If you’re after a wireless networking tool with multiple capabilities, the TP-Link WL TL-WA901ND is a great choice. This will work magnificently for your wireless repeating needs, and if you end up needing it for something else in the future it’s pretty much guaranteed to be up for the task. Its most attractive feature is the set of three 4dBi antennas that connect to the router externally and give this device great signal strength and range. Also notable is its comparatively low price for its functionality.
Features of the TP-Link WL TL-WA901ND
Modes: Access Point, Wireless Client, Multi-SSID, WDS Repeater, Universal Wireless Repeater and Bridge (point-to-point and point-to-multi-point)
LAN: 1 10/100 MBps Ethernet connector
Three 4dBi external omni-directional detachable antennas
Easy to configure
Loads of functionality with many modes
Great signal strength with three antennas
Low price for a multi-mode device (list price of $54.67 – the best deal is at amazon)
When positioning a wireless repeater, there’s a few things you need to take into account: distance, height and interference. Be prepared for some trial-and-error – ideal positioning will depend on the placement and construction of your walls, which objects are in the way and so on.
What You Need to Remember
Generally, the repeater should be placed at around the halfway point between your main router and the area that needs the signal boost. However you might need to play with this a little – if the repeater broadcasts a stronger signal than your router, you’ll probably find that setting it a bit closer to the router will increase the overall speed.
It’s generally best to set a repeater on higher ground – on top of a bookcase or mounted high on a wall. This helps with the propagation of the radio waves. The same applies to your main router.
Try to keep all your repeater devices away from other electronic devices – cordless phones, wireless mice and the like especially, since they tend to use the same 2.4GHz band you might be using. Even halogen lamps and microwaves can cause signal disruptions. Also try and keep it away from metal objects like filing cabinets or shelving. Again, try and do the same for the main router – you might find that the signal boost gives you a lot more options for positioning your repeater.
This is a list of the best-selling wireless repeater devices of 2011. The primary source is amazon.com’s list of bestsellers in this category. Each device (with one exception) has had its own review on this website, so for more detail on each entry please feel free to read the full review.
The Diamond WR300N is a great cheap wireless repeater device, which also supports wireless access point and bridge modes. Its main downside is that it only has one ethernet port, which might mean you need to use it in tandem with an ethernet hub to fulfill your particular networking needs.
The unique feature the WR300N brings to this list is its compact size: it’s designed to plug directly into a power source, making it easier to keep things neat and tidy. Its compact size also makes it very travel-friendly, and you could use it to create you own wireless network in a hotel room that only offers wired network access, for example. Read full review »
The SR300 is the only item on this list that hasn’t been reviewed on wirelessrepeaterhq.com at the time of writing. However, it was mentioned on the review of the SR10000, which is its close relative. The only real difference between the two devices is that the SR300 has half the range of the SR1000: 5,000 sq ft vs 10,000 sq ft for the SR10000. For more information about the SR300 than that just look at the SR10000 review.
The second entry in this list by Amped, this extender is an upgrade to the SR300. It boasts a greater range (up to 10,000 sq ft), at an extra cost of about $40 USD. With 5 Ethernet ports, the SR10000 has the most ports out of the devices on this list. It has a great range, and all the standard features a basic Wireless-N repeater should have. It’s also a dedicated repeater device, made by a company with an entire series of such devices, designed specifically for high-quality range extension. Read full review »
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The ZyXEL WAP3205 is a fairly standard multi-mode access point device. It is the cheapest device on this list, priced at around $50 USD. It’s a decent solution for a home network that needs to be extended a little into an upper floor or remote area of the house. With its many modes it can also easily be redeployed as a bridge or access point later on as your networking needs change, without needing to get a new device. Read full review »
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The NETGEAR WN2000RPT is the third dedicated repeater device that made this list. It’s cheaper than the Amped SR150 by about $20 USD, and seems to have a somewhat shorter range. Its status indicator LEDs are a great feature: they help you identify the ideal positioning for the device by notifying you of connectivity quality between itself and other devices. It is also known to be very easy to setup and configure. Read full review »
The Linksys RE1000 Wireless-N Range Extender is a great dedicated wireless repeater. It can also be used as a bridge to connect wired devices to a wireless network. Its most attractive feature is its easy, fast installation: you can set it up in just a few minutes using the wizard on the CD that comes with the product. This device is a good, inexpensive solution if all you need is to extend your wireless signal to low-coverage areas or link up wired devices to your WiFi.
Linksys RE1000 Features:
Extended range with two internal antennas
Fast Ethernet port to connect wired devices
Desktop placement or wall mounting
Quality of Service prioritization technology to prevent video streaming skips, avoid dropped calls and improve gaming performance
Fast, easy installation with CD
Flexible deployment options – optimize location and position for best range
Cheaper solution than multi-functional device by the same manufacturer
Its dedicated extender nature means you can’t use it for anything else if you end up reorganizing your network at a later date, unlike a multi-functional wireless tool (like the TP-Link WL TL-WA901ND)