extending my wireless network range?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by roraz, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. roraz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    #1
    I have a wireless network set up in my house using a linksys wireless adsl gateway which is connected to my main computer in the attic. All the computers on the various floors can access the network/internet from this one gateway. Howver I have been asked by the various members of my family if they can use their laptops in the other parts of the house, mainly the kitchen. However this is on the brink of the edge of the networks range and so they can't access anything as they keep getting cut off i nthe kitchen.

    Im just wondering if there was anyway to extend the range of the network? I can't move the gateway to a better position as it has to be on the main machine in the attic. There is a computer down stairs which gets a decent connection. Im was wondering is there something I can connect to that computer to extend the range of the already present network downstairs, or do something else to extend the range?

    I'd appreciate any help as Im not all that good with wireless networking, and am not sure whether or not i need an access point, bridge or what ever piece of hardware (absolutely clueless)?
     
  2. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #2
    The easiest way is to buy an Airport Express unit. This should let you extend the area of an Airport wireless network in a bridge mode, but I'm not sure if it will work with the Linksys unit you've got. You have to check in the documentations or maybe som other forum members here will know.

    Another possible solution could be to use a larger antenna on the base station. There are some antennas that claim to extend the range, but if the walls in the kitchen have som interference it could still not be enough.
     
  3. roraz thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 7, 2005
    #3
  4. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    Oct 16, 2003
    #4
    I think the bit about more hubs and switches was related to the wired ethernet ports only.
     
  5. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    Oct 16, 2003
    #5
    The Airport Express page at apple.com doesn't seem to mention that the wireless network you want to expand must be an airport network.

    Edit: I was wrong AirPort Express can extend the range only of an AirPort Extreme or AirPort Express wireless network.
     
  6. Bear macrumors G3

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    Jul 23, 2002
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    Sol III - Terra
    #6
    Actually it does say that the network has be composed of Airport Extreme or AirPort Express bases.
     
  7. roraz thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 7, 2005
    #7
    can i not get a wireless access point, connect it to the downstairs computer (which is connected to the already present WLAN by a built in WLAN receiver) by a cable to extend the range of that already present WLAN?

    edit: seeing the edits to the above posts > theres no apple airport base stations in the network (except for the built in airport in my powerbook) just the one linksys wireless adsl gateway which connects to the other computers/latops/powerbooks by their built wireless network receivers (such as airport in the powerbook)

    I just want to to extend the range of that wireless network for some better roaming for the laptops and in case I have to move some computers around the house.

    Just wondering If I could use a linksys wireless access points, and connect that to the downstairs pc to further the range of the already present WLAN (considering somebody above said I couldn't use a airport base station)?
     
  8. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #8
    So, the easiest, but most expensive solution is to get two Airport units and not use the Linksys unit for wireless at all.

    The Linksys would be set like this:
    "Bridged Mode Only
    If you are using your Gateway as a bridge, which makes the Gateway act like a standalone modem, select
    Bridged Mode Only. All NAT and routing is disabled in this mode.
    "
     
  9. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    Oct 16, 2003
    #9
    Yes, but you must set up that computer to act as a router, which can be quite a task, especially since you're self proclaimed "not that good with wireless networking".
     
  10. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #10
    This Linksys product looks like it would do the trick, doesn't it?

    "You can also use the Wireless-G Access Point as a kind of "cable-less cable" to connect remote areas together."
     
  11. aussie_geek macrumors 65816

    aussie_geek

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    #11


    roraz,

    Just googled "wireless network signal amplifier' and came up with this . I am not sure if it is FAA approved but if you could pick something like this up it may suit your needs.

    Seriously consider getting Airport express though. It would definately work.


    aussie_geek
     
  12. roraz thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 7, 2005
    #12
    I was just actually looking at that :) . In that products specification page, it only mentions connecting it to an existing wired router - nothing about direct to a pc via an ethernet port. Surely You can connect it directly to a pc as well can't you (thinking about the previously mentioned downstairs computer)?
     
  13. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #13
    Yes, probably, but I think it would just be set up as a standalone unit, acting independently of the downstairs computer. If you choose to keep the downstairs computer wired to the access point, you could just turn off the wireless card in that computer.
     
  14. roraz thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 7, 2005
    #14
    that would make sense. So the WAP would just extend the range of the exisiting WLAN by itself, independently of the computer?
     
  15. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    Oct 16, 2003
    #15
    I think that's the idea, yes.
     
  16. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #16
    Ah, got it! On page 38 of the user manual for the access point:

    "Wireless Repeater - When set to Wireless Repeater mode, the Wireless Repeater is able to talk to one remote
    access point within its range and retransmit its signal. (This feature only works with Linksys WAP54G and
    WRT54G.)
    To configure a Wireless Repeater environment, click Wireless Repeater and enter the LAN MAC address of the
    remote access point in the Remote AP MAC Address field."


    Edit: Woops ... that was not a WAP54G you already had, you had a WAG54G, right?
     
  17. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #17
    OK, my conclusion so far is that you will need two new devices since the Linksys extender won't work with your existing Linksys unit, or you will have to set up the downstairs computer as a router between two networks.

    I'd recommend two Airport Express units or one Airport Extreme base station and one Airport Express if the attic also needs a wired network.

    Place the Airport Express unit near a stereo downstairs, and you'll be able to stream music to it from the computers, too.
     
  18. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    #18
    Apple Lies

    I have an Apple Airport Express(APX) that works fine in extending mode with a non-Apple wireless basestation. Apple just says it won't work because they don't want to deal with support issues with 3rd party products. Sure, it is probably simpler to use a APE and APX with Apple's setup/admin software.

    It took me 5 minutes or less to setup my APX to extend the range of my Buffalotech wireless router. Luckily I found an exact step by step for using the APX with my exact model 3rd party wireless router, but the same concepts apply to most wireless routers.

    Check out:
    http://apx.indusdevelopment.com/
     

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