Category Archives: Range Extender

Extend Your Network Signal With Wireless Range Extender

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Topics that will be covered here

  • Introduction to Wireless Range Extender
  • Overview Of Popular Wireless Range Extenders
  • The Connectivity Diagram
  • Advantages & Disadvantages
  • Alternative Solution to Wireless Range Extender
  • Top 10 Bestselling Wireless Range Extender  As Ranked by Amazon

Introduction to Wireless Range Extender

Instead of connecting multiple computers through cables, modern networking usually uses a wireless router to allow computers to share Internet connection and communicate to one another without physical connection of any kind.

The absence of cables does eliminate unnecessary clutters, but such wireless networking is often not as reliable as the wired one. The range of wireless Internet signal is limited, so signal strength degradation should be expected.

A wireless extender is a useful hardware piece in this case; it takes in signals from a router and re-broadcast them to extend the connectivity range.

Overview Of Popular*  Wireless Range Extenders

ModelsDescriptionAvailability
Securifi Almond
Securifi Almond Touchscreen Wireless Router / Range Extender
Multi purpose Use. Can act as a primary Router(no built in modem) or Range Extender or access point.

Technical Specs
802.11bgn
300Mbps MIMO, 2 antennas
2 LAN + 1 WAN Ports
Check this product availability and current price from Amazon.com
Netgear
Netgear Dual Band Wi-Fi Range Extender - Desktop Version with 4-Ports (WN2500RP)
Simultaneous dual band extender

Technical Specs
IEEE 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz
IEEE 802.11 a/n 5.0 GHz
N600
Four (4) 10/100 (4 LAN) Ethernet ports with auto-sensing technology
Check this product availability and current price from Amazon.com
Amped Wireless
Amped Wireless High Power Wireless-N 600mW Smart Repeater and Range Extender (SR10000)
Extend the range of any 802.11b/g/n wireless network by rebroadcast the signal from a wireless router to a new required location

Technical Specs
Wireless Standard: 802.11n, 802.11b/g
Frequency Band: 2.4 GHz
Wireless Speed: 300Mbps (Rx), 300Mbps (Tx)
Ports: 1 x RJ45 WAN Port (Modem Port), 5 x RJ45 LAN Ports
Check this product availability and current price from Amazon.com
TP-LINK TL-WA850RE
TP-LINK TL-WA850RE 300Mbps Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender
Extend the range of any 802.11b/g/n wireless network by rebroadcast the signal from a wireless router to a new required location

Technical Specs
Wireless Speed: 300Mbps
Antenna Type: 2 Internal Antennas
Ethernet Port: 1 10/100Mbps port
Compatibility: 802.11b/g/n Compatible
Check this product availability and current price from Amazon.com
D-Link Wireless
D-Link Wireless N 300 Mbps Compact Wi-Fi Range Extender (DAP-1320)
Technical Specs
Delivering up to 300Mbps
IEEE 802.11n
IEEE 802.11g
2 Internal Antennas
Check this product availability and current price from Amazon.com

* Based on bestselling repeaters ranking on Amazon.com

Advantages & Disadvantages

Main Advantages

Of course, the main function of a wireless extender is to extend the range of wireless Internet signal without having to move computers closer to the wireless router.

Without a range extender, the furthest computer that connects to a router tends to receive the weakest signal or with no signal at all. This will make the Internet runs very slow or with intermittent connectivity. A wireless range extender is placed somewhere between the router and computers to help maintain strong signal reception, leading to better and consistent Internet connectivity.

By using the wireless extender, it means you are no longer have to pull an Ethernet cable. It can save time in forming a new network connection and at the same time removes the complicated work of pulling the Ethernet cables.

Main Disadvantages

The bandwidth connectivity is reduced at least by half mainly from using the single band wireless range extender (not for the dual band as in this report).

Let’s say we use a single band wireless extender for our home. The reduction in bandwidth is not highly felt by those who only surf internet for casual. This is because in many homes, the router’s bandwidth is typically greater than the bandwidth throughput out to the Internet.

But to those who use the wireless extender within local network to accomplish tasks such as file transfer, file sharing or video streaming, then the reduction in the bandwidth will be greatly felt by them.

 If you do need to use a wireless extender to get the signal from your existing wireless network then, it is necessary to know the limits of its capability.

Wireless extender allow you to extend the reach of your network signal to a previously unattainable location. But it comes with degraded performance due to its reduced bandwidth.  This means that if you want to reach your local network using the wireless extender to work on performance-intensive tasks, using the wireless extender is not a good option.

For those who are always in performance-intensive tasks, then you are advised to look for another alternative and better solutions.

Alternative to Wireless Range Extender

One option is to replace the use of wireless range extender with powerline adapters. Powerline technology is considered hard-wired because its use existing electric circuit to carry network data.

The advantage is the bandwidth supported by homeline  adapters is much more higher.  There are many adapters in the market which speed starts from 100Mbps and up to 600Mbps.

But of course the throughput is much less for each connection. One report noted that the throughput is 40Mbps for 200Mbps adapters and 80Mbps for 500Mbps adapters. However it is still better compared to throughput when using wireless range extender.

The below diagram showing the network connectivity when using powerline adapters which support WiFi. The example below showing 3 units connectivity. The minimum to establish powerline connectivity is by using 1 pair (2 units) of adapters.

Example Powerline Adapter  starter kit that support WiFi is NETGEAR Powerline 200Mbps to N300 Wi-Fi Access Point (XAVNB2001) and it is compatible to connect it to NETGEAR Powerline 200Mbps Nano Adapter – Starter Kit (XAVB2101).

Powerline Connectivity Sample 3 nodes

Price-wise is slightly higher  to implement powerline adapters connectivity that support WiFi (as diagram above) compared to buying wireless range extender.

But to make it a cheaper solution, you can use 2 normal powerline adapters plus wireless access point as per diagram 3 below. This should be more stable connectivity compared to wireless  range extender.  Example of wireless access point is like TP-LINK TL-WA801ND Wireless N300 Access Point.

Powerline Connectivity with Access Point (2)

 Sources

In producing this article I have used my knowledges, products understanding and the below references.

1. The Best Wi-Fi Extender by thewirecutter.com

2. The Best Way To Get Whole House Wireless Coverage by www.smallnetbuilder.com

Top 10 Best Sellers in Repeaters

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Securifi Almond Touchscreen WiFi Router / Extender Features

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Securifi Almond V2

Touchscreen has become a part of everyday life and is used widely in today’s devices including phones, GPS, tablets, watches, and now it is even implemented in WiFi router.

The Almond Wireless Router and WiFi Range Extender by Securifi is the first compact router to use touchscreen technology and it can be configured entirely from its screen.

Users can easily configure the connectivity options directly via its LCD screen without having to connect it to computer, install any particular software, and accessing via web interface.

And of course for advanced router setting you will need its web interface to access and configure the Almond. But for basic users it can be easily configured directly via its LCD screen.

Securifi Almond Touchscreen WiFi Router  Demo 

  • Watch this video 1 demo on how the Almond works. Available from YouTube.

Securifi Almond Touchscreen Wireless Router / Range Extender Features

ModelSecurifi Almond
Securifi Almond
Wireless Connectivity802.11 b/g/n,
300 Mbps MIMO
Range100+ Feet
Touch ScreenYes. 2.8", 320 x 240
SecurityWEP, WPA, WPA2
Ports1 X 10Base-T/100Base-TX WAN, 2 X 10Base-T/100Base-TX LAN
Processor384MHz, MIPS Architecture
Official Specs and Features
Learn more from the manufacturer site.Read more about Securifi Almond at securifi.com
Amazon Customer Reviews
Read all the reviews inclusive of the most helpful favorable review and the most helpful critical review
Click here to read the reviews on Securifi Almond
Price Check
View the current price from AmazonClick on this link Securifi Almond – Touchscreen Wireless Router / Range Extender

LCD Touchscreen

Almond has a 2.8-inch LCD color touchscreen with 320 x 240 pixels resolution. For a router that measures at 4.5-inch H x 4.75-inch W x 1.5-inch D, the screen is considerably big.

The screen displays a similar interface to that of Windows 8’s Metro where the buttons or options are organized neatly as tiles. Literally all basic settings are accessible from the screen including WiFi network, firmware upgrade, security options, adding devices, etc.

For more advanced router setting, you need to access its web interface; in this case, you will need a computer, a phone, or a tablet. The IP address and login information are provided.

The screen also provides option to check the currently installed firmware version. If update is available, you can directly download and install the new firmware with a single touch. It is certainly an easier way compared to the conventional updating method on many other routers.

Range Extender

Besides functioning as a WiFi router, Securifi’s Almond also works as a range extender for your existing wireless network. In the setup wizard screen which appears instantly after the Almond is turned on, there are two options that allow you to configure this device as either a router or range extender.

Depending on your choice, the setup wizard will guide you through the configuration. As a WiFi range extender, Almond will extend your current wireless network. The connection range as either a router or extender reaches more than 100 feet.

Almond is a single band user-friendly 2.4 GHz N300 router. And it do not support 5.0 GHz band.  Securifi’s Almond can connect up to 50 clients at a time.

Diagram 2 below depicted Securifi Almond as WiFi Range Extender. By installing Almond in the 1st Floor, the WiFi signal that originate from 2nd Floor (i.e from wireless router) can be further extended to cover basement or backyard area.

Securifi Almond Network Diagram V2

Ports

On its side, there are 3 available ports consisting of one WAN and two LAN. Reset button and power connector are located under those ports. You can use the LAN ports to connect two devices hard wired using Ethernet cable.  An Ethernet cable and a power supply are included in the box.

Tips and Tricks

SSID Broadcast

Almond creates different SSID from the wireless network it extend, with the append of  “_Almond” to the current SSID wireless network. Depend to the users preference, some will like it because they can select which device they are connecting to.

Some however will not like it as they want their network connection seamless with one network SSID.

So, if you like to configure for only a single SSID broadcast when using Almond, then visit this user reviews links from Amazon who highlighted how to go about it.  Or you may call Securifi support to walk you through the process.

Product Availability

Securifi Almond V2
Securifi Almond Touchscreen WiFi Router is available now from Amazon.com

 

 

Sources

1.  Securifi Almond Review by CNET editor Dong Ngo

2.  Securifi Almond Review by www.expertreviews.co.uk

3. Extensive Hands On and Review by www.smallnetbuilder.com

2. User Reviews,  Amazon

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