Extending the range of a WAP54G
January 25, 2007 10:58 AM   Subscribe

Wireless networking: I would like to increase the range of my wireless network inside my apartment. I currently have a Linksys WAP54G hooked up to my wired router. Is the best solution to get another WAP54G or the Linksys Wireless-G Range Expander (WRE54G)? Or would I be better buying a new pair of WAPs?
posted by skwm to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A pair of 30.00 antennae from CompUSA did the trick for my Linksys G router, and it works all over my house, and since moving back to Wisconsin from the east coast, my house is ridiculously oversized for me.
posted by thanotopsis at 11:04 AM on January 25, 2007

Best answer: You could potentially install one of the various alternative firmwares that boosts the power well above its default.
posted by holgate at 11:31 AM on January 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I loaded the HyperWAP firmware that holgate linked to above - I got an immediate +10db boost in the signal (according to NetStumbler). Thanks! Still interested in adding a second WAP, though.
posted by skwm at 12:01 PM on January 25, 2007

I know people who have had better luck with the Buffalotech routers capable of running dd-wrt and Sveasoft than any moderately recent Linksys gear.

With the alternative firmwares, it doesn't matter whether you buy the router or the access point, as the routers can be configured to be a plain AP, and generally cost less.

Also, SmallNetBuilder - Router Charts might be helpful for choosing a new one. You don't need to concern yourself with about things like NAT performance if you're just using it as an access point, but still, some push more bits than others with encryption enabled.
posted by wierdo at 12:21 PM on January 25, 2007

Only thing that worked for me was a pair of Netgear Powerline bridges, which, as the name suggests, work through your house's electric system.
posted by walla at 12:40 PM on January 25, 2007

Best answer: Many people find expanders/repeaters to be problematic. If you do get one make sure to read the reviews and be sure you have the technical acumen to install one.

Antennas help but I dont know anyone who got one and was happy with it. At best a higher gain antenna will increase signal but not necessarily made dark spots work. Expect marginal gains.

Another access point will be the best way to go, but you do need to string a cat-5 cord between the two.

Actually, you may be able to increase your range without spending a dime. some things to try:

1. What channel is your access point on? If its on the same channel as other APs then try to switch to a channel that is the most free. Use Netstumbler to view what channels other access points are on. There are three non-overlapping channels in

2. Relocate your AP to a central location. If its on the floor put it on a higer surface.

3. Switch to a firmware like dd-wrt which lets you increase the output. May or may not be legal. May or may not help as wireless is a two-way street. If you go this route I'd also supplement this with higher-gain antennas.
posted by damn dirty ape at 1:54 PM on January 25, 2007

Are you sure you need a more powerful router? It's possible that the signal is just blocked. One common culprit is a bathroom or bedroom mirror, which is a very effective signal block. Sometimes moving the router a few feet to get around such an obstruction is all it takes.
posted by IvyMike at 10:11 PM on January 25, 2007

« Older Misbehavior of the Markets and other things   |   Were there any real pre-antibiotic cures for TB? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.