Need to extend my wireless signal

Scholar

Need to extend my wireless signal

I have an old house with solid wood walls. My UVerse wireless router is in the back of the house. I recently got a wi-fi iPad. When I'm in the front of the house (living room), I get a weak wireless signal. I have a network drop in the living room and a 4 port switch hooked in. From this I run my TV and Wii (for Netfilx). Someone suggested I hook in a wireless access point?  I don't want another network, I just want to extend the one I already have. Can this be done? I assume this would work for any wireless device? We already have 2 iPhones. Generally not an issue because they are also 3G and if the signal is too weak it switches over. But my son doesn't have a large data plan, so I want to make sure his phone doesn't start downloading a movie using 3G.

 

Hope someone can help.

 

Thanks

Koko

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Message 1 of 44
Scholar

Re: Need to extend my wireless signal

Just a quick update. I finally got back to setting up the access point. I called TRENDnet support and they helped me do all the configuration. After all that, it turns out the unit was defective. I was able to hit it with my browser using the IP address I assigned to it, but I could not see it with wi-fi. There is an LED that is lit when the wireless is working. That LED was not lit and the support person decided the unit was probably bad. I just sent it back to Amazon and a new one should arrive tomorrow (free overnight shipping from Amazon -- nice).

 

So, tomorrow I will try again. I think I remember the setup. But if not, they have an open case for me and they appear to be very helpful and knowledgeable, even with the Mac.

 

Wish me luck. I'll report back with the results.

 

Koko

Message 31 of 44
Scholar

Re: Need to extend my wireless signal

UPDATE: Just got the new device from Amazon. Set up was easy. I connected it to my Mac, set my Mac IP to 192.168.10.110, and browsed over to 1192.168.10.100 (the default IP of the TRENDnet device). I set the SSiD to the same name as my RG, Channel was set to 11, Security Mode was set to WPA-PSK, PreShared key was set to the same key used to connect to the RG. I then disconnected it from my Mac, unplugged it and moved it over to the switch in my living room. Plugged it in and I see the LED for wireless is blinking. I turned on my iPad and tried ot browse to some location (cnn). Nothing... Rebooted the iPad, treid again, nothing. Forgot the network and joined again, nothing.

 

Browsed to the device and changed the SSID to a different name (added '2' to the end of the name). Turned AirPort on on my Mac and I could see the new network (and the old one). Connected to it. Was able to browse the internet. Tried the iPad again, forgot the old network and joined the new one (with the trailing '2'). Nothing... What the heck is going on?  I don't have time right not to work with tech support for an hour, so I guess I need to do that soon. I left the SSID name with the '2' for now. When I change the network on the iPad to the old network, it works again.

 

I wonder what is going on? Could it be the iPod? I guess I could try Apple support. Any suggestions?

 

I should be able to use the same SSID name, right? Could it be channel 11? should I change that to another channel? I think the RG is using '7'.

 

Thanks

 

Message 32 of 44
Expert

Re: Need to extend my wireless signal

Turn off the wireless on the RG so that it doesn't interfere. Change channels on the TrendNet and use channel 9. Also make sure you change IP addresses on the TrendNet and hook it up like we discussed earlier in the thread.
Message 33 of 44
Scholar

Re: Need to extend my wireless signal


SomeJoe7777 wrote:
Turn off the wireless on the RG so that it doesn't interfere. Change channels on the TrendNet and use channel 9. Also make sure you change IP addresses on the TrendNet and hook it up like we discussed earlier in the thread.

I changed the TRENDnet IP already (192.168.1.4). I can try changing the channel from 11 (what they told me to use) to 9. But I'm wondering about the other change, turning off the wireless on RG. The whole reason I wanted this access point was to "boost" my wireless signal in another part of my house. I really want the original signal to be there in the area of my house where the RG is, but also ADD signal in my living room.

 

ADDED: also, I was able to acceess it from my Mac using AirPort, but the problem I am having is my iPad can not access the internet using the AP.

 

 

Please advise.

 

Thanks

 

Message 34 of 44
Expert

Re: Need to extend my wireless signal

OK, I was thinking you wanted to replace the RG's wireless with this one to get wireless N, but I must be thinking of someone else. You just wanted more coverage.

In that case then leave the RG's wireless on. Everything related to wireless on the two units has to be set exactly the same with one exception:

• SSID (wireless network name) must be identical
• Encryption method must be identical (recommend you choose WPA2-AES with pre-shared key)
• Password/key must be identical

• This is the one that's different: The wireless channels must be different. Choose channel 6 for the RG and 9 or 10 for the TrendNet.

Make sure and hook the TrendNet via Ethernet, using one of the LAN ports on the TrendNet to one of the LAN ports on the RG. Leave the WAN port on the TrendNet empty. Turn off DHCP on the TrendNet.

On any devices you have, they may require that you delete the existing wireless connection and set up a new one from scratch.
Message 35 of 44
Scholar

Re: Need to extend my wireless signal


• SSID (wireless network name) must be identical
• Encryption method must be identical (recommend you choose WPA2-AES with pre-shared key)
• Password/key must be identical

• This is the one that's different: The wireless channels must be different. Choose channel 6 for the RG and 9 or 10 for the TrendNet.

Make sure and hook the TrendNet via Ethernet, using one of the LAN ports on the TrendNet to one of the LAN ports on the RG. Leave the WAN port on the TrendNet empty. Turn off DHCP on the TrendNet.

On any devices you have, they may require that you delete the existing wireless connection and set up a new one from scratch.

I'm looking at the RG in my browser. I see that the channel is currently set to 7. You are telling me to change it to 6? Should I click the "Rescan" to "Check Wireless Channel Availability"?

 

Currently, my security is set to WPA-PSK (TKIP). The only AES settings available in the list are:  "WPA2-PSK (AES)" and " WPA-PSK (TKIP) and WPA2-PSK (AES)". Which one shoud I use. Also, I'm a little worried about changing this stuff and breaking what I have currently working.... This shouldn't cause me problems I hope? :-)

 

Password/key - Is this the 87******59 number that I now use when connecting a device to the wireless network?

 

The TRENDnet support guy told me to use channel 11. What's the difference in using 9 or 10?

 

One last note: I can no longer connect to my AP with my browser. When I go to the IP I configured it with (192.168.1.4) in my browser, I get an error. Did the IP get changed???  I was able to hit it after configuring it and moving it to the switch in my living room.

 

I just did a speed test using the RG usng an iPhone 3gs. In the back room by the RG, I get DL speep 12.78Mbs, in my living room, I'm getting 1.00Mbs. THIS is why I need to boost my signal.

 

Also, the reason I changed the SSID to a different name was so I could actually connect to one or the other for testing. In reality I want to use the same name.  And finally, I am able to connect to the AP with my older iPhone, but both our new iPhone and iPad can "join" that network, but can not access the internet. Not sure if iOS4 does things differently. My old iPhone is still running the old 3.xx OS.

 

Thanks so much for your help. I may contact TRENDnet support to figure out why I can't browse to it.

 

Koko

 

 

Message 36 of 44
Expert

Re: Need to extend my wireless signal

To make sure the access points don't interfere with each other, the channels on each need to be 4 channels apart. So if you set the RG to 6, the TrendNet needs to be set to 10.

You shouldn't use channels 1 or 11 because they're restricted by regulations to 1/2 the power level that the other channels are allowed. That's why I suggested channel 10.

You can use either WPA2-PSK (AES), or WPA-PSK (TKIP) and WPA2-PSK (AES) on the RG.

Yes, the password sounds like it would be that number that you're using.

You should definitely be able to connect to the Trendnet using the browser. If the 192.168.1.4 IP isn't working, then try the default IP again and see if somehow it got changed back.

It seems like every time we try to get you configured, you come back and post that the configuration didn't work, and then the state of the unit and/or the network is ambiguous. I'm having a difficult time following why these things aren't working. Are you sure you're following the posted procedure I gave, and not skipping any steps or not verifying each step as you do it?

You may have to get TrendNet on the phone to assist you because it seems that these procedures I'm giving you aren't working.
Message 37 of 44
Scholar

Re: Need to extend my wireless signal

I'm sorry for all the confusion. I guess my problem is I'm getting conflicting information.

 

I am on the phone now with TRENDnet tech support. They had me power cycle the AP, and now I can connect to it. He had me make one config change, to set WPS from Enabled to Disabled. This allowed me to browse the internet using the AP. Hooray!

 

But then I asked him if I could use the same SSID as the RG to boost or repeat the signal. He said it would not work. I told him I was told that it could be done, he talked to his supervisor and said it wouldn't work. If I were to use the same SSID, it would drop if I walked into the back room where the RG is. He told me that they have a different AP that can do that. It is the TEW-430APB. The one I have is the TEW-637AP. Hum.... I could return this and get the other one. What do you think?

 

I still have not done what you suggested. The RG is using channel 7 (auto) and I am using channel 11 on the AP. This guy swears that 1, 6 and 11 are non-overlapping channels and there is no such thing as half power on 1 and 11. I'm not saying I believe him, but he was pretty sure and I asked him to double and tripple check. I basically told him that I wasn't sure I believe him.

 

So, I am willing to take your advise and make these changes. You are a "Senior Guru" after all. :-)  Do you still stand by the fact that I can use the same SSID and this device will work? Should I still change the security mode and channels?

 

Thanks so much and my appologies for all the responses... Can I buy you a beer? :-)

 

UPDATE: found it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/TRENDnet-54Mbps-Wireless-Access-TEW-430APB/dp/B000799LPE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qi...

 

 

Koko

Message 38 of 44
Expert

Re: Need to extend my wireless signal

Wireless clients will roam to the strongest access point if there are multiple access points with the same SSID on different channels. That's exactly what they're designed to do. So I have no idea why TrendNet would claim that the 637 can't do this but the 430 can. That doesn't make any sense to me and is counter to all of my wireless experience.

By regulation, channels 1 and 11 are required to be transmitted at 1/2 of the the power limit of the other channels or lower. Who knows, TrendNet might be violating that rule, I have no idea.

Yes, it's true that 1,6, and 11 are non-overlapping channels. So are any other channels that are 5 channels apart. e.g. 2 and 7, 3 and 8, etc. All you have to do is make the RG and the TrendNet channels 5 channels apart and then they don't overlap. If the RG is already using 7, then set the TrendNet to 2. This isn't rocket science.

I suggested 4 apart because that is more than sufficient. Wireless access points are designed to co-exist even when there's many other WAPs in the vicinity, even on adjacent channels. You can have 2 different access points on 6 and 7 and clients will still be able to connect separately to each (barring other interference). However, for maximum range and interference-resistance, the farther the channels are apart, the better, up to the point where they're 5 channels apart at which point they can't interfere with each other at all.

All you need to do if you want to play around with the settings is write your current settings down so you can go back to them, then try some new ones. You can always put it back the way it was.
Message 39 of 44
Scholar

Re: Need to extend my wireless signal

Thank you so much, one last question(s). Can you explain the advantages of using the different security types (auth modes)? When I go to the AP Wireless->Security, just below the "Security Mode" combo-box, it says in red: If you choose WEP or WPA/WPA2-TKIP encryption, the wireless mode should be Non-HT 11n mode. This means you will NOT get high throughput performance due to the fact that is not supported by 11N specification.

What are they saying? The mode is currently set to WPA-PSK, and below that in the section WPA, the TKIP radio button is selected. In the Security Mode combo, I have the following options:

 

Disable

WEP-OPEN

WEP-SHARED

WEP-AUTO

WPA

WPA-PSK

WPA2

WPA2-PSK

WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK

WPA/WPA2

 

I'm confused... Which one is best? I realize if I change this I also have to change the RG to match?

 

Thanks again.

 

Message 40 of 44
Expert

Re: Need to extend my wireless signal

Set it to WPA2-PSK.

That matches the RG setting of WPA2-PSK (AES), which you will have to go select if it isn't already selected to that.
Message 41 of 44
Scholar

Re: Need to extend my wireless signal

I changed both my RG and AP to use WPA2-PSK (AES). Now my wireless is no longer working. I power cycled the RG and after it came up the Wireless LED is not on and I can not connect to either the RG network or the AP... Ideas?

 

Message 42 of 44
Expert

Re: Need to extend my wireless signal

The wireless light will not come on until a client is connected.

You will need to delete and re-setup the wireless connections on your computers/iPhones/iPad to connect with the new encryption, as I explained in the previous post.
Message 43 of 44
Highlighted
Scholar

Re: Need to extend my wireless signal

I'm throwing in the towel.... I just got off the phone with TRENDnet suport (2 hours!!!). After changing the security mode to WPA2-PSK, I could no longer use my iPad and iPhone. The supervisor told me that Apple devices don't work very well with WPA2-PSK. I tried to change it back and could no longer connect to it. They had me reset and reconfigure it, etc.

 

I am sending it back to Amazon. I will give them one more chance and purchase the TEW-430APBand see if that one works better. They have great phone support, but having to unplug for 5 seconds, then if that doesn't work, unplug for 1 minute, blah, blah... It shouldn't be that hard. The funn thing is, I had it working this morning until I changed the securty mode. 

 

I want to thank you for your patience and help.

 

Koko

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