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A wireless repeater can help extend the range of your wireless network. Typically, if you’re in a large house or office complex, you can use wireless repeaters to extend the reach of your wireless signal without buying expensive new routers. In this particular example, we will be using the Engenius ERB9250.
Setting Up Your Wireless Repeater
Regardless of what the setup instructions say, the WPS “easy setup” mode is not easy. In fact, with most modern routers and network configurations, WPS is more of a pain than anything. So we’ll be skipping straight to manual setup and showing you how to set up your repeater.
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Step by Step Instructions on Getting Your Repeater Up and Running
- First, plug your repeater into the wall next to your PC with the supplied power cord, and connect the repeater to your PC’s Internet/LAN input (a broadband “phone jack” type plug that is wider than your phone plug connector”).
- In Windows 7 (the steps are similar for other operating systems. If you get stuck, please comment below and we’ll provide detailed instructions), type “Network and Sharing Center” into your Start Menu search box and hit enter.
- If your wireless repeater is recognized by your PC, you should see it as a wired network (i.e. “Local Area Connection”) under “View your active networks.”
- Left-click the connection, and select “Properties.”
- Select “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” (select TCP/IP Protocol is there is only one version) and click on “Properties.”
- Change “Obtain an IP address automatically” to “Use the following IP address.” Then enter:
- IP Address: 192.168.1.100
- Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
- Default gateway: 192.168.1.2 (substitute with the IP address of your wireless repeater – should be specified in the documentation)
- Leave DNS settings as is and save.
- Browse to the IP address of your repeater in a browser window (i.e. //192.168.1.2).
- Enter your wireless repeater user ID and password (usually admin/admin by default – you’ll want to change these once in).
- Browse to Basic > Wireless
- Enter the SSID that matches the name of your wireless network (we initially tried giving the repeater a unique name but couldn’t get it to connect). Select your network band (we recommend 2.4 GHz (B+G+N), where N allows speeds up to 300mbps or faster. Note that this repeater is not compatible with the newer 5 GHz band, available on dual band routers.
- Click on “Site Survey.”
- Find the SSID of your wireless network and select “Connect.”
- You should see a message that you connected successfully. If not, see the troubleshooting section below.
- You can now move your wireless repeater to a location halfway between your router and your PC.
- Disconnect and re-connect to your wireless connection on your PC. You should notice a marked increase in connection speed.
Make Sure You’re Getting 300N Speeds
To ensure that your repeater is connecting at the fastest possible speed (300 Mbps and not 54 Mbps or lower), we recommend you connect to your repeater by typing “//192.168.1.2” into your web browser’s address bar and browsing to Wireless > Status. Make sure the “Data Rate” under “WLAN Repeater Information” is 300 Mbps. Next, right-click your wireless network (bottom right corner of your Windows desktop), select “Status,” and under “Connection” verify that you’re connected at a speed at or near 300 Mbps (actual number might be between 250-300, but shouldn’t fall below 200).
If the “Data Rate” is showing as 54 Mbps or lower, browse to Wireless > Basic, click on “Site Survey” and try re-connecting to your network until it connects at the highest speed.
Some useful tips if you can’t get this to work: try WPA2 (AES) instead of WPA (TKIP). Try disconnecting from your network entirely, then logging back on and repeating the steps above. If you still can’t connect at the highest speed, please comment below with details and we’ll try and troubleshoot your specific issue.
If you are looking for a new router, read these WiFi Router and Extender Reviews.
Troubleshooting Your Wireless Repeater
If you’re having trouble connecting in step 13) above, try naming the wireless repeater SSID to be the same name as your wireless network. If you’re experiencing any other problems, please comment below!
What issues have you had while trying to connect your WiFi extender?