In today's connected world, having working signal on your devices is as important as having the devices in the first place. Wired devices are getting obsolete and wireless is 'king'. As with every technological advancement there is always room for improvement, and wireless standards have not been left out. Almost everyone who has a wireless device dread being without a signal and most times our location, topography and quality of signal is a factor.
To combat that we need a wireless repeater which basically extends the range or coverage of the WiFi network and makes the signal get to those hard to reach places. Most times, it is often referred to as a wireless extender. So when you to get your home signal to your boathouse or detached-garage a wireless repeater is what you'll need.
Earlier I talked about wireless standards and to a non-techie person all you need to know is about 1997 the wireless signal as at then was technically referred to as IEEE 802.11 which is the bedrock of all other standards. It had a data transfer rate of about Mbps which as at then was cool but not in this age and time as we now have a wide range of applications that demand far more data transfer speeds that that. After then, there was Wireless A, B, G, N and more recently wireless AC Standard. To sort out all the technical gibberish, I would go ahead and say you would need a Wireless N repeater in today's world with the following reasons:
1. Wireless N repeaters operate at a 2.4GHZ and 5GHZ frequency band and support Multiple In and Multiple Out (MIMO) signals and have an effective range of 70ft and 820ft for indoor and outdoor deployments respectively.2. They have a data transfer rate of about Mbps which is achievable because of their MIMO capability. This makes Wireless N repeaters a good option for bandwidth demanding applications such as online streaming. This feature also comes in handy when you are dealing with transfer of large files across the internet or sharing the network with several other users.
On the other hand, there are some draw backs to Wireless N Repeaters which include:
A. Theoretically the signal throughput tends to reduce by 50%. Now while this might seem as a deal breaker, Modern repeaters use two antennas which work simultaneously by receiving the signal in one and re-broadcasting it on the other and this sufficiently solves the problem.
B. Frequency Interference is equally a problem of repeaters and the 2.4GHZ band is already saturated. There are several household and industrial devices that use those same frequency e.g house phones, microwaves, etc. The good thing about wireless N repeaters is that since it's operating at both 2,4GHZ and 5GHZ its easy to move to the other band and voila, less interference.
If you look at sites like http://wifirepeaters.net/ they tend to focus on the power of wireless repeatesr without taking another factor into account. You can get a wireless N repeater with the power to boost a signal through an entire building if you put enough money into it but what is the point? The majority of us don't need that kind of power and sometimes the cheaper options are more than enough.
Setting up a wireless N repeater is a pretty simple process and require little or no technical knowledge. All you would need to do is find suitable position within the range of the original signal and mount the repeater, connect the power supply to it and then use its supplied network or console cable to log in to the repeater and the it will present a wizard that will guide you through the setup process and depending on the model or brand of the repeater, this should be fairly easy. On some other models you might have to do it manually and therefore it would be wise to have the login details of the original network handy.
Some common questions about Wireless N repeaters:
Q. Can I use more than one repeater in a single network?A. Yes you can, by their very nature, Wireless N repeaters connected in series will continue to work, though it will not be advisable to use more than two in a typical network configuration.
Q. Will I be disconnected from my network as I move through the various network? A. Yes, that could be possible, but to solve this, after setting up the network, get the details of each repeater configuration and then add them to your device so that as you move around your devices will select the stronger network and then disconnect and connects to it. However it is important to note that there might be some latency while switching through networks.