Recommend me a wall socket WiFi Extender


#1

Hey ya’ll,

As some of you know I’m a college instructor and I am teaching all online this semester. First off, our internet is shit to begin with (I already pay for the “fastest” we can get). Unfortunately due to two of us working at home during 9-5 we are really taxing it and I can barely get on Teams et al to teach my virtual classes. My office is the kitchen which is on the opposite side of the house from the router (my partner has to be plugged directly into the router for her work and we basically can’t work next to each other because our jobs both have privacy concerns). So the first easy thing to try, I think, is a WiFi extender the plugs into the wall socket.

Looking to spend less the $100 US if possible.


#2

What kind of wireless router do you have? The kind of signal you’re putting out will determine what you need to fix it. Also, what’s the house layout and how old is it? Trying to beam through old construction is considerably harder than drywall.

There’s a couple of ways to tackle this. Simplest would be what’s called a wifi repeater or extender. That’s a unit that takes the existing signal and ‘reamps’ it, boosting the signal into another part of the building. Something like this or this (an upgraded version that handles faster signal) would probably do. The trick is to place it half way or so through the house as it has to get the signal from the router, and hope it covers the rest of it. These things are seriously YMMV, as they don’t fix a bad signal or do much in terms of penetration of dense wood/metal/etc construction.

The real way you fix this is to run a wire and put in an access point. That’s not nearly as hard as it sounds if you have a drill and a little time - drill in the corner of the room with the router, run a cable thru the ceiling to a mid point in the house, connect one end to the router and one to the access point. Couple of small holes and 30 minutes in the attic gets you whole-house coverage that you never have to worry about again.

I’ve got one of the ones I linked above that services a 3700 sqft two-story, lathe-and-plaster house (as well as out into the yard) - the coverage and penetration is great. So great that depending on your house layout and construction, you might be able to just hang it above the router and get good coverage everywhere. These things are used for wifi on college campuses everywhere, so they’re robust and easy to set up. Upgrading to one from the ‘all-in-one’ routers you get from your ISP is like driving a Cadillac after being stuck in a Camry.


#3

This was going to be my suggestion as well. A wired AP would likely work better. Some older wireless routers even have an AP mode where you can use it for just that purpose (one of my old ass Belkin wireless routers continued it’s life as an AP like this).


#4

Thanks for all the info everyone.

The house is quite small. We call it our “doll house.” But it is quite old. We aren’t sure if it is dry wall or plaster. I’m surrounded by wood paneling and am probably in the worst position in the house from where the router is but we can’t move it for a couple of reasons tied up in my partner’s thin client, HIPPA (she does medical billing) so technically I can’t be upstairs while she is working.

My GF is already not stoked on the idea of trying to drop a wire–however–we think we might be able to drop it straight the floor into the closet under the stairs which isn’t ideal. But otherwise it would involve a lot of twists and turns to get it somewhere better. I guess we could always drop it into the closet and run it out into the hall. Would look ghetto af but less work haha.

For under $50 I’m willing to give the repeater a go first and see if I can keep another house project off our list. We’ve just done a bunch because we are refinancing but then there are more on the list to hit before winter.


#5

Get the repeater - if it works, great. If it doesn’t, Amazon return!

If it doesn’t work, grab one of those access points and hang it in the same room as the router. That’s just a wire up the wall. My guess is that you’ll get full coverage from it given the smaller size of the house.

@misterjones313 - yeah, I’ve done that with both Netgear and D-links I wasn’t using. I really like the Unifi stuff for home use, but I used those old wifi combo routers for years before I invested in upgrades. Totally works if you disable DHCP.


#6

Thanks @Artificer tons of great advice lately : ) Still digging through the power conditioner stuff and all that info but I think for now a good power strip will sort me on that.

We do only have the shitty (I assume) router from the cable company so my guess is that is part of the issue as well. I will have to call them I bet I can get them to send us out a newer shitty one lmao.