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troutfisher
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-30-2013
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Can I use Netgear powerline range extender with Actiontec router M1424WR-D?

We have been using FIOS internet happily with an Actiontec router (M1424WR-D) since 2008, but we have a 'dead zone' in a remote part of our home. I am attempting to install a Netgear Powerline AV 200 Wireless N-Extender kit in the dead zone room, but have not been successful. If I give a unique SSID to the extender, and do not set any encryption, I am able to have wireless connection in the room, but having unprotected wireless connection is unacceptable to me. If I use the same SSID for extender and Actiontec router, and use the same encryption key for the extender as is used on the Actiontec router, then I no longer have wireless connection in the room. I hope someone can provide some help in understanding what it is I'm doing wrong in setting up this powerline extender. Should the extender have the same SSID and encryption key? Should it be a different one? Thanks for any help.

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jrgarza
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎04-02-2013
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Re: Can I use Netgear powerline range extender with Actiontec router M1424WR-D?

Troutfisher, A couple of things can lead to a dead zone. Some more obvious than others. Walls unseen metal constuction can affect your signal. What alot of people dont know is that interference from wireless networks in your area can cause interference and deadzones. Fortunately if you have a laptop and a site monitor you can rule out some things that are easy to fix and you probably wont need the extender at all. If you open your wireless connection application that is ususally next to the time in your taskbar tray, most of them have a tab to see what wireless networks are around you and what channels they are operating on. Most 802.11 g, b networks run at 2.4 GHz and you are able to select chanels 1 thru 11. Channels 1, 6, and 11 are what are called "clear" channels. They dont overlap or interfere with each other in the 2.4 GHz bandwidth that has been allocated for the channels to use on wireless routers. Notice there is a 5 channel gap in between the clear channels. Maintain that with your neighbors and you can rule out any dead zones due to neighbors interference from thier routers. For example. If your neigbors are using channel 1 and 4, then 4+5 = 9. change your router to use channel 9 for it is the "clearest" channel for your immeadiate area. if they are using ch. 6 then you can use either ch. 1 or ch. 11. Secondly, At the 2.4 Ghz frequency. Extenders or repeaters should have a 50% overlap of the orginal range of your original routers maximum distance. For example, if your orginal routers range circle extends 30ft out I would place your extender a 15ft of the orginal. Use the site monitor on your laptop and walk around to see what the signal looks like to find your ideal location and find your range circle. A signal of "very good" and "Excellent" from your original router would be ideal for your extender. Also, use the channel "rule" above when assigning a channel for your extender. Dont place them on the same channels. If your using a 2.4ghz router and a 5ghz extender then you shouldnt have a problem with interference of your own equipment but you still must mind your neighbors for they may have 5 ghz Wireless access points. SSID's: Use a different SSID on your extender. It is mearly an Identifier. They dont have to have the same SSID to work. Think of it as a label to let you know which wireless connection your computer is using. When you roam around the house and one of the signals gets weaker than the other then it will switch over to the stronger one in your area of the house. As far as encription keys go....If you are using pre-shared keys it is okay to use the same one on two different wireless access points. Your Actiontec and your extender can have the same password. As a process, start out with no authentication on your extender. If you can connect to the extender with no authentication and access the internet, then you will know your extender is working fine. Check your signal strength in your original dead zone. Your SSID that is being used should be that of your extender. After that is done then you can go back and lock down access to your extender by using WPA-2. Make sure both your wireless devices and your extender are using wpa2 and the same password. You should be good to go.
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weedeater
Posts: 218
Registered: ‎07-28-2011
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Re: Can I use Netgear powerline range extender with Actiontec router M1424WR-D?

reading the manual really didn't help me.  But it appears that this device cannot be set up as a bridge/repeater to the Actiontec router.  I think what you should be able to do is to set it up with its own SSID and its own encryption distinct from the Actiontec wireless. Your wireless devices would need to be set up to access both. If the 'dead zone' is not far enough away, you might have issues of your devices not knowing which network to connect to, but you should be able to force a device to connect manually.

 

I couldn't tell if this thing acts as a router itself.  It should not.

 

Obviously if you can get it to function without encryption, you're ok network-wise.  Then it is an issue of setting the encryption in the Netgear. Note that there are two encryptions that they talk about, the wireless and the 'wired' (between the two powerline endpoints).

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troutfisher
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-30-2013
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Re: Can I use Netgear powerline range extender with Actiontec router M1424WR-D?

Thanks Weedeater for your helpful response. Please see my comments and question below....

 

reading the manual really didn't help me.  But it appears that this device cannot be set up as a bridge/repeater to the Actiontec router.  I think what you should be able to do is to set it up with its own SSID and its own encryption distinct from the Actiontec wireless. Your wireless devices would need to be set up to access both.

Indeed, this is what I found to be the case. When I set the powerline extender up with its own distinct SSID, I had a new network accessible in our 'dead zone' area.

 

 

If the 'dead zone' is not far enough away, you might have issues of your devices not knowing which network to connect to, but you should be able to force a device to connect manually.

Yes, my devices found both networks in some areas of the house, and could be forced manually to connect to the desired network.

 

 

I couldn't tell if this thing acts as a router itself.  It should not.

It does not.

 

Obviously if you can get it to function without encryption, you're ok network-wise.  Then it is an issue of setting the encryption in the Netgear. Note that there are two encryptions that they talk about, the wireless and the 'wired' (between the two powerline endpoints).

It functioned without encryption, but whenever I attempted to encrypt wirelessly, using Netgear's Powerline Utility software, I lost functionality. Netgear's technical assistance folks were also unable to guide me through the wireless encryption process successfully. They and I gave up after several hours on the phone together. At this point, I am debating whether to simply return the item to the retailer. Your comment about 'wired' encryption, however, is intriguing. I did not realize that the 'wired' encryption (pushing the lock box button on the side of the device) was a different encryption method, distinct from the method I tried already. Is this method safe?

Bronze Contributor II
weedeater
Posts: 218
Registered: ‎07-28-2011
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Re: Can I use Netgear powerline range extender with Actiontec router M1424WR-D?

I would like to think it is safe.  I'm guessing it is designed to encrypt communications on the power lines themselves.  This would keep anyone from plugging in their own unit in your house (or apartment building? or next door?) and using your network.

 

Contributor
troutfisher
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-30-2013

Re: Can I use Netgear powerline range extender with Actiontec router M1424WR-D?

Great news! At last I finally have been able to get a Netgear Powerline AV200 Wireless-N Extender Kit to provide wifi in the 'dead zone' in our house, and I was able to secure the network with an encryption key which I set up wirelessly, instead of relying on the 'wired' security option offered by the kit (a push-button on the side of the extender box). None of the phone techs at Netgear were able to figure out why we could not get the kit to work properly to begin with, and I finally gave up on the phone techs.

For anyone interested in using this product and who needs to set it up with a non-Netgear router, or a router that does not have a WPS button on it, please be aware that the resource CD in the box may be out of date. You will need to go to Netgear's website and download the Powerline Utility software for your device directly from the website. You will need to supply your product serial number in order to get the download. It is important to have this up-to-date software. I discovered that the up-to-date software downloaded from Netgear functioned more smoothly and allowed me to set up my encryption effortlessly. After forcing a factory reset on the extender and removing the device IP addresses associated with the initial unsuccessful attempt to create a secure network, I was able to set up the extender and secure it with absolutely no problem. The up-to-date software seemed to be the critical factor. The product seems to be working really well now and so far we are happy with it.

A word of caution when dealing with Netgear's phone techs. On some occasions when I phoned into Netgear my case was farmed out to a company called i-Yogi. I had a disturbing experience with one of the techs at i-Yogi. One of the i-Yogi techs said he could help me to set up encryption on my network using the AV200 extender, but that he needed first to gain remote access to my laptop. He also wanted access to another laptop in our house in addition to the one I was working from. This seemed odd and I refused to allow access to the second laptop. After gaining remote access he noted that I was using Norton 360 and he claimed that it was not working with my XP operating system and attempted to sell me a copy of McAfee security software at a reduced rate. He became very pushy about this. I refused to engage in this purchase and insisted that he return to the task of troubleshooting my encryption issue. At this point he still had not once attended to the configuration of the extender settings at all, but even so he refused to assist me, saying that it was not his problem that my network was not secured. It was not a good experience, and I believe he had a totally different agenda than dealing with my technical issue.

 

 

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