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Posted Jan 8, 2013
12:27:11 PM
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Extending Wifi Range to back of property

Hi,

 

I have my Residential Gateway set up at the absolute front of my house. It's connected to my television/receiver in my living room, and the existing (DirecTV) cabling running through my house connects the television/receiver in the back of the house. I have no problem with the connection with either television, and the wifi in the front of the house is strong enough to support my laptop and desktop with great access.

 

In the back of the house, however, wifi is spotty, especially for mobile devices. I was wondering if there was a solution I could install off my television receiver in the back of the house that would boost the wifi signal enough to give good reception there and also in our garage, which is about 10 feet away. Would like to put a wireless UVerse box out there if possible. :smileyhappy:

 

Am perfectly willing to purchase a router or other similar hardware if I can install it with relative ease at the back of the house. Any help or suggestions on this hardware would be most appreciated.

 

Thanks!

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Jan 10, 2013 8:49:41 AM
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Teacher

In case anyone's following this thread, here's the end solution:

 

I purchased a Netgear N600 wireless router and slaved it to the STB at the back of the property. Turned it on without connecting it to anything and connected to its WAP from a laptop. From there, turned off DHCP and renamed the WiFi to match my UVerse SSID (and renamed the 5G connection to something similar).

 

Then I plugged it into the CAT5 outlet on the STB. Everything's gravy now.

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Extending Wifi Range to back of property

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Jan 8, 2013 2:35:47 PM
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ACE - Expert

You could always use something like this.

"If you find this post helpful and it solved your issue please mark it as a solution.  This will help other forum members locate it and will also let everyone know that it corrected your problem. If they have the same issue they will know how to solve theirs"

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Jan 8, 2013 4:03:17 PM
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Professor
How large of a structure is this? Can you post a floor plan showing location of the RG, and any Ethernet connection points that you have? It is not so much covering the other parts of the home, it is also do you want just G, or G/N wifi, also what do you plan on doing with the network (browsing Internet, streaming Netflix or other movie Ondemand programming, etc.)?
________________________________________________________________

"Ren: Now listen, Cadet. I've got a job for you. See this button? Don't touch it! It's the History Eraser button, you fool!

Stimpy: So what'll happen?

Ren: That's just it. We don't know. Maybe something bad, maybe something good. I guess we'll never know, 'cause you're going to guard it. You won't touch it, will you?"
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Jan 8, 2013 4:07:54 PM
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Teacher

We're talking about an 1100 sq ft single story home where the RG is at the front of the building and the bedroom is as the back. So 30-40 feet away.

 

Would like to extend the range another 20 feet or so to encompass, the garage if possible. It's a free-standing structure adjacent to the house. The purpose for that would be to add a wireless UVerse box to the garage to watch TV. No gaming or streaming Netflix that far out.

 

Thanks!

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Jan 8, 2013 4:54:13 PM
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Professor
Well, for the UVerse box, it uses its own AP that would need a Cat-5e/6 run back to the RG. As for adding a A/P to cover the rear or overlap from the front, you just need to figure out what you are wanting to spend, and also how many other A/P's are there in your area.

Run inSSIDer to see how many other Access Points are running on the 2.4ghz freq. around your house. I have the Netgear WN802Tv2 Wireless G/N AP and get decent range. There are some others out there, depending on what price you are willing to pay, and if you want external or internal antennas.

As for my RG range, we can go at least 75-90 feet from it, before it drops out, with it down in our basement at the rear of the house..
________________________________________________________________

"Ren: Now listen, Cadet. I've got a job for you. See this button? Don't touch it! It's the History Eraser button, you fool!

Stimpy: So what'll happen?

Ren: That's just it. We don't know. Maybe something bad, maybe something good. I guess we'll never know, 'cause you're going to guard it. You won't touch it, will you?"
________________________________________________________________

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Jan 8, 2013 4:57:25 PM
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I'd spend an extra $100 if it would give the ability to have the wireless uVerse box in my garage (and give me the wifi I need at the back of the house).

 

The uVerse box in the back of the house is connected to the system with coax cable, but I run a CAT 5 cable out of it into the back of the AppleTV that connects to that television.

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Jan 8, 2013 5:10:42 PM
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Professor
Again, the Wireless UVerse Set top box comes with its own Access Point, that needs to be hardwired LAN back to the RG. And as for slaving off of a STB connected via Coax, not the best practice.
________________________________________________________________

"Ren: Now listen, Cadet. I've got a job for you. See this button? Don't touch it! It's the History Eraser button, you fool!

Stimpy: So what'll happen?

Ren: That's just it. We don't know. Maybe something bad, maybe something good. I guess we'll never know, 'cause you're going to guard it. You won't touch it, will you?"
________________________________________________________________

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Jan 8, 2013 7:20:03 PM
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Teacher

I don't really have an option of rewiring the house, so I have to stick with the coax that runs through the house, but are you saying the STB in our bedroom is a repeater/extender itself? If not, can I hook into the CAT5 line with what was recommended up thread to experience a boost in signal strength?

 

Thanks for you help!

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Jan 8, 2013 7:43:26 PM
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Professor
Well, you do not have an option of using the coax to extend the network, if you wish to use the wireless STB. You are going to have to pull some Cat-5e/6 through the house, if you want this to work. That means getting into the attic or crawl space, if you do not have a unfinished basement, or basement at all.
________________________________________________________________

"Ren: Now listen, Cadet. I've got a job for you. See this button? Don't touch it! It's the History Eraser button, you fool!

Stimpy: So what'll happen?

Ren: That's just it. We don't know. Maybe something bad, maybe something good. I guess we'll never know, 'cause you're going to guard it. You won't touch it, will you?"
________________________________________________________________

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Jan 8, 2013 9:34:31 PM
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So if I'm reading you right, I don't have any means of using third-party hardware to extend range unless I run CAT5 cable from the RG to the back of the property? (Which is not possible.)

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Jan 9, 2013 3:42:27 AM
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Edited by BeeBeeSA on Jan 9, 2013 at 4:38:37 AM

Use one, two, three or more of these.  If you have a ton of money put one in each room!!  You will have coverage for sure then although it wouldn't be necessary.  This would be to extend your wireless for regular devices such as computers, smart phones, or anything else on your wireless network.  If you want a wireless STB in your garage the access point that comes with it will be plenty strong enough to run the wireless STB in your garage with an 1100 sq ft home.  Don't try to judge your current wireless strength to determine if you can get a wireless STB to work.  That box uses totally different wireless signaling to transmit and receive wirelessly.

 

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"If you find this post helpful and it solved your issue please mark it as a solution.  This will help other forum members locate it and will also let everyone know that it corrected your problem. If they have the same issue they will know how to solve theirs"

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Jan 9, 2013 4:45:57 AM
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ACE - Expert

Just thought of something else and my edit time ran out, but my neighbor has a wireless STB and his access point is about 75 ft. from my RG inside his house of course.  Using inSSIDer I can see his signal good and strong inside my house.  That of course is going thru all of the walls in his house and all of the walls in my house.  You should be fine with what you are trying to do. 

"If you find this post helpful and it solved your issue please mark it as a solution.  This will help other forum members locate it and will also let everyone know that it corrected your problem. If they have the same issue they will know how to solve theirs"

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Jan 9, 2013 5:28:52 AM
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Professor
Remember, the lower the -dbm is, the better the signal. The higher in -dbm, the worst the signal.
________________________________________________________________

"Ren: Now listen, Cadet. I've got a job for you. See this button? Don't touch it! It's the History Eraser button, you fool!

Stimpy: So what'll happen?

Ren: That's just it. We don't know. Maybe something bad, maybe something good. I guess we'll never know, 'cause you're going to guard it. You won't touch it, will you?"
________________________________________________________________

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Jan 9, 2013 9:13:23 AM
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Will try the Netgear box - thanks!

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Jan 9, 2013 3:55:47 PM
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gregzoll_1 wrote:
Remember, the lower the -dbm is, the better the signal. The higher in -dbm, the worst the signal.

 

Just to clarify, the signal strengths of wireless devices are measured in dBm, which is the signal strength referenced to 1 mW.  Thus, a 1 mW signal is 0 dBm.  A 10x lower signal of 0.1 mW would show as -10 dBm.  A signal 10x lower than that would be 0.01 mW, or -20 dBm.

 

Greg is correct that the magnitude (number only) portion of the reading goes down as the strength gets higher.  e.g. a -20 dBm signal is stronger than a -30 dBm signal.  However, since these numbers are negative, the actual value follows standard mathematics, e.g.

 

-30 < -20, so the -30 signal is less than (and lower strength than) the -20 signal.

 

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Jan 9, 2013 4:15:14 PM
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How do I apply this knowledge to the situation? Is there a setup on the Netgear box that lets me choose dbm?

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Jan 9, 2013 4:19:39 PM
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No, you don't set a signal strength, but you can measure it to get a good idea of how well your computers can receive the signal.

There is a program for PCs called inSSIDer that will graph the signal strength over time for you. You can install it on a laptop, and walk with that laptop into your backyard and see your signal strength. You can then compare what the signal strength is with the various solutions presented in this thread and determine which might work the best.

A "good/excellent" wireless signal will have a signal strength of -50 dBm or higher (remember, that means that the number is lower than 50, e.g. -45 or -40, etc.)

The lower limit for usable wireless communication on most computers is about -80 or -85.

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Jan 9, 2013 4:22:47 PM
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Ah, very cool. I'll install on my wife's laptop tonight and give it a try!

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Jan 10, 2013 8:49:41 AM
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Teacher

In case anyone's following this thread, here's the end solution:

 

I purchased a Netgear N600 wireless router and slaved it to the STB at the back of the property. Turned it on without connecting it to anything and connected to its WAP from a laptop. From there, turned off DHCP and renamed the WiFi to match my UVerse SSID (and renamed the 5G connection to something similar).

 

Then I plugged it into the CAT5 outlet on the STB. Everything's gravy now.

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Jan 10, 2013 12:46:27 PM
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Be aware that this will work as long as that STB is turned off. If you turn that STB on and tune to a channel, the multicast traffic will likely overwhelm the router and you won't get any connectivity.

The only way around this would be to run another Ethernet cable from the N600 back to the RG.

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Jan 28, 2013 1:54:06 PM
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The eithernet port on the back of the STB is only to be used when feeding the STB on eithernet. If you plug anything it to that port and you have the STB on, it will affect your your video service and may also affect the video service to your other tv's. You could have the RG moved to a more central part of your home, but you would need a phone & cable jack at that location. You could also run cat5 from the RG to a room that is close to the garage and place the WAP there.

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Sep 5, 2013 3:04:43 PM
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I've done the same thing with a left-over Linksys E1000 router. I used a TP-Link powerline adapter to get back to my router in order to hardwire my Linksys to the network. The difference in coverage over using a WiFi extender is night and day. By hardwiring the Linksys to the network, the signal is 100% and I have an amazing signal throughout my home.

 

Just remember to disable DHCP on the second router and to give it the same name as your primary wireless. Voilá! Now you have great wireless coverage everywhere!

 

Also, if you don't have a leftover wireless router, buy an inexpensive one from Amazon or find a used one at a garage sale. Remember, this second router is essentially just a "repeater" and doesn't need all the bells and whistles of your primary router.

 

Have more than one dead zone in a large home? Just repeat the above procedure with an additional router(s). My primary is an Apple Time Capsule connected to my 2Wire Uverse gateway. (I have wireless turned off on my 2Wire as I prefer to use my Time Capsule, which supports "N".) My second device is a Linksys E1000 (several years old and no longer maufactured) which is in the living room, 40-some feet away. The last is an Apple Airport Express that is in our bedroom. Our coverage is outstanding throughout the house!

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Oct 7, 2013 6:10:20 AM
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Hello! I'm in a similar situation trying to get a good signal on the far side of the house.  So to confirm, if we have the AT&T UVerse DSL residential gateway (RG) with built in wifi and we want to simply extend the range with 2 additional wireless routers, we hardwire the 1st router to the RG using a cat5 cable to the router's WAN connector and then from one of the 1st router's LAN jack to the 2nd router's WAN connector (this second router is on the other side of the house, cable is 50 feet long or so)?  And we turn off DCHP on both routers and set the SSIDs to the same as the RG "2wirexxx"?  Does it matter if we disable the RG's built-in wireless?  What about the key - do we set the key on all routers?  thanks in advance!

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Oct 7, 2013 7:05:01 AM
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Edited by bocaboy2591 on Oct 7, 2013 at 7:09:07 AM

I'm not quite following your schematic, so let me tell you how I did mine.

 

Set up the first 2Wire Gateway just as the AT&T installer left it. You're now going to install two additional wireless access points (WAPs.) They can be routers that have wireless capabilities or just a WAP. (Since I couldn't hardwire mine, as you appear able to do, I used Powerline connectors to get back to my 2Wire Gateway but the principle is identical.) Simply plug in the additional routers into a LAN (not WAN) port on your 2Wire and configure the additional WAP with the same SSID and password as the 2Wire. Repeat that for each additional WAP you install. Make sure you give each of them a static IP so you can get back to them at a later point over your network. Do not connect the Ethernet cable to the WAN ports on the additional WAPs. They should be connected to a LAN port. Only the first 2Wire should be plugged into the WAN port.

 

This configuration will now give you wireless within range of each WAP you've installed. You might want to purchase an inexpensive utility (not required, but helpful) like iNet to see the particulars of each WAP you've installed and the clients that are using it.

 

If you need additional ports beyond the 4 that are on the back of the 2Wire, purchase a four or eight port router and connect it to one of the LAN ports on the back of the 2Wire. That will give any additional ports you need.

 

And yes, you can disable the wireless on your 2Wire without affecting the additional WAPs you've installed. In my home, I use an Apple Time Capsule (1st generation) as my WAP with wireless disabled on the 2Wire. There are plenty of better WAPs than the 2Wire that ATT provides. Check out wirecutter.com to see their recommendations and evaluations.

 

Lastly, if you haven't already done it, I'd go on Ebay and purchase your own 2Wire router and save yourself the $6 per month that ATT charges. I found one for $25, so the amortization period is short and if you stay with Uverse for any length of time, you'll save a lot of money. The downside of this strategy is that if the 2Wire replacement fails, it's on your dime. I'm willing to take that risk as they're easily replaceable and available.

 

One last word regarding the paragraph above. You could also buy a couple additional 2Wire routers on Ebay and just plug them in to the LAN port on the initial one. While I haven't tried it, I keep reading that they will auto configure up to a maximum of four.

 

Hope this helps.

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Oct 7, 2013 7:37:07 AM
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OK - I think I understand better now, particularly the LAN-LAN connections (was reading up some FAQ in-between these posts), all using the same SSID & security mode & Key and disabling NAT and DHCP on all but the gateway.  As far as the wireless clients, I assume they will just seemlessly connect to the strongest signal as we go from one side of the house to the other with no further adjustments required? Sound great - can't wait to give it a try.  Thanks!

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Oct 8, 2013 5:07:41 PM
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Hi vegarg, 

 

Just wanted to check in on you and see how it's going. The information that bocaboy2591 sounded like it was exactly what you needed. With multiple WAPs, the device should seamless connect to the strongest connection, but I noticed some devices have a hard time letting go, like my old phone before I upgraded. Also, if you decide to use 2 routers instead of repearters, my suggestion would be to use the same Wireless Name (SSID), Security key, and security type, but have different wireless channels so they don't conflict with each other. That way, the entire house runs all under one seamless network, 

 

Let us know how it goes

 

-David T

If you encounter any issues with your service or equipment, I recommend checking out our Troubleshoot & Resolve solutions to help diagnose the issue.
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

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