When you subscribe to an internet service for your home or office, you will need to create a home network to connect all your devices, including computers, tablets, smartphones, printers, scanners, smart TVs, and other connected devices like smart outlets and appliances. Typically, a router is used to enable these devices to access the internet. The router is a device that connects to your cable modem or satellite modem and distributes internet services throughout the area using both Ethernet cables and wireless connectivity. Although some service providers combine the router and modem into a single unit, it does not make any real difference to consumers.
Wireless networks often encounter problems due to the way radio waves, which are used for WiFi communication, propagate through solid objects such as walls or doors. While radio waves can penetrate such obstacles, it takes up a significant amount of their power to do so. The nominal range of a piece of wireless hardware may be 600 feet, but when the equipment is set up indoors with walls and other obstacles in the way, the network may struggle to reach something just 60 feet away, which is only 10% of its nominal range.
Weak WiFi signals can be frustrating and caused by various factors, including obstacles like thick walls, floors, or household items that impede the signal. The router may also not broadcast with enough power to cover the entire home. In some instances, a wireless router may have trouble reaching nearby rooms due to obstacles in the signal path.
To extend the wireless network’s range to cover a large home, office, or outlying building, such as a shed, garage, or patio area, a wireless network extender may be the solution. TP-Link is a networking company that offers a range of networking products, including whole-home wireless routers, range extenders, modems, and switches. This article will focus on their range extender products.
Range extenders work by receiving and re-broadcasting WiFi signals from your router to boost signal in areas that may have been previously blocked. TP-Link offers a variety of networking products, including whole-home wireless routers, range extenders, modems, and switches. In this article, we will focus on TP-Link’s range extender line, discussing how they work and how to set up your TP-Link extender model.
There are two basic types of range extenders: antenna-based extenders, which add another broadcasting node to your network, and powerline-based extenders, which use your home’s electrical system as a wired network to transmit wireless signals across or through obstacles. Range extenders are generally inexpensive and effective, but setting them up can be a challenge if you’re not familiar with home networking.
In summary, if you’re experiencing weak WiFi signal in certain areas of your home, a TP-Link range extender may be the solution you need. With this guide, you’ll learn how to set up your extender and improve your wireless coverage.
Increasing Network Range
To avoid the need for installing network extenders, there are steps you can take to maximize your network range. While some may be content with placing their router in a convenient location and hoping for the best, larger homes and businesses with complex layouts require planning to ensure optimal range and performance.
It’s essential to keep in mind that the speed and signal strength of a wireless network are related. The same device will experience faster network speeds when located ten feet from the router with no obstacles in the way, compared to sixty feet away with walls and other obstructions in between.
There are three main factors to consider when it comes to wireless connections: the thickness and material of barriers, electromagnetic interference, and the physical environment of the antennas. Physical barriers can significantly reduce the signal strength of a wireless connection, with thicker and more solid materials being more resistant to radio waves. Electromagnetic frequency interference is a common issue caused by various devices using the same frequency band as wireless connections. The physical environment can also impact the performance of a wireless connection, and it is important to position routers and antennas at a high level off the floor. In terms of extending WiFi networks, WiFi repeaters and WiFi extenders are two types of hardware that can be used. WiFi extenders are more advanced than WiFi repeaters as they use backhaul technology that connects the router end of the extender to the extender module itself over a wire, rather than using up wireless bandwidth.
To get your TP-Link extender up and running, you’ll need to program its wireless settings to connect it to your network. Here are two methods you can use:
Method 1: Manual Configuration
- Plug your TP-Link extender into a wall outlet.
- Connect it to your computer with an Ethernet cable.
- Open a web browser and go to http://tplinkrepeater.net or http://192.168.0.254.
- Select Quick Setup and then Next.
- Choose your region and click Next.
- Allow the TP-Link extender to scan for available wireless networks, which may take a minute or two.
- Select your wireless network from the list and click Next.
- Enter the wireless password when prompted.
- Choose whether you want to copy the settings from the main router to create a single larger wireless network, or customize your own settings to create a different network. Click Next.
- Review the network settings on the final page and click Finish if everything looks correct.
- The TP-Link extender will reboot and should provide access to the internet. Test it first using the Ethernet cable and then without it using wireless. Depending on your TP-Link extender model, there may be a light on the front that indicates whether it is connected to the network or not. Monitor this to ensure it stays connected.
Method 2: WPS Button Configuration
If your router has a WPS button, you can use this method to set up your TP-Link extender automatically.
- Plug the TP-Link extender into a power outlet near your wireless router.
- Press the WPS button on the back of the router. A WPS LED should blink. Press it again if it doesn’t.
- Press the WPS button on the TP-Link extender. The WPS light on the extender should blink as well. Press it again if it doesn’t.
- Using WPS eliminates the need for manual configuration of your TP-Link extender. By physically pressing the WPS button, you authorize the router to connect with a device that has WiFi Protected Setup enabled. The router will accept connections within a two-minute window for added security.
- If the WPS method doesn’t work, reset both devices and try again. If it still doesn’t work, use the manual configuration method described above.
Once you’ve set up your TP-Link extender, test it to make sure you have a fast and stable connection from every corner of your home. If you’re not getting the desired results, try moving the extender to a different location until you find the optimal spot.