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I know this might be stupid question, but I had troubles finding the answer on Google. I would like to extend my Wi-Fi, but I read that repeater is not really good idea due to sharing the same Wi-Fi device to both receive and extend signal. I found out that I could set two routers connected via lan cable. One of them would be receiving and the second creating Wi-Fi network to extend the range. Is it possible though, to use one router as a receiver and AP at the same time? It would save me some space and maybe even money. Thanks in advance

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  • Yes, if the device has multiple radios. Very few off-the-shelf routers support doing anything remotely like this.
    – Ricky
    Oct 9, 2015 at 20:00

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A WiFi repeater or extender is used to extend the coverage area of a WiFi network. It works by receiving your existing WiFi signal, amplifying it and then transmitting the boosted signal. With a WiFi repeater you can effectively increase the coverage area of your WiFi network.

WiFi boosters, repeaters, and extenders are mostly the same thing - devices to extend WiFi coverage. There isn’t a clearly defined difference between devices that manufacturers describe as “repeaters” and devices described as “extenders”. However, not all WiFi extenders work in the exact same way. There are several different kinds of devices available.

There are a couple of solutions to try before opting for a WiFi extender. The simplest is to try moving the location of your WiFi router to the most central location possible. If that doesn’t help (or if changing location just isn’t practical) check if your router needs to be upgraded. If you’ve had an older model for many years, it could be time for an upgrade to a more powerful model. For upgrade, go for some dual band routers with ultrafast processors and gigabit ethernet ports for use with Smart TVs or game consoles. There are routers with unique Beamforming technology which allows the routers to concentrate the WiFi signal towards your WiFi devices.

If everything is fine, that means you have a big place to cover and a WiFi extender could be the solution for you. There are a couple of different options.

One of the most straightforward is a powerline ethernet kit. The kit allows you to send your internet signal over the electrical circuit in your home or office. Firstly, it’s fast to set up. You plug and go.Secondly, it’s fast in bandwidth terms. An extender that uses WiFi will usually see some speed loss. But the distance between power outlets can have an impact on performance, and so can the kind of wiring you have in your place.

The alternate solution is a WiFi repeater. Dual band repeaters get around the speed loss that you mentioned by connecting to the router on one band and outputting a WiFi signal on the other.

One final feature that helps reduce speed loss is dual radios. If the device has dual radios, it can speak to the main router on lower channels, and then rebroadcast on higher channels. There are routers which can be installed outdoors too.

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  • This answer is good, except for a couple of things: home networking is off-topic, as are product recommendations.
    – Ron Maupin
    Nov 6, 2015 at 14:31
  • @Ron Do you mean that I should be crisp and more to the point?
    – MSRK
    Nov 6, 2015 at 18:47
  • Sort of. You assumed it was a home, but home networking is off-topic, so that should be a bad assumption. You also recommended specific products which is off-topic, and can lead to flame wars (mine is bigger than yours).
    – Ron Maupin
    Nov 6, 2015 at 18:53
  • @RonMaupin Thankyou. I have edited it. Hope its fine now.
    – MSRK
    Nov 6, 2015 at 19:02
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Wi-Fi APs and clients both must send and receive. It is the nature of Wi-Fi that it is only half-duplex, and it must do collision avoidance. Having a Wi-Fi device only receive won't do anything for you except be able to sniff the airwaves; you can't use it to communicate.

You could have your original AP connected to the wired network and use a repeater, or you could extend the wired network and install another AP father away.

AP placement and channel choice are important, and you really need to do a wireless survey before deciding on placement. You may find that you need more APs.

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Short Answer: Yes you can use one device to do both, it is cheaper, but the hardware will be a switch, not a router.

In regards to the "two routers"; I understand you're talking about a WiFi client and Access Point pair. The client for connecting to existing WiFi, and the Access Point to be the new, secondary Wifi. The two connected by RJ45.

As you said, using the same hardware lowers performance, in theory. The reason being that it will be Access Point on the same channel (frequency) it is client. Whereas with a client on one channel (1 for example) and the new Access Point on another channel (lets say 3), you get an extended WiFi coverage with less chance of Exposed node problem.

However, in practice there is often no need for two devices. You may not even notice a difference in performance after spending money and time on the more complicated setup.

In fact finding a device that works only as a Wifi client has been very difficult for me. By default they re-transmit anyway and I can't seem to turn it off on any device.

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  • Edited, hope that's what you were looking for. Oct 9, 2015 at 16:04

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