Wifi Extender

Kurri

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Original poster
Mar 6, 2009
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Does anyone use one? My router is directly above my TV and the apple tv seems to sometimes give me only 2-3 mbps when everything else gets well over 70mbps in my house. Its odd because the apple tv will sometimes get 70, other times get 2-3. This is the 2nd apple tv unit to do this. So maybe an extender would help? Does anyone have any suggestions on an extender? Would i put the extender near the apple tv is that how these things work?

EDIT: Hopefully this is in the right forum?
 
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BrianBaughn

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Feb 13, 2011
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Baltimore, Maryland
TV and router in the same room? Extender wouldn't help.

Is it possible to connect the ATV to the router via ethernet?

What router model?

Is it possible there's a networking configuration problem?
 

TrueBlou

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Sep 16, 2014
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As @BrianBaughn said, with everything in the same room an extender is of no benefit to you.

Along with what he said, you could always use an Ethernet cable if they’re that close together. Rule out any WiFi issues.

If you want to stick with WiFi, try going into your router settings and first of all, change the channel it’s using for WiFi to 12 or something, to try and bypass interference.

Beyond that we’re into troubleshooting territory.
 

Kurri

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Original poster
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Oh sorry I didn’t explain it right. The router is upstairs and the Apple TV is down. I have a Verizon fios router.
 

TrueBlou

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Oh sorry I didn’t explain it right. The router is upstairs and the Apple TV is down. I have a Verizon fios router.
Ah, well that does change things a bit. In that case a WiFi extender, or power line adapters may be of benefit to you.

Couple of q’s.
Is it possible for you to put your router in the same room as the Apple TV, even just temporarily for testing?

Do you happen to have an old router kicking about? As you could potentially convert that to a WiFi repeater.
 

BrianBaughn

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Feb 13, 2011
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Baltimore, Maryland
If you have a laptop you could use a wifi diagnostic app to see if location in the TV room affects wifi signal reception. The ATV may be in or on the edge of a low-signal area.

It could be something as simple as furniture. If you have the ATV inside something like a bookshelf and the router is directly above the ATV you can envision how the signal must pass through the shelves and what's on them. Take a look at exactly what is directly between your router and the ATV.
 

Kurri

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Original poster
Mar 6, 2009
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If you have a laptop you could use a wifi diagnostic app to see if location in the TV room affects wifi signal reception. The ATV may be in or on the edge of a low-signal area.

It could be something as simple as furniture. If you have the ATV inside something like a bookshelf and the router is directly above the ATV you can envision how the signal must pass through the shelves and what's on them. Take a look at exactly what is directly between your router and the ATV.
so my apple tv is on a bookshelf but in an open area. but yes, it is directly above as in upstairs so it does make sense it is having issues. I'll probably try an extender and see what happens. was looking at this one
https://www.netgear.com/home/products/networking/wifi-range-extenders/EX7300.aspx

no one has use one?
 

TrueBlou

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Sep 16, 2014
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so my apple tv is on a bookshelf but in an open area. but yes, it is directly above as in upstairs so it does make sense it is having issues. I'll probably try an extender and see what happens. was looking at this one
https://www.netgear.com/home/products/networking/wifi-range-extenders/EX7300.aspx

no one has use one?
Not that particular model, but in the past I've used TP-Link, Netgear (and an old Netgear Router which I converted to a range extender). They've all worked well and served their purpose, they really do help if you have weak/deadspots around the house.

I've switched to a Netgear X10 Router these days which has amazing coverage, it does my entire house and even out into the garden. Best router I've ever had. I even use it for my Plex server and it streams everything including ridiculously high bitrate 4K films which are just pure rips from my Blu-Rays (It will only transcode up to 1080p though). But I'm waffling now, damn morphine :D
 
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Kurri

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Mar 6, 2009
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its odd because i checked this morning and the apple tv has 68mbps. so can my dead zone just vary by the time of day? that seems odd
 

TrueBlou

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In a way it’s possible, WiFi is susceptible to a lot of interference, so if people around you start using their own WiFi enabled gadgets and any number of other things including even microwaves and such, it can interfere with your connection.

That’s one of the reasons I suggested changing your WiFi channel in your routers settings earlier. If you get it onto a channel which doesn’t happen to be used by other people near you, or is used by less people, then your WiFi signal stays stronger.

It’s maybe worth trying that first and see how you get on.
 
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CPTmom2wp

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Sep 10, 2014
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Orbi was the solution to our wi-fi difficulties. After switching three times, trying different internet providers, DSL, Cable, DSL again, we finally bit the bullet and invested in the Orbi Triband mesh. No problems since on computers, television, devices. We live in a small town so there aren't a lot of options.
 
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maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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I would look at those mesh networks and not an extender as extenders cut in half the wifi throughput.
 

Fishrrman

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Feb 20, 2009
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Here's one more vote for "going mesh".

It's a better solution for a home that isn't getting "enough coverage everywhere".

There are numerous mesh systems out there (Linksys Velop, Netgear Orbi, eero, google wifi, Ubiquity "amplify", etc.).

I suggest you take several weeks to "investigate" the various mesh systems, read reviews, etc., before making a choice.
 

TrueBlou

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Mesh networks do have the benefit of being a nice simple plug and play system and they can have great performance. But they definitely should not always just be the thing you immediately jump to for network expansion.
There are other ways to achieve the same thing, some of which are free if you have the right stuff laying around from a past upgrade.

Personally, I like to tinker and one of the benefits of upgrading quite often is that I usually have a spare router or two kicking around.

The whole "you lose half your bandwidth" argument for using an extender is true. Or at least it is for the nasty ones you usually see in most stores. The reason they reduce your bandwidth is they use a single radio to both receive and transmit. Avoid them at all costs. The ability to extend a WiFi network without speed loss has been around far, far longer than a mesh network. Specific hardware has been around to do this for many, many years.

Using a good WiFi repeater with two radios, one for receiving and one for transmitting. Means you have no halving of the available WiFi bandwidth whatsoever. It's essentially the same kind of system adopted and popularised by mesh networking.

If you're a tinkerer and have a (compatible) spare dual radio router, then installing dd-wrt and setting it up in client-bridge mode allows you to do the same thing you achieve with mesh networking.

Of course, thats not for everyone. I mention it merely to give food for thought to anyone wanting to extend their network without necessarily having to spend any money. And to dispel the whole, you lose half your speed myth.

For those less inclined to tinker, or don't have the hardware, there are low cost repeaters specifically designed with two radios to do the same thing. Even something like the Hawking HW2R1 does a stellar job of repeating a WiFi signal, without bandwidth degradation.

Oh and there’s the added benefit with both of these methods of not being locked into a single manufacturers product line.
 
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Kurri

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 6, 2009
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so I have seen with some wifi extenders you actually lose bandwidth. My buddy has one and he gets 75mbps upstairs (what he is paying for) and with his extender with full bars he is getting 40-50mbps. With the mesh it sounds like you don't lose speed?
 

Fishrrman

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Feb 20, 2009
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"With the mesh it sounds like you don't lose speed?"

Mesh can be much better.
The Velop and Orbi have an "additional radio band" that handles "the backhaul" between nodes independently of the actual wireless channels.
Hence, they aren't as vulnerable to loss of bandwith as are others...
 
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