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Extender vs Access Point - what's the difference


Extender vs Access Point - what's the difference

I guess I'm confused. I need to know if I need a wifi extender or a waterproof wifi access point.  I want a device that will allow my existing router to  communicate bidirectional with the wireless cameras  that are 600 feet away from the router that's inside the house behind exterior wall,  This device needs to hook up to my existing router wirelessly with no CAT 6 run to it. What do I really need to accomplish this mission. Can I stick it in the attic  that's 40 feet in the air at the top of the hill to communicate with the cameras that are 600 feet away  at the bottom of the hill. Please advise

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Re: Extender vs Access Point - what's the difference

When it comes to extenders and access points, there is a good amount of overlap. In the case of most Netgear extender products

(at least the ones that are not self contained in a wallplug type unit), you can use them as a wireless extender where they will connect to your main WiFi router wirelessly as a client device, and then using either the same or a separate WiFi radio, create an additional AP , thus effectively extending the range, though it is slower than using a wired backhaul.

In the case of many basic access point only type devices, they must have a wired backhaul to the main network.

Aside from that, for the issue you are currently facing, it is a tricky one depending on the environment. Depending on the throughput of the cameras, 600ft is possible with a directional antenna, even if the client device is using an omnidirectional antenna, this is especially the case if you are not in an urban location where the 2.4GHz noise floor will be very high.


One thing to consider is that placing an AP inside of an attic can be a problem, since without active cooling of the attic (e.g., an exhaust fan), as under direct sunlight, especially in the summer in many regions, an attic can hit upwards of 130f (55C). Many consumer networking devices are designed around an ambient temperature of 0-40C (104f), Though those peak temperatures take into account worst case scenario, such as the device under a heavy load while the ambient temperature is high.

Furthermore, having an AP inside of an attic will attenuate the signal, especially if the signal needs to go through layers of wood, protective film, and shingles.


Frequency-and-attenuation-of-various-materials rf.png


With that in mind, if you want to keep costs as pow as possible while experimenting, then if you have a secondary WiFi router or AP, that you can temporarily place at an open window or any location where it can have line of sight to the cameras, then you can test if the cameras can connect. If they can, you may be able to get away with a fairly low cost outdoor WiFi AP.


If the camera cannot maintain a connection to it, then you will need to look into directional units.

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