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I purchased a Linksys N600 PRO Wi-Fi Range Extender because I would like to be able to work in my backyard. The product claims to expand coverage up to 7500 square feet which I take to mean a radius of around 85 ft. Maybe I should expect less because outside walls decrease the signal. But I did not expect to have the signal vary so much and for my laptop to frequently lose the connection. The setup software tests the signal strength where the extender is plugged in, so I am sure it is close enough to my wireless router. Working on my deck, a mere 30 feet from the range extender and less than 60 ft. from the router, the signal sometimes gets lost. Note that I'm not complaining about the speed. When I have a connection, the speed is fine. It's just furstrating to frequently have NO connection.

Should I return this and purchase a different product? Are the range extenders with visible antennas better?

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Last Post by llaspina
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Antenna design is a dark art. I studied software genetic engineering with a very bright US Air Force captain at MIT who was using genetic algorithms to help design phased array radar antennas. He ended up with some very strange designs that out-performed anything that mere humans had come up with to that point...

All of that aside, I personally prefer WiFi devices with high gain external antennas. I replaced the external antennas on my Linksys router/access point with high gain antennas and found it just about doubled the range of the device. Before that, I used a range extender, which worked ok inside the house. Now, I don't use the extender any longer.

FWIW, house construction materials will significantly impact the range of WiFi devices. My house has aluminum siding, which makes it a poor man's Faraday cage, blocking most radio signals from getting out, but also from getting inside. IE, I can't get reliable cell phone coverage inside the house, so if I want to check my voice mail or make a cell phone call, I have to go out on the porch!

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My house also has aluminuwm siding, but not everywhere. Moving the range extender to an exterior wall that has vinyl siding made a difference. It's not great, but it's better.

The device has no visible antenna. Can I just add a high gain antenna to is somehow?

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