Question: WiFi Extender for Shop

matthew86

Member
Mar 15, 2018
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Eastern WA
I know there’s tech smart people running around this forum, and I am absolutely not one of them. Finally bought a place last summer with a respectable shop and a little property that incidentally came with a house. That aside, I am trying to find a good option to get WiFi into my work area. I have tried two units that ended up going back as they didn’t provide any tangible benefit, and one seemed like it had less range than my router. Due to being DSL as I can’t get cable where I live, I can’t move my modem/router closer according to the installer because he wired up two phone lines or something to that effect so I can only use that one plug. Trying to research extenders on the internet, I feel like all I am getting is marketing wank and the second unit I tried came off of one of the ‘top performing’ something or another and was basically just a box you plug into a wall outlet. Can anyone point me in the right direction who has some experience with such matters? The router/modem unit is on the far side of the house roughly 150’-200’ from the shop which is a metal pole barn construction. Standing right outside the shop door, I can pick up 1 WiFi bar. No cell service around the house either, just to make things interesting. Thanks in advance guys.


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coker6365

Coker6303's ***** Daddy
Dec 4, 2011
469
3
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Sounds like you would be better off running cat5 from your existing router to the shop and either using an extender or an additional router for a 2nd network to go that far.

I personally use a cheap TP-Link AC1750 extender mounted to the shop patio TV about 60ft from the router in the house. Then I use a Cat5 from the extender to run inside the shop to run both Roku 3's to prevent the signal from degrading due to the metal shop structure.

I tried several high dollar node systems and it just flat wouldnt work in the shop. The above mentioned method works great and I run my laptop in the shop using the extender network just fine. 100mbs in the house falls to about 20-25mbs in the shop using the extender through the metal walls. There are better ways, this was just the simplest solution that works very well for me. Running cat5 to the shop would of course be ideal.


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Trimox

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Aug 31, 2017
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Like Coker said, at that range cable will be cheaper, weather proof and future proof. I would go will Cat6a cable. It will have less cross talk which will allow for less bandwidth drop.
 

pmason92

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Dec 2, 2012
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Madera, CA
Agreed with Cat6a. I ran it throughout my house. But for wifi extenders, I use the cheap TP link off amazon. Just put one in for my security cameras last week and its running great.
 

OregonDMAX

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Apr 28, 2013
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Just ran cat6 from my house some 250 feet to my shop, save yourself the headache of messimg with extenders. After the trencher rental, the cable and PVC to run it in, and I went oversized so I could have room for something else later if need be. I was only in it for a couple hundred bucks.
 

Cougar281

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Sep 11, 2006
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St Louis, MO
Burying copper isn't a good idea unless you have REALLY good surge surpressors at both ends. Otherwise, a nearby lightning strike could fry the equipment at both ends. I replaced switch modules at both ends of a buried cat5 run for a customer at least four times due to lightning.

Some sort of directional wireless bridge between the two buildings would be the 'second best' option, IMO. Fiber being the best option.

A pair of these would probably do the trick with regards to getting your network out to the garage: https://mikrotik.com/product/disc_lite5_ac

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Cougar281

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Sep 11, 2006
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St Louis, MO
For that to work, they need to be on the same network, either by wireless bridge or a network cable between the two. He needs to get his network to the garage for that to work.

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2004LB7

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Dec 15, 2010
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He can use it to get the router closer. It was stated by his installer that they couldn't move it, so this may be an option. Plus with all the talk of running a cat5/6 you might as well thow a router on it.

As another option, have you tried placing a piece of metal behind your router to reflect the signal to your shop?
 

snowman22

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Jan 30, 2018
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SoCal
Is the shop on the same power drop as the house or does it have it's own drop? If it's the same a power line adapter could work for low to medium bandwidth (Most applications). That would alleviate the need to run a Cat6 cable out there.
 

THEFERMANATOR

LEGALLY INSANE
Feb 16, 2009
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Is the shop on the same power drop as the house or does it have it's own drop? If it's the same a power line adapter could work for low to medium bandwidth (Most applications). That would alleviate the need to run a Cat6 cable out there.
This is what I was going to say. If you have a power line connected from your house to the shop, they sell one that plugs into a power outlet in the house and the other in your shop, and transmits it that way. They're not the fastest, but can more than handle dsl.
 

matthew86

Member
Mar 15, 2018
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Eastern WA
Thanks for all the input guys. Please forgive my ignorance here, but does it make any difference I have dsl for running cat5/6/fiber? There is a phone line in the shop, but the installer said I can’t use it for internet. The shop is on a separate electrical drop than the house. I do have an old router I could use in the shop for that network. I think I get maybe 15 down and 1ish up at the house. I’ll have to read up on the links provided. You guys are saving me some frustration here trying various extension methods I really know nothing about and I really appreciate it. Once I get some wood projects out of the way, I can get to pulling heads off my old Chevy.


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matthew86

Member
Mar 15, 2018
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Eastern WA
He can use it to get the router closer. It was stated by his installer that they couldn't move it, so this may be an option. Plus with all the talk of running a cat5/6 you might as well thow a router on it.

As another option, have you tried placing a piece of metal behind your router to reflect the signal to your shop?


I have not tried a metal reflector by the router yet. I’ll have to give it a try while the other half is at work tomorrow.


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2004LB7

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Dec 15, 2010
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Thanks for all the input guys. Please forgive my ignorance here, but does it make any difference I have dsl for running cat5/6/fiber? There is a phone line in the shop, but the installer said I can’t use it for internet. The shop is on a separate electrical drop than the house. I do have an old router I could use in the shop for that network. I think I get maybe 15 down and 1ish up at the house. I’ll have to read up on the links provided. You guys are saving me some frustration here trying various extension methods I really know nothing about and I really appreciate it. Once I get some wood projects out of the way, I can get to pulling heads off my old Chevy.


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Phone lines normally are run through cat 3 which is three pairs of twisted wires. Cat 5/6 is four pairs of twisted wires and higher standards for twist rate, quality, and shielding providing a clearer signal with better interference rejection.

You could as was done in the 90s use the cat 3 for internet if it is run between your home and shop. It would be limited to about 10 mbps (but may be higher) whereas cat 5 is at least 10 times or more that speed. You would use two pairs of wires leaving one pair free which could be used as a phone line but with possible interference. Worth a try as your internet speed isn't really that high and you wont loose much
 

Bdsankey

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Feb 1, 2018
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If it were me I would be running a Cat 6 cable out to the shop and be done, leaving a few extra feet of coil on each end incase you need to repair a damaged end etc. This way you will have an up-gradable link between the two. Also, I'd definitely run a GOOD surge protector for the reason of lightning strike as mentioned above. This will give you the ability to use your spare router as a shop network or potentially create it as an access point.
 

Cougar281

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St Louis, MO
If it were me I would be running a Cat 6 cable out to the shop and be done, leaving a few extra feet of coil on each end incase you need to repair a damaged end etc. This way you will have an up-gradable link between the two. Also, I'd definitely run a GOOD surge protector for the reason of lightning strike as mentioned above. This will give you the ability to use your spare router as a shop network or potentially create it as an access point.
One at each end is uber important. I wouldn't put copper in the ground, or even arial, without REALLY good and properly grounded surge surpressors at both ends.

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2004LB7

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Dec 15, 2010
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Do you have any cable currently running between the house and shop?

If you do have to bury a cable, run it in at least 3/4" pvc with a rope with it in case you need to pull another cable. It's also a good idea to pull a ground wire in with it
 

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