Best way to extend signal without using a wireless repeater


Mar 8, 2010
Summary: With my current setup, I have a weak WiFi signal and I can not move my router. I want to have a secondary wired device in my office to broadcast my WiFi signal off of that has LAN ports.

I currently own a WNDR3300 and am having a difficult time obtaining a good signal in certain areas of my home. My router is isolated in the basement, wall mounted. I have all my wiring done to a single termination point so moving it is out of the question. I have a wired connection to each of the key areas in my house (office, living room and bedrooms).

I picked up an ASUS RT-AC66U to replace the WNDR3300 and it bumped my signal a tad, but not enough to warrant the price. I'm assuming at this point that it's a combo of being wall mounted, in the basement and in a corner that is messing up my signal; however there is no way to change it at this time.

Ideally, what I want to do is to have a second router/extender/repeater/whatever in my office with LAN ports. I wired ethernet to every room and have a hard wire to my office desktop. This would be a great spot to drop a second device and wire my desktop from here while leveraging the wireless signal from the middle floor vs. the basement.

I tried a WN2500RP and while it saw my WiFi, it would not connect. More importantly, I don't want a device that extends my signal from an existing weak wireless signal and would instead prefer to have a wire into this secondary device and broadcast from there being that I have the wiring in place to support this. On top of that though, I need to have at least one more LAN connection from this device to support my desktop and hopefully other devices that I may work on within this area. Yet when I look into extenders/repeaters, I seem to only find those that simply pick up an existing wireless signal and boost it from there.

What I did for now was keep my WNDR3300 in the basement as the primary router and turned the AC66U into a repeater. The signal is great and I'm getting relatively good speeds (much better than before); however this drives a few questions.

1) Will I really gain the benefit of n/ac by using this second router as a repeater vs. replacing the primary router?
2) Will using the more powerful router as repeater degrade my signal in any way?
3) Historically I've always used NetGear; however these new ASUS routers appear to be quite popular (primarily the N66U). I just now ordered the R6300 to compare the two; however is there a clear cut winner between the two? I'm not going to go through anything above and beyond testing signal and download speeds between the two and I'd prefer to listen to an expert. I've read quite a few reviews and it seems like ASUS is usually the winner, but not all the time.
3a) Any downside to mixing and matching ASUS and NetGear if I stick with the ASUS?
4) Being that ac is not yet final nor are there really any good (cheap) adapters/cards ready, I won't be using it for quite some time. Is the extra $50 really worth it between the A66U and N66U (or the WNDR3700)? I'm fine spending the additional $$ if it will help future proof me.

I'm open to suggestions, but to recap what I'm looking for:
- A second device that I can wire an ethernet connection to from my existing router
- Broadcast a wireless signal from this device
- Have multiple LAN ports off this device

In the end, it seems like the best bet is to possibly have two A66U's, but for $400 and not having any current N or AC devices, this seems like a tad overkill for simply trying to achieve an extended wired and wireless network.

Thanks so much!
Ok post got a little long for me but I think all you need is a AP. Many router have this as a feature and you can make any router be a AP by plugging the cable into a LAN port and disabling the DHCP. Up to you if you use the same or a different SSID and if you run it as G N or whatever. The main router will control the NAT and the DHCP address assignment.