Updated 20 May, 2013, 8:22 am IST
How to - Extend Wi-Fi coverage and eliminate dead zones
| by Francis D'sa
Most users having a wireless router at home or office usually complain of dead zones and low wireless connectivity in certain areas. This usually happens when you have a large room or multiple rooms, where a single wireless router cannot serve the entire area effectively. Upgrading to Wi-Fi ‘n’ routers or installing high-gain antennas could solve the problem, but the chances are remote when it comes to accessing the signals in a larger area or if you have many walls in between you and your router, especially. Adding Wi-fi signal repeaters can help, but this increases the overall cost of the hardware.
A simpler and slightly cheaper solution would be installing additional wireless routers in other rooms, which will solve the problem. In this workshop, we show you how to configure multiple routers on the same network. Using this trick, you can have one single SSID throughout the entire network and stay in the same subnet too. Before you proceed, make sure you have an extra router handy with you. Any basic router would do since the goal is to spread the Wi-Fi network to a specific part of the house and not the whole house. You can invest in a few cheap Wi-Fi ‘g’ or ‘n’ routers, depending on how big your house is.
Choosing the right channel is very important
Let’s begin with an example to make you understand the network a bit better. You have a large home, which spreads across two or more rooms or floors. You have one wireless router, which is connected to the Internet gateway (either a DSL modem or a direct connection through your cable guy) and is placed in your living room. You can access this wireless network in your living room with ease, but your bedroom, kitchen, terrace or garden area has a very weak signal or you are unable to even get the network there. All you need is an additional router or more routers, which will pick up the primary network from another room and extend it further into its area. We shall take an example of a scenario where three routers are required to cover the area in the living room, the bedroom and the garden. Let’s call the primary wireless router in the living room as LR1, BR1 for the wireless router in the bedroom and GR1 for the one in the garden. Now we assume that LR1 is configured by default with SSID ‘RAHUL’ and a secure WPA2 password.
Let’s assume IP address is 192.168.0.1 and the DHCP server is enabled. All clients now connecting to this router will be given IP addresses by this DHCP server on LR1 from 192.168.0.2, 192.168.0.3, and so on. Log in to your router using that IP in a browser and open the settings page. Here, set the wireless network channel to ‘Channel 1’. Now, dig around a bit till you find the option to increase the antenna gain, and set it to the highest possible strength. Save and restart the router. LR1 is now configured.
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Let’s look at some of the most important things to consider before going
What we’ve done is pit a range of eight 150 MB/s wireless N routers...
By Francis D'sa
Accessing the internet wirelessly at home is very convenient, but securing
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