[SOLVED] WiFi extender versus new WiFi adapter

Jul 21, 2020
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I've recently moved into a new house and my PC is on the third floor, with the internet router on the first floor.

My WiFi adapter (an ASUS Dual Band AC1200 USB adapter) is barely picking up the network (one bar at best), which I'd find unsurprising given the distance, but both a Mac desktop, MacBook Air and my phone seem to be able to connect on the third floor no problem, able to stream video for example with no buffering or signs I'm too far from the router.

With this in mind, is it because I'm working off an older WiFi adapter and should invest in a new one, or would I be better off with a WiFi booster?

Thanks all :)
 

gggplaya

Distinguished
Do you have a cable coax jack on the third floor, generally used for TV or satellite?

Wifi extenders will work to give you signal and will be ok for netflix and surfing the web. But they severely lack bandwidth, so if you need to download/upload large files or do game updates, extenders will be very slow. In my experience, most people only get about 10-25mbps in a good situation. Some people I know have gotten less than 5mbps with extenders.

I never suggest wifi extenders to friends. If you have coax cable running from your router area, to your third floor through a splitter, you might be able to use MOCA adapters in your house. Then you can just add a wifi access point on the third floor and have the full speed of your router. MOCA gives solid near gigabit speed(>900mbps). These are cheaper MOCA 1.0 units but the pair is $90, and you'll still need to add a cheaper wifi access point to complete this setup. Make sure the access point has gigabit ports: https://www.amazon.com/Comtrend-GCA-6000KIT-Powerline-1200Mbps-Ethernet/dp/B01MRV4WA1

The next easy option if you don't have coax on the third floor is to your a powerline wifi range extender. These will generally get a little better bandwidth than a wifi only range extender. In my parents house they get about 40-50mbps. In my brother house, he gets over 100mbps. In my house, I get about 30mbps, but have really old wiring, and my fuse panel could use an upgrade. These are the ones my brother is using: https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-PowerLINE-1000-802-11ac-Gigabit/dp/B01929V7ZG
 
Wifi is very strange it takes almost nothing to block the signal. Moving a device a couple inches can make a huge difference. Completely impossible to predict what will or will not work in your house.

It depends on which USB device exactly you have. Some do not put out full power and have small antenna. Asus makes some of the best rated USB devices so it depends on what exactly you have. Your Adapter maybe older but it still support 802.11ac using the 1200 number which is the most common and best price/performance point in most cases.

If you are going to spend money I would recommend looking at powerline network units instead. Look for the newer AV2 based units that work well in most houses. They have unit that put out wifi on the remote end if you can not use ethernet. You can also consider MoCA if you have tv coax. These units can get gigabit speeds in many houses but they are a little costly.
 

gggplaya

Distinguished
Do you have a cable coax jack on the third floor, generally used for TV or satellite?

Wifi extenders will work to give you signal and will be ok for netflix and surfing the web. But they severely lack bandwidth, so if you need to download/upload large files or do game updates, extenders will be very slow. In my experience, most people only get about 10-25mbps in a good situation. Some people I know have gotten less than 5mbps with extenders.

I never suggest wifi extenders to friends. If you have coax cable running from your router area, to your third floor through a splitter, you might be able to use MOCA adapters in your house. Then you can just add a wifi access point on the third floor and have the full speed of your router. MOCA gives solid near gigabit speed(>900mbps). These are cheaper MOCA 1.0 units but the pair is $90, and you'll still need to add a cheaper wifi access point to complete this setup. Make sure the access point has gigabit ports: https://www.amazon.com/Comtrend-GCA-6000KIT-Powerline-1200Mbps-Ethernet/dp/B01MRV4WA1

The next easy option if you don't have coax on the third floor is to your a powerline wifi range extender. These will generally get a little better bandwidth than a wifi only range extender. In my parents house they get about 40-50mbps. In my brother house, he gets over 100mbps. In my house, I get about 30mbps, but have really old wiring, and my fuse panel could use an upgrade. These are the ones my brother is using: https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-PowerLINE-1000-802-11ac-Gigabit/dp/B01929V7ZG
 
Jul 21, 2020
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Thanks for your replies guys.

Not sure about the booster...but I was running with cheap Wifi adapters and had lots of problems. I switched to these and everything is running nice now.
That links to a long list of different adapters - was it the TP-Link Archer T2U AC600 adapter you went for? £15 seems suspiciously cheap!

If you are going to spend money I would recommend looking at powerline network units instead. Look for the newer AV2 based units that work well in most houses. They have unit that put out wifi on the remote end if you can not use ethernet.
Not actually heard of powerline network units before, to be honest. Is there a difference between these and WiFi boosters/extenders, or is it just another name for them?
 

jay32267

Illustrious
Thanks for your replies guys.



That links to a long list of different adapters - was it the TP-Link Archer T2U AC600 adapter you went for? £15 seems suspiciously cheap!



Not actually heard of powerline network units before, to be honest. Is there a difference between these and WiFi boosters/extenders, or is it just another name for them?
Sorry for the bad link....
Try this
https://www.netgear.com/support/product/A6100.aspx
Neatgear A6100
I switched 3 machines over.
No problems with any of them.
One is right next to the router.
The other two are in other rooms.
One is about 30 feet away through 2 walls.
One is about 40 feet away through two walls.
 
Jul 21, 2020
14
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10
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The next easy option if you don't have coax on the third floor is to your a powerline wifi range extender. These will generally get a little better bandwidth than a wifi only range extender. In my parents house they get about 40-50mbps. In my brother house, he gets over 100mbps. In my house, I get about 30mbps, but have really old wiring, and my fuse panel could use an upgrade. These are the ones my brother is using: https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-PowerLINE-1000-802-11ac-Gigabit/dp/B01929V7ZG
I don't have any coax's, apart from on the first floor :(
We don't own the house either, so adding in extra lines etc is not really an option.

Are the powerlines just better extenders, essentially? Any advantage from doubling up with a powerline extender AND a shiny new WiFi adapter?
 

gggplaya

Distinguished
The powerline adapter I linked is a wifi extender, but the difference is the backhaul is through the powerline instead of through wifi. Powerline is a more solid connection and generally offers higher bandwidth than wifi extenders. The reason is because wifi extenders have to use the same bandwidth it has to both send and receive and the signal is not as solid as powerline so the bandwidth fluctuates alot.
 

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