Miracle on Wifi Street

Ok. I live in an old house. Really old. Well, compared to Florida standards. So, my electric outlets are two prong. The walls are coated, sealed and basically built of lead paint – something wifi signals just don’t appreciate.

I installed a Linksys E4200 router a few months ago. The signal is good, but not that good. Last week I found my daughter playing on her iPad in the upstairs hallway. Why? To get a good wifi signal – or any wifi signal. Awww….

So I ordered a WAP610N, also from Linksys. Thought this was the way to repeat the signal. Sorry. Don’t know where my head was when I spec’d it but, it’s not a repeater. Only a bridge. This means I’d have to run a wire from the Linksys E4200 router to the WAP610N. In a historic house? No way!

A desperate attempt at reconciling my ways, I chatted with Linksys tech support. No, the WAP610N won’t work unless there’s a wire between the two. No, there is no Linksys wireless repeater that works with the E4200 – even in wifi G-only mode. Nice.

Well, luck struck! And then a light bulb! I had ordered an Asus WL-330gE_M to give me wifi for my iPad when 3G was too weak and the client I was at didn’t have wifi. Well, I must have really had a bad day, because I was supposed to get the WL-330g without the E_M. But, this is where the light bulb lit up!

The Asus WL-330gE_M doesn’t even come with instructions. Not even downloadable. Not even a CD. It’s meant to be plug and pray…er play. So much for using it as a repeater and ignoring the naysayers at Linksys. But, alas! Since the E_M version comes with a wifi transmitter and a wifi receiver, what if I used it to put the WAP610N Wifi access point on the other side of the house????

Voila! It worked! Since there’s no need to config the Asus WL-330gE_M, I just ran a cable from the E4200 router to the transmitter unit of the Asus. It sits next to the E4200, so it’s a short cable I can hide behind a cabinet with the others.

Then, walked to the other side of the house. Plugged in the Asus WL330gE_M receiver unit. Attached a patch cable (network) from it to the Linksys WAP610N. Logged into the Linksys WAP610N and configured it with the same wifi settings as my E4200. And it works!

So, get this. I used the Asus to go wifi from the E4200 to the WAP610N because otherwise I would have needed a cable. Then the WAP610N is putting out a wifi signal I can get to from my network devices -iPad, iPhone, Laptop, etc. And for the curious, the wifi the Asus uses to talk from it’s transmitter to it’s receiver can’t be ‘seen’ by my devices and doesn’t need any configuration. So, it works, but without getting in the way.

Can you tell I’m excited? And not just for using the items I ordered by mistake to make something work that shouldn’t – well, ok – yeah that’s the reason! Woohoo!

Would I recommend this for others? Sure! Especially if they have a Linksys router (like the E4200) that doesn’t have a wifi repeater that will work with it. And if you can’t run a long patch cable from the router to the WAP (wifi access point) because you are in an old house, an apartment or just too lazy or scared to run long cables and drill through your walls or ceiling.


  1. This my exact scenario (60+ yr old house, very low ipad2 connection upstairs, Linksys 4200 router). After reading your blog, I’m going to order the linksys and asus products you specify. Thank you.

  2. Greg

    Very helpful. When you say you logged into the WPA610N and configured it with same wifi settings as E4200, I gather that’s the same ssid and passkey (or do you even need a passkey since the transmitter is plugged into the E4200? What wifi settings need to be configured on the WPA610N? Anything need to be done to avoid IP conflicts etc?

  3. Yes. They were configured with the same encryption and password and SSID. This way I could roam between them without losing the Wifi. Since the WPA610N is just an access point, it doesn’t do any DHCP. That’s left to the E4200. So, as long as the WPA610N and the E4200 aren’t on the same IP, that’s all you have to be worried about.

  4. Greg

    collected the equipment and was able to get it going with just my basic skills. Thanks for the tips. signals in the remote parts of the house certainly stronger than before eg Tivo shows signal strength of 80+% rather than 45 to 50% before. Surprised it’s not stronger as close as it is but wpa610 seems to be delivering.

    Should it help anyone else, it did take me a moment to figure out how to connect the Asus transmitter to the router as there was only 1 power cable in the box. usb cable for power from Asus to router and an Ethernet cable between the two for network. Power cable is used for the receiver. Couldn’t figure out how to login into the 610 to configure it so finally cabled both it and a computer to the router and ran setup disc to assign ssid, passkey. Wasn’t sure if it was best to leave it on 2.4 ghz or 5 band. Autosetup was 2.4. But it all seems to work. Couldn’t have done it without Eric

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