Question New Hardware Suggestions?

May 20, 2020
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I'm not a network guy and I've been out of the loop a bit on the new tech. I've moved out of my 600 sqft apartment into a house. I'm noticing some of the shortcomings of my setup.

My setup:
I've got an old zoom modem from the era when motorola's chipset was dropping packets. At about the same time I purchased a netgear R6200. These are located in my basement, into which the internet (from telephone pole) and my ethernet wallplates run. I had to redo the electric throughout the house, so I had shielded CAT6 run.

My problem:
The first floor dates back to the 30ies, so I've got plaster walls. I'm pretty sure this is what is causing my wifi connection to be inconsistent. I know its not distance because my house is 1700 sqft across two floors and a basement.

My proposed fix:
I'm hoping to disable the wifi on my R6200, using it strictly for routing. Buying one of those snazzy nighthawks to put upstairs for better wifi on the second floor and in the surrounding yard.

My questions:
  1. Would my R6200 bottleneck the Nighthawk AX12 in this scenario?
  2. Are there better/cheaper dedicated solutions to using the routers in this way?
 
Some answers:
  1. No, not as long as the r6200 can route at your full Internet speed.
  2. I think there wouldn't be a cheaper way, but there should be a much better way.
You house is unique in that it has obstructions most routers will choke on instantly and not really know how to deal with. Consumer routers aren't that smart to begin with so I wouldn't think a consumer solution will work reliably here.

While it would be more expensive, I would look into a ubiquiti solution with 2x access points and the dream machine. This system should be smart enough to work with the signal blocking walls you have to give you decent signal.
 
May 20, 2020
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Some answers:
  1. No, not as long as the r6200 can route at your full Internet speed.
  2. I think there wouldn't be a cheaper way, but there should be a much better way.
You house is unique in that it has obstructions most routers will choke on instantly and not really know how to deal with. Consumer routers aren't that smart to begin with so I wouldn't think a consumer solution will work reliably here.

While it would be more expensive, I would look into a ubiquiti solution with 2x access points and the dream machine. This system should be smart enough to work with the signal blocking walls you have to give you decent signal.
Thank you for your response. I was searching Amazon and that company popped up. They have several products. What should I be looking for? Im not familiar with all the terminology. I noticed one looked like a switch/router combo.
 

alceryes

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I would think a couple/few strategically placed WAPs upstairs would do the trick.

Pricier, commercial-grade WAPs don't do magic tricks - they can't bend wireless signal around your walls or anything like that. Some, however, have better antennas, more power, better firmware, better MIMO control, and greater sensitivity/better signal-to-noise processing. Will this help in your case? - maybe.

Ubiquiti is good but even this 'cheaper commercial solution' can be expensive. You may want to try some good retail WAPs and move them around to a few different locations to see what you can get from that, first. Also, do you mainly need internet upstairs for a desktop computer? If so, just get a powerline ethernet adapter and you're all set - it'll get you full network speeds to one system upstairs. You could also do a combo of powerline ethernet adapter and a couple WAPs. You've got options.
 
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Thank you for your response. I was searching Amazon and that company popped up. They have several products. What should I be looking for? Im not familiar with all the terminology. I noticed one looked like a switch/router combo.
You will want the 'dream machine' which is a router/switch and you want some of their access points that look like flying saucers that will be best installed in your upstairs and middle floor ceilings.

I was trying to find a thread here where someone got a new ubiquiti system and was thoroughly happy. If you got his exact same setup I think it would work very well.
 
Pricier, commercial-grade WAPs don't do magic tricks - they can't bend wireless signal around your walls or anything like that. Some, however, have better antennas, more power, better firmware, better MIMO control, and greater sensitivity/better signal-to-noise processing. Will this help in your case? - maybe.

Ubiquiti is good but even this 'cheaper commercial solution' can be expensive. You may want to try some good retail WAPs and move them around to a few different locations to see what you can get from that, first. Also, do you mainly need internet upstairs for a desktop computer? If so, just get a powerline ethernet adapter and you're all set - it'll get you full network speeds to one system upstairs. You could also do a combo of powerline ethernet adapter and a couple WAPs. You've got options.
Are you suggesting that $700 Ruckus and other enterprise level equipment is not better than the consumer stuff at Best Buy? This is very incorrect. Enterprise equipment many times goes far beyond just being an access point and does a lot of signal adjustments that consumer equipment can't dream of. And the ubiquiti stuff is the lowest level fruit that consumers can buy and it blows consumer stuff of the same price out of the water. I've seen people reduce the number of access points while increasing speed and reliability with a ubiquiti setup. The OPs very challenging environment is exactly what enterprise equipment is designed to handle. Consumer stuff will just be choked (literally).

Ubiquiti used to be expensive. But now that there are $300 consumer routers out there and these silly 'mesh' systems that cost a couple of hundred, if that's the budget, then ubiquiti is the answer.

The only way to cover this type of structure with retail waps will be to put one or maybe even more than one on each floor--basically a wap in every room. And that will literally cost the same as a ubiquiti setup with less optimal results.

And there is no need for powerline for the OP--they have shielded cat6 run.
 

alceryes

Distinguished
Are you suggesting that $700 Ruckus and other enterprise level equipment is not better than the consumer stuff at Best Buy?
No. I am saying that enterprise-grade WAPs don't perform miracles and, depending on the individual house, the OP may be able to get by with good retail WAPs and not have to spend $700. I've worked with dozens of both enterprise-grade and retail-grade WAP manufacturers. It sounds like you have as well. I think you'll agree that there's no reason to spend $700 on a Ruckus, Ubiquiti, Meraki, Cisco, Aruba, etc. if a $70 retail product produces the same result.

Yeah, I missed the part about the CAT 6 runs, so he'll be fine with just a straight cable if he has a desktop or other devices with NICs.
 
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