Has the connection between your computer and router been interrupted once again? Or is it not working at all because your router is too far away? A scenario in which a WLAN repeater can be the decisive piece of the puzzle so that you can work or surf again. We will show you, what is a WLAN repeater, how to set up, how does it work and everything on it.
If you have bought a WLAN repeater, consider a few things when setting it up. In this guide, shows you how to set up this little helper and what you should keep in mind in this guide.
What is WLAN repeater?
A WLAN repeater is a cheap and easy solution to expand your home WLAN network. All you need is a WLAN network and an accessible power outlet. With a WLAN repeater, you can extend the range of your home WLAN.
Up to now, your router operates WLAN. The repeater is like a small router. However, this has fewer functions because it only extends the already existing WLAN. The signal is basically amplified to achieve higher coverage.
How does WLAN repeater work?
With a WLAN repeater, you can expand your WLAN network inexpensively and easily. In addition to your WLAN network, you need an accessible power outlet into which you plug the repeater.
The WLAN repeater, also known as an extender or WLAN amplifier, increases the range by picking up the signal from the router and amplifying it. This can increase the range up to twice the original transmission distance of the router.
If you use a single router in a house with several floors, you will likely have to use a WLAN repeater. Even on the same floor, sources of interference can cause reception to be affected and a repeater to be necessary. You can read more about this in this section.
Setting up a WLAN repeater using the WPS button
The best known and easiest way to set up a WLAN repeater is to use the integrated WPS buttons. These are built into almost every repeater and router nowadays. You can use the WLAN repeater setup via the WPS button in the same way regardless of the manufacturer.
The procedure for setting up using the WPS button is the same for all manufacturers. To set up your WLAN repeater properly, you should simply do the following:
- Find a suitable power outlet and plug the WLAN repeater into the power outlet.
- Press the WPS button on the repeater for about three to six seconds until an LED signal appears.
- Now press the WPS button on the router for three to six seconds until an LED signal also appears.
- Now it can take up to three minutes until the repeater and router connect. In most cases, it should be significantly faster.
- Once the repeater is set up, you can place it in the position where it will work most effectively.
Once the repeater is set up, it will be able to extend the WLAN network. Unfortunately, the setup is not as easy as described above for every device, or it just doesn’t want to work via the WPS method. Our another post learn what is WPA key.
Set up the WLAN repeater manually
If the WPS feature causes problems or is missing, a setup via a web interface is necessary. This varies depending on the manufacturer of the repeater. In some cases, the repeater can be connected to a computer via LAN cable. In other models, you can configure the repeater via WLAN. You have to connect to the repeater’s Wi-Fi network on a device to do this.
The latter is also the case in the following setup example under Windows 10. Follow these steps:
- Plug the WLAN repeater into a power outlet near the router.
- In Windows 10, click on the network or WLAN icon at the bottom right of the screen. A window opens.
- Click on Network and Internet Settings. The Settings window opens.
- Click on Show available networks.
- Select the repeater’s WLAN network.
- If you are asked for a password, enter zero eight times, i.e. 000000.
- Open your browser. If the configuration page opens automatically, continue with step 6.
- Type in the address line http://(manufacturer name).repeater.
- If this does not work, enter the IP address http://169.254.1.1.
- Set a personal password to manage the repeater.
- Follow the further steps of the assistance software of the respective manufacturer.
- Once you have finished the setup, you can use the above addresses in the browser to make settings.
We hope we can help you with this step-by-step guide, and you can enjoy your WLAN in the whole house from now on. If you have any further problems with your repeater, router or general internet problems, just give us a call without any obligation. We are happy to help you and advise you first without obligation and free of charge.
Enjoying this guide? You can might also interested to read in Netgear XR300: Best budget gaming router?
Sources of interference hinder the setup
A WLAN repeater also ensures good WLAN reception in places where the router signal does not arrive at all or is too weak. If you do not get a connection during setup, there are usually metal doors or thick concrete walls between the two devices.
To troubleshoot, you can simply open the door in question briefly. In these cases, you can use a repeater to improve reception. Possible sources of interference can be
- Thick walls
- Long rooms like corridors
- WLAN networks of the neighbors
You should not place the repeater too far from the router. If the router is at one end of the house, you do not need to position the repeater at the other end. The repeater should have as strong a signal as possible so that the forwarding is also efficient.
Above all, metallic objects and other wireless devices such as telephones should not be in the direct vicinity of the router and repeater. Microwaves can also interfere with the radio signal.
Position the WiFi repeater using a smartphone
The optimal location for the repeater is halfway between the WLAN router and the end device. Since this is not always possible, you will have to vary this depending on the case. Because of the position of the power outlet or because there is furniture at the corresponding location.
If you are unsure, for example, because there are obstacles or sources of interference, you can use your smartphone and a corresponding app to determine the optimal position. Various manufacturers offer free apps for both iOS and Android. These measure the signal strength and evaluate the repeater position.
How do I know if my WLAN repeater is working?
After the setup, the question often arises whether the repeater is now working properly or whether the WLAN is still running completely via the router. However, there are some clues you can use to tell if your repeater is set up correctly:
- First, you should test whether the reception range has increased. Take your laptop or smartphone to a place where the reception was previously poor or non-existent.
- The repeater itself usually provides information about the signal strength via LED light points. Does the repeater have one or more LEDs that indicate the signal strength?
- If so, do they light up permanently?
- Does the repeater’s management software indicate that the device is connected to the Internet?
- You can access the management of your repeater. Here you can see if and if so, how the repeater is connected to the internet.
Do I need a WLAN repeater?
A WLAN repeater is for those who do not yet have good WLAN reception everywhere at home but would like to have. So, after installation, you will be able to surf the internet, stream videos or play the latest online game in every corner of your home.
Even for residents of a smaller apartment, a WLAN repeater can help with WLAN problems. Often the WLAN signal is disturbed by aquariums, thick walls or the neighbors’ WLAN networks. So, to get the most out of your own WLAN network, you should get a WLAN repeater.
Which WLAN repeater is best for me?
If you are looking for a new WLAN repeater, you will find a wide variety of products. Inexpensive models from Asia are sometimes available for as little as $10, while high-quality brand-name products cost up to $100.
The two most important key figures for the purchase are the MBit/s and the frequency in GHz. It should be as many MBit/s as possible for as much performance as possible. If your Internet connection is generally not the fastest, 300 MBit/s is sufficient, but with a good line, it should be 1000 MBit/s.
There are also two different standards for operating WLAN networks. Older routers transmit at 2.4 GHz, newer ones at 5 GHz. Here you can find the advantages of 5 GHz. To be prepared for the future, you should choose a model that supports both 2.4 and 5 GHz.
What are the different types of repeaters?
On the one hand, the repeater models differ in their construction. While the power supply is housed directly in the case of some variants, others have a separate power supply. The latter has the advantage that the repeater can be positioned more flexibly.
There are also differences in the supported frequency band and power. Standard repeaters operate in the 2.4 GHz WLAN, while better devices operate in the faster 5 GHz band. However, this only makes sense if the router also supports the 5 GHz frequency.
The MBit/s values play a role in the performance. Helpful is this rule of thumb to recognize a powerful repeater: the support of 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz as well as at least 1000 MBit/s. A combination that delivers good results even in difficult conditions.
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