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The best Wireless coverage for a large house with a router/repeater combination!


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#1 cap2587

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 10:03 AM

I am trying to cover a large house with the best wireless set up I can do.  Unfortunately the house is not wired with Cat 5 cabling.  I have tried different router positions and think I have come up with a pretty good placement.
 
I am using the ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router,  and love this router.  There is a porch and pool area of the house that is pretty weak with signal, but everywhere else in the house is excellent/good.  Is it best to stay with the same brand Repeater and is the one below a good one.  What about the best positioning of the repeater?  How strong should the router signal be where I am going to put the repeater.  Is 50% signal okay to place the repeater?  Is it possible to put the repeater on the same SSID as the Router for a better transition b/w rooms.  Thanks for any input on this issue.  
 
 
ASUS (EA-N66) Dual Band N450 Ultra-Fast Wireless 3-In-1 (AP, Repeater,

 



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#2 Sneakycyber

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 05:12 PM

Its easiest to stick with the same Manufacture for Setup reasons. For Signal strength I have seen good results with 25-100% receiving. More important is the signal doesn't get dropped to the parent router. In this setup you will have 2 different SSID's you will need to adjust your wireless network settings so it connects to the strongest Network. Example if you generally use your laptop in your room and the Extended network is the strongest set the laptop to connect to the extended network first. The major drawback to this setup is if your in the middle of a MMORPG or similar game you may notice lag when the computer switches networks if your moving around. As far as I know they only way to use the same SSID is using LAN based Access points that require Cat 5, such as Meraki by Cisco or Rukus Wireless .

 

Edit: the EA-N66 Should be fine


Edited by Sneakycyber, 04 June 2013 - 05:13 PM.

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#3 smax013

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 08:03 AM

As far as I know they only way to use the same SSID is using LAN based Access points that require Cat 5, such as Meraki by Cisco or Rukus Wireless .


FWIW, there are routers that will extend a network using WiFi and allow you to keep the same SSID in use on both routers.

I have such a setup. My main router is an Apple Airport Extreme. It sits at the back of my house. The signal is rather weak then at the front of the house (it does not help that I have a massive masonry chimney in the middle). So, I then use an Apple Airport Express to extend the WiFi network using the same SSID...and it does it all by WiFi. As a side benefit, I can plug speakers into the Airport Express and get music by way of Airplay in the living room.

I will note that I could do the same thing, but instead do it by ethernet...but that would mean running an ethernet cable across the house.

While I am not familiar with any myself off hand, I would imagine that there have to be other routers/access points that can do the same...i.e. all by WiFi. If it helps, I believe the Apple routers make use of WDS for this function. So, one could like look for equipment that makes use of WDS. Of course, if the original poster wanted to keep the Asus router as the main router and make use of WDS, then the Asus router would need to support WDS. Based upon a brief look at the Asus router's specs and manual, it does not look like it supports WDS. So, unless the original poster wanted to change primary routers, this particular route likely will not work.

Edit: Spoke to soon...found this page on the Asus website: http://www.asus.com/support/knowledge/11/2/RTN66U_(VERB1)/1862EC3A-F59E-6A44-9182-C513B58F5B89/

Thus, it does appear that the RT-N66U will support WDS. For whatever reason, they did not find a need to include this information in the manual. Go figure.

Edited by smax013, 05 June 2013 - 08:30 AM.


#4 smax013

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 08:24 AM

I am trying to cover a large house with the best wireless set up I can do.  Unfortunately the house is not wired with Cat 5 cabling.  I have tried different router positions and think I have come up with a pretty good placement.
 
I am using the ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router,  and love this router.  There is a porch and pool area of the house that is pretty weak with signal, but everywhere else in the house is excellent/good.  Is it best to stay with the same brand Repeater and is the one below a good one.  What about the best positioning of the repeater?  How strong should the router signal be where I am going to put the repeater.  Is 50% signal okay to place the repeater?  Is it possible to put the repeater on the same SSID as the Router for a better transition b/w rooms.  Thanks for any input on this issue.  
 
 
ASUS (EA-N66) Dual Band N450 Ultra-Fast Wireless 3-In-1 (AP, Repeater,


If you are thinking about the Asus EA-N66 that you listed, then it is unclear to me if it will allow you to use the same SSID. Based upon the manual (from the Asus site), by default when you use the "extend your network" function, the manual says that it automatically appends "_RPT" to your original SSID (See page 13 of the manual...note that the link takes you the PDF of the manual on the Asus site). The manual does not say that you CANNOT change the SSID to match the original SSID, but it also does not say that you CAN. It is silent. You might need to see if you can get Asus support to explicitly answer that.

To offer up a different suggestion...have you explored whether you can get higher gain/more powerful antennas for that Asus router? It does have detachable antennas, so you might be able to get higher gain/more powerful antennas might boost the signal enough to your needs at the pool/porch area.

#5 cap2587

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 08:19 PM

Thanks so much for the great suggestions.  I was told by the tech guys at Asus that I should definitely use a different SSID for the EA-N66.  I did set this up with a different SSID and all seems to be working at this stage.  I was lucky enough to be able to plug a Sonos Bridge into the ethernet port on the repeater and that allowed music to be played on a Play 3 speaker.  The placement of the EA-N66 was tricky as I wanted to make sure wireless worked on the Porch area. When I placed the EA-N66 closer to the RT-N66U I was not able to get a WiFi signal on the Porch. However, when I moved the EA-N66 closer to the porch, but further away from main Asus router I was able to get WiFi on the Porch.  

 

I do have a High Gain Antenna from Hawking.  http://hawkingtech.com/products/hi-gain_wireless_networking/antennas_and_boosters/HAI15SC.html

Do you think this would help give the main router a boost.  I also have the RT-N66U placed on top of a printer right near a window.  That means most of the signal is travelling out the window to the field and some of it is travelling sideways through walls to the other area of the house.  I am afraid if I put the router right in the left corner of the room up against the wall that it will not reach as far as current place in the window. I guess I could adjust position and see what gives out a better signal.  Appreciate the feedback.  



#6 Sneakycyber

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 12:04 AM

Thanks for the info smax013 on more options. I didn't researched other routers and forgot about WDS (haven't used that feature yet). The high gain antennae should help but you will need to play with the direction and placement of the antennae and the router to get the best result. Move the Rt-N66 closest to the EA-N66 and Move the EA-N66 closer to the porch (or area lacking coverage) avoid large appliances and florecent lights. As long as the Two are connected the network will expand.The construction of the house can affect wireless as well. Lath/plaster (found in older homes and usually has chicken wire mesh as well) can kill your wireless singal. The antennae you list is for only 2.4 ghz so your only boosting 1 of the three antennae of the Rt-N66 and its a "corner" antennae a directional antennae would have been a better choice for connecting a repeater since you would concentrate on beaming the best signal to the second transmitter.
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#7 smax013

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 02:01 PM

Thanks for the info smax013 on more options. I didn't researched other routers and forgot about WDS (haven't used that feature yet). The high gain antennae should help but you will need to play with the direction and placement of the antennae and the router to get the best result. Move the Rt-N66 closest to the EA-N66 and Move the EA-N66 closer to the porch (or area lacking coverage) avoid large appliances and florecent lights.


And significant amounts of masonry (i.e. chimneys) as well as potentially bathrooms (the metal pipes can potentially create issues.

As long as the Two are connected the network will expand.The construction of the house can affect wireless as well. Lath/plaster (found in older homes and usually has chicken wire mesh as well) can kill your wireless singal.


Too true. My previous house was a 1950s house with masonry external walls (looked like brick, but was actually tinted concrete masonry units) with metal lath and plaster for the interior surface. It was small enough that WiFi was not a huge issue, but GSM phones (i.e. AT&T phones) did not work worth a darn in the house.

The antennae you list is for only 2.4 ghz so your only boosting 1 of the three antennae of the Rt-N66 and its a "corner" antennae a directional antennae would have been a better choice for connecting a repeater since you would concentrate on beaming the best signal to the second transmitter.


I could be reading things wrong, but that antenna that original poster listed is a directional antenna, granted meant to be in a corner "shooting" out into a large room. But, if aimed in the direction of the porch/pool, it might help...just might be tougher to mount.

#8 cap2587

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 07:11 PM

Thanks for the tips.  The signal is going out the window and goes so far down the front yard (I'm guessing 300 yards).  I think mounting the router and facing the Antenna's towards the target might help.  is it worth putting on the Hawking High antenna or just leaving the Default Antenna's.  I have another option to put it 5 feet closer to the left, but it would be right on the corner of the room.  The repeater seems like it is a little far away from the router, but home owners aren't keen on seeing it in a particular area of the house.  Very challenging house to get Wireless.  I am trying to convince them that we can run a wire from the Office (Router location) through the Attic and into Zone 2 area of the house and attach a second router.  There not really going for that idea.  Could attaching the Sonos Bridge device to the repeater case the WiFi to go astray.  Sorry for so many questions and appreciate your time and effort on this topic.  



#9 smax013

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 08:05 PM

Thanks for the tips.  The signal is going out the window and goes so far down the front yard (I'm guessing 300 yards).  I think mounting the router and facing the Antenna's towards the target might help.


Those are likely omnidirectional antennas that came with the router. So, there should not really be any "aiming" involved, although adjusting the position/angle of the antenna may change things a little bit.

is it worth putting on the Hawking High antenna or just leaving the Default Antenna's.


I would say it might be worth trying. I cannot say whether or not it will help.

I have another option to put it 5 feet closer to the left, but it would be right on the corner of the room.  The repeater seems like it is a little far away from the router, but home owners aren't keen on seeing it in a particular area of the house.


Playing with the location of the router is always something to try.

Very challenging house to get Wireless.  I am trying to convince them that we can run a wire from the Office (Router location) through the Attic and into Zone 2 area of the house and attach a second router.  There not really going for that idea.  Could attaching the Sonos Bridge device to the repeater case the WiFi to go astray.  Sorry for so many questions and appreciate your time and effort on this topic.


It is possible that the Sonos Bridge might be interfering with the repeater signal as I believe it has some wireless output. I kind of doubt it, however.

#10 cap2587

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 06:31 PM

Thanks for the additional information.  Let me give you the geometry of the room and areas where I need the signal to go and see if you have any ideas.  The router is in the middle of the room at the back wall on top of a printer and right at window.  The signal goes way North due to having no obstacles.  I need the signal to travel further to the West and Nth West. It is being met with some stone walls and many bedrooms  I could try and place the router in the West part of the room right against two meeting walls.  I could also try and mount the router and face the antenna's more towards the important areas.  I think it is just trial and error to get the right spot.  



#11 smax013

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 10:38 AM

Thanks for the additional information.  Let me give you the geometry of the room and areas where I need the signal to go and see if you have any ideas.  The router is in the middle of the room at the back wall on top of a printer and right at window.  The signal goes way North due to having no obstacles.  I need the signal to travel further to the West and Nth West. It is being met with some stone walls and many bedrooms  I could try and place the router in the West part of the room right against two meeting walls.  I could also try and mount the router and face the antenna's more towards the important areas.  I think it is just trial and error to get the right spot.


You will likely be best off just doing trial and error.

#12 cap2587

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 07:02 PM

smax013 - I will give it a go and let you know. Thanks for the great information to everyone that has taken the time out to respond to my post. 






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