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Internet, Networking, and Wireless Discussion of networking, internet, and wireless including Apple's Airport products.

A good wifi extender


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Macjones573

 
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Does anyone know a good way to extend Wi-Fi signal? My wireless router is in the living room but I am not getting a good wireless signal in the bedroom. It allows me to stream movies but they are very slow and choppy and constantly stop. What are my options in terms of extending my signal or making my signal stronger?
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chscag

 
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Can you tell us which router or router - modem combination you're using? There are numerous WiFi extenders that are sold by various stores on the web.

If you happen to own an Apple router (Airport Base Station) you can extend the WiFi easily with an Apple Airport Express device ($99) from Apple.

Here's a sample of what's available from Netgear: LINK
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Macjones573

 
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I have a Linksys E3000 wireless router. I also have already bought a TP-link range extender model tl-wa850re. This seems to give the illusion of me having all bars. But it still won't stream hulu, netflix, etc. despite showing 2-3 bars.
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You have to understand that a WiFi extender is just that - it simply extends the signal to areas where it was not able to propagate with enough strength. The fact that you can't stream Hulu or Netflix has more to do with your connection speed rather than signal strength. The signal does have to be strong enough, however, a slow connection will cause buffering to occur and that interrupts streaming.
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Macjones573

 
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So what should I do? Do I need a new wireless router?
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What is your current speed that you get to the router wired and wireless ?
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My current wired speed is 21.46mbps download speed and 2.25Mbps upload speed.

I'm not 100% sure how to test the wireless speed.
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Turn on your wireless and run this .Speedtest.net by Ookla - The Global Broadband Speed Test
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Download speed 7.94 Mbps, Upload 1.78 Mbps. It also looks like I have about 30 other connections on my wifi channel. Do you think switching to a different channel would help?
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What do you mean "30 other connections on your WiFi channel"? Aren't you using encryption between the router and your Mac? Your download speed using WiFi is too slow to maintain good streaming. If you're router is already secured, go ahead and change to another channel to see if that makes a difference.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macjones573 View Post
Download speed 7.94 Mbps, Upload 1.78 Mbps. It also looks like I have about 30 other connections on my wifi channel. Do you think switching to a different channel would help?
Possibly. Note that the lower channels generally offer longer range. Aside from this, consider moving the wireless router to a physically higher location and make sure it's central to your home.

Also, make sure the wireless router is far away from any other device that emits RF - that includes cordless phone bases, baby monitors, microwave ovens, etc. If your home is less than 3000 sq. ft, chances are there's no need for a WiFi extender.

In my 10+ years of doing WiFi installations and surveying problems, I've never once run into a situation where a WiFi extender was truly necessary. Nearly all WiFi issues are solvable by changing channels, proper physical placement, quality of the router (or lack thereof) and sometimes antenna adjustments (where possible - some routers have fixed antennas).

WiFi extenders seem like the easy way out, but they often cause more trouble than they're worth.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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I'm sorry, the connection is secure. By 30 other connections I mean when I click Wi-fi icon and it looks for networks I see mine (which is protected) but I also see every other network in the neighborhood. When I then go into system information and look at my wi-fi I see all the networks in my area and most of that 30 are on the same channel.
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I just read the second part of your last post. I am working to change the channel now. If that doesn't work I believe I may have to consider moving the router to a more central location between the two rooms. I am trying to avoid that option since my tower is wired directly to it via ethernet
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You will also find better performance using WPA2 only on newer Mac's if you have not done so already.
I am not a big fan of Linksys consumer routers and think Apple ,Netgear and Asus make better longer range units or at least thats been my experience with Netgear's Nighthawk being a beast in both performance and price.
I am currently using a new Time Capsule and it covers my entire house while giving me continuos wireless backup.
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If it was between the Apple Airport w/ time machine or the netgear Nighthawk would you go Nighthawk?
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