A couple of days ago I decided to improve my WiFi reception (I've previously tried changing the channels, changing the adapter card drivers, placing the router differently etc. - all of that with no significant improvement, as the reception was intermittent because there's simply too much concrete and reinforcement steel built in it between the router and the devices).
After a bit of browsing I've decided to buy a D-Link DAP-1320 range extender (for about 20 €).
The basic setup procedure is very easy - insert the device into the power outlet either:
- close to your router, then press the WPS button on the router first, followed by pressing the (only) button on the device itself (once you see a green light blinking it should be connected to the router and then it can be moved anywhere you want)
- where you want it to be, and then access your router via browser - there should be a WPS discovery function button somewhere in the configuration - just start it, then press the button on the device itself (and wait for the green light blinking, as described above)
As for know, I'm very satisfied with the results: the reception has improved significantly (I haven't measured the speed yet, but the difference is pretty obvious - for instance, now I can use my smartphone for connecting to the internet where I couldn't have earlier), as pictured below (number 1 is the extended network and number 2 is the original network):
By default the device creates a new (extended) network by adding a suffix "-EXT" to the SSID of the original network (and automatically fetches all the configuration data from the router, making the installation easy as possible).
If you want your devices to use the same SSID (for example for easier, automatic roaming between the networks), this can also be configured:
- via browser (at: dlinkap.local - just leave the password field blank - which then looks as below):
- via your smartphone, by installing a dedicated app (unfortunately the device I currently own isn't supported, as shown below):
In conclusion, I'm very satisfied with the purchase (so far), the only problem being the aforementioned Android application not being supported on my phone (but that hasn't diminished the functionality of the device, it only smashed my app-testing enthusiasm a bit ;) ) - therefore I would advise this device to anyone looking for a cheap and easy-to-use WiFi range extender solution.
UPDATE (October 3, 2015): this device is starting to give a lot of trouble - it can't establish a connection to the router anymore, although nothing has been changed (it seems like it's malfunctioning in some way). I had to relocate it closer to the router to get it working, but now I'm considering sending it back (for a replacement or a money-back). Any recommendation therefore withdrawn.
By the way, it seems that lot of people have had similar experiences...