WRT54G Need more range should I use HGA7T or WRE54G

Discussion in 'Networking Issues' started by jgiordano, Dec 2, 2004.

  1. jgiordano

    jgiordano Network Guru Member

    I have been reading alot of reviews regarding the 2 products I mentioned before (WRE54G Wireless-G Range Expander & the HGA7T High Gain Antenna Kit for TNC Connectors)

    I am pretty technical and am wondering if the bad reviews are from untechnical people. Also the one semi-professional review I read about the WRE54G says that because of the 1 antenna the range increases but the speed suffers.

    Anyone have experience with both....

    OR should I go with one of the bridges wet54g or wet54gs5 b/c they have a stronger antenna than the wusb54g adapter I am using.
  2. 4Access

    4Access Network Guru Member

    I've used both the WRE54G & the HGA7T and my suggestion is for most circumstances, don't buy either one of them! :roll:

    The HGA7T isn't bad, it does boost signal strength, but my experience has been that if you're problem is weak signal due to obstructions, the antenna's are barely going to give you any noticeable functional improvement. (I setup a wireless network recently in a large house that had 4 walls + other obstructions between the router and lounge where we were trying to get a wireless signal to some laptops. Adding the antennas literally only got us about 10ft closer to our goal.)

    On the other hand if your problem is weak signal simply due to distance the antennas may prove useful. (On the same project there was a far room of the house that had line of site to the router but only a 40-50% signal strength with the stock antennas. Adding the HGA7T's to the router boosted those numbers to a reliable >90%!!)

    As for the WRE54G, I spent nearly an hour of tinkering with one and couldn't get it to establish a reliable connection with my WRT54G. When I discovered that the WRT54G (with the right firmware) can do everything the more expensive WRE54G can do, the WRE54G quickly became less, and less attractive...

    What I'd suggest is you get another WRT54G and flash the Sveasoft firmware on both devices. With the sale/rebate price of a WRT54G being so low, even if you decided to purchase a subscription to Sveasoft to get your hands on their latest beta firmware this would be cheaper than either the WRE54G or HGA7T, not to mention provide you MUCH greater flexibility!

    Setting up a Satori (the current public/free Sveasoft firmware) WDS connection between the routers will give you the same functionality as the WRE54G (which uses WDS) but with more options/control over the connection. (At first glance it may seem much more complex to setup but after doing a little research I had my first WDS connection setup in 15 minutes!) Plus when Alchemy (the current beta/subscriber only Sveasoft firmware) is released it will support WPA security over WDS connections which the WRE54G currently does not!

    A Satori Client mode connection will give you very similar results to the capability of the wet54g, while Alchemy will make the WRT54G compete with the wet54gs5. (With Satori you can only use one of the WRT's LAN ports while in Client mode.)

    Finally the TX power adjustments in most 3rd party firmware will give you similar results to purchasing the HGA7T.

    BTW, the review you read mentioning speed suffering on the WRE54G was probably due to the fact that the WRE uses WDS and not because of the antenna.

    The reason for WDS taking a performance hit is due to the fact that WDS introduces another wireless hop and most AP/Routers only have one radio which means they cannot Transmit and Receive at the same time. (Think Walkie-Talkies.) This means that for every wireless hop throughput is halved. For simple access to the internet this is rarely an issue but it can be something to consider if you are planning on doing a lot of large file transfers with wireless clients across the WDS link.

    Good luck, let us know what you decide and how it works out.
  3. curly

    curly Network Guru Member

    I have had good luck with using a WAP54g set as a repeater (after upgrading firmware on both) with a WRT54G. I added the 6db antenna to the WAP and it easily doubled the signal. This WAP I was given for free, but if I am not mistaken the WAP is also less then the WRE. It wasnt hard to set up and the only problem I seem to have has to do with occassionally reseting the WAP to reconnect with the WRT.

    I am about to attempt to put the WRT behind a BEFSX41 to allow access of a Diag router from work and want to keep my home lan configuration separate. If anyone has any suggestions plz feel free to share your opinions and/or experiences.

    Have a good weekend,

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