Repeating myself

It doesn’t seem like all that long ago that I purchased an EDIMAX repeater to fill in the gaps in my home wifi network. This solution did seem to work out for me, which actually means me and my laptop, over time it did not prove to be the best solution for the rest of the family. Everyone else, actually uses other types of equipment such as smart phones, tablets and ipad and they were uniformly less happy. During the intervening months I had to turn the repeater off and on again as well as to use the following rational to quell unrest.

It works for me. I am also using wifi so it must be fine.

I don’t want to imply that a ultimatum from my spouse is all that it takes to cause a revolution but the device stopped working for me as well so it needed to be replaced. The question is do I want or need to get a different solution.

Powerline extender

This solution connects your router to your power wires. It is then possible to plug another device in to a socket in another room and use the internet from there. There is a limit to the number of devices you can use but the technology doesn’t always have the throughput that is advertised. This might not be a fault of the technology but my experience in old old apartment buildings.

Wifi repeater

This solution picks up the existing wifi network and then transmits a boosted signal.

Bridge

A bridge is used to connect two separate network segments together.

I want the new device to work longer than the previous one and I want it to make all of the “hard to please” members of the family fully satisfied, so I have splashed out and purchased a new Fritz!Repeater3000.

I didn’t purchase this device because I knew with certainty the best one on the market but rather because it looked pretty good, had good reviews and I already owned a Fritzbox 7590 router. It was an odd coincidence but the day I was shopping for a solution I met someone who works for TP Link at the store and he was trying to convince me to purchase their solution. Despite being fairly well convinced I went with the more boring solution of all devices from a single vendor. Who wants a couple of devices and a problem and the difficulty of proving where the problem actually lies.

Setup

The biggest decision was how exactly should I configure my device. The Repeater3000 actually supported three different modes.

  • Repeater
  • Wlan bridge
  • Lan bridge

I just want to extend the network into the living-room so I set this up as a repeater. Before I could begin I did need to make sure that my firmware for the router was updated to 7.12. There were a couple of setup methods but I did take a rather less traditional approach (for me) and used the wps button on the router. The repeater and the router were joined without any fanfare.

Once the repeater was setup it worked just fine. The specifications are also pretty impressive.

  • Maximum WiFi performance thanks to the intelligent use of three radio units (2 x 5 GHz and 1 x 2.4 GHz)
  • Wireless AC with up to 1,733 Mbit/s in the first 5-GHz band
  • Wireless AC with up to 866 Mbit/s in the second 5-GHz band
  • Wireless N with up to 400 Mbit/s in the 2.4-GHz band
  • Connects to a router/FRITZ!Box via the dedicated 5-GHz band
  • Compatible with all wireless routers compliant with the 802.11 ac/n/g/b/a radio standards
  • Adopts the configured encryption of the wireless network (WPA2)
  • Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) – easy and safe configuration of wireless network at the touch of a button

I cannot say if this solution will make everyone happy but over the last few weeks I have only happy family members who.

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