Problems With WiFi Repeaters
As much as I love wireless repeaters and think they make one of the easiest ways to improve the range of a wireless network – they are not without problems. Even the best technology out there at the moment is still technology which inevitably leads to problems. So, what’s the worst we can expect with WiFi repeaters and how can you reduce the problem as much as possible?
Normally when you connect to your wireless router the wireless traffic goes between you and it. When you start using a repeater it becomes a ‘middle man’ for this traffic so it has to make one extra stop which can slow it down.
Now a few things about this. First of all I’d still rather take a slight drop in speed than give up my wireless network altogether. Even if I did notice a speed drop in rooms I normally wouldn’t get a signal that still beats no internet at all.
I’ve heard a lot of things said about the speed hit you take using a wireless repeater. I’ve heard people say everything from no speed drop to ‘it drops 95% of your speed’. Honestly in my experience there is a slight drop in speed but it’s nothing most of us will notice. Frequent gamers might notice a bit of a higher ping but that still beats not being able to connect at all. General internet usage won’t really notice a difference using a repeater if you have it setup up properly.
You can reduce speed loss by having the best possible connection between you, the repeater and the WiFi router. If you’re seeing a real speed problem with your repeater than take a look at the guide on positioning WiFi repeaters. You can also avoid the problem by using a good quality repeater which can receive, and repeat, a strong signal.
This can really depend on the router you’re using. Sometimes if, for whatever reason, the signal stops or your power cuts out you have to go through the setup again. On one hand the setups are usually pretty easy, especially if you’re using WPS which makes it push button, but this is still not ideal.
Some wireless repeaters store the last used configuration even through a power cut which means you won’t have to reset the information again. I’ve been on each sides of this myself with repeaters but I do have to say I’ve never really had that much of a problem with it.
Most Common Problems
Easily one of the most common problems people seem to use have using a wireless repeater is either with the setup stage or a poor signal – which also really comes down to the setup stage.
You can make this easier on yourself by checking the compatibility between your router and repeater before you buy one and aiming for something with an easy setup. In fact we have a page dedicated to easy setup repeaters at the top – to make it even easier. It also comes down to getting your repeater setup properly and I linked the guide for that above – it really is worth reading because it can make the difference between a good strong signal and a complete disaster and it really isn’t hard to get right.