Compatible Wifi Extenders for Pepwave Surf SOHO

Hi, does anyone know which brand/model wifi extenders are compatible with Pepwave Surf SOHO (SUS-SOHO-T)?

Thanks in advance.

Hi peplinkuser2020:

Welcome to the forum! Take a look at our Pepwave Device Connector which can be deployed to transparently extend a SSID.

Thanks!

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Do this.

I have used TPLINK wifi extenders, power lines interfaces / home plugs (from lots of different vendors) to extend Peplink device wifi they all work - until they don’t, and then working out what isn’t working any more and why - although possible is a real pain. The device connector is rock solid and very easy to manage remotely.

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Thanks. Will look into the connector. Tplink products have no security, plus they are Chinese products which may be security hazard as well.

Wayne

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I’m not a big fan of wifi extenders either. I use Ubiquiti AmpliFi HD routers which you can pick up for around $140. They too can extend your Surf SOHO wifi just like the Peplink Device Connector, providing the same SSID as on your Surf SOHO. You can also use more than one of them in a house where the multiple AmpliFi HD routers act as a mesh extending your Surf SOHO.

The AmplFi candle stick antennas can extend any WiFi network with the original SSID. I did this in one location with a Surf SOHO and it worked … until it did not. Assorted WiFi issue were solved by unplugging the AmpliFi candle stick. Also, monitoring this from the Surf SOHO was less than ideal, you get less information about wireless clients this way. And, at times, wireless devices appeared to be using Ethernet in the Surf SOHO display of attached devices.

Just hearing about the Device Connector here for the first time. Description is poor (to be kind). Does is only accept Ethernet clients or can wireless client devices talk to it directly too? I get that it does what a Surf SOHO user would call “WiFi as WAN” for its Internet access. Thanks.

Hi Michael234:

You can absolutely use it to wirelessly extend an SSID (no ethernet needed); basically you point the DC at the AP and it will rebroadcast the SSID without adding a NAT. You can also put the DC in AP Mode and have it broadcast its own SSID. It’s a pretty cool piece of gear.

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A reasonable alternative to extending your Surf Soho WiFi is to replace the WiFi portion of the Surf Soho with a WiFi mesh. It would certainly avoid the issues Michael234 reported with mixing Surf Soho WiFi with AmpliFi “candle stick antennas”. I’ll discuss this in the context of supporting the Surf Soho’s 120Mb WAN bandwidth.

Peplink routers are my primary go to for their security, reliability and ease of configuration. As you are experiencing, their Surf Soho WiFi doesn’t cover larger homes. A mesh WiFi such as the Eero can cover larger homes. I’ve installed a number of Eero 3 pack, generation 2 systems with good results. It has been very reliable. It can certainly handle the Surf Soho’s 120Mb WAN bandwidth and it is regularly on sale for $199 on Amazon.

You can install it in either Bridge mode or Router mode. Bridge mode would be the normal choice with all devices getting IP addresses assigned by the Surf Soho. You can enable a WiFi guest SSID with Eero which isolates guest devices from each other and from LAN Ethernet or non-guest WiFi devices.

Router mode involves double NAT since both the Surf Soho and the Eero are acting as routers. There aren’t a lot of reasons to run in this mode. Having two routers can add a level of security from hackers attempting to break into your home network. Another is if you need Smart Queue Management (fq_codel) to improve response times, particularly for broadband below 40Mb (enable the Smart Queue Management option under Eero Labs). If you want SQM, you need to run everything through the Eero with the Surf Soho only connecting to the Eero since SQM is managing the WAN. Full SQM/fq_codel unfortunately isn’t yet available on the Surf Soho or Balance routers.

There are pros and cons to Eero and AmpliFi HD, my two go to mesh systems for reliable consumer WiFi, so you would want to investigate which is better for you. I wouldn’t recommend Eero in an apartment since you can’t override Auto mode to select the best WiFi channel in a crowded environment. There is also a requirement to set up an account with Eero.

I can’t comment on the Peplink Device Connector since I haven’t used it. It would be a great trick if it was able to extend multiple SSID’s from the Surf Soho. I also haven’t tried to see if a second Surf Soho can connect to the first Surf Soho in WiFi as WAN mode, and then make available the same SSID as the first Surf Soho.

If you need more than the 120Mb WAN bandwidth supported by the Surf Soho for your WiFi, either because you have higher bandwidth from your ISP with a Peplink Balance router or your internal network needs it, you may need to look at higher performing mesh devices like the Eero Pro 3 pack which has an extra 5G antenna for backhaul (tri-band). Something else to keep in mind is that you can extend hardwired Ethernet through existing COAX cable using MoCA adapters. I favor hardwired whenever possible, particularly for WiFi access points, and have done it with the Eero 3 pack generation 2 with excellent results.