Extending Wifi Range to back of property

Teacher

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. Smiley Happy

 

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!

Message 1 of 28 (13,150 Views)
Teacher

Re: Extending Wifi Range to back of property

How do I apply this knowledge to the situation? Is there a setup on the Netgear box that lets me choose dbm?

Message 16 of 28 (12,888 Views)
Expert

Re: Extending Wifi Range to back of property

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.
Message 17 of 28 (12,886 Views)
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Teacher

Re: Extending Wifi Range to back of property

Ah, very cool. I'll install on my wife's laptop tonight and give it a try!

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Teacher
Solution
Accepted by topic author mhutaff
‎09-30-2015 1:39 AM

Re: Extending Wifi Range to back of property

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.

Message 19 of 28 (12,837 Views)
Expert

Re: Extending Wifi Range to back of property

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.
Message 20 of 28 (12,815 Views)
Contributor

Re: Extending Wifi Range to back of property

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.

Message 21 of 28 (12,365 Views)
Teacher

Re: Extending Wifi Range to back of property

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!

Message 22 of 28 (9,177 Views)
Contributor

Re: Extending Wifi Range to back of property

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!

Message 23 of 28 (8,408 Views)
Teacher

Re: Extending Wifi Range to back of property

[ Edited ]

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.

Message 24 of 28 (8,403 Views)
Contributor

Re: Extending Wifi Range to back of property

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!

Message 25 of 28 (8,395 Views)
Community Support

Re: Extending Wifi Range to back of property

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.
Employee Contributor*
*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.
Message 26 of 28 (8,349 Views)
Contributor

Re: Extending Wifi Range to back of property

Can anyone tell me where to order the Netgear Wifi Range Extender?
Message 27 of 28 (1,486 Views)
Teacher

Re: Extending Wifi Range to back of property

I had a similar situation. I took a second router and configured it with the same SSID and security as my primary WiFi but turned DHCP off. I used two powerline connectors to connect them. Take one powerline connector and install it near your existing router and connect it with an Ethernet cable to an open LAN port. Take the other powerline connector and plug it in at the back of the house near the second router. Connect the second router via Ethernet to it from a LAN port. Do not use the WAN port on the second router.

Voilá, you now have seamless WiFi coverage in the back of the house with the same SSID and security that you have in the front. I'd suggest TP Link powerline connectors, but any good brand should work. Ditto for a TP Link router. Actually, Amazon is having a sale on TP Link routers today.
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