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How to extend your wireless network

Elias Plastiras | April 15, 2014
There are a few ways to get extended network coverage in your home, with the most simple being to employ a wireless extender. These aptly named devices give you the ability to strengthen the existing wireless signal in areas of your home where it usually dwindles.

You can install as many extenders as you need to cover your home. The most common types are the wall-plug style, with Netgear claiming that this style represents about 80 per cent of the units it has sold in Australia. One of Netgear's best sellers is the N300 range extender, which the company said will be getting replaced by smaller unit in June.

It's worth noting that once an extender has been configured, it can be unplugged and moved to other power outlets within range of your router and you won't have to set it up again. This also comes in handy when you want to switch off the extended network at night, as the settings will be remembered.

Another option to extend the reach of your network is to use Ethernet-over-powerline adapters. These work by distributing your network signal over your electrical wiring and they aren't a wireless solution, but they can form part of a wireless solution. One powerline adapter can be plugged in to your wireless router, and another can be plugged in at another area of your house. Usually, the adapters have one Ethernet port on them each, and this can be used to plug in a wireless access point to give you another wireless entry point into your network.

Ethernet over powerline adapters can be used to connect to a router through floors, in particular.

An access point can be plugged in to a powerline adapter to give you a wireless entry point for your network at an extended location.

This type of solution can work best for getting an Internet connection up to a second or third floor (which can be the case if you have an NBN box in your basement or garage, for example), and they will do a good job as long as the electrical wiring in your home is in good shape.


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