Access Points & Range Extenders – When and Why?

JonathanWireless Networking

The Setup

If you have followed all our tips in the last article about network security, you may be still finding you network not running to your expectations. With that in mind, I guess a good place to start an article about access points and range extenders would be explaining a situation.

James has a network in his office that currently only covers the reception area. He would like it to reach all throughout his offices and especially down the back to the meeting room. So he went down to the local retail store and picked up a few range extenders and set them up himself. He then found that the wireless network had a few different names and that he wasn’t always getting a good connection. He thought – there has to be a solution to works!

There is! Introducing Meshing Access Points.

Access Points vs Extenders

There is a time and a place for both but with technology advancing we are finding more and more that adding an access point is the best option.

First, Range Extenders. They find your current wireless network and then replicate it and boost it from that point out again. This is great in theory but sometimes devices can be picky about the router they connect to. Also, if the device sees two of the same network and begins to send information between the two, you can have inconsistent connections.

laptop confused

The laptop doesn’t know what device to connect to for internet.

That’s where access points can solve your problems.

Meshing Access Points have the technology to share the one network name and credentials and show as a single network to the devices connecting to it. This can often be managed by the devices themselves or a controller device.

Access points can be, and should be, connected with a direct cable where ever possible. This means that each of your points are getting full speed and able to give that to the devices connecting the them. They are though able to work similarly to a range extender and see one of their “friends” and connect to it to get you data to and from the network.

We have found that the more “hops” you have through wireless access points the connection is then split sometimes even more the halve the speed to the next device.

So if you have one access point at the front of your building and three access points in a straight line all connecting to each other. The third one down the line could potentially be getting a very slow connection even if the devices connecting to it show full signal to the network. Hence, wired is always better if available.

access points ideal setup

The Ideal Solution?

Back to our situation at the top. After getting a local IT company in, it was found that there were actually data points in key areas around the office. This allowed James to install three Access points around his office and give full-speed network access to all devices needing to connect to the wireless ANYWHERE in his office building.

If you want your network to work like James’s now does, give us a call today to see what solution we can put in place for you. You can find our contact details on our contact page. You can also keep up to date with our latest articles on our facebook page


Photo by Misha Feshchak on Unsplash