Wif Extender killing my bandwidth...

Revolutions

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Aug 6, 2023
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I bought a cheap tp link wifi extender as the signal doesn't quite reach the Bose soundtouch on my bedside table. Seems to work ok for the most part.

The only problem is I keep noticing pretty slow internet. Just did some tests:
- no extender, next to router: 51mbps download & 10mbps upload
- extender on, next to router: 29mbps download & 4mbps upload

I'm guessing the answer to the my question of why this happens lies in the "cheap wifi extender" description... I live in a small flat and just want to get the wifi to travel another metre or two, so not keen on spending £100s to solve it.

Is there anything easy I can do to improve things? Any suggestions greatly appreciated :cool:
 

jjbomber

Well-known member
Buy cheap, buy twice.

Are you able to move the router at all? Closer to the bedside table? Better height. Away from the goldfish tank! Off the windowsill behind the curtains. The less things that block the signal path, the better.

Extenders generally are a waste of time. They work on 5Ghz, the same as the smart TVs, smartphones, microwave, Ring doorbell, etc. Almost all of a smart home will be competing with the extender. Try to go to a mesh system if you can.
 
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daveh75

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Jul 31, 2008
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I bought a cheap tp link wifi extender as the signal doesn't quite reach the Bose soundtouch on my bedside table. Seems to work ok for the most part.

The only problem is I keep noticing pretty slow internet. Just did some tests:
- no extender, next to router: 51mbps download & 10mbps upload
- extender on, next to router: 29mbps download & 4mbps upload

I'm guessing the answer to the my question of why this happens lies in the "cheap wifi extender" description... I live in a small flat and just want to get the wifi to travel another metre or two, so not keen on spending £100s to solve it.

Is there anything easy I can do to improve things? Any suggestions greatly appreciated :cool:

Nothing to do with the cheapness of the extender per se , but how WifI is implemented.

WiFi is half duplex and adding 'hops' (by adding an extender) will effectively halve the throughput.

I would suggest playing with router placement to provide better WiFi coverage, as small flat shouldn't provide much of challenge to even a half decent router depending on the wall construction in your flat.

If that doesn't work, if the "extender" has an ethernet socket and can be used in "Access Point" mode then connecting it to your main router with ethernet would eliminate the issue of WiFi being half duplex and adding hops.
 

daveh75

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Jul 31, 2008
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Extenders generally are a waste of time. They work on 5Ghz, the same as the smart TVs, smartphones, microwave, Ring doorbell, etc. Almost all of a smart home will be competing with the extender. Try to go to a mesh system if you can.

Nope.

WiFi extenders are generally dual band.

As are smartphones and newer smart TVs, IoT devices like Ring doorbells are generally 2.4GHz only...
 
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Revolutions

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Aug 6, 2023
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Buy cheap, buy twice.

Are you able to move the router at all? Closer to the bedside table? Better height. Away from the goldfish tank! Off the windowsill behind the curtains. The less things that block the signal path, the better.

Extenders generally are a waste of time. They work on 5Ghz, the same as the smart TVs, smartphones, microwave, Ring doorbell, etc. Almost all of a smart home will be competing with the extender. Try to go to a mesh system if you can.
I don't really have any other plug sockets I can use it with. It's currently at the opposite end of a rectangular room- other than Bose Soundtouch & Wiim (when the stereo is on), my phone & laptop are the only other wifi devices.

Hmm, yes. Maybe there's an answer that's better than a £20 plug & play device from Amazon...
 

DCarmi

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I've tried many network extending methods over the years and the best solution for me was investing in a Mesh system.

As a relatively cheap option, you could try a powerline device and connect to the Bose using ethernet (I believe it has an ethernet connection). Your Bose won't need a lot of bandwidth so that may work.
 
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Revolutions

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Aug 6, 2023
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I've tried many network extending methods over the years and the best solution for me was investing in a Mesh system.

As a relatively cheap option, you could try a powerline device and connect to the Bose using ethernet (I believe it has an ethernet connection). Your Bose won't need a lot of bandwidth so that may work.
Oh cool, haven’t heard of powerline before. Thanks!

Seems like a super simple solution. Could I in theory connect a small router in my bedroom for better WiFi in general? Without the extender Wifi on my laptop can be slow, and on the phone I get 1 bar & it often drops out. Will do some research on how to figure out how efficient the transfer over the electrics in my flat might be.

Although just looked up mesh routers - might it be easier to connect one of these in my bedroom?

deal:%20Amazon%20eero%20Pro%20mesh%20Wi-Fi%205%20router%20system%20%7C%201-pack
https://amzn.eu/d/c6EBEj3
 
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Juzzie Wuzzie

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I've use Devolo power line systems in both small and big flats; and they work a treat. Esp. where you can use ethernet cable at the far end. Wireless extension is pretty good too.
 
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DCarmi

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I've had an Orbi Mesh system for a few years now. They are not cheap, though there are other less expensive makes.

I have a router and 3 satellites (the 3rd I got from ebay) and that covers the whole house and garden. It is the same wifi network and as I move form room to room connection is pretty seamless.

It comes with 2 x 5Ghz wifi bands, the second is used to communicate between satellites so you don't see the drop in signal you get from your extender. Typically we have several PCs, phones running and audio and video streaming devices and everybody seems happy.

I've used powerline in the past and it did work for me. Mostly it was used to connect a kids gaming PC using ethernet.

I've never used Amazon Eero so I cannot comment, specifically. You would need an Eero router (which plugs into whatever router your ISP supplies) and at least 1 satellite. Effective coverage will depend on the size and layout of your home. Basically a satellite needs to be able to "speak" to the Eero router or another satellite, so placement is fairly key. I think some of the newer Amazon Echo (Alexa) devices can also act as satellites. I guess this means an Eero router and a recent generation Echo Dot would work.
 
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DCarmi

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...having just checked. Yes the Echo Dot can be used as an extender. Gives you a moderately cheap way into Mesh Wi-fi. Actual Eero extenders can be purchased separately, if needed.
 
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Revolutions

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Update: I’m all meshed up in the flat & got full speed WiFi in the bedroom. The Bose Soundtouch is finally working properly, & not requiring a restart every five minutes to reconnect 🤩

Massive shout out to @DCarmi for your help & advice.

I went with an £80 twin pack from Amazon. Buying on the cheap end has given me units with an unfortunate look of travel kettle about them. But one is tucked away behind a monitor & this one in the bedroom is hiding under a chair for now.

IMG-2586.jpg
 

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