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What's a cheap, reliable way to extend WiFi range?

Discussion in 'ASUS Wireless' started by Shasarak, Oct 6, 2018.

  1. Shasarak

    Shasarak Occasional Visitor

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    May 17, 2018
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    I'm using an Asus RT-AC86U router, Merlin firmware.

    I get reasonable WiFi quality throughout the house, but there's a black spot at the back next to the boiler. This has suddenly become a problem because the new "smart" boiler thermostat requires a WiFi signal at the boiler end.

    Is there a reasonably cheap, reasonably reliable device that can act as a WiFi booster/extender/repeater to give me a better signal out there?
     
  2. Grisu

    Grisu Very Senior Member

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    RT-AC66U_B1 in Aimesh mode would be easiest way, if possible connected via LAN-backhaul.
    Or any old Wifi-device in AP-mode (ethernet-) or repeater mode (Wifi-backhaul).
     
  3. Shasarak

    Shasarak Occasional Visitor

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    I was hoping to spend a little less than that. :)

    No specific recommendation...? I don't need top-notch performance, and in fact don't even need 5GHz WiFi or wired Ethernet, just a solid 2.4GHz signal relayed from the master router.

    It needs to be reliable enough not to crash, but otherwise no-frills.
     
  4. OzarkEdge

    OzarkEdge Very Senior Member

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    Location:
    USA
    The 86U has good range... can you move it a bit to fix the coverage at the boiler?

    OE
     
  5. Grisu

    Grisu Very Senior Member

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    search ebay for a cheap used one supported by John's fork (N16, N66U, AC66U,AC56U, AC68U),
    so you have updates and same UI as on main router: https://www.snbforums.com/threads/fork-asuswrt-merlin-374-43-lts-releases-v36e4.18914/
     
  6. Shasarak

    Shasarak Occasional Visitor

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    I could, but not without introducing cabling problems. I don't want this to turn into a major DIY project. :)

    I may well do that.

    But these devices do more than I need them to. Isn't there a cheaper and simpler WiFi repeater device which does that and nothing else? I can't be the only person who has this problem.
     
  7. Ronald Schwerer

    Ronald Schwerer Senior Member

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    OP, I expect your boiler only requires 2.4GHz so this repeater will do the job for $17.99 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0195Y0A42/?tag=snbforums-20
    I use one to increase my coverage for IoT devices too far from my main router to get my guest SSID (I keep that stuff isolated on a guest SSID for the obvious reasons).
     
  8. Shasarak

    Shasarak Occasional Visitor

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    Correct.
    That looks more like the sort of price bracket I had in mind! :) How do you actually configure that - how does it connect to your existing WiFi, for example - you presumably have to give it a password...?
     
  9. Ronald Schwerer

    Ronald Schwerer Senior Member

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    You can set it up several ways. You can use WPS or, as I did, download the TP-Link app on your phone and use that to set it up. It also has its own gui once it is connected and has an IP. Pretty easy through either gui or app. I keep it isolated to my guest LAN SSID for security. You can either have it repeat the original SSID or a different one. It can have it's own DHCP or pass requests back to the router.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
  10. Shasarak

    Shasarak Occasional Visitor

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    That sounds ideal. :) I'll give that a go.
     
  11. Marica Calma

    Marica Calma Occasional Visitor

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    If you are looking for a cheaper solution, try using cable outlets to send Wi-Fi signals over the coaxial cables on your home. You don’t need to reconfigure your Wi-Fi settings, nor to replace a router. You just need to twist a few cable connectors which costs about 5–8 times less than the average whole-home mesh.
     
  12. CaptainSTX

    CaptainSTX Very Senior Member

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    Messages:
    1,649
    You should be fine with this setup as Thermostats, or at least my WiFi thermostat generate very little traffic.
    Based on the stats recorded using Merlin on my router the thermostat uses slightly more than 2 MB daily with the total for thirty days being 65.4 MB.