Range extension

Discussion in 'Wireless' started by philbenson, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. philbenson

    philbenson Byte Poster

    Ok, I have broadband Internet which is fed via a cabled/wireless router to two PCs and a laptop.

    One PC is close enough to the router for me to connect it via a cat 5 patch lead directly to the router. The other PC is in another room and is thus connected wirelessly. No problems there. My laptop connects wirelessly using its Centrino interface.

    The problem has come since my next door neighbour decided she would buy a PC and I offered to let her share my internet connection for a small monthly contribution. Problem is there are three solid walls between the router and her PC and so I decided to test the signal strength with my laptop before we went ahead. It turned out to be within range but only just.

    To try and extend the range and strengthen the signal to my neighbours house, I have acquired an access point which I was going to put around midway between the router and my neighbours PC. This works in four modes: Access Point, Wireless Client, Wireless Bridge and Multi-point Bridge. Problem is that it seems to work against the router rather than with it. The wireless signal strength is improved and I can ping the access point, but there is no internet.

    I have checked the channel, SSID, WEP encryption key etc and all seems to be OK. It's almost like the access point is acting as an Internet firewall! Any suggestions?
    Certifications: MCP, MCP+I, MCSE, MCSA, MCTS
    WIP: CCNA(?)
  2. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

    Try turning off all security features on your wireless connections and see if it works. Then if it does turn them back on one at a time to see if you can isolate the problem.

    Can you try and physically connect the Access point to the Router, i.e. by cable, to see if you can get a connection?

    Sorry I can't help much more that that, Linking an access point to a another one is something I've never done before. Might be fun to try when I get the time though!

  3. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester


    I recently set up a wireless network for somone and have noticed a pattern. The older the house the more "solid" the walls are and you do loose a lot of signal.
    Although not impossible it could cost a lot more than you both anticipated to get the connection up to the speed required. You could always drill a hole right the way through both walls and put a Cat 5 plug on the end! Sounds silly but that is what I did on an old house where the customer wanted a net connection in the garage.
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  4. philbenson

    philbenson Byte Poster

    Looking at the Dlink website I see they are now offering a device which is specifically described as a range extender/repeater. Perhaps I should have that instead of the access point.

    I always thought that an access point was a kind of repeater though. The access point I have is the DWL-2000AP+. My router is a DG834GT from Netgear. I haven't seen anything to suggest that these two devices are not compatible.
    Certifications: MCP, MCP+I, MCSE, MCSA, MCTS
    WIP: CCNA(?)
  5. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    Technically, you should be able to set up an access point to act as a repeater. Here's what I'd do first:

    I'd try Simon's suggestions. Wireless networking is still half magic and half art so it's not always as simple as plugging it in and having it work. Try what Simon says the tell us the results.

    Also, while anything with a "wifi" branding *should* work together, the reality is that sometimes wireless devices from different manufacturers just don't work and play well together. When I build a wireless network, I make it a point to get all of the equipment from one vendor just to avoid potential problems.

    Let us know how Simon's suggestions pan out.
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  6. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

    check there both set to operate on the same channel as well, always an important consideration if you want them to work together rather than independantly
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, VCP
    WIP: > 0
  7. philbenson

    philbenson Byte Poster

    I have disabled the security on one PC and my laptop but no noticable changes. Also the channels for both router and access point are the same (11).

    One thing which has been going through my mind is about IP addressing. Both the router and the access point can act as DHCP servers. At the moment the router has a static IP address of and the access point a static address of The router is set up with a IP address pool between through 20. One of my PCs dual boots as either an XP Pro client (with IP configured by DHCP via the router) or Win 2k3 Server (Static IP and router IP as default gateway).

    I have turned the DHCP server feature off on the access point on the assumption that it would interfere with the router. Is this the right thing to do does anyone know?
    Certifications: MCP, MCP+I, MCSE, MCSA, MCTS
    WIP: CCNA(?)
  8. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    I came across a similar thing recently trying to extend the wireless network using two D-link access points. It didn't work even though both access points were from the same manufacturer. From reading D-Links help, it appears that both access points have to be the same model to support bridging. I would look deeper into the documentation. Extending wireless coverage by using access points as bridges/repeaters from different manufacturers is unlikely to work at this point in time.

    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  9. philbenson

    philbenson Byte Poster

    I wondered whether the fact that the router and the AP are by different manufacturers (former Netgear, latter DLink) would be causing my problem. In my naive mind I thought that since both devices support the 802.11g wireless de facto standard, they should work together!

    The latest suggestions I've had are to either replace the standard antennae with high gain models. Or get a long cat 5 patch lead and connect the AP to the router. The lead to be long enough so that I can place the AP approx mid-way between the router and my neighbours PC. Having cables draped across the house defeats the advantage of wireless though!
    Certifications: MCP, MCP+I, MCSE, MCSA, MCTS
    WIP: CCNA(?)
  10. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

    Not if the ends justify the means, I'd say ...
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity

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