Balance One - Improving WiFi performance

My new Peplink Balance One is replacing an older Apple Airport Extreme. So far I’m pleased overall with the Balance One in general. However, I’m finding the WiFi performance is noticeably worse than the older apple base station it’s replacing.

(For some reason, I assumed that the Balance One had an external antenna connector, but clearly it doesn’t so that was simply my mistake when ordering it. A bit disappointing in a $500 device).

Poking around the AP settings in the balance one there are a ton of options. I’m a little confused by it all. The location I’m at has moderately busy 2.4GHz bands (about 5-6 other WiFi stations showing up) and a completely empty 5GHz band. Unfortunately, the Balance One is inside a closet with a thick door, so the 5GHz signal is severely attenuated and I can’t seem to get any signal more than 2 rooms away.

What I’m looking for is to maximize the range of the 2.4GHz signal (but not necessarily the bandwidth) - I’d be happy with a slow but reliable 2.4GHz signal if it can reach to the farthest room.

Current Settings:

  • Preferred Frequency: (currently set to 2.4GHz)
  • Output Power (currently set to Max)
  • Power Boost (currently ON)
  • 2.4GHz Bonding Protocol (currently set to 20/40MHz)

SSID-specific settings:

  • Data Rate: Auto
  • Band Steering: Disable

Are there any setting changes I could make which would give me a longer-range and more reliable (but slower) 2.4Ghz signal?

If you cannot relocate the router to a better location then I would recommend adding a Wi-Fi repeater/extender or a stand-alone AP.

For all of you struggling with finding the right RTS threshold value for their WIFI setup and try around with recommendation of RTS = 500 to reduce collisions and increase performance… I just found a good scientific engineering publication here:
So for e.g. a small household with max 50 nodes for connection rate of 54 Mbps (RB) and real data transmit values (RD) a bit below RTS = 726 could be a good starting value for your tests.
Personally I would not recommend to go < 534 (third of 1500 Bytes 802.11-Frame plus 34 Bytes overhead).

The default value of RTS threshold is fixed as 2347 bytes in the current IEEE 802.11 WLANs, with which the network cannot appropriately switch between basic and RTS/CTS modes and may suffer from rate loss. To guarantee the network always works in the access mode that could achieve a higher network sum rate, the RTS threshold needs to be adaptively adjusted based on the number of nodes in the network.