Question A reliable router?

darkfa8

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I feel as though this question may be an oxymoron, but my TrendNet TEW-830MDR2K mesh routers have become rather flakey in their connection reliability.

I reached out to TrendNet support and implemented 2.4/5GHz channel changes among some other tweaks and still, am having reliability issues once every other week or so.

My modem is a Motarolla Surfboard SB6141. I've logged into it's status menu and as of this moment, need to double check the Power Levels, but I do recall them not being optimal. It's cable connection is the first direct connection after the signal comes into the house and goes through an initial filter on the side of the house.

Power is via a generic surge arrestor, no UPS.

That all said, I'd like your advice on alternative wifi routers or non-wifi routers that can be augmented with wifi access points.

This is for home use: 2 laptops, an ipad, 2 phones, a Synology NAS via cat5 connection and occassionally a desktop via cat5. Living space is about 2400 sq. ft across 2 stories. Modem is on the 2nd-floor.

I'd even consider business-grade products so long as the setup doesn't require a degree in network engineering.
 

kanewolf

Titan
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I feel as though this question may be an oxymoron, but my TrendNet TEW-830MDR2K mesh routers have become rather flakey in their connection reliability.

I reached out to TrendNet support and implemented 2.4/5GHz channel changes among some other tweaks and still, am having reliability issues once every other week or so.

My modem is a Motarolla Surfboard SB6141. I've logged into it's status menu and as of this moment, need to double check the Power Levels, but I do recall them not being optimal. It's cable connection is the first direct connection after the signal comes into the house and goes through an initial filter on the side of the house.

Power is via a generic surge arrestor, no UPS.

That all said, I'd like your advice on alternative wifi routers or non-wifi routers that can be augmented with wifi access points.

This is for home use: 2 laptops, an ipad, 2 phones, a Synology NAS via cat5 connection and occassionally a desktop via cat5. Living space is about 2400 sq. ft across 2 stories. Modem is on the 2nd-floor.

I'd even consider business-grade products so long as the setup doesn't require a degree in network engineering.
Are the satellite nodes connected via ethernet or WIFI back to the base station ?
Without a wired backbone of some type, WIFI is not always reliable.
Have you considered paying someone to professionally install some ethernet cabling ?
 

darkfa8

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Modem connects to first Mesh router via cat5. second mesh router downstairs connects to the first mesh router via TrendNet WiFi mesh network, no cable.

No, I haven't considered hiring someone to install cable, but I might consider it.
 

kanewolf

Titan
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Modem connects to first Mesh router via cat5. second mesh router downstairs connects to the first mesh router via TrendNet WiFi mesh network, no cable.

No, I haven't considered hiring someone to install cable, but I might consider it.
Do you have coax installed? If so, then MoCA may be an option.
The best thing you can do for a home network is move all stationary devices that support it, to a wired connection.
If you have a bunch of IOT devices, you could even move then to a dedicated WIFI source.
 
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darkfa8

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as best I can recall, the cable line from the street goes into a connection box on the side of the house where I believe it goes through an attenuator and then comes into the house . it then goes to a splitter in my 2nd-floor wall that I cannot access - It seems to have been installed between the 1st-2nd floor rim joists by the previous owner/idiot builder. I couldn't see it despite looking in the wall upstairs and having opened up the wall downstairs during a reno project. I think I need to recheck this now that I have a video borescope :)

One side of the splitter goes to the modem on the second floor. The other side goes to my first floor and has a wall connection in my living room that then goes to my cable box.

The modem connects via cat5 to one router and it's one LAN port connects via cat5 to my NAS.

The laptop uses is primarily in that living room. 99% of the internet usage is via the NAS, phones/ipad and these two laptops.

The other installed coax lines are in the bedroom areas. These are currently not active or connected as I had removed the connections in my attic.
 
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BFG-9000

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SB6141 is a Puma 5 chipset modem which has the same packet loss and latency issues as the infamous Puma 6 devices.

As far as hardware build quality, for consumer products Netgear is the best, whether manufactured by Delta Networks or Foxconn. ASUS made by Askey is just OK but definitely has the best and longest firmware support. Linksys made by CyberTan and D-Link made by Alpha Networks or Cameo are simply abominable, filled with off-brand electrolytics (which is the part with the shortest rated lifespan). Unlike everyone else TP-Link make their own stuff and generally seem OK but only offer two years of software updates. I don't actually know about Trendnet but their FCC pictures also show a bunch of electrolytics (which can be OK if they are reputable name-brand and don't get too hot).

Wired is way more reliable than wifi as it's not a shared medium subject to interference (from your neighbors' decidedly non-wifi security cameras and cordless phones, microwave or million-amp welder), so wifi should only be used as a last hop ideally with the AP in the same room. Mesh is multiple hops with a separate radio as backhaul. Often the easiest way to run wire is simply outside the house as it is good for 328'
 
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darkfa8

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@BFG-9000 - I checked my modem's status, S/N and power levels and all are within tolerance. Though what, if any cable modem doesn't have packet loss and latency issues the likes of the Puma chipsets?

With regard to routers, would a non-mesh router provide more reliability? A single Netgear Wifi router and/or with additional stand-alone WAP in the various rooms?
 

gggplaya

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Since you have a cable coax line connecting the upstairs and downstairs. I would try MOCA. You'll need to buy a POE(point of entry) filter and attach that anywhere between the main splitter and the street pole. Typically where it enters the house, or into the first splitter.

Then all you need are 2 Moca adapters. Connected to your main router, and your downstairs access point. This will create a wired gigabit connection.

The only reason this won't work is if the main splitter, you said is hidden in the wall, is only a 5-1000mhz splitter and not a more modern 5-1650mhz or higher splitter. MOCA typically operates in the 1100-1600mhz range. You cable internet and tv typically operate in the 5-900mhz range.

Also, it might have issues with some newer cable tv and satelite tv boxes installed in your house, which use a main DVR system and secondary boxes which also use MOCA.
 

darkfa8

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@gggplaya - that is an interesting proposition. Though my cable box is a new Xfinity box and does use DVR. There is only one cable box in the house.

I will try to see if I can see the filter in the wall, but I suspect I won't be able to see if and i'll never know what it is without ripping up the floor of the 2nd floor to gain access to under the rim joist of the wall where the line comes in and then goes down to my living room.

I had the wall of my living room open and the wall cable line went up through the top header. No filter in sight and when I tugged on the cable, it definitely felt as though a splitter was likely restricting me from pulling the line down. =\ Maybe some day I'll run a new continuous line down, but that probably won't happen unless the existing run failed.
 

gggplaya

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Just buy the MOCA equipment from a place that has a good return policy, like amazon. If you don't have prime, then the worst you'll lose is a couple bucks for shipping. If it doesn't work, you'll most likely know the culprit.

Outside the home, there's typically a coax connection point somewhere where you can install the POE filter. This filter prevents the MOCA network from bleeding out into the neighborhood. It blocks all moca traffic outside the house.
 

darkfa8

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@gggplaya - forgive me, but I'm trying to envision the MOCA solution and it's pro/cons.

So the point of the MOCA for my application would be to supply a wired ethernet connection to my living room where a laptop is used for a full time job and take it off wifi use?

and, I'd still be able to connect my living room cable box as normal?

and, where or how would I add WAP devices so I'd have wifi coverage upstairs and downstairs?
 

gggplaya

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Yes, you'll be able to hardwire the laptop for a more reliable connection.

You'll also be able to hardwire your downstair WAP mesh node for a wired backhaul for a more reliable connection as well.

You may need to add a network switch to connect both your laptop and the mesh node. Get a cheap unmanaged switch, usually <$20.

I wouldn't upgrade or change our your Wifi or router just yet. Try making the backhaul connection more reliable first before deciding to change out that hardware.
 

gggplaya

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Page 53 of the user manual.

"Wired Mesh Backhaul
The mesh nodes can simultaneously connect to each other both wirelessly and wired provide a wireless and wired mesh network backhaul for fault tolerance in case disconnection occurs between mesh nodes to create the wireless mesh network. There is no additional configuration needed. After the initial setup app setup process is completed, connect the LAN (gray) port from the master router node, to your LAN network and connect the WAN (blue) port for the additional mesh nodes to your network LAN to create the wired mesh backhaul.
Note: Wired connection will take highest priority over wireless connection for mesh backhaul if connected. If wired connection is disconnected, the mesh connection will switch to wireless automatically "


It appears that no setup is needed in the software. Just make sure it's plugged in correctly.
 
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darkfa8

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@gggplaya - thank you for that. I was just starting to search through the specs :)

First, I'm going to see if I can put eyes on the splitter between the main house line post-street connection and my cable box using my digital borascope.

If I can find it, great. I'll determine if it's a 1650MHz version or not.

If not, then I could still attempt to create a hardwire back haul for the two mesh routers with the PoE installed at the junction of the pole and house line, a pair of MoCA adapters and then see whether or not my partner wants to connect her laptop via Cat5 to the living room router's LAN port.

If the MoCA does work out, then it will in the very least make that mesh connection more reliable and not susceptible to other errant radio signals.
 
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In general moca does not interfere either cable or internet. The one exception is some isp using docsis 3.1 are using some of the frequencies a lot of the moca systems use. It makes placement of filters messy.

In many cases placing the filter outside the house is the best place. Many times the ISP has already done that to prevent idiots who don't bother to read instructions from hooking up moca and sending crap into their network.

This is one of those you just have to see what options your house allows. It is likely your splitters are fine and you can just hook the moca up and it will co exist with the cable companies stuff.

The new moca stuff is very impressive. Unlike wifi where they talk big numbers and deliver almost nothing moca can actually get full gigabit speeds.
 
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