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November 2011
Bimonthly
08

Home Networking Tips

I have a two-storey house with the main pc downstairs and three laptops that are used all over. I
placed a wireless router (Brand X) upstairs in an open area between the bedrooms and the signal is nice and strong. But downstairs and in the backyard, the signal is weak.
My questions:

Question:
Can I buy an access point/range extender/repeater from a company other than Brand X? Or do the router and access point/range extender/repeater have to be from the same company?

Answer:
Yes you can, you could have something like a Brand X router and connect it with something like a Brand Y. Moreover, most brands recommend you stick with theirs for the best compatibility.

Question:
Does the access point/range extender/repeater have to be physically connected to the router? If not, do the two need a direct sight-line to one another?

Answer:
They do not have to be physically connected to each other in terms of a cable from one to the other. However, they have to be connected to the same network in some respect either Wired or Wireless.

Question:
One more - Why do some wireless routers have one antenna, some have two, and some (like mine) don't have any?

Answer:
WiFi connections are distance-sensitive, a stronger connection also often leads to increased network performance. The numbers of antenna are to increase the stronger signal in order to gain better performance. Moreover as for the built in WiFi antenna that radiates signal equally well in all directions. These antennas are sometimes called omnidirectional. An omnidirectional antenna makes router setup easier. When the router is installed in the center of a home and wireless clients are distributed throughout the rooms, an omnidirectional antenna helps ensure all corners of the house can be reached.


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