How to expand wireless network?
April 30, 2008 2:19 AM   Subscribe

I am using Belkin N1 Vision wireless router to get access to the internet. I need to expand my wireless network coverage but I am confuse what to buy? Another Router, Switch, or access point?

I prefer less cabling of course. Can I connect a router to another router and solve the problem?
posted by omaralarifi to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Although it would work, two routers behind each other is likely not what you want; in most situations, you would want to disable the routing functions of one of them, which is not difficult, but why use a 'smart' product, only to remove the intelligence of it...

If you have already tried repositioning your antenna, and checked if there is a more powerful antenna available for your Belkin, but without success, then I think the easiest way is to use a wireless repeater, which is a stand-alone unit that you place within in range of your wireless network. It then automatically relays the wifi signals for clients that are too far away from the original point of access.

No extra Ethernet cables, and simple to install.
posted by Grensgeval at 2:42 AM on April 30, 2008

Adding a repeater introduces a certain amount of additional complexities, plus increased latency -- each packet now has to be send twice over the air before it hits your cable/DSL modem. I didn't go this route, because I play online games where a 20ms increase in ping times is noticeable.

The easiest solution is to get a bigger antenna. If you want to improve coverage in one specific spot, get a directional antenna, otherwise just get a bigger omnidirectional antenna. Play around with making a cheap parabolic reflector out of cardboard and aluminum foil. I did this and gained 10dB signal strength on one computer.
posted by knave at 3:22 AM on April 30, 2008

As an alterative to wireless, how about homeplug? I've just installed this in my house and instead of the 30Mbps from my wireless-N router I get 120Mbps without getting interference, and with greater range.

Apparently it doesn't work for everyone, as you can see from the reviews on Ebuyer, and it's more expensive, but the range seems better and faster.
posted by charlie7691 at 3:25 AM on April 30, 2008

I'll 2nd the Homeplug solution. We are using the ZyXEL Homeplug AV system (review here) for connecting 3 floors, 5 computers and 2 printers. Has worked flawlessly for six months with no downtime. Set up in 5 minutes. Apparently, other Homeplug systems are faster, but we have been please with the ZyXEL so far.
posted by flyingrock at 7:36 AM on April 30, 2008

Airport Express? Easy and effective.
posted by terrapin at 12:22 PM on April 30, 2008

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