Question Need advice on upgrading my home network

Alex Mck

Sep 18, 2013
I'm currently in the mits of upgrading my home network and I'm tad out of my depth so any advice would be most appreciated.

The problem:
The home network has a number of deadlines due to channel overlapping/saturation on 2.4GHz network (5Ghz is less saturated but range is a problem).

What im looking for:
Moving most of the network on 5Ghz to get away from the cluttered 2.4Ghz bands. Additionally I'd like the capability to transfer large files over the network to different desktops that are two rooms away.

Details on current network:
Current Modem: AC1600 TP-Link
Max internet speeds: 50Mbps

My proposed rough Network Solution:
TP-Link Deco X20 AX1800 (2 Pack) - To spread that glorious 5Ghz.

TP-Link Archer AX20 AX1800 - Has plenty of LAN ports.

CAT8 SF/FTP - to link the Archer and most of the AP/Mesh Decos and desktops to the network and facilitate fast file network transfer.

Now this is my first time ever touching networking so any and all advice would be greatly appreciated. In regards to other potential solutions or criticism for my current solution.
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Your best plan is to use the ethernet cables to get good transfer speeds. You never want to use wifi when you have the option to transfer any data over cables. It will also reduce your usage of wifi for the devices that do not have the option to use ethernet.

BUT you are buying into the marketing trap of if its all confusing and I don't understand it then it MUST be better. You need to learn what you are really buying.

I don't know if CAT8 is ever finalized. It was being designed for 40gbit or 100gbit networks. This is not something a home user can really use. In addition you likely can not afford to properly install any form of shield cable. To work properly you must have a special ground connection in your house. This is not the same as the ground wire on your electrical outlets. So in effect in addition to ethernet cable you must have a connection to this special ground at every outlet. This is only something that can be done in a data center and even there it is not real common.

My guess is all the cat8 cable you find it fake.

You likely only need cat5e cable especially since your internet is only 50m. Your equipment likely only has 1gbit ports can cat5e is rate to 1gbit at 100 meters. Now IF you are going to run the cables inside the walls you might consider cat6a cable. This cable is rated to 10gbit. For patch cables that are easily replaced you are better off buying cat5e and when you have equipment that can actually use more than 1gbit buy cat6a cable then.

Way to many people thing wifi6 is some magic solution to all their problems. Your current ac1600 can actually be faster in some cases. wifi6 also makes the channel overlapping even worse. Wifi6 attempts to use 160mhz channels so it is using 2 times the bandwidth. In addition to overlapping your neighbors wifi signals it overlap weather radar which has all kinds of rules. Because of these rules many end device only support 80mhz bands which is the same as the older 802.11ac. I am pretty sure both the router you list only support 80mhz. Even if they support 160mhz end devices that do are extremely hard to find.

SO now you have wifi6 only running 80mhz. The other thing that makes wifi6 faster is using QAM1024 encoding. This only really works in the same room, it takes very strong signal levels to work.

When you cut both the 160mhz and the QAM1024 you are back to 802.11ac (wifi5) running at 900. Your current router uses 3x3 mimo rather than the 2x2 used by the wifi6 devices you list. Your current router can do 1300 on 5g in best case.

You likely are going to see almost no benefit going to wifi6 over your current router. In addition wifi6e is just starting to come to market. It runs on the new 6g radio band that has massive amounts of new bandwidth. This should greatly help the overlapping and there is no nasty weather radar issues to deal with.
I am not sure why wifi6e stuff is so hard to get, likely the chip shortages and greedy manufactures wanting to sell their stock of older now obsolete wifi6 stuff.


Like Bill said, most CAT7 and CAT8 cable you find on amazon is fake.

I would stick with CAT6a from a reputable source, full real copper and not copper clad aluminum cable.

Mesh units are fine if you're using an ethernet backhaul, but if using a wifi backhaul you'll likely run into bandwidth issues.

It's better to get Wifi6E if you're worried about congestion.