[SOLVED] Compatibility issue: Wireless-N Router & Wireless-G Range Extender

Aug 25, 2019
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I have a Wireless-N router (TP-Link TC-W7960) which I’d like to extend using my Hawking Wireless-G range extender (HWREG1). With the Hawking RE connected to the router via ethernet cable, I have it configured to match the router’s settings (as closely as possible).

While the RE is connected to the router, I can easily connect to either one with my Motorola smart phone. However, once the RE is disconnected from the router, and moved a short distance away, the phone cannot connect !! The phone displays “Obtaining IP address …” for a while, then “IP Configuration failure”.

I have tried modifying security and encryption settings for both the router and RE and I still cannot connect.

I have gone back and forth many times with Hawking Tech. Support, asking (among other things):
“Is this Range Extender, which is compatible with ‘Wireless G’, also compatible with my ‘Wireless N’ router ??”

They responded:
“Wireless N is backwards compatible with G/N. Using the HWREG1 as an extender with a N device will only give it a max speed of 54Mbps.”

Can someone please confirm that this combination (Wireless-N router & Wireless-G extender) is compatible? Or might it be that these are impossibly INcompatible ??

Or does some other issue come to mind?
 
Before you go too far check that your router supports WDS and what configuration you must make if any to the router. Many routers the feature is disabled because it is considered a security violation. Some you must actually key in the mac address of the repeater to allow it to connect.

In any case using a repeater should be your very last option when there are no other solutions. You now have 2 radio signals that can get interference and just because of how they work you will lose at least 1/2 you bandwidth.

You may want to consider powerline units with AP in the remote end. These tend to work better than repeaters for most people. Then again there are a very small number of houses that refuse to work with powerline units so be sure you can return them.
 
All wifi repeaters are not part of the official standard. For a very long time you had to use the same brand to make it work. As the years went by the vendors all started to do it the same but even after they released newer standards the hack the vendors use has never been added to the standard.

Many of the older methods only worked with WEP encryption or no encryption. WEP is no longer considered secure. The newer WPA uses the mac addresses as part of the encryption keys. This prevent multiple mac addresses from using 1 connection. This is why they started to use a field called WDS to pass this data even though nothing in the standard allows for that.
 
Aug 25, 2019
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All wifi repeaters are not part of the official standard. For a very long time you had to use the same brand to make it work. As the years went by the vendors all started to do it the same but even after they released newer standards the hack the vendors use has never been added to the standard.

Many of the older methods only worked with WEP encryption or no encryption. WEP is no longer considered secure. The newer WPA uses the mac addresses as part of the encryption keys. This prevent multiple mac addresses from using 1 connection. This is why they started to use a field called WDS to pass this data even though nothing in the standard allows for that.

Thanks for your reply Bill. Do the symptoms I report sound like the incompatibility you describe?
BTW, I tried "downgrading" security from WPA2 to WPA to (even) WEP. I tried AES and TKIP encryption. I also tried MAC address filtering! I tried everything !!

When you say 'WDS', I wonder if you mean WPS (WiFi Protected Setup). I saw that in the config. software but think it's only available for WEP.
 
WPS is something different. It is a feature for lazy people who can't be bothered to even type in a password 1 time. It has massive security holes but they still ship it on modern routers for the lazy people who want to just push a button. It should have been removed from all routers when it was found it was impossible to secure but they wanted to sell routers to people who need training on how to use a toaster.
 
Aug 25, 2019
17
1
15
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WPS is something different. It is a feature for lazy people who can't be bothered to even type in a password 1 time. It has massive security holes but they still ship it on modern routers for the lazy people who want to just push a button. It should have been removed from all routers when it was found it was impossible to secure but they wanted to sell routers to people who need training on how to use a toaster.

Appreciating what you say about WPS, I make clear that that was not my approach.

Again, my main issue is that the phone connects when the RE is plugged into the router, but not when it's DISconnected.

Maybe a better way to have posed my questions would have been:

Has anyone ever had success in coupling a Wireless-N router with a Wireless-G range extender?
 
When it is plugged in it runs as a AP it is not using the repeater functionality. Your problem likely is the extender you have is so old that it is running some proprietary form of repeater. If you do not see anything talking about WDS then it will not work since new equipment only supports that method.
 
Aug 25, 2019
17
1
15
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When it is plugged in it runs as a AP it is not using the repeater functionality. Your problem likely is the extender you have is so old that it is running some proprietary form of repeater. If you do not see anything talking about WDS then it will not work since new equipment only supports that method.
Thanks Bill. What you last said makes the most sense and is your best response. :) Too bad I couldn't get this from Hawking Tech Support. All they did was waste hours of my time with meaningless back-and-forths in broken English. :mad:

I am entertaining the notion of getting this upgraded Wireless-N repeater:

I think Walmart offers it for about $35.
 

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