WiFi Powerline Adapters Range Extenders - Channel setting

  first500 11:13 03 Jan 2014
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I was a little puzzled by part of the answer in the current issue (February 2014) to the magazine's Helproom question headed "Powerline Adapters". You stated that the adapter should be given a channel number "that's as far away as possible from that of the main wi-fi router".

My set-up includes a TP-Link WiFi Range Extender (TL-WA850RE). When this connects to my wifi router, it automatically assumes the SAME channel number as the router, and in fact there is no option on the web-based configuration management pages to change it. And if the router channel is changed, the Range Extender automatically follows.

As far as I can tell, there is no interference caused between the two. The only slight disadvantage I can see is that once a device has latched onto one of the signals, it stays connected to the original source even if moved close to the alternative.

So my question I guess is - is the Range Extender operating correctly, or is there some setting I've missed that would allow the channel to be set so that it doesn't interfere of weaken the source signal?

(Apologies - originally posted in wrong forum)

  Secret-Squirrel 11:25 03 Jan 2014

"You stated that the adapter should be given a channel number "that's as far away as possible from that of the main wi-fi router"."

That's the wrong advice for wireless extenders. The channel number should always be the same as the router's. So, your setup is working as it should.

"The only slight disadvantage I can see is that once a device has latched onto one of the signals, it stays connected to the original source even if moved close to the alternative."

When the signal becomes too weak it's unusable then the wireless client should then latch on to the stronger signal. Can you test this? Are you having wireless connection problems?

  first500 11:33 03 Jan 2014

Hi. Thanks for response. You're correct - if I disable the laptop or smartphone wifi and then re-enable, it latches on to the strongest signal. The slight problem is when the signal is weak, but usable although very slow, it wont reconnect to the stronger signal until the weaker one disconnects completely.

I am actually having a wireless connection problem, in that the router signal seems to fluctuate quite a bit. This is the reason my attention was drawn to the {CA magazine answer, and wondering if my two signals were in fact interfering with each other (which you have now confirmed is not the case).

I have used a smartphone app, and chosen a channel number not used by any neighbours, so it cant be that. If there are any other ideas on why the signal could fluctuate, I'll gladly look into them and test them out.

  Secret-Squirrel 11:59 03 Jan 2014

"problem is when the signal is weak, but usable although very slow,"

That doesn't sound right at all. The wireless client should connect to the stronger signal when the performance starts to degrade.

I can't help with your smartphone, but on your laptop open the properties for your wireless adapter and see if it has an option called "Roaming Sensitivity Level" or similar. If you have then experiment by setting it to "High". You may find a similar roaming option on your smartphone.

"the router signal seems to fluctuate quite a bit."

Does it do that when you're in the same room in clear sight of the router - or does it only occur in certain locations in your home?

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