Consistent Wifi within a large house - same Access Point possible?

liamemail

Prominent
Oct 23, 2017
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510
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Hi all

I'm experiencing inconsistent wifi / possible contention within my house and looking for a bit of advice. I'll summarise my current setup:

-- Fibre service comes into my cellar, modem (Openreach) located there, as if my router (Netgear Nighthawk). Router transmits 2 networks - 2.4 and 5g with different names (lets call them Network1 and Network2). Would be tricky to move router to a higher floor.

-- Modem connected to a gigabit switch, with Cat6 cabling coming out of it and distributed throughout my 4 storey house. Various gigabit switches dotted around house and connected to devices to provide fastest connection possible

-- Apple Airport in kitchen fed with Cat6 wired connection - transmits a different network name (Network 3). Oddly, this tends to perform the best of all the networks.

-- Bedroom in loft struggled to get the wifi from the ground floor (Networks 1, 2 or 3), so using a netgear extender, transmitting a different network (Network 4).

It's a bit of a mishmash, but it kind of works. What's my issue then?

-- As we move thru the house, constantly need to change network on devices
-- Devices - when switched on - sometimes connect to the network with the worst signal, ie: you're on the ground floor and your phone connects to Network 4 in the loft
-- I have Sonos and it has dropouts in the loft
-- Recently bought Philips Hue bulbs that performance very inconsistently. Apparently they create their own Mesh network but suspect there's interference. Hue Hub connected to wired connection

Questions:
-- Is it possible to have the same network name throughout the house? Would devices find this confusing when connecting
-- How can I diagnose potential channel conflicts?
-- Any suggestions for fixing my Hue issues?
-- Should I dump the Netgear Nighthawk and get something else?

Sorry for the long post - tried to be brief!

Thanks
 
You have 2 choices neither is perfect. You run as you do and manually force it to connect to the network that you the person think is best but you manually must change it. OR you set the SSID the same and the device attempts to pick the best. The first option tends to perform the best but you must have the skills to select network and being willing to do it. The second the device will always connect to the strongest signal BUT it only does that initially it will not check again until the signal level drops to almost unusable so you will many times not be connected to the optimum radio. Since the end device only has 1 radio it can not check to see if there is a better signal without disrupting the connection you are using.

There really is no "best" choice you must pick which ever you feel is the least painful.

It would be nice if wireless network could tell the end devices which AP to connect to like a cell tower does but the current wifi design leaves this choice to the end device rather than the network.

Not sure how the hue lights work. If they run independently from your main network then you need to be careful about the wifi bands. Still using things like 802.11ac to get higher speeds limit your ability to share radio bandwidth. When we used to use 802.11g it only used 20mhz of bandwidth but now the signals use 40 or 80mhz of bandwidth and there is only 60mhz on 2.4g and 190mhz on 5g total for all the radios to share it is very hard to split these up. It is made even worse if you happen to have a tri-band router that is attempts to use 2 80mhz blocks on the 5g band.
 

liamemail

Prominent
Oct 23, 2017
2
0
510
0


Hi Bill

Thanks for replying on this. Seems like neither solution is perfect and would involve some kind of turning wifi on / off to get the best signal whereever you are in the house

Cheers

 

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