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Access Point vs Range Expander

Discussion in 'Networking' started by novice973, May 12, 2005.

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  1. novice973

    novice973 Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Hi,

    I am trying to boost the signal from a wireless router. When I spoke to Linksys, they suggested 3 options: access point, range expander, or high gain antenna.

    Can someone explain to me what the difference between an access point and a range expander? Is one better than the other? If I am to purchase a new equipment, I want something that can help for future endeavours.

    Thanks.
     
  2. StumpedTechy

    StumpedTechy

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Messages:
    7,232
    Hi-gain antenna - basically an antenna that connects to any wireless device making its distance longer.

    Range extenders - usually have no hardwired ethernet jack at all. They have to be within range of the original wireless device and then they "extend" the bubble.

    Wireless access points - usually have an ethernet jack so they can be hardwired into an exisiting wired ethernet infrastructure. Also note some WAP's do have the ability to be used as range extenders (though usually require the intial ethernet connection to get setup).

    As far as one being better than another it really depends on application. I am one for the WAP's/range extender combinations but then again I like wired Ethernet alot more than I care for wireless. Check out - http://www.linksys.com/products/product.asp?grid=33&scid=35&prid=608 -
    Where it says - "You can also use the Wireless-G Access Point as a kind of "cable-less cable" to connect remote areas together."
     
  3. dolittle

    dolittle

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    Jun 24, 2003
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    Hi, I am not an expert but I just bought the Netgear Wall-Plugged Wireless Range Extender and for me it is awesome! I live in a big house with my base station upstairs on one end of the house and my wireless laptop downstairs on the other end. I had no downstairs signal at all before, but now it seems just as fast as my upstairs PC! All you do is plug the base station via ethernet cable (included) into one little box and plug it into a wall outlet near your base station. Then you plug the other little box into an outlet near your wireless computer and that's all! No software or anything! I guess it the signal passes through the wiring in your house. I think I paid around $100 for it so it isn't the cheapest solution, but to me it seems the easiest. Plus, you can move the box around to other parts of your house or even outside as needed when you move your laptop, or add other boxes to create other wireless access points. Hope this helps!
     
  4. novice973

    novice973 Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Thanks StumpedTechy and dolittle for the info. Before buying any new hardware, I have decided to make some reflectors (www.freeantennas.com) and see if it increases the range of the router. Since this problem is in my in-law's house, I can't test until the next visit. Will post a note once I test it out. Thanks again.
     
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