Computers & Electronics

Can someone plesae recommend a wifi extender

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 20th, 2017 4:18 pm
13 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 11, 2012
2256 posts
987 upvotes
Calgary
if it were me, I'd find a used Asus RT66U (should be available for less than $50 - much cheaper if you're good negotiator) & I'd have 2 choices.

1.run a long cat 5 cable from modem & set up it in AP mode. this is likely the best as there's no loss in throughput excepting the limitations of an N router.

2.run it in repeater mode with the accompanying 1/2 throughput loss & perhaps some stability & latency issues which will be normal (or worse) even if one goes with a dedicated wifi repeater.

alternatively run a mesh network but thats gonna cost alot more.
Jr. Member
Apr 26, 2010
163 posts
64 upvotes
Vancouver
wifi extenders are garbage and suggest not getting one
what i would suggest is running powerline to where the chromecast will be running and getting an access point hooked up to the powerline near by

another thing is which wifi router do you currently have? as some might have weak signals coming from them.
Deal Addict
Feb 29, 2012
2092 posts
1058 upvotes
Richmond
Which Chromecast, v1 (2.4 GHz only) or v2 (also has 5 GHz support)?

Many routers can be set to operate as a WiFi extender, particularly those with aftermarket firmware. That can be a cheap way to go if you have an old router lying around, and usually has better performance than a cheap WiFi extender. Next cheaper alternative would be a basic cheap 2.4 GHz WiFi extender, which would be perfectly adequate for the Chromecast, at least as long as you aren't trying to run a lot of other WiFi streams at the same time. I have in fact used a mini-router configured as a WiFi extender for exactly this purpose, i.e., connecting a Chromecast v1 that was too distant from the router, and it worked great.

If you have the Chromecast v2, then you might want to try a more expensive dual-band WiFi extender and use the 5 GHz band to avoid interference.

There are 2 issues with the basic 2.4 GHz-only WiFi extenders:

1. They use double the 2.4 GHz WiFi bandwidth because they re-transmit to the remote device on a different WiFi channel than your router is using.
2. They introduce extra lag because they have to repeat every packet in each direction.

Neither of these is a big concern if you're running just a single stream to the Chromecast.

The extender can be set to act as an additional access point on your main WiFi network with the same SSID, or as a separate WiFi network with a different SSID. The latter is normally recommended because otherwise devices can switch back and forth unpredictably as they keep hopping to the AP that has the greater signal strength at the moment. That would disrupt video streaming.
Newbie
Mar 8, 2008
23 posts
6 upvotes
Newmarket, Ontario
Most wifi extenders are not good.... However, the netgear ex7000 is great, if placed in the proper location (the lights on the front will be green if the signal strength is good) it's capable of everyday speeds of 150mbps... I have it repeating an asus rt-ac68u and it's terrific!
Deal Fanatic
May 31, 2006
5159 posts
124 upvotes
Toronto
I just use this https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product/tp ... 68298.aspx? My Router is on the third floor so I wasn't getting a strong signal on the lowest level. Picked this up and I haven't had any issues so far with my smart TV or PS4 which is on the ground level.
[OP]
Member
User avatar
Mar 23, 2016
379 posts
123 upvotes
Thanks guys, so many choices! I'm looking forward to being able to Chromecast in the current wi-fi dead zone
Sr. Member
User avatar
Mar 22, 2013
898 posts
201 upvotes
Markham
Like another have posted, wifi extenders are crap. I use powerline and it's basically like wired.
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Newbie
Aug 23, 2017
16 posts
8 upvotes
scotsum wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 5:09 pm
if it were me, I'd find a used Asus RT66U (should be available for less than $50 - much cheaper if you're good negotiator) & I'd have 2 choices.

1.run a long cat 5 cable from modem & set up it in AP mode. this is likely the best as there's no loss in throughput excepting the limitations of an N router.

2.run it in repeater mode with the accompanying 1/2 throughput loss & perhaps some stability & latency issues which will be normal (or worse) even if one goes with a dedicated wifi repeater.

alternatively run a mesh network but thats gonna cost alot more.
+1 to the mesh.

Agree that they cost a lot more. But the coverage can't be beat.

Bought 2 OnHubs when newegg had the refurbished ones on sale at 80 a pop. Not a single dropped connection from then.

Previously, had to restart the router (located on the upper floor) at least twice a day to get a decent connection on the lower floor.

But as said earlier, it's 50$ vs 180$ comparison. So not exactly Apples to Samsungs. (pun intended). :P
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Feb 6, 2004
6289 posts
285 upvotes
GT'eh
Due to the work I do, I got to try test and report on each wifi solution. I would actually argue most powerline extenders are crap, they don't resolve issue of dead zones and cripples your speeds. A high end router may resolve your issue but would cost upwards of $300+.
My team & I tested 3 powerline adapters and sent them all back. I went with a dedicated wifi extender. I can't share results of reports but I will try to summarize.

I've also used and tested the following:
- Google wifi
- ubiquity Amplify HD
- Orbi
- Linsys Velop

It depends on your needs and budget. Based on our needs we went with amplify HD and couldn't be happier have full range over 10,00 sqft. We got an amazing deal on open box model. I've future proofed our wireless network, super fast & stable wifi with no dead zones anywhere in our entire block, even in cold storage & through 10+ ft of concrete. Don't base decision on online reviews, try and test each one out & test its limits. Also be sure to purchase from a vendor with a generous return policy.
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