I stay in two storied home and it is WiFi enabled with iBall-Baton 150M WiFi router modem powered by using BSNL broadband connection, However I was facing WiFi range issue on the lower floor while the main router modem located on the upper floor.
So I started searching for methods to increase the WiFi range,
Method 1 : Optimize router location
one of the best way was to optimize router location. Here I located the router modem in the mid passage of house, & it was giving good WiFi range improvement, But practically it was inconvenient to place the WiFi modem router due to the fact that I needed to route the LAN cable upto my PC as well as the telephone line to the WiFi modem router.
Method 2 : Use of Aluminium foil reflector
My Google research indicated that putting Aluminium reflector behind WiFi Router antenna works like radar and reflects boosting WiFi range. So I used Aluminium foil used in kitchen and prepared different shape dish to put behind router antenna. Ohh no !! its gimmick !! that did not work !
Method 3 : Use of High Gain Antenna
Further research showed to use the high gain antenna with 10 meter cable, however it was costing around 650 bugs and who knows if it really works ? and again there will be an issue of locating the same at the mid of house (wiring etc) So this idea also dropped by me 🙁
Method 4 : Use of WiFi Repeater or range extender
So finally I found this cheapest & gurenteed way to use WiFi Repeater or Range extender.
So I bought TP-LINK TL-WR740N 150Mbps Wireless N Router from Flipkart website (product link from which I bought is given below) but now it is available at pretty low price …I prefer Flipkart due to its service quality over the years …
this was pretty decent price for me with risk of experimenting at home !
Challenge I faced after buying Wireless N Router to boost Wifi range
On internet I found highly confusing information about whether this can be used as repeater ? and if yes how to do this ?
Since I am R&D person I spent almost 4 hours setting up this TP-LINK TL-WR740N 150Mbps Wireless N Router as a repeater for my WiFi signal which is transmitted from base iBall-Baton 150M wifi router modem (which is connected to BSNL broadband line),
Eventually it worked fine. Now its easy task to just switch on this repeater kept on the ground floor and in half a minute I start getting full WiFi signal on the ground floor.
Below snap shot shows result image captured with WiFi analyzer, here repeater graph shows signal strength boost by ~4 times than the original I-ball signal 🙂
So I decided to jot down the steps which I followed to set Cheap Wireless N Router as repeater to Boost WiFi range at home (with WPA2 security) – This is most important part, since it is easy to set repeater without any security, but then your neighbor will get WiFi for FREE!! So setting WPA2 Security is a MUST.
Tips on how to set TP Link repeater to extend your home WiFi Network
- Set the router & repeater to the same WiFi channel I have selected channel 11
- Set the same WEP encryption key for both main WiFi modem and repeater
- Provide same SSID for both main WiFi modem and repeater
- Set the repeater LAN IP in series of the main repeater 192.168.1.1 is the main WiFi modem IP then repeater IP can be 192.168.1.12
- Set the repeater WiFi security to same as main WiFi modem, in my case it was WPA2
- Enable WDS bridging (see snap shot below), press survey button and select ur main router. then enter the key type and key for main wifi connection
- Disable DHCP
Done, you are ready with extension, and this work flawlessly when u travel from one room to the other room where repeater is there or main WiFi modem is there, no need to select channels 🙂
Location of Repeater :
Now the last and most important thing, placement of repeater, I think this is key to success.
you need to find a place where repeater can take signal from the main wifi modem and then it shall be able to repeat signal to cover the complete range of home.
After iterative trials at my home I found out location which is at height on a cupboard at ground floor, hence able to get signal from top floor as well as transmit all over ground floor till my garden…
also when i am getting both signals, sometimes my old age sony xperia mini gets confused and shows error, that time if i am near to repeater then i go very close to the repeater (say 1 feet) and immediately it connects to repeater ! (magic trick !!)
hope this helps 🙂
cheers ! and happy net surfing at home 🙂
Here you can further read guidelines given on Microsoft website
WPA2-Secured WiFi at home use, a good article from PCworld magazine,
btw the TPLink router was available for 1020 Rs on Homeshop18.com, however they do not have COD facility for this item ! so I called up their helpline asking for this option, however they were blunt enough to say “u can buy from other site if they are giving this option !!!!” so I bough it from Flipkart (and believe me it was good experience with the speed of delivery and sharing information with me)
I recommend you to read about my practical experiment on selection of Modem WiFi Router