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Can I repurpose my wireless router as a repeater/access point?


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#1 tronk

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 09:24 PM

I have a Netgear nighthawk x4 that I would like to use as a range extender/repeater/Access Point.  I have xfinity triple play in the house, and it's perfectly fine, but I have an attached guest house that I rent out to students because I remember how hard it was to make rent while going to school full-time.  I want to extend my home internet out to the guest house, which is maybe 300 ft. from the main router.  Before switching to comcast and xfinity, I was using a NetGear Nighthawk X4, which was a good router at the time, but it's no longer needed for the house.  I've read that you can set it up to extend your wireless range if it's placed near the boundary of the wireless signal and if it's configured correctly.

I'm asking for help in setting this up.  I have contacted my provider (pointless) as well as netgear (the router is out of warranty), and the kind rep. at Netgear pointed me to this guide (http://kb.netgear.com/24104/How-do-I-change-my-Nighthawk-router-to-AP-mode-after-I-ve-already-run-setup) but she couldn't walk me through it.  I'm clearly not following the directions correctly because I keep coming up with no connection through the nighthawk even when connected with a direct wired connection.

I would appreciate it if anyone could offer me suggestions on where I might be doing something wrong, or they could walk me though the process.  I know I could just go out and buy a new range extender, but I'd really prefer to make this one work for them, because I think that once it's set up correctly it will do a much better job than a $35 range extender.  Help?



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#2 Wand3r3r

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 02:53 PM

Are you choosing a lan port on the nighthawk?

Did you configure the wifi [channel/ssid] ?

Can you see the ssid via your phone?

When connected by cable go to a command prompt and type ipconfig.  Do you have a 169.x.x.x ip address?



#3 tronk

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 06:32 PM

Thank you for responding.  I am connected to one of the LAN ports on the Nighthawk.  The SSID is just my last name and I can connect wirelessly just fine from inside the house.  In the guest house, the SSID shows up on my list of available wireless networks, but when I try to connect, I get the response "Cannot connect to this network".  Sometimes if I sit on the doorstep in the guesthouse there's enough signal to connect, but at a very slow speed.  when connected to the LAN port on the Nighthhawk with wireless turned off, there's no internet connection, and running ipconfig I get 169.254.41.73.



#4 toofarnorth

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 09:27 PM

300ft is around the distance wifi will reach if you have a line of sight.
Once you add obstructions like walls (especially brick walls) range drops quickly.

Also, your router might have a high power transmitter in it, but the return signal might come from low power phones.
So while the phone might hear your router, the router might not be able to hear the phone.


If you want something that works you could either lay an ethernet cable into the ground or you could set up a wireless radio link between the two buildings.

In both cases you would extend the network to them and then you could put the old router up in the guest house, giving them good coverage and speeds

The ethernet cable has a limitation at 100m (around 330ft). Practical limit a little bit shorter.
Wireless needs a line of sight between the buildings. If you have that, you will have no problem using 2x Mikrotik SXT antennas set up as a bridge between them.

Eg this package:
http://www.balticnetworks.com/mikrotik-5ghz-ptp-link-starter-kit-802-11ac-16dbi-built-in-antenna.html

Hth!

tfn



#5 Wand3r3r

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 11:50 PM

"when connected to the LAN port on the Nighthhawk with wireless turned off, there's no internet connection"

 

You are not configured correctly then.  Perhaps AP mode is not for you.  Review this link

http://www.techsupportforum.com/3001-connecting-additional-routers/



#6 Kilroy

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 12:20 PM

Your issue is going to be the distance.  A physical data run to the guest house would be the best way to do this, fiber recommended.  There are wireless solutions also.



#7 Wand3r3r

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 12:36 PM

"I have an attached guest house"



#8 Kilroy

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 12:59 PM

Sorry, 300 feet and guest house, I missed the attached.  Ethernet cable is good to 328 feet.  You can go past that, but then you would be out of spec and it may or may not work.  So, you could run Ethernet to the router, keeping in mind that distance may be a factor.



#9 toofarnorth

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 01:52 PM

Attached.. Must be a big house :)

If you exceed the 330ft distance you could put a switch at say the halfway point. This will give you 330ft on each side of it.

tfn



#10 Sneakycyber

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 11:33 PM

If the guest house is on the same electrical circuit as the main house (same circuit breaker panel) . You could use powerline adapters to get the connection to the guest house and connect the router to the powerline adapters.

Chad Mockensturm 

Systems and Network Engineer

Certified CompTia Network +, A +





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