I would like to know how does router use antennas when in repeater mode. I'm going to use a router with two detachable antennas. The idea is that one antenna will go outside (this will connect to the AP with internet connection which is around 30m from the outside antenna) and the other antenna will be inside where I need wifi network.

Will it try to connect with both antennas to that AP and create that wifi network on both antennas?

  • What model is the router? Whether this might work would entirely depend on the technologies in use. However, for anything fairly current, no this won't work. Even with older technology, this won't work well.
    – YLearn
    Commented May 29, 2017 at 19:33
  • I don't have any router yet, but I'm looking for something that could make this work. Or even if not, I'm looking for a way to get internet from a building that is around 30 meters from the place where the network is going to be.
    – effeKtSVK
    Commented May 30, 2017 at 1:28
  • 2
    You'd better have an indoor access point in the office and an outdoor access point outside. You will not make any savings by trying to trick this, it will cost you time, troubles and headaches..
    – JFL
    Commented May 30, 2017 at 8:02
  • Well, I guess you are right, I thought I would scavenge some old APs at home but the only one I have is WL-1120AP and its maximum speed is 11 Mbit, that is too slow for me... Nevermind, I'll buy a new one. Thank you for your answers, guys :)
    – effeKtSVK
    Commented May 30, 2017 at 17:00

1 Answer 1


TL;DR version: No, you can't do this with a single access point. It just won't work as you hope.

If interested, keep on reading for a brief description of why it won't work.

802.11n access points make use of MIMO and multiple spatial streams. As such, each antenna is dedicated to one spatial stream (i.e. antenna 1 = first spatial stream, antenna 2 = second spatial stream, etc). The second spatial stream is only used in conjunction with the first spatial stream at higher data rates, it doesn't function independently.

What this means is that if you have one antenna inside and one outside, you will either have single spatial stream data rates either inside or out, but then no connectivity in the other location.

In the situation you describe, 802.11n won't work.

With 802.11ac Wave 2 device, you do have multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) which allows the access point to split the spatial streams between multiple clients at the same time. While one might think this would allow the situation you describe, MU-MIMO is actually very complicated and requires the antennas to be at fixed distances from each other. So by moving antennas outside, this will simply break this feature.

In the situation you describe, 802.11ac won't work.

If you go with an older devices, such as 802.11g, these did not use MIMO. When these devices had two antennas, it was for diversity. In other words, it only used one antenna, but it could switch between which antenna it used to try to get a better signal. However even in this case, it wouldn't work well as typically there was a "delay" between when it could switch from one antenna to the other and back.

In the situation you describe, 802.11g may work in a best case scenario, but with serious performance issues.

  • Thank you for explaining this to me. So I will buy 3 APs, one will be in building A (it is actually a basement) for wifi, second will be on building A and third will be on building B... by the way, this is a Street View picture of those two buildings. Building A (the basement) is on the left side of the picture. Building B is on the right side, I will probably be able to put an AP right on that corner which you can see on the picture. Do I need any special antennas, if yes are there some small ones? I really don't want an outdoor AP that has range +5km...
    – effeKtSVK
    Commented Jun 2, 2017 at 10:32
  • There are certainly a wide variety of both access point and antenna options to select from that may meet your needs. Remember that typically higher gain antennas (ability to transmit/receive at strong signal strengths which often results in higher data rates) are larger. We don't do product recommendations here, but you may want to try posting this on Hardware Recommendations.
    – YLearn
    Commented Jun 2, 2017 at 19:56

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