Question Need help improving home WiFi (Netflix, Concrete walls, bandwidth control)

Apr 10, 2019
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Good day,

I live in the Philippines. I've been having problems with my internet lately. I was using a DSL connection before which had no problems with wifi. My ISP (PLDT) provided a modem for this and everything, all worked well for years.

A few months back, I decided to upgrade my internet to FiBR Optic. From 6Mbps to 25Mbps. This was a wonderful upgrade, all worked well for my desktop...the problem was the wifi. My ISP replaced my DSL modem with a FIBR modem, naturally. But since then, Wifi connections were very unstable.

The problem with Netflix was and still is, the streaming quality would jump from 240p to 4k and back. Sometimes it would just hover between 420p and 720p. I know, this is a common problem with Netflix. Specific titles are also a factor but whenever I connect my Smart TV directly to my modem via Ethernet cable, things would work without a hitch.

Yeah, simple solution would be just connect my TV directly to my modem, yes. If only I could, I would.

You see, my ISP has locked 3 of the 4 ports on this modem. I can't even control bandwidth control per connected device; which I think would be a solution for the up and down of streaming quality. Despite having full admin rights to the modem, its really programmed to lock the users out when it came to these features. I can fiddle with the mac address and lock people out but what I would want is to distribute my bandwidth to different parts of our house.

The weird thing is my modem is only 2 feet away from my TV but it really has a hard time keeping the streaming stable, Netflix or Youtube. What saddens me the most; is when my mom who is in the next room (3 feet of concrete wall) watches Netflix, its on 420p 60% percent of the time. Her TV is just 1080p (via Chromecast) so sometimes she doesn't even notice but, I'm paying good money for this speed so her and other people in our house can enjoy at least a stable connection.

(The modem is in my bedroom)

I've even bought a repeater which didn't do squat when it came to stability. Yeah, it made the connection stronger but that's that.

So, here's my question.

I'm planning to get this router: https://www.amazon.com/Tenda-Wireless-Internet-MU-MIMO-AC6/dp/B06X1CHFJ5

I would like to know if I can just connect this to my ISP's modem, then use this router for my TV + wifi and control all other internet stuff I would need.
If you can recommend another router than does well for concrete walls, I'll try to find them here in my country. Our house isn't big at all. I'm very sure that range isn't the problem. Its a single floor house but walls are all concrete. Can't remember how much sqm my home is but just imagine 3-4 sedans lined up for length and width.

Anyway, sorry for the lengthy post. I really did all the research I could but I just wanted to be doubly sure and wanted to get an opinion here.

Thank you.
 
Is running Ethernet cables an option? Wifi does not work well through concrete.

You can also use power line to Ethernet adapters. It uses your home wiring to passthrough Ethernet. It's not quite as good as pure Ethernet but much better than Wifi

They also make powerline adapters with Wi-Fi. These will pass the signals through your home wiring. Then in the various rooms you can install Wi-Fi access points. these access points usually also have an Ethernet plug for a hardwired device.

If you need more ports on your ISP modem for this. You can use a 5 or 8 Port switch or your own router like you planned.
 
Reactions: digitalgriffin

AllanGH

Commendable
Mar 10, 2019
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The product you indicate does appear that it will do what you want to do.
I have no familiarity with the Tenda brand, though, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. At least it's not an expensive investment, and you do have Amazon return policies to protect you, if it's not appropriate for your needs.

As to whether or not it will give you good signal through concrete walls?
This is something that will have to be determined after trying it in your specific location.
 
Apr 10, 2019
6
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10
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Is running Ethernet cables an option? Wifi does not work well through concrete.

You can also use power line to Ethernet adapters. It uses your home wiring to passthrough Ethernet. It's not quite as good as pure Ethernet but much better than Wifi

They also make powerline adapters with Wi-Fi. These will pass the signals through your home wiring. Then in the various rooms you can install Wi-Fi access points. these access points usually also have an Ethernet plug for a hardwired device.

If you need more ports on your ISP modem for this. You can use a 5 or 8 Port switch or your own router like you planned.

Sadly no. Running Ethernet cables could be an option. I mean, I can run them out through my window then to my mom's window into her room but I don't think that's going to work well. I would have to drill through the concrete or probably mess up my window's PVC frame. Also, I don't think we have that kind of wiring in our home. We have ports for phone lines besides wall sockets but thats about it. Did you mean those?

Would it be possible to buy this router, connect it to the wifi then place it in my mom's room. Then after that connect the router to the TV via ether net cable?
 
Apr 10, 2019
6
0
10
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The product you indicate does appear that it will do what you want to do.
I have no familiarity with the Tenda brand, though, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. At least it's not an expensive investment, and you do have Amazon return policies to protect you, if it's not appropriate for your needs.

As to whether or not it will give you good signal through concrete walls?
This is something that will have to be determined after trying it in your specific location.

I won't be getting this via Amazon but we do have a reputable site for it. Our version of Ebay so to speak. Could you recommend a router with a similar price point to this? There are others also available here like TP-Link and Asus.
 
You will not find a significant difference in the amount of signal that can get through concrete. Routers are limited by the government to how much output power they can use. That is pretty much the only factor that determines how much signal can get through the walls. They can put different amounts of data into the signal but the amount of signal is purely a function of output power.

The difference between routers when you look the numbers up in the fcc documents where they must test using a particular method is almost the same between different brands.

In general the router is not the problem it is the end devices. Many of these unilke the router does not transmit at maximum power. They use small antenna to keep devices more portable and they use lower power transmitters because most run on battery.

Bottom line there is no magic wifi device that will solve your problem. Your only real option is to use something else like powerline or maybe moca if you have tv coax.
 
Sadly no. Running Ethernet cables could be an option. I mean, I can run them out through my window then to my mom's window into her room but I don't think that's going to work well. I would have to drill through the concrete or probably mess up my window's PVC frame. Also, I don't think we have that kind of wiring in our home. We have ports for phone lines besides wall sockets but thats about it. Did you mean those?

Would it be possible to buy this router, connect it to the wifi then place it in my mom's room. Then after that connect the router to the TV via ether net cable?
Your home electrical wiring is what the Powerline adapters use. Not 100% sure if these will work in the Philippines, if you need an oultet adapter or if they make a localized version. As far as I can tell. They should work with a plug adapter. It would need to be a straight adapter not a power converting one. Those would block the signal. As far as I can tell. The Philippines uses the same type of wiring in the US. Just 220V instead of 110v and two prong plugs are more prevalent.

TP-Link says their adapters work with 100-240V AC 50/60hz.

Please note they make similar looking Ethernet only powerline adapters and WiFi powerline adapters. The TL-WPA7510 Kit is a WiFi kit.
 
Apr 10, 2019
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Your home electrical wiring is what the Powerline adapters use. Not 100% sure if these will work in the Philippines, if you need an oultet adapter or if they make a localized version. As far as I can tell. They should work with a plug adapter. It would need to be a straight adapter not a power converting one. Those would block the signal. As far as I can tell. The Philippines uses the same type of wiring in the US. Just 220V instead of 110v and two prong plugs are more prevalent.

TP-Link says their adapters work with 100-240V AC 50/60hz.

Please note they make similar looking Ethernet only powerline adapters and WiFi powerline adapters. The TL-WPA7510 Kit is a WiFi kit.

Oh, I see. okay, I've searched for that product you've posted.

https://shopee.ph/Tp-Link-TL-WPA7510-AV1000-Gigabit-Powerline-ac-Wi-Fi-Kit-i.117867014.1841110342?gclid=CjwKCAjwqLblBRBYEiwAV3pCJqdpLPB5wNcEzIgLa00kAJidthp-lTN_5YYv2MUcWocvGUCd8jdMEBoCjFQQAvD_BwE

Its a bit pricey, but if will improve our internet stability, i'm will to shelf out the money. So basically, this will connect to a power source via wall socket then i'll just connect an Ethernet cable to my mom's TV?
 
Oh, I see. okay, I've searched for that product you've posted.

https://shopee.ph/Tp-Link-TL-WPA7510-AV1000-Gigabit-Powerline-ac-Wi-Fi-Kit-i.117867014.1841110342?gclid=CjwKCAjwqLblBRBYEiwAV3pCJqdpLPB5wNcEzIgLa00kAJidthp-lTN_5YYv2MUcWocvGUCd8jdMEBoCjFQQAvD_BwE

Its a bit pricey, but if will improve our internet stability, i'm will to shelf out the money. So basically, this will connect to a power source via wall socket then i'll just connect an Ethernet cable to my mom's TV?
One will connect to the router. The other can connect to her TV and provide wifi to the room. If the router needs more ports. Then get a cheap switch.
 

digitalgriffin

Distinguished
Jan 29, 2008
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I agree with most of the sentiment with the post up here. Your two best options are

1) Buy a powerline adapter (Great in poor reception, or congested reception areas)

2) Buy a quality Access Point (You don't need a full router because the modem is acting as your DHCP host and assigning AP's) This will save you some money.

Archer/TP-Link does make okay stuff. They are #2 on my list of reliable consumer networking companies.

You can get two PL1200 powerline adapters from NetGear for $120. You're in the Phillipines, so I'm not sure your plug type/voltage over there. So make sure you get a compatible model. They are Atheros chipsets I believe and comply with the Home Networking Aliance standards (spec: Home plug AV2) so they inter-operate with other brands if need be. I own 4 and use one in the basement due to poor wifi reception. But I never got above 80mbps throughput. Their speed claims are greatly exaggerated with typical use. You MIGHT get 200->400 mbps if you are in the same room on the same circuit, different outlets.
 
Reactions: 3jackdaw
Apr 10, 2019
6
0
10
0
I agree with most of the sentiment with the post up here. Your two best options are

1) Buy a powerline adapter (Great in poor reception, or congested reception areas)

2) Buy a quality Access Point (You don't need a full router because the modem is acting as your DHCP host and assigning AP's) This will save you some money.

Archer/TP-Link does make okay stuff. They are #2 on my list of reliable consumer networking companies.

You can get two PL1200 powerline adapters from NetGear for $120. You're in the Phillipines, so I'm not sure your plug type/voltage over there. So make sure you get a compatible model. They are Atheros chipsets I believe and comply with the Home Networking Aliance standards (spec: Home plug AV2) so they inter-operate with other brands if need be. I own 4 and use one in the basement due to poor wifi reception. But I never got above 80mbps throughput. Their speed claims are greatly exaggerated with typical use. You MIGHT get 200->400 mbps if you are in the same room on the same circuit, different outlets.

Thanks for your tips, I'll look into this as well.

My main concern about these powerline adapters are fire hazards. I'm not so confident about my home's wiring. Forgive my ignorance, but could these things start a fire? From what I understand powerline adapters ride a specific frequency in the copper wire, the same wires that carry electricity throughout our homes. Sudden fluctuations or abrupt power outages (then quickly getting power back within 3-5 seconds) is common in my city as well. Also, these aren't cheap. Wifi routers would be cheaper but from what most people here are telling me powerline adapters are far more superior, I'm willing to invest on this but just worried about the potential fire. Oh, and I'm not sure if it would work with FIBR connection?
 

digitalgriffin

Distinguished
Jan 29, 2008
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Thanks for your tips, I'll look into this as well.

My main concern about these powerline adapters are fire hazards. I'm not so confident about my home's wiring. Forgive my ignorance, but could these things start a fire? From what I understand powerline adapters ride a specific frequency in the copper wire, the same wires that carry electricity throughout our homes. Sudden fluctuations or abrupt power outages (then quickly getting power back within 3-5 seconds) is common in my city as well. Also, these aren't cheap. Wifi routers would be cheaper but from what most people here are telling me powerline adapters are far more superior, I'm willing to invest on this but just worried about the potential fire. Oh, and I'm not sure if it would work with FIBR connection?
I maybe mistaken but i believe the internal circuitry is protected by movs and opto isolated circuits. What that means is if theres a surge it shouldnt fry the internals. That said i can understand your concerns as you have to operate them straight from the wall outlet with no surge protector in between.

Could it cause a fire? Anythings possible especially with lighting. Is it likely? No. The kind of voltages these powerline adapters are putting out as a signal are in the mV. Hardly enough to cause any real issues.
 

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