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Thread: Wi-Fi extenders

  1. #1
    Master
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    Wi-Fi extenders

    I need to extend the Wi-Fi signal in our house, solid stone walls that seem to block everything.
    Which ones actually work, proven track record etc etc
    Iíve just installed a camera and itís struggling to pick up the Wi-Fi

  2. #2
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    Pretty sure this quesion has been asked before....

    In problem houses the Devolo Powerline or TPLink equivalents do a good job imo.

  3. #3

  4. #4
    There will be others way more knowledgeable than I, but from what I’ve read, if you can’t run a physical cable as an extension then the mesh systems get good reports for strength & reliability i.e. TP-Link Deco, BT Whole Home.

    I would have plumped for them, but I read many reports that the TP-Link doesn’t play well with my Sky Q box, so I didn’t.

    Instead, I went for the cheaper alternative of a TP-Link AC750 Wi-Fi Extender 1GB Powerline kit. This uses the house wiring to relay the wi-fi signal from the Sky router downstairs directly via a plug socket to the included wi-fi extender upstairs. Check out the Amazon reviews.

    Sorted my CCTV camera issues completely and vastly improved wi-fi reception upstairs. As well as being a wi-if extender upstairs, it also has a cable outlet so I have my laptop connected via a cable to it which provides a reliable connection.

    The powerline system is more reliable because of that hard wired link. But it’s only as good as the house wiring - if you have stone walls you may be in an old home, with either old wiring or wiring on different ‘loops’, neither of which will work well for you. I have a modern house with cardboard walls.

    The cheapest & easiest option is a simple wi-if extender which plugs in elsewhere in your home and picks up the router signal and merely relays it. Downside is it’s repeating a wi-fi signal and is not as strong or reliable, unlike a Powerline link. But I have used one and they do work. Again, stone walls won’t help you, though.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringer View Post
    There will be others way more knowledgeable than I, but from what Iíve read, if you canít run a physical cable as an extension then the mesh systems get good reports for strength & reliability i.e. TP-Link Deco, BT Whole Home.
    Yes, BT Whole Home dishes sorted out my impenetrable concrete house, and the previous one too, I can recommend them. Easy to set up, and once set they have never needed touching again, even if the power goes out or the router needs restarting, they seem very stable. Much higher Wi-Fi speeds too. I will never touch those power line adapters again, they regularly unpaired themselves and were a faff to reconnect, totally unreliable in my experience. Spend a bit more and get the dishes and sort it out once and for all, for me it ended years of problems instantly.

  6. #6
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    It might be helpful to have some more informationÖ


    What is your current isp

    What speed do you get from them

    What is your current modem/router/firewall/accesspoint

    How big is the home

    How many floors

    What is the predominant construction of the house

    Where is the house is the current modem/router/firewall/accesspoint located

    Where are the dead spots

    What budget do you have

    Are you prepared to install ethernet cabling

    What is the state of your current electrical ring mains

    How proficient with networking are you

  7. #7
    Master subseastu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itsguy View Post
    Yes, BT Whole Home dishes sorted out my impenetrable concrete house, and the previous one too, I can recommend them. Easy to set up, and once set they have never needed touching again, even if the power goes out or the router needs restarting, they seem very stable. Much higher Wi-Fi speeds too. I will never touch those power line adapters again, they regularly unpaired themselves and were a faff to reconnect, totally unreliable in my experience. Spend a bit more and get the dishes and sort it out once and for all, for me it ended years of problems instantly.
    Agree with this. Engineering brick internal walls in the last house and these worked a treat for us

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  8. #8
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    Just upgraded from BT whole home hub to their complete Wi-Fi system. Got five of those white discs now redundant if you want to try them outÖ


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  9. #9
    Master Halitosis's Avatar
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    Google ďmeshĒ. Answered all our prayers


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  10. #10
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    Should add that we are with skyQ, solid stone walls throughout the original house, router is opposite end of the house to where the camera is.
    SkyQ box is very close to the camera, ( I always thought that this extended the wifi signal ).

  11. #11
    I have 30cm thick concrete walls, ceilings and floors, which wi-fi struggles to penetrate. The house is wired internally though, so I run access points on each floor. The one exception is the roof (there is a terrace up there) which has no wired access point. The signal up there is very weak.

    For this, I plug in a TP link TP330. It's cheap but gives you either an extender (latches on to your existing weak wi-fi signal, and boosts it) or an access point (if you have wired ethernet). I use it in extender mode, which works well. The unit will intelligently use either your 2.4Ghz signal as ďback haulĒ or your 5Ghz, depending on strength. Instant ďmeshĒ (I dislike this term, but thatís for another day)

    This model also offers a wired port too, which I use for my roof-mounted ADS-B Raspbery Pi. Setup is easy via the TP link app.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Weirdfish View Post
    Should add that we are with skyQ, solid stone walls throughout the original house, router is opposite end of the house to where the camera is.
    SkyQ box is very close to the camera, ( I always thought that this extended the wifi signal ).
    Have you added broadband boost to your package? We live in a modern house but the kitchen is an extension so has brick internal walls. We were struggling to get reliable broadband in our kitchen and conservatory even when using Wifi extenders or powerline boosters.

    We then added broadband boost to our Sky package for £3 a month (full price is £5). They guarantee WiFi in every room (albeit a minimum of 3 mbs). Sly sent a new WiFi router and that's solved all the issues, we now get fast broadband in every room.

    https://www.sky.com/help/articles/broadband-boost

  13. #13
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    Another here with the BT complete wifi setup. I live in a 4 storey house with the router being on the bottom floor, have one disc on the 1st floor which serves the living room, kitchen and garden then one on the 2nd floor which sorts out the 4 bedrooms and the bedroom on the next floor up. Never had a problem in the 2.5 years they've been fitted.

  14. #14
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    If this is just to get wifi to the camera then I would consider.

    If you have a old router available, power it up and see if it has repeater/extender or access point modes in the config menus, or google the make and model to confirm.

    If it has repeater/extender mode then put it closest internal point to the camera connect it to your existing wifi and it should extend you existing network and hopefully reach the camera, the down side of this is that you may find this has a speed implication to your existing wifi network and devices can also bind to the new extender.

    If it has access point mode then buy some powerline adapters use them to extend a ethernet connection from your router to the old router, set up the access point using different ssid/pw and channels to your existing wifi network and connect the camera to that.

    If you donít have a old router then look at powerline adapters with built in access points, and do as above. devolo are my go to brand but others are available.

    When locating devices consider. Glass is generally more wifi transparent (coating dependant) than brick, but powerline devices need to be in the wall socket not on extension leads for optimal performance.

    Always buy the kit direct from Amazon if possible so if if the solution doesnít work then you have a easier return policy.

    If none of the above work then youíll need to consider a external access point and drilling through the wall.

    If itís a more general wifi enhancement then weíre back to the questions from yesterday.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Morgan View Post
    If this is just to get wifi to the camera then I would consider.

    If you have a old router available, power it up and see if it has repeater/extender or access point modes in the config menus, or google the make and model to confirm.

    If it has repeater/extender mode then put it closest internal point to the camera connect it to your existing wifi and it should extend you existing network and hopefully reach the camera, the down side of this is that you may find this has a speed implication to your existing wifi network and devices can also bind to the new extender.

    If it has access point mode then buy some powerline adapters use them to extend a ethernet connection from your router to the old router, set up the access point using different ssid/pw and channels to your existing wifi network and connect the camera to that.

    If you donít have a old router then look at powerline adapters with built in access points, and do as above. devolo are my go to brand but others are available.

    When locating devices consider. Glass is generally more wifi transparent (coating dependant) than brick, but powerline devices need to be in the wall socket not on extension leads for optimal performance.

    Always buy the kit direct from Amazon if possible so if if the solution doesnít work then you have a easier return policy.

    If none of the above work then youíll need to consider a external access point and drilling through the wall.

    If itís a more general wifi enhancement then weíre back to the questions from yesterday.
    Yes, there are some extensive solutions out there, which are perhaps not applicable...........

    The suggestion for a TP link TP330 is a good one in my opinion. They are cheap and do work well.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    Yes, there are some extensive solutions out there, which are perhaps not applicable...........

    The suggestion for a TP link TP330 is a good one in my opinion. They are cheap and do work well.
    I couldn’t find a TP link TP330, did you mean the TP link RE330 instead?

    https://www.tp-link.com/us/home-netw...xtender/re330/

    If so it’s a great option if you art already using TP Link ‘router’ with one mesh capabilities but if not it offers little more than option 1 or 2 in my post and I’m not sure I’d recommend it in this situation

    If you had to buy something I’d suggest option three with the combination of powerline and access point
    Last edited by Captain Morgan; 6th May 2022 at 10:16.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Morgan View Post
    I couldnít find a TP link TP330, did you mean the TP link RE330 instead?

    https://www.tp-link.com/us/home-netw...xtender/re330/

    If so itís a great option if you art already using TP Link Ďrouterí with one mesh capabilities but if not it offers little more than option 1 or 2 in my post and Iím not sure Iíd recommend it in this situation

    If you had to buy something Iíd suggest option three with the combination of powerline and access point
    Yes, sorry I went to ebay with the TP300 and got this: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/194975683...pid=9026644891

    If you aren't looking for mesh capability, then a simple extender should work well.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Morgan View Post
    I couldnít find a TP link TP330, did you mean the TP link RE330 instead?

    https://www.tp-link.com/us/home-netw...xtender/re330/

    If so itís a great option if you are already using TP Link Ďrouterí with one mesh capabilities ...
    Just fwiw, I use mine with non-TP link wi-fi access points (that don't offer "mesh" capabilities) and it works just fine.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokyo Tokei View Post
    Just fwiw, I use mine with non-TP link wi-fi access points (that don't offer "mesh" capabilities) and it works just fine.
    Understood, hence me say that it offered little more than repurposing a old router if it supported repeater/extender mode

  20. #20
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    As usual a lot of useful info, I'll try first with a TP link extender, if that doesn't work I'll contact sky and see what they say about upgrading the router, failing that it looks like I might be getting the drill out.
    These old places are full of character but they do have their drawbacks.

  21. #21
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    TP link did the job of extending the wifi, the camera is another story though, ( will have to look at something different ).
    Thanks for all the info.

  22. #22
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Honestly in houses with thick walls you are better off cabling - someone can do it in twenty minutes and it's not very expensive.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weirdfish View Post
    TP link did the job of extending the wifi, the camera is another story though, ( will have to look at something different ).
    Thanks for all the info.
    You should hook your phone/ipad up to the extender Wifi channel, and then pair it with the camera - on the same wifi.

    Then, you can go back and hook up your phone to the main wifi in the house - and it should still find the camera by its address.

    You should be able to monitor from anywhere in the world too.

    That's what I do with two wifi items in my garage (off the BT hub) and the house proper on my house wifi.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alansmithee View Post
    Honestly in houses with thick walls you are better off cabling - someone can do it in twenty minutes and it's not very expensive.
    I'm not sure how you work this out, it would take a lot longer than 20mins to get from the camera back to the router.
    Lifting floorboards/carpets etc takes time.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alansmithee View Post
    Honestly in houses with thick walls you are better off cabling - someone can do it in twenty minutes and it's not very expensive.
    This....

    And then buy Ruckus APís


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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    You should hook your phone/ipad up to the extender Wifi channel, and then pair it with the camera - on the same wifi.

    Then, you can go back and hook up your phone to the main wifi in the house - and it should still find the camera by its address.

    You should be able to monitor from anywhere in the world too.

    That's what I do with two wifi items in my garage (off the BT hub) and the house proper on my house wifi.
    The wifi part was fine after I plugged in the extender, the camera picked it up more or less straight away, the camera itself I believe must be faulty as it doesn't do what it's meant to do, sense motion all the time, rotate to follow motion, returns to a different park position.
    At least now I have better wifi when sat outside, not all bad news then, lol.

  27. #27
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qaz4169 View Post
    This....

    And then buy Ruckus APís


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    Jeeez! That gear is expensive!

    I went for Ubiquiti - which I can't fault.

  28. #28
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    Ubiquiti too with an awful lot of help from Captain here. Can't fault it but you do begin to hear the main switch unit hum once you have a lot of PoE devices plugged in -- cameras, APs, mini switches.


    Will dump it in a cabinet and then the loft hatch, see if that insulates the sound enough.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Alansmithee View Post
    Honestly in houses with thick walls you are better off cabling - someone can do it in twenty minutes and it's not very expensive.
    This is the best solution. I have been slowly cabling my house - now have Draytek APs on ceilings which is making a much better WiFi experience. Fortunately the living room floor as a sort of suspended ceiling so managed to not have that floor look like an office !

    Have now reach 4 switches in the house (5 if count the little one in the office) as more and more stuff gets hard-wired.

    Still have one floor to do which unfortunately doesn't have a loft space to get the cable through.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by wileeeeeey View Post
    Ubiquiti too with an awful lot of help from Captain here. Can't fault it but you do begin to hear the main switch unit hum once you have a lot of PoE devices plugged in -- cameras, APs, mini switches.


    Will dump it in a cabinet and then the loft hatch, see if that insulates the sound enough.
    I only needed 2 WAPs and run them from POE modules for each one. I have them in the cabinet in the garage between the Switch and the patch panel. Every room in the house has twin RJ45s (even the hall cupboard). Makes it easy. Not noticed any hum from the POE units or the switch (TP-Link).

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    I only needed 2 WAPs and run them from POE modules for each one. I have them in the cabinet in the garage between the Switch and the patch panel. Every room in the house has twin RJ45s (even the hall cupboard). Makes it easy. Not noticed any hum from the POE units or the switch (TP-Link).
    The hum only comes from the 24 port PoE switch and only since I added quite a lot of PoE stuff. This is excluding the CCTV. Im tempted to get another large PoE switch just to split the load to stop the hum but only if I can still hear it once I've got it in the loft hatch.

  32. #32
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    I have around 6 wifi switch pass throughs and a couple of cameras on my system, and a Wifi bridge to a water shut off valve - so nine units in total plus around 8 pcs/laptops/ipads/phone.

    No noise at all. I'm really impressed with the Ubiquiti system and monitoring.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    Jeeez! That gear is expensive!

    I went for Ubiquiti - which I can't fault.
    Ubiquity Pro is good but Iíve found Ruckus to be worth the incremental spend especially as you can set it up easily with Unleashed. The antennas are superb at eking out a connection and if anAP fails then the system is self healing. Itís clever stuff originally developed for the US military and is rock solid, install and forget solution.

    You are correct though in their premium pricing, an outdoor AP starts at around £2k whilst an internal AP starts at around £600. It does make you think when you need to buy 5 or 6 to cover a property.

    As for routers and PoE switches, Iíve always installed Draytek which is relatively cheap, pretty easy to use and great product support. Just avoid their AP solutions which strangely have loads of issues.


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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halitosis View Post
    Google ďmeshĒ. Answered all our prayers


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    Careful, that's up there with telling an MP to Google ploughing...



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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weirdfish View Post
    I'm not sure how you work this out, it would take a lot longer than 20mins to get from the camera back to the router.
    Lifting floorboards/carpets etc takes time.
    Floorboards and carpets don't figure into it in my set-up - the cables goes directly along the outside wall.

    in my house - I have the router in the front room - there is an access port that goes directly out and up to the office on the first floor and then another one that goes to an extension at the back of the house.

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