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Mildredop

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Oct 14, 2013
2,478
1,510
We've recently moved house and the broadband phone socket is in a far corner of the house. The supplied Plus Net router barely makes it next door to the lounge.

I bought a TP Link Archer VR2600 because, according to TP Link's spec, the wifi range wasn't good, best or superb, but "excellent". And for £180, I would think so too.

In reality, it was no better than the free one that Plus Net supplied.

So can one router really have better range than another? And which ones are the best?
 

D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
11,050
12,466
Vilano Beach, FL
Sure, protocol, antennae design, location, client devices, everything plays a part in the range - and I'd say user reviews are the best way to wade through manufacturer claims. Those TP Link products are supposed to have outstanding range, and use signal shaping, so if neither that or your original product work, you probably need to investigate some alternate solutions.

You might also look into a repeater, it's basically a router like device that takes the signal in, boosts it, sends it back out. One of these in the middle of your digs might be perfect.

Of course, you could also look into running some physical cable, it's not as hard, or as impossible as you might think, there's all sorts of creative ways to do this (our downstairs AV stack is hard wired from a drop through the garage ceiling, then back in through a wall, and it's totally invisible :) )

[edit]

Another option is a power line network, though I had very sketchy consistency when I tried them a couple of years ago (two different brands), though I'm sure the tech has gotten better.

If you get a wired connection to the other end of your place, then adding another wireless access point is pretty trivial.
 
Last edited:

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,189
488
Elkton, Maryland
We've recently moved house and the broadband phone socket is in a far corner of the house. The supplied Plus Net router barely makes it next door to the lounge.

For sheer range, ASUS and Netgear have been putting out fantastic routers with some of the best range in the industry. That being said, cramming a router in the corner of a house is going to bring even the best piece of equipment to its knees. Wireless does not go through hallways, but must penetrate anything in its path so even the strongest router will lose performance. You either need to find a way to wire the router in the center of the house, or use access points wired in.
 

h9826790

macrumors P6
Apr 3, 2014
16,620
8,554
Hong Kong
For indoor, a WiFi extender may be an easier solution. The Linksys extender actually works quite well, and easy to setup because the apps will help you to determine if the extender at the right location or not (both too close / too far to the router).
 

Baller708

macrumors newbie
Jun 12, 2013
1
0
Chicago
Hi, I've been researching on an affordable router and modem to replace my Xfinifty gateway in my house. I will most likely purchase the Arris SURFboard SB6141 modem.

As for the router I recently came across my old Linksys Wireless-G Broadband Router (https://www.amazon.com/Cisco-Linksys-WRT54G2-Wireless-G-Broadband-Router/dp/B0014J07R2) from when I used it in college around 2005. It worked great back in the day when I was in school living in a 2 bedroom apt but I now live in a house (2 floors & basement) with 10+ devices.
Could I use my old Linksys and purchase a range extender, Repeater or Access Point to give me longer wifi range and fast wifi speeds?
Thanks
 

h9826790

macrumors P6
Apr 3, 2014
16,620
8,554
Hong Kong
My home now also consist 2 floors and a roof top, I put a relatively strong signal router (Linksys EA8500) at the 2nd floor (3 bedrooms + 1 bathroom, all brick walls) and near the stairs. This gives my iPhones around 200Mb/s (from speedtest.net) internet connection speed (via the 5GHz Wi-Fi).

Then place an extender (Linksys RE7000) on the top roof somewhere near the stairs. This allow me the have good stable wireless internet connection (Around 100Mb/s). Since there is no wall on the roof, of course the extender will work very well. The setup software will guide you to find the optimum spot to locate the extender, this will allow you to have good balance between single strength and range. Very simple and easy setup.

My 1st floor is just the living room, an open kitchen, and a bathroom. Technically I can do the same thing, but since I have Cat 5 cable connection between the 2 floors, therefore, I only need to put my old 3T Time Capsule at there (in bridge mode). Then the whole 1st floor also get good Wi-Fi coverage (around 200Mb/s on the iPhone).

There is virtually no blind spot in my home now, except the Apple Watch's Wi-Fi connection is intermittent at the far end of the 2nd floor (Inside the room is OK, but just intermittent at the far end corner, no one will normally place an Apple watch at there. So, really not an issue at all). Apart from that, normal device like iDevice, Hue, etc. All have full coverage and good connection.
 
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