Help me pick a wifi range extender

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by fabian43, May 8, 2016.

  1. fabian43, May 8, 2016
    Last edited: May 8, 2016

    fabian43 macrumors member

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    #1
    I'm using TWC cable 200mb service. My 3TB time capsule is in family room inside home theater niche hard wired to my cable modem. I notice my Ring video doorbell and my Apple TV inside my garage have intermittent wifi connection. Which wifi range extender should I go with? I'd prefer apple but not a big deal to buy other brands. TIA
     
  2. rigormortis macrumors 68000

    rigormortis

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    #2
    there is no universal standard for anything Mesh. there is no such thing as standard for anything to do with extending a wifi network. extending a wifi network is a "technology" and not a "standard". because of this, the easiest and best solution for you is to buy another airport extreme, and use airpot utility to set it as an extender.

    you can ether extend the network by running a cable from the time capsule to the airport extreme or you can do it wirelessly via 5ghz. if the airport is linked to the time capsule over 5ghz, then airport utility can automatically set one of the base stations to be on a different 2.4ghz band.

    i noticed this other day. i didn't know about that before. i got 5 apple wireless routers in the house and some of them are on different 2.4 channels. and i used to think that wasn't possible. wow!

    what you should do is run a cable from the time capsule to the airport and then put the airport near the devices that need a better wifi signal. if you can't do this, then put the airport extreme at the half way mark and see if it helps

    im not sure abut extending via ethernet cable though. i thought this was an pre airport utility 6.o feature ( like 5.6 for windows )?? airport utility 6 might only link them wirelessly. i just don't know anymore

    if you can set a wired link, it would be better.

    another thing about 5ghz a lot of people don't know is the FCC used to regulate power limits, and channels like 36 or so are supposed to be limited in signal strength, because they used to be considered indoor channels. so if you move the 5ghz channel to 140-161 , the signal strength may be stronger because those used to be the "outdoor channels"
    --- Post Merged, May 8, 2016 ---
    what i mean by no standard is that the overseeing body, the wifi alliance that tests and certifies products does not certify anything close to a mesh network / extender setup. because of this, it is recommended you buy your extenders from the company that made your router. even routers from the same company might not work.

    the worse thing about extenders other then a lack of standard, is if you get the wrong one, it might cut your bandwidth in half.
     
  3. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #3
    I assume both of them are in the garage? Maybe you could just get an Airport Express (the cheapest one), place it in the garage, and wire it up to the TC using a long Ethernet cable. Alternatively, you could just place the AE somewhere closer to the TC, and let it extend the connection through Wi-Fi (though if you're suffering speed losses in the garage, there won't be much of improvement in that regard). Then again, I don't know the size of your home or anything, so I can't tell too much.
     
  4. rigormortis macrumors 68000

    rigormortis

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    #4
    airport express is not considered to be a good choice. simply because they are usually situated closer to the floor and not higher up.

    express is not 802.11ac, extreme is 802.11ac

    the express is $99. you could get a refurbed extreme for $29 more from apple.
     
  5. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #5
    I have an Airport Express at home, and it covers the second floor and basement near-perfectly. Only the garden it has a bit of trouble with it, but then again, the devices my parents use are really crappy anyway so they don't catch proper Wi-Fi signals anyway.
     
  6. rigormortis macrumors 68000

    rigormortis

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    #6
    i meant the older power brick express ones were closer to the floor. and not the new ones. but 802.11ac for $29 more , i would just go with the refurbished airport extreme
     
  7. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #7
    I was referring to the new ones. Also, the Extreme is not $30 more, it's $100. And the Express does a fantastic job at covering an entire house so it sure as heck can cover a garage.
     
  8. fabian43 thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
    Single story 2,300 sq ft home. The front door where my Ring video doorbell is located is a straight shot from my TC, probably 60 ft away but through stucco'd wall. Apple TV is in my garage so signal would need to get through a wall/door.
     
  9. fabian43 thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    What about non-apple brands that may be less expensive? Or is everyone advocating I stay within apple family?
     
  10. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #10
    I'm sure there are great routers that aren't Apple, but I've had the most positive experience with Airport routers.
     
  11. rigormortis, May 9, 2016
    Last edited: May 9, 2016

    rigormortis macrumors 68000

    rigormortis

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    #11
    i SAID that the airport extreme refurbished was $29 more.
    --- Post Merged, May 9, 2016 ---
    as i stated before, if you buy a router from a different company and use it as an extender, it is not certified by the wii alliance to do so, so it will either work, not work, or your bandwidth will be cut in half

    ' extend a wireless network ' is apple's unique propriety technology for their WDS system.

    there are 70 competing schemes for routing packets across mesh networks. - wikipedia

    if you want to extend an apple network, use apple wifi equipment.

    the only real downside is the extra airport extreme/express/time capsule will cost you an internal ip address. apple can only have 50 internal addresses, and each extender will take up one.
     
  12. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #12
    It's unreliable though getting something refurbished, it's not in stock in the US shop as of now. Unless you catch one somehow, you won't be getting anything.
     
  13. rigormortis, May 9, 2016
    Last edited: May 9, 2016

    rigormortis macrumors 68000

    rigormortis

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    #13
    the $199 is worth it. or $179 on amazon for $119 on best buy refurbished.

    i have a 802.11 ac time capsule. and on the other side of the house i had an 802.11 n airport as an extender to drive my 4 tv tuners. and i was having a hard time streaming pure HD around the house, pure hd is like 20 mbit. off of an antenna. i went and got a 802.11ac airport and now the link is a lot better and my issues with the hd tv is gone. i took the old one and put it on a different part of the house.

    i have 5 airports scattered around the house. and only one is configured not to allow wireless clients because of the close proximity of the main time capsule

    oh. and one more thing. the max power output of an express is 20 dbm the extreme is 32.

    the bottom line is if you have an apple wifi network, and you want to extend it, then practically the only thing you should do is to use apple equipment to extend the network

    the airport extreme is 802.11ac the express is not, case closed. move on. next costumer please.
     
  14. fabian43 thread starter macrumors member

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