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WiFi & Router Recommendation?

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  • WiFi & Router Recommendation?

    I am starting the search for a better home wireless system and Ethernet router. Don't know much about networking so looking for something simple to setup. Would like to stay away from the all in one systems which is what I have now rented from Comcast. Main issue is the wifi being slow and limited to 4 Ethernet ports.

    Wireless coverage is 1200 SQ feet. I need 6-8 Ethernet ports. I have around 80 Mbps service from Comcast.

    Someone gave a suggestion before on a wireless device that would solve all my networking issues but I can't find the post, ugh! I was having trouble with my touch pads staying connected at the time (using 4 of them now).

    Can you please offer suggestions in the mid price range?

  • #2
    There is alot of options. I personally use Ubiquiti Unifi around two of my houses.
    So
    Motorola SurfBoard cable modem (no wireless)
    Unifi USG router
    Unfi USW POE switch
    Multiple UAP-AC-PRO wireless AP's

    Router is like 105 on amazon
    https://www.amazon.com/Ubiquiti-Unif...g+unifi+router

    Ap's are 129.00
    https://www.amazon.com/Ubiquiti-Netw...ap-ac-pro&th=1

    Switch depends on what you need or you can skip the POE and use the injectors that come with the Ap's. I run like 10 POE hikvision cameras and 4 POE AP's, so I have a unifi 24port POE switch pretty full.

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    • #3
      WiFi & Router Recommendation?

      So, you will be looking at a separate solution for your cable modem, firewall/router, network switch, and wireless access point.

      I use a Motorola sb6191. Focus on channel bonding, and more downstream and upstream channels. Do docsis 3.1 if it is available/compatible in your area

      For your firewall I recommend building your own. Most of the solutions out there will run on Linux but give you a web user interface for management. There are two real options hack your existing hardware or use a full blown pc with more than 1 network card.
      Here I built my own from a cheap mini pc. I use PFSense as my firewall as it has a plethora of options and features and is supported as open source for home use (though I recommend donating to them if you find it useful. There are many alternatives in the build your own. I have heard Sophos (paid) and opnsense (open source) are also really good solutions I hear. These solutions can do heavy duty work. The only limitation they will have is the hard ware you host them on.

      If you want to go a little cheaper you could keep your old network router, and install opewrt or tomato on it if there is a compatible version.

      Network switch. If you don't need a managed switch I would go netgear. If you need a managed switch I would look at the Cisco sg200-sg300. Ubiquiti makes some really nice gear too. And their unifi switch line is also compatible with the unifi controller for management. You need to look at the need for POE (power over ethernet). IP Cameras/and phone ms use them.

      For your Wireless access point I would recommend Ubiquiti UAP-AC- lite/pro/LR/HD. You will need to run a separate network cable from your network switch and mount your wireless access point on a ceiling or wall in the center of the area. I did this and it is literally the best network I have ever had at home.




      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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      • #4
        Just did a test again and am only getting 4.6 Mbps for wireless on an 80 Mbps service. Comcast says all is working fine.

        Comment


        • #5
          Here too have an a la carte Comcast network (years now). I am only using the Comcast network for Internet here. TV is satellite (since the beginning of DTV) / OTA.


          Motorola SB6141 - purchased - note this is 4th generation of the same modem that I have purchased for my Comcast connection (going back to the 1990's).

          PFSense Firewall DIY built.

          24 port managed switch - purchased.

          Ubiquiti Wireless POE connected access point - ceiling 2nd floor balcony which takes care of the second floor, main floor and basement - purchased.

          Ooma VOIP - purchased way long time ago.

          Tinkering here (as always) with two different micro OpenWRT routers.

          One is a tiny travel router with wireless and small footprint antennas. I purchased three of these which work well.

          [ATTACH]62491[/ATTACH]

          The top embedded pictures are speed checks (one is Comcast via wireless and the other is just the status via the OpenWRT GUI). Bottom picture is a speed test via a Gb connection to the network.

          One of the Gli.Net microrouters is mounted in my 2nd floor office closet (the printer closet) off to one side of the house. Works well for the price.
          The microrouter is POE plugged in to a POE wall plate managed switch here and next to a laser printer in the printer office.

          I am now using these to test some wireless Homeseer tabletop touch tablets.

          Two microrouters went to a friend and his parents and they are still utilizing it. With this wireless device I see average speed of around 140Mps.

          That said did a test a few minutes ago here and seeing slower. This microrouter is around $30. I am playing with the GPIO ports on it.

          Doing a wireless speed test your numbers will never match a wired speed test. Typically these are related to your wireless footprint and sharing the wireless between devices et al. You can do better with a better wireless device or access point.

          You can start maybe first purchasing an Arris / Motorola modem for $30 or so. (this is just a cable to Network box - the SB6141 has a Gb network interface)

          And then purchase a combo Firewall / router / switch / access point reasonably priced and use this. It will mostly likely provide a better wireless footprint than what you have today. Then at a later date purchase separates.
          Last edited by Pete; July 26th, 2017, 07:19 AM.
          - Pete

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          • #6
            Originally posted by integlikewhoa View Post
            There is alot of options. I personally use Ubiquiti Unifi around two of my houses.
            So
            Motorola SurfBoard cable modem (no wireless)
            Unifi USG router
            Unfi USW POE switch
            Multiple UAP-AC-PRO wireless AP's

            Router is like 105 on amazon
            https://www.amazon.com/Ubiquiti-Unif...g+unifi+router

            Ap's are 129.00
            https://www.amazon.com/Ubiquiti-Netw...ap-ac-pro&th=1

            Switch depends on what you need or you can skip the POE and use the injectors that come with the Ap's. I run like 10 POE hikvision cameras and 4 POE AP's, so I have a unifi 24port POE switch pretty full.
            After much research, I am in the progress of installing Ubiquiti solution (although I am using ERLITE-3 instead of USG router. You said you want easy setup, so I would concur with the USG for you.

            tenholde
            tenholde

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            • #7
              Ubiquiti FTW! I have their AC wireless access point and it covers more than I need in my house. I am currently using their edgerouter as well (can't beat what it can do for 50 bucks).

              That being said, a few things stick out that you stated that I think is getting overlooked in this thread.

              - Ease of use, building your own or even the edgerouter will have a learning curve if you have limited knowledge related to networking. There are many benefits to keeping things separated, but it comes at a maintenance cost, more equipment means more maintenance.

              - Getting new equipment is a gamble if it will fix your current issue. I hardly get my internet speed over wireless unless I am within a few feet of the AP (granted I have 250 service). Depending on what you are running for wireless right now, you could see an improvement or not. I would recommend 2 things, let us know what you are currently using, and also do a speed test hardwired into the modem. That will tell you where your bottleneck is. If its solid and you are getting close to 80, than your wireless is the issue, if not, you have either a bad modem, or a connection problem that Crapcast needs to resolve.

              Any gig switch (don't get managed unless you are wanting things it can do, but it will be more complicated to setup) will do for your needs.

              My recommendation would be, if you want the higher end stuff and are willing to learn a bit, buy it and setup a separate network as you learn. This keeps your house up and running at least and once you have everything setup, you can move over to the new network easily (split the networks at the modem). Otherwise I would recommend a wireless router that is a minimum AC.

              I support the idea of Ubiquti, but I also know its not for everyone and there will be a learning curve. I don't have any recommendations outside of that though since I haven't looked at anything else in the past 3 years. Read reviews on products as well.

              Comment


              • #8
                This is exactly my problem with Optimum. Hardwired I'm at 110Mbps, sometimes I'm as low as 3Mbps wireless or no connection at all. I get dropped connections, devices switching from 5G to 2.4, IP addresses jumping around by themselves causing some of the issues and a lot of "Connected, no Internet". Unfortunately, this affects the HS3 to Z-net communication at times.

                This, with a new router I purchased (and the replacement Netgear sent me), and a new modem supplied by Optimum. See https://forums.homeseer.com/showthread.php?t=190100 for my concerns.

                Lately, I've made progress by making some of the wifi units static on the unit, not in the router. It's not solved but I'm closer to getting to getting it resolved. The frustrating thing is using speedtest app, I get excellent results and at the same time when trying to use the NY Times app, twitter, facebook, I get warnings that I am not connected.

                Comment


                • #9
                  @waynehead99 makes a valid point. I work in the IT field and tend to have the mindset that setting the equipment up is easy. There is a learning curve on much of this equipment. Poorly deployed great equipment will likely not offer the best experience.

                  If the root problem is wireless performance we should probably cover a few topics so we don't replicate the same problem with your new equipment.
                  A. location of the equipment. The problem with most AIO firewall/router/wifi AP devices is the location. Most ISPs will demarc you equipment against an exterior facing wall, and sometimes in the corner of your home. This is a problem because the footprint for you wifi looks like a donut shaped bubble the radiates from your wifi antennas in all directions (if using an omnidirectional wireless AP). Picking a central location in your home for your wireless AP is key. A separate stand alone wireless ap is nice, for a few reasons, in this case you can run a single network drop from your router to the highest point in the center of your home, connect it to your wireless ap, and get a wireless foot print that will often cover your entire house. Problem A solved

                  B. Wireless interference.
                  Also, you need to be aware of variables that interfere or block your wireless signal and accounting for them. Things like EMI from your furnace fan/refrigerator/dryer, concrete, metal ducting, your neighbors wifi network, 2.4 and 5 GHz home wireless phones all have adverse effects on your wifi.
                  You can account for some of this by:
                  1. selecting a good central location at the highest point you can achieve for your wireless AP.
                  2. For 2.4 GHz wifi use channels that don't overlap (channels 1, 6, and 11) with your neighbors and that don't match your neighbors.
                  3. For 5 GHz wifi use channels that don't match your neighbors.

                  There are wifi scanning tools that can scan your environment and help give you information to make an appropriate choice.

                  4. Limit the number of wireless technologies in your home.

                  C. Wifi network load.

                  If you have many devices that connect to your wireless network you could implement wireless APs that have MIMO technology. This allows the AP to support transmission and reception to more than 1 node at a time.

                  The other alternative is to set up multiple APs. there are some rules to this though. APs can't be too close to each other. Often you will need to turn down antenna signal strength.

                  Lastly, I don't put servers (HS3, HTPC, file server, etc) on wifi. I connect them via Ethernet cable. Wifi is stateless not stateful. This means that wireless assumes poor signal and retransmission will be needed. This is not optimal for a system that hosts services on your network.



                  Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the info and recommendations.

                    I am not absolutely stuck on getting separate components. The idea comes with seeing most units have 4 Ethernet ports and wanting 6 to get the two TV's off wireless thus I was thinking if having equipment for Ethernet and something else for wireless. Keep in mind I know nothing about networking beyond regular plug and play consumer solutions from the service providers.

                    Have cat5 Ethernet connections in each room but they are used for computers mostly when we need a connection that does not crawl. I have speed tested Ethernet at different times of day and get 65mbps average speed. Location of wireless is interior wall near center of space (have tried moving it from the networking closet cabinet with little difference).

                    Current equipment is the Arris TG862G with 400 mhz processor, 128mb DRAM and 32 mb flash memory.

                    Don't need to get the top speeds, just something around 40-50 Mbps for wireless would be great.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Should also state we do have a lot of devices on the wireless connection with 2-3 users at a time.

                      4 tablets for smart home
                      5 computers including smart home PC
                      4 gaming systems (only two used at a time)
                      2 cell phones
                      3 chromecast
                      2 TV's
                      1 laser printer
                      1 Doorbird camera

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Planetview View Post
                        Thanks for the info and recommendations.

                        I am not absolutely stuck on getting separate components. The idea comes with seeing most units have 4 Ethernet ports and wanting 6 to get the two TV's off wireless thus I was thinking if having equipment for Ethernet and something else for wireless. Keep in mind I know nothing about networking beyond regular plug and play consumer solutions from the service providers.

                        Have cat5 Ethernet connections in each room but they are used for computers mostly when we need a connection that does not crawl. I have speed tested Ethernet at different times of day and get 65mbps average speed. Location of wireless is interior wall near center of space (have tried moving it from the networking closet cabinet with little difference).

                        Current equipment is the Arris TG862G with 400 mhz processor, 128mb DRAM and 32 mb flash memory.
                        Compared to what everyone suggested here and what I use this might sound like a really low tech idea but maybe for your case something like "Google Wifi" Mesh might be better suited for your needs. Your problem seems to be only wifi issues at the moment. You already have wires running out to rooms. Google wifi has 2 ports when you can run the cat5 into it and then out to the computer or device you already have connected. Setting up 3 or so of these like Mesh AP's will help give you the wifi coverage you need. You can turn off, not use the built in wifi on your existing router/combo.

                        https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MAW2294...ing=UTF8&psc=1

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Planetview View Post
                          Should also state we do have a lot of devices on the wireless connection with 2-3 users at a time.

                          4 tablets for smart home
                          5 computers including smart home PC
                          4 gaming systems (only two used at a time)
                          2 cell phones
                          3 chromecast
                          2 TV's
                          1 laser printer
                          1 Doorbird camera
                          For me I would wire up up alot more. Anything that don't move really should be wired. Tv's (smart tv streaming video), printer, gaming systems, computers (especially the HS3 computer) should all be wired IMO.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Planetview View Post
                            Thanks for the info and recommendations.

                            I am not absolutely stuck on getting separate components. The idea comes with seeing most units have 4 Ethernet ports and wanting 6 to get the two TV's off wireless thus I was thinking if having equipment for Ethernet and something else for wireless. Keep in mind I know nothing about networking beyond regular plug and play consumer solutions from the service providers.

                            Have cat5 Ethernet connections in each room but they are used for computers mostly when we need a connection that does not crawl. I have speed tested Ethernet at different times of day and get 65mbps average speed. Location of wireless is interior wall near center of space (have tried moving it from the networking closet cabinet with little difference).

                            Current equipment is the Arris TG862G with 400 mhz processor, 128mb DRAM and 32 mb flash memory.

                            Don't need to get the top speeds, just something around 40-50 Mbps for wireless would be great.
                            That router only has N it looks like and would explain the lower speeds. I would get a wireless router that is at least AC... the Google Wifi mesh mentioned earlier would be very easy for you to setup.

                            I also agree to get as much hardwired as possible. Even if a device isn't being used, if its on, its still connected to your wifi probably and will slowly take away bandwidth for other devices. you can just get a cheap 1 gig switch to expand your ports and allow more wired connections. Personally here I have mainly just my cell phones and the echos wireless, everything else is pretty much hardwired.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by waynehead99 View Post
                              That router only has N it looks like and would explain the lower speeds. I would get a wireless router that is at least AC... .
                              Good catch and good place for the OP to start.

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