There are two ways in which you can extend the effective range of a wireless network: put in more wireless access points or use a wireless repeater. The former method requires that a wired network connection be available in the location where you want to put the access point. However, if your wired network does not extend to that location, the best solution would be to use a wireless repeater.
At the time of this writing, there aren't many (if any) dedicated wireless repeaters in the market. However, some wireless access points come with a repeating function. The D-Link DWL-900AP+ (see Figure 5-11) is one such model. It supports five modes: Access point, Wireless client, Wireless bridge, Multiple-point bridge, and Repeater.
In this section, I show how to configure the DWL-900AP+ to be used as a wireless repeater. I use it together with the D-Link DI-714P+ (see Figure 5-34).
Figure 5-34. Extending the range of a wireless network using a wireless repeater
5.6.1 Configuring the DWL-900AP+
First, connect the DWL-900AP+'s LAN port to the LAN port of the DI-714P+. Using a wireless card such as the DWL-650+, connect your Windows XP computer to the DI-714P+.
If you do a site survey, you should be able to see the two SSIDs broadcast by the DI-714P+ (assuming you did not turn off SSID broadcast) and the DWL-900AP+. Connect to the DI-714P+ (or the DWL-900AP+) and use a web browser to invoke the web-based utility of the DWL-900AP+. The default IP address of the DWL-900AP+ is 192.168.0.50.
When prompted for username and password, use "admin" for your username and leave the password field empty.
To configure the DWL-900AP+ to act as a repeater, click on the Advanced tab (see Figure 5-35). Check the Repeater option and enter the MAC address of the access point to repeat. Click Apply and the DWL-900AP+ will reboot. You can now disconnect the cable connecting the DWL-900AP+ to the DI-714P+.
Figure 5-35. The configuration utility of the DWL-900AP+
Perform a site survey again and you should now see only one SSID.