recommended wireless extender

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beepbeeprichie
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#1
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What I'm looking for is a device which connects to my wired network and broadcasts a wireless network extending that wired network (ideally with the same SSID as the router). I'm not sure what the correct term is here: isn't a range extended a device which picks up a wireless signal and extends it?

I have 2 tp wa830REs and they are TERRIBLE (I've tried for hours to get them to work but they mess up my network as they have DHCP enabled. disabling DHCP means it doesn't work at all).

Anyone know a device which gets the job done?
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Binary Freak
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(Original post by beepbeeprichie)
What I'm looking for is a device which connects to my wired network and broadcasts a wireless network extending that wired network (ideally with the same SSID as the router). I'm not sure what the correct term is here: isn't a range extended a device which picks up a wireless signal and extends it?

I have 2 tp wa830REs and they are TERRIBLE (I've tried for hours to get them to work but they mess up my network as they have DHCP enabled. disabling DHCP means it doesn't work at all).

Anyone know a device which gets the job done?
Why would you want to disable DHCP?

Secondly, why do you need a wireless extenders, usually the WAP, provides enough coverage for an entire house. If there's dead zones in your house then you'd want to consider optimization techniques as opposed to an extender.

IMO: Wireless Extenders are very poor and lack performance.
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mikeyd85
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(Original post by Binary Freak)
Why would you want to disable DHCP?
Because 2 DHCP servers on a home network is pointless - the router will have a DHCP server built in.
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Binary Freak
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(Original post by mikeyd85)
Because 2 DHCP servers on a home network is pointless - the router will have a DHCP server built in.
I feel quite shamed to have forgotten that :cry:
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mikeyd85
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(Original post by Binary Freak)
I feel quite shamed to have forgotten that :cry:
:lol: Easily done man!
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Binary Freak
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(Original post by mikeyd85)
:lol: Easily done man!

I guess so, but if I may, 2 DHCP servers might be necessary if you want a failover.
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mfaxford
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#7
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The device you're looking for is normally called a Wireless Access Point (AP). Some wireless routers can be reconfigured to act as an AP although it can be a bit of hassle. On some devices you could also look to see if its supported by OpenWRT as that gives you a lot of flexibility as to how the device works (TP link devices generally seem to be well supported).
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mikeyd85
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(Original post by Binary Freak)
I guess so, but if I may, 2 DHCP servers might be necessary if you want a failover.
Well, yeah. You could. I mean, that is the case for my home network, though the 2nd DHCP server is a router which has been repurposed as a switch in my room (ethernet over power ftw). It's DHCP functions remain off though. Should the primary DHCP server device fail, I'd have no I internets! :O
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mfaxford
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#9
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(Original post by Binary Freak)
I guess so, but if I may, 2 DHCP servers might be necessary if you want a failover.
If you want failover to actually work in a useful way you need 2 DHCP servers that are aware of each other and support some sort of failover system. Otherwise you can find they just end up fighting each other and things really don't work that well at all (and yes I've seen machines fail to get on the network because of this). Considering most ADSL routers have DHCP servers that struggle to meet the dhcp specs I wouldn't want to have two of them on the same network.

For the average home network where the DHCP server is the ADSL router then there's likely to be little point in dhcp failover. If the DHCP server has failed that probably means the router has failed so no internet access anyway.
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Binary Freak
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(Original post by mikeyd85)
Well, yeah. You could. I mean, that is the case for my home network, though the 2nd DHCP server is a router which has been repurposed as a switch in my room (ethernet over power ftw). It's DHCP functions remain off though. Should the primary DHCP server device fail, I'd have no I internets! :O
It's a similar case with my home network.. Some of the measures we techies take to ensure a constant internet connection :P

I've been working on building a third network for penetration testing.. Family isn't appreciative when I do DHCP starvation attacks, so my pen testing is on a halt until this network is finished.

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(Original post by mfaxford)
If you want failover to actually work in a useful way you need 2 DHCP servers that are aware of each other and support some sort of failover system. Otherwise you can find they just end up fighting each other and things really don't work that well at all (and yes I've seen machines fail to get on the network because of this). Considering most ADSL routers have DHCP servers that struggle to meet the dhcp specs I wouldn't want to have two of them on the same network.

For the average home network where the DHCP server is the ADSL router then there's likely to be little point in dhcp failover. If the DHCP server has failed that probably means the router has failed so no internet access anyway.
Yea I had some issues with this when I was first setting up the DHCP failover. In fact I had a lot of issues since I was vastly inexperienced at the time.
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ihavemooedtoday
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#11
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(Original post by beepbeeprichie)
What I'm looking for is a device which connects to my wired network and broadcasts a wireless network extending that wired network (ideally with the same SSID as the router). I'm not sure what the correct term is here: isn't a range extended a device which picks up a wireless signal and extends it?

I have 2 tp wa830REs and they are TERRIBLE (I've tried for hours to get them to work but they mess up my network as they have DHCP enabled. disabling DHCP means it doesn't work at all).

Anyone know a device which gets the job done?
You can use a router for that, if you can put it into AP mode. Disabling DHCP is not enough. You'll also need to disable NAT service, and run the router/AP in bridged mode. That way the second router won't create a different subnet with another translation table, and clients on the second AP can get addresses from the first DHCP server.
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ihavemooedtoday
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Also, are you sure they are actually in range extender mode? It sounds like they are in AP mode (which would cause the symptoms you described).

In range extender mode they should have DHCP disabled (assuming they even allow you to enable it in extender mode, which wouldn't make a lot of sense).

If your clients aren't getting IPs when the extenders don't have DHCP enabled, DHCP requests are likely not making it to the main router, which would be the case if the extender is running in router mode.
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beepbeeprichie
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(Original post by ihavemooedtoday)
Also, are you sure they are actually in range extender mode? It sounds like they are in AP mode (which would cause the symptoms you described).

In range extender mode they should have DHCP disabled (assuming they even allow you to enable it in extender mode, which wouldn't make a lot of sense).

If your clients aren't getting IPs when the extenders don't have DHCP enabled, DHCP requests are likely not making it to the main router, which would be the case if the extender is running in router mode.
Shouldn't they be in AP mode? Isn't range extended only picking up a wireless signal and extending it?
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beepbeeprichie
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From my extender setup page:

Range Extender - In this mode, this device can copy and reinforce the existing wireless signal to extend the coverage of the signal, especially for a large space to eliminate signal-blind corners.
Access Point - In this mode, this device can be connected to a wired network and transform the wired access into wireless that multiple devices can share together, especially for a home, office or hotel where only wired network is available.
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ihavemooedtoday
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Ah OK I see what you mean.

Yes, range extender mode means wireless to wireless.

If you want to go wired to wireless AP mode is correct.

What happens if, in AP mode, you statically set clients' IPs to unused IP addresses in the main router's DHCP range, and set the default gateway to the IP of the main router?
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ihavemooedtoday
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The main thing is to make sure NAT is not on. Usually that gets turned on in router mode.

You want to be in "bridge" or "switch" mode, if there is an option for that. I would assume that's the default for AP mode.
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mfaxford
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(Original post by ihavemooedtoday)
Ah OK I see what you mean.

Yes, range extender mode means wireless to wireless.

If you want to go wired to wireless AP mode is correct.

What happens if, in AP mode, you statically set clients' IPs to unused IP addresses in the main router's DHCP range, and set the default gateway to the IP of the main router?
In AP mode the wifi point should just be bridging the connection between the wired ethernet and wireless network so clients will use the existing DHCP server and gateway (usually the ADSL gateway). Most devices I've seen that are a pure access point only have a single ethernet connection.

There is a third option where the wifi point also acts as a router (which might be what you're thinking of) where the wifi point is also doing NAT and running DHCP. These devices will generally have at least two ports (usually 5) where one is the lan port and the other(s) is/are LAN ports. Such devices can be turned into some form of Access Point, In the simplest method turn of DHCP (for the reasons described above) and connect the lan port to the wired ethernet.(leaving the WAN port disconnected). It may not be the most elegant solution but can work.

Alternatively get a suitable device and put OpenWRT on it (TP link are generally good for this) and you can make it do whichever setup you want. Although that requires a bit more effort and may only make sense for those who know what they're doing.
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beepbeeprichie
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#18
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(Original post by ihavemooedtoday)
Ah OK I see what you mean.

Yes, range extender mode means wireless to wireless.

If you want to go wired to wireless AP mode is correct.

What happens if, in AP mode, you statically set clients' IPs to unused IP addresses in the main router's DHCP range, and set the default gateway to the IP of the main router?
I think I tried this but my devices couldn't get an IP. I think the extenders are just **** tbh. Thanks for you help.
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