using its radios.  When the connected device talks to the router or AP where it can transmit and receive simultaneously, thus providing full speeds.  Customer should be aware a range extender is only designed to improve a coverage area for the WLAN.  For customers who are looking at getting more dedicated speeds, they may want to look into Powerline or Mesh as an alternative to a range extender.

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9 Reply
Re:What is a range extender?
2019-12-28 05:08:46

@Carl 

If I have network connectivity on a distant wireless device but I want a *stronger* signal (dBm), is a Range Extender like the RE220 the right device to use?

 

e.g. If I turn on my WiFi Analyzer app on my smartphone and place it right next to my router:
2.4GHz band is -12 dBm
5GHz band is -9 dBm

 

Any chance I'd see that strong a signal next to the RE220?
 

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Re:What is a range extender?
2019-12-30 23:05:47

@Natey 

 

Yes the RE220 could help with expanding your network range but there are a few items to consider.

 

1.  The range extender can only expand when it receieves.  This means the range extender must have a strong singal to send a strong signal.  So you would need to place it in an area with a strong signal and between the router and the area you want expanded coverage in.

 

2.  The speed will not improve.  In fact in most cases it will be up to a 50% decrease.  This is becasue of the range extender's half-duplex backhaul.  The range extender can only communicate in one direction at a time.  So either its communicating with the router or the client device.  Some range extenders have high speed mode which dedicates one band to the router and one to the client device but still the speed would not be the same as directly connected to your router.  

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Re:What is a range extender?
2020-04-09 21:44:58

@Carl I can't get my range extender to work.  The AC750

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Re:What is a range extender?
2020-04-10 17:42:29

@ZariKelly 

 

Reset the extender to defaults and then follow this video.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oolmHBv7id8&feature=emb_logo.  Ths should help get your extender configured and working. 

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Re:What is a range extender?
2020-04-15 05:00:41

I bought something like this but it improves wifi signal only in one room which is right above the basement where the router is placed. There's still no signal in the next room on the right side of the hallway. Would yours provide more area coverage? Which model do you recommend?

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Re:What is a range extender?
2020-04-15 17:42:13

@Dudley_Hurt 

 

 

Hi Dudley.  It is posisble  Our Range Extenders are omni-directional devices and have a similar coverage zone to that of a router.  Placement is everything though.  Range Extenders need to placed where a good signal is and between the router and where you need the service.  

 

A good one is the RE300 

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Re:What is a range extender?
2020-10-07 05:01:04 - last edited 2020-10-07 05:07:24

@Carl 

Hi there, I purchased a tp-link range extender (TL-WA855RE) which I would like to use to extend the wifi signal of my home's router (CenturyLink modem/router combo) to a wired dvr device in the basement. The reason I want to do this is because I do not have a way to run a cable to my main router, so I purchased the extender which has an RJ45 jack which I can plug directly into to gain access to the LAN. 

 

Is there a way to configure the extender to allow for static IP address assignment via the home router? I'd like to have a static IP address for the device assigned by the home router via the extender to ensure that I am not constantly updating the device IP address in my phone's app to access the dvr. 

 

I've tried tweaking several settings on the extender, which included turning off DHCP on the extender, and renaming the network to the same as the home network to no avail. With these settings in place, when I try to reserve the IP address which is assigned via the extender (e.g. 192.168.0.55) on the home router, I am unable to do it. Also, the IP address constantly changes through the course of a day, making it impossible to set up port forwarding via the home router. 

 

I've also noticed that whatever device is connected through the extender to the home router, the IP address is accurate but the mac address associated with the IP is always the extender's, not the device (e.g. the dvr, or other device connected via the extender).

 

Please help! 

Thanks. 

 

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Re:What is a range extender?
2021-03-31 11:00:40

Often called WiFi ‘boosters’, these units do not in fact ‘boost’ your home WiFi signal – they ‘extend’ its reach. If your WiFi signal doesn’t reach your shed, this is an option that’s potentially cheap to test, with units costing as little as £15, and which might just work. Remember this solution won’t do anything to improve the strength or speed of the signal emanating from your home Wifi hub. The rule of thumb is to make sure your home WiFi box is an up-to-date model, otherwise, your new extender unit is only broadcasting a weak signal further from the source.

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Re:What is a range extender?
2021-03-31 18:09:11

@habanlee 

 

While this is mostly accurate TP-Link would like to clear up some of the statements to ensure that its not misunderstood.  

 

A range extender may actually boost the strength of a signal, that is when compared to the signal that is received from the host in the same location.  Also a host/source does not need to be an up to date model.  The placement of the range extender is what matters the most.  The extender should be placed where there is a strong signal available from the host and that is between the host and the area you want service extended to.  Also you want the extender in an open and unobstructed area to ensure the signal from the extender is true and used to its potential.   What is accurate is that extenders are also called boosters and that they do not increase your network speed, when compared to speeds recieved when connected directly to the host. 

 

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