In the world of information highway, the internet has become a necessity for each individual. But as the age of humanity has grown, the need for wireless access has become more desirable day by day. And because of such demands, wireless internets such as Wi-Fi have been developed. Wireless networks (WLAN) can now be seen in almost every office as well as internet cafes so that an individual can access the internet from anywhere within range without the hassle of wires. However, the signal can only carry itself effectively up to a certain distance, after which it is too weak to be of any use. Therefore, to increase the range of wireless networks, a wireless range extender needs to be used.
A wireless range extender does exactly what its name suggests – extends the distance of wireless networks so that people can access data from a much farther distance. Any piece of technology that has a wireless data transfer method employs radio frequencies to carry data to other devices. However, they can only do so properly up to a specific distance and if the receiver is beyond that distance, it may not be able to detect the oncoming radio waves. The job of a wireless range extender is to bridge the gap between the two devices by receiving the oncoming radio waves and boosting them so that they can cover a larger distance than that of the original signal; thus effectively enhancing the transmitter’s range.
Range extenders can also be found in many homes and offices which may have an “obstructive” construction. Because of the way certain houses are built, such as which material is used and how and where they are placed, they may cause the signal to be weak or even form dead zones in a number of regions or rooms inside a house. This problem can easily be overcome with the use of a range extender which is able to carry the signal past many barriers, such as walls, so that it can improve the strength of the signal in the areas where it is too weak.
Aside from the many beneficial qualities of such range enhancers, like any other piece of technology, they carry a few drawbacks. Firstly, before employing the use of a wireless internet, an important factor to consider is what is more important: the mobility or the quality of the service. When using a wireless network to access the internet, they will require a longer time to respond because the radio frequencies will need to reach the extender, then to the device and back again. This lag may prove to be more of a nuisance to those users who require a fast response for their work. In such a situation, a wired connection such as an Ethernet would be more appropriate as it would provide faster communication between all the devices within the network.
Because of technology’s rapid development and their great demand, wireless range extenders are now available almost everywhere in the masses and are produced by many renowned firms. However, all of them are not the same. There are only a few that are superior to the rest.
One particular range extender that may be thought of to be one of the best is the Linksys WRE54G Wireless-G Range Extender, manufactured by the Cisco System. One aspect that makes this extender more attractive than the others is that very little effort has to be put in to installing this device into the system. There are two ways of setting up this piece of equipment and they depend only upon whether the user wishes to include a security in the wireless network or not. If a security is not required, then the only step that needs to be done is to press the “Auto Configuration” button and hold it down for a minimum of five seconds. The extender will then acknowledge that it has discovered the network and is now transmitting the data received. The user then only needs to place the range extender anywhere in the router’s range.
If the user wishes to include security in the network, which is usually the best thing to do with a WLAN, the only extra step that needs to be followed is to install the device using the included software where the required security settings will be placed. This too is a very easy process as it gives instructions to the user in every step and takes only a few more minutes. Again, the extender only needs to be placed at an appropriate location and it is ready to go.