Edimax EW-7438RP (WiFi, Range Extender)
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Review of Linux Compatibility
The Edimax “WiFi Range Extender” can be used to enlarge the coverage of one’s WiFi Network. The configuration can to be by WPS, WLAN or Ethernet (with the plug available at the device) to access the integrated web server. Therefore, the configuration can also be performed with Linux.
Each Edimax EW-7438RP is shipped with a small business card sized paper, which shows the unique host name of the device. But this approach only works if the DNS server that is integrated in the EW-7438RP is configures (i.e., 192.168.2.2, which can be recognized by the Linux distribution automatically if DHCP is activated). It is not clear what the advantage of using the normal IP address (192.168.2.2 for all EW-7438RP devices) should be.
If the connection to the given host name does not work (as can be assumed due to the huge amount of people searching for configuration help on the net for this range extender), one should try to access the web front-end via the IP address 192.168.2.2 for configuration (this could make it necessary to switch the PC network address to the 192.168.2.* subnet).
The configuration by the web front-end is quite easy, because existing WiFi networks are automatically recognized and can be selected out of a list. Only the WiFi password has to be set.
However, during testing the EW-7438RP had troubles connecting to a router with WPA encryption, while switching to WPA2 (PSK) worked flawlessly.
The advantage of the Edimax Extender is its small size and the detailed presentation of connection information per LED. 5 LEDs show information of WiFi connection status to the router, WiFi connection status the the clients, Power, LAN, and WPS). Furthermore, the device has a power switch to disable the range extender without removing it from the power socket. All LEDs (except for the power LED) can be deactivated by the configuration software if one is offended by the blinking.