How to Setup a Wireless Repeater
Setting up a wireless repeater is a lot easier than you might expect. Any half competent ‘computer person’ can just follow the software and even if you don’t normally work with computers you will still be able to set it up fairly easily.
Wireless Repeater Position
If you’re buying a wireless repeater then it’s probably a safe bet you already know where you’re having a problem getting a wireless signal. You want to try and position the repeater in between where you’re trying to get the signal and your wireless access point.
You’ll need a mains socket you can use and ideally it should be somewhere where it’ll be out of the way. Try to have a clear a path for the repeater. It’s easier for the signal to pass through air than it is a wall for example. You can mount the repeater against a wall or just set it down.
This is the part which might take a bit of trial and error to get right. It depends how far you’re trying to repeat the signal. I’ve had a repeater sitting on my window sill, on top of my fridge and even attached to the side of my stairs.
Setting up the Network
Most of the decent wireless repeater models come with easy install software. It works in much the same way as connecting your computer to the wireless network. You run the software on your computer and tell it which network to connect to.
Normally you connect to your repeater through an Ethernet cable (included in the box normally) or the wireless. Run the software (which will be on a CD in the box) and it’ll guide you through the process. You can enter your SSID (the name of your network) or select it from the list. If you don’t know it you can just look and see which network your computer is connected to. Just try not to repeat your neighbour’s network by mistake!
The repeater should show you the connection it has to the access point. Ideally you want to have the repeater far enough away to extend your wireless signal but close enough to have a strong signal. This is why it’s usually a good idea to test the signal before you mount it to a wall or something.
You’ll be asked to enter the security details (your wireless password) and usually to give your new network a name. You’ll also need to set a channel. If you don’t know what you’re doing for this then it’s usually best to go automatic but if you’re having a problem connecting you can alternate between the channels to see what gives you the best signal.
Basically your computer isn’t going to know it’s connected to a repeated network. As far as your computer thinks it’s connected to a router and then the wireless repeaters handle everything else.
Between the strong signals repeaters get and the easy software they come with extending a wireless network is actually really easy. Keep in mind that every different manufacturer will have a slightly different install process (although it’s generally always along these lines) and if you look at our wireless repeater reviews (our top reviews are shown on the right side of the screen) we look at how easy the install process is.