Saturday, November 17, 2012

Boost Your Home Wi-Fi - use of cheap repeater

Cheap Wireless N Router as repeater to boost WiFi range at home (with WPA2 security)

I have two storied home and using BSNL broadband via wifi using iBall-Baton 150M wifi router modem, issue faced was no range on the lower floor when the main router modem placed on the upper floor.

So I started searching for methods to increase the range, one of the best way was to locate the router modem in the mid of house which I tried and was giving good improvement, although practically it was inconvenient to place the wifi modem router due to the fact that I need to route the LAN cable upto my PC as well as the telephone line to the wifi modem router. so I started trying other experiments like keeping aluminum foil reflector etc etc. however that did not work !

also I searched for the high gain antenna with 10 meter cable, however it was costing around 650 bugs and again issue of locating the same at the mid of house (wiring etc) was an issue :-(

So after lot of research I found this cheapest way, and bought TP-LINK TL-WR740N 150Mbps Wireless N Router for Rs 1063 only from Flipcart.com website (product link from which I bought is
http://www.flipkart.com/tp-link-tl-wr740n-150mbps-wireless-n-router/p/itmd7hn92fytnj3h?pid=RTRD7HN3B2FKYXH4 ) this was prety decent price for me with risk that if that works fine ! since there is much confusing information available on internet also whether this can be used as repeater ? and if yes how to do this ?

so I spent almost 4 hours setting up this TP-LINK TL-WR740N 150Mbps Wireless N Router as a repeater for my WiFi signal transmitted from base iBall-Baton 150M wifi router modem (which is connected to BSNL broadband line), and eventually it worked fine. now its easy task to just switch on this repeater kept on the ground floor and in half a minute I start getting full WiFi signal on the ground floor.

see result image captured with wi-fi analyser, repeater graph shows signal strength boost by ~4 times than the original I-ball signal :-)


I will jot down the steps which I followed to get this work fine (remember I spent 4 hours in trying different settings !) and append to this blog post today or tomorrow.
Tips on how to set TP Link repeater to extend your home network
1) Set the router & repeater to the same Wi-Fi channel I have selected channel 11
2) Set the same WEP encryption key for both main WiFi modem and repeater
3) Provide same SSID for both main WiFi modem and repeater
4) Set the repeater LAN IP in series of the main repeater 192.168.1.1 is the main WiFi modem IP then repeater IP can be 192.168.1.12
5) Set the repeater WiFi security to same as main WiFi modem, in my case it was WPA2
6) Enable WDS bridging (see snap shot below), press survey button and select ur main router. then enter the key type and key for main wifi connection
7) Disable DHCP

Done, you are ready with extension, and this work flawlessly when u travel from one room to the other room where repeater is there or main wifi modem is there, no need to select channels :-)



now the last and most important thing, placement of repeater, i think this is key to success.
you need to find a place where repeater can take signal from the main wifi modem and then it shall be able to repeat signal to cover the complete range of home.
After iterative trials at my home I found out location which is at height on a cupboard at ground floor, hence able to get signal from top floor as well as transmit all over ground floor till my garden :-)

just to give u an idea i hv given photograph of location of my repeater ...



also when i am getting both signals, sometimes my old age sony xperia mini gets confused and shows error, that time if i am near to repeater then i go very close to the repeater and immediately it connects to repeater ! (trick na ?)
hope this helps :-)
cheers ! and happy net surfing at home :-)

guidelines given on Microsoft website for

http://www.microsoft.com/athome/setup/wirelesstips.aspx#fbid=XJ3HdcnnPOP

WPA2-Secured WiFi at home use, good article from PCworld,
http://www.pcworld.com/article/243713/how_safe_is_wpa2_secured_wifi_.html

ps :
btw the TPLink  router was available for 1020 Rs on Homeshop18.com, however they do not have COD facility for this item ! so I called up their helpline asking for this option, however they were blunt enough to say "u can buy from other site if they are giving this option !!!!" so I bough it from Flipcart (and believe me it was good experience with the speed of delivery and sharing information with me)

and you must read also my post for Router modem selection experience

http://mdpathak.blogspot.in/2012/10/wifi-modem-router-selection-iball.html

good read for wifi repeater -->
http://www.wireless-nets.com/resources/tutorials/wi-fi_repeaters.html