How much extra coverage does a wireless extender provide?

Dr.sunil V August 4, 2014
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How much area does a WiFi extender cover for at least three bar connectivity strength as displayed on the WiFI display in the system tray? And what distance from the router should it be plugged for optimal results? Please weblink from amazon.in, ebay.in or flipkart a reputed brand for connectivity range of 20 meters.

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  1. Oron J
    August 12, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Here's a good one you can get from Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.in/TPLINK-Wireless-Range-Extender-TL-WA850RE/dp/B00A0VCJPI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407836108&sr=8-1&keywords=wireless+extender

    Ebay.in is not opening on my PC at the moment, so no recommendations for that I'm afraid.

    • Dr.sunil V
      August 14, 2014 at 5:02 am

      Thanks. I had viewed the same model few days before asking this query. But nice to get double checked from your expert-vision

  2. Oron J
    August 4, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    It's not really possible to answer your question. WiFi reception depends very heavily on environment, and "three bars" means very little technically (different WiFi drivers would probably interpret this differently too).

    The best location for a WiFi extender should be determined via a wireless site survey (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_site_survey ). You would want to locate the extender in such a position that it has a pretty good reception to both the main router and the distant devices. You'll find some tips at http://kb.linksys.com/Linksys/ukp.aspx?pid=80&vw=1&articleid=25668r .

    • Dr.sunil V
      August 5, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      On an average , how many meters approx. is covered by a wifi extender? and can you weblink from portals in description covering the distance mentioned from reputed maker

    • Oron J
      August 6, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      As as said above, there isn't really an fixed answer to this question. While the "average range of WiFi" is often stated as 100-150ft (and this is only to give you an idea of the likely range), the additional range of an extender is likely to be less.

      At one extreme, network enthusiasts managed to set up WiFi networks spanning over 200 miles as far back as 2007 (http://www.gizmag.com/go/7878/). At the other extreme, if you have a microwave or even a cordeless phone operating next to a WiFi device then the range would drop to a few centimeters.

      If you want to have a realistic estimate, I suggest you do a site survey. Position an Access point (e.g. a router) where the extender would be, and move around with a laptop and watch the signal (for more accurate results, use a program such inSSIDer rather than the "WiFi meter" built into Windows). The range is likely to be reduced due to interference from signals on the existing network, and speed will also be reduced significantly (the extender repeats every packet it receives, using up 50% of the bandwidth!). This is still only a rough estimate. Only by actually positioning all the equipment in place will you get a good idea of the actual range and speed.

    • Bruce E
      August 6, 2014 at 9:29 pm

      For a more accurate representation of the coverage area, you are better off using a tool such as HeatMapper, which is free.

    • Dr.sunil V
      August 9, 2014 at 5:51 pm

      Thanks. Please tell a) Does open place extend wifi quicker? and b) nearness to supplying workstation should be lesser than nearness to receiving workstation?

    • Dr.sunil V
      August 9, 2014 at 5:51 pm

      "nearness of extender"

    • Oron J
      August 9, 2014 at 10:42 pm

      Regarding a) yes, open space with a good line-of-site improves the range of wireless reception. The best place for an extender is where it has a good connection to to both the main network and the remote computer(s). How that works out in practice is ENTIRELY dependent on the environment. If you were out in a yard or field, then "in the middle" would probably be the best location, but in a built environment, with walls bouncing signals and objects blocking the signal, things are going to look very different. Consider for example the following common scenario:

      Router on the left, wall in the middle, PC on the right

                            |
       Router               |
                            |
                            |      PC
                            |
                            |
                            |
      
                           Repeater

      The best location for the repeater (=extender) is along the wall, within site of both devices. In this drawing, the repeater is closer to the PC. If the wall was closer to the router (or the PC further away), then you'd position the extender closer to the router.

      In practical terms, if you want to optimise the location, you HAVE to do a site survey or experiment with different locations. Theorising about it just doesn't cut it.

    • Dr.sunil V
      August 11, 2014 at 9:52 am

      Thanks. I got some idea that if there is wall , the extender should have visual access to both , router and PC. Please tell which models amplify WiFi signal in addition to extending ( repeating )

    • Oron J
      August 11, 2014 at 9:50 pm

      You can't really amplify a WiFi signal, as the maximum output is set by regulation, but you can increase the "gain" by changing antennas. This in essence allows you to improve the signal by concentrating it in one direction rather than spreading it in all directions.

      While this can be very effective for long distance point-to-point extensions, it's of less use for general "extending" of networks, but still, if you can get a repeater with removable antennas you could get high-gain ones and see if that helps.

    • Sunil
      August 12, 2014 at 6:36 am

      Thank you very much. I got your point. Please weblink buy url ( at amazon.in , ebay.in , infibeam or flipkart ) for a model you would suggest to extend internet between two rooms , and at router-pc distance of about 25 meters with wall in between. Trial was done few days earlier

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