How to optimize your Alfa R36 router

September 08, 2012

If you own an Alfa R36 router, you probably appreciate the fact that you can receive a long range WiFi signal and share it as a new hotspot around your home, boat, or any other place you may use it.

You can also optimize your R36 for best results. At its heart, the Alfa R36 is a repeater- but with a major advantage. You can use it with a compatible Alfa AWUS036H (or AWUS036NH or AWUS036NHR if you have the R36 NH/NHR version) to pull in a distant WiFi signal and repeat it so that other devices like iPads and laptops can use the new signal. Like regular repeaters, the R36 contains an access point to broadcast the new hotspot, and this can be configured.

We are going to cover three areas of configuration in this article, numbered on the photo below.  To change these settings, log in to your R36 using an Ethernet cable, and click the Advanced tab. Under Wireless Settings, select 'Basic'.


 

1. Network Mode

The default network mode is 11/b/g/n mixed mode. This allows any standard WiFi device to connect to your hotspot, whether it’s 802.11b, 802.1g, or 802.11n. This maximizes compatibility but limits the performance of your network if only newer standard WiFi devices will be connecting to the hotspot. For example, if you have only 802.11n standard WiFi devices (most modern laptops come equipped with built-in 802.11n WiFi adapters, however early generation iPhones have 802.11g WiFi receivers), you can change this to 11n only. This optimizes the performance of your new hotspot for 802.11n devices, but blocks backward compatibility with 802.11b/g devices. If you change to 11n only, we recommend writing a note and taping it to the top of the R36 for future reference. If you forget you have made this change and have a visitor come over one day with just an 802.11g equipped laptop, they will not be able to connect. Once you have changed the network mode, click Apply at the bottom to save changes.

2. Channel

Routers in North America have 11 channels. Every WiFi access point/router sends out its signal on one of these channels. If you have more than one WiFi signal nearby being broadcast on the same channel, this is known as channel crowding. This reduces performance on the network. Because most router manufacturers use default channels of 1, 6, and 11, chances are that there will be several signals around you on the same channel (if you are in a city area where you can see 20+ networks, channel crowding can be a major problem). To prevent channel crowding, click the channel menu and change the channel to as different one not likely to be a router default. Be sure to click Apply at the bottom when finished.

3. Channel Bandwidth

At the bottom of the 'Basic' settings screen, there are two options for channel bandwidth- 20 and 20/40. The default is 20. If you are experiencing slower speeds, switch it to 20/40 to see if this improves your speed. Click Apply at the bottom to save changes.

4. Placement of equipment

When using the R36 in conjunction with an Alfa USB adapter, try to put the USB adapter as far away from the R36 as the USB cable allows, and, if possible, several feet higher. Having the Alfa USB receiving antenna on a different horizontal level than the R36 transmitting antenna helps reduce immediate radio interference between the two devices. Having your Alfa USB adapter higher in the air will often allow it to receive signal more clearly and over a greater distance.

All of these things may be useful in optimizing or troubleshooting your R36 router.

Comments

Jim

Jim said:

I’m trying to set up my R36 together with the AWUS036NHR to create a hotspot connected to a free internet access point but have hit a difficulty.
The AP is unsecured, but one has to agree to the provider’s terms and conditions before connecting to the internet. So, the R36 connects quite happily but then I’m unable to access the T&Cs page to accept and get online.
Am I missing something basic, or is there a clever way to configure this through the R36?

litkirk

litkirk said:

so what are u saying if i have a encore 3g board band usb repeater router can that work to receive a signal with my 24dbi grid antenna and to use it with multiple cpu please reply

kirk

kirk said:

so can my belkin router recieve a hotspot signal and repeat it

Bill

Bill said:

I have used different USB adapters with RTL8187L chip set and all work. Find a outdoor USB with 15 ft cord will work with R36 this will really increase range.

Danville

Danville said:

My R36 seems to be malfunctioning as the USB Light does not come on.
The light blinks on nthe USB Adapter but its not connecting. The USB adapter is working as i checked it directly to a laptop n connects, but the R36 giving me problems. I reset the R36 without success.
Any help.
Thanks

Osvaldo

Osvaldo said:

My question is exactly the same as Jims, but in my case im just trying to access the free ap that the park provides couple of yards away. With checkbox and captcha to agree terms to access internet

I’m trying to set up my R36 together with the AWUS036NHR to create a hotspot connected to a free internet access point but have hit a difficulty.
The AP is unsecured, but one has to agree to the provider’s terms and conditions before connecting to the internet. So, the R36 connects quite happily but then I’m unable to access the T&Cs page to accept and get online.
Am I missing something basic, or is there a clever way to configure this through the R36?

Hans

Hans said:

would like to use the router hard wired thru the ethernet cable. if this is possible, can I still amplify the signal from my 036nhr adapter and see the open AP’s normally. Lot of settings! Daunting!
thankyou, H

Brian

Brian said:

can an R36 comp air wifi system be used with an apple mac

Bob Diachuk

Bob Diachuk said:

same question what do we do? I’m trying to set up my R36 together with the AWUS036NHR to create a hotspot connected to a free internet access point but have hit a difficulty.
The AP is unsecured, but one has to agree to the provider’s terms and conditions before connecting to the internet. So, the R36 connects quite happily but then I’m unable to access the T&Cs page to accept and get online.
Am I missing something basic, or is there a clever way to configure this through the R36?

Mark

Mark said:

I have alfa r36 and tube-u with usb can you tell how can i combine them to recieve outside wifi far ap’s signals

Willy

Willy said:

Jim, Bob and Osvaldo; sounds like I will experience the T&C issue soon. One idea (maybe it’s been tried) is – I imagine the acceptance of the T&C is tracked by the MAC address of the WiFi adapter. So it you first connect the external USB adapter to a laptop, accept the T&C, then reconnect the USB adapter to the R36 – it should already be registered/accepted, and work until you move on and need to do it again for the next HotSpot. Maybe?

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith said:

same issue as others, trying to connect to a network that requires a log in or accept terms on a splash/ landing page. how do i configure my r36 for this situation?

Freddy

Freddy said:

I have the same problam as Jim, did anyone find a solution for the problem.

James

James said:

Question: when using the R36 with an Alfa USB wifi adapter like the AWUSO36, is it possible to alter the USB adapter MAC via some mechanism in the R36?

Like perhaps downloading and adding a line or altering a line in the configuration file?

Anybody know?

James

James said:

Question: when using the R36 with an Alfa USB wifi adapter like the AWUSO36, is it possible to alter the USB adapter MAC via some mechanism in the R36?

Like perhaps downloading and adding a line or altering a line in the configuration file?

Anybody know?

DeWight

DeWight said:

Is anyone from tech answering these questions? The same issue as Jim, Bob, and Osvaldo.

I can set it up once but have to accept the terms everyday or every time it get disconnected from the server. The only way I can get it to work the next time I have to renew the terms is to delete the setup and start all over.

Is there a better, or easier way as they have asked previously.

DeWight

DeWight said:

Is anyone from tech answering these questions? The same issue as Jim, Bob, and Osvaldo.

I can set it up once but have to accept the terms everyday or every time it get disconnected from the server. The only way I can get it to work the next time I have to renew the terms is to delete the setup and start all over.

Is there a better, or easier way as they have asked previously.

Rokland LLC Staff

Rokland LLC Staff said:

No, these comments are not monitored on a regular basis and we try not to provide support through blog comments as every situation is unique and we may need more info about your setup to help. If purchased from us, please email or phone us for technical support. Thank you.

Mike

Mike said:

As far as connecting to a free wifi service confirmation page to accept the agreement: all I did was set up the connection with the R36 and then connect my phone to it, then you either see a pop up on your phone asking to confirm the agreement or you launch your chome browser and should immediately see their agreement page to confirm the connection. It’s a one time thing.

Omar

Omar said:

My r36 router bricked during firmware upgrade I reset it but still not working can it fix or flash??

Rokland LLC Staff

Rokland LLC Staff said:

Hi Omar, please reach out to our support staff directly. If it is R36A, recovery may be possible. If it is R36, unfortunately not possible.

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