Question Recommendations on how to integrate wireless throughout home

bandit385

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I'm looking to expand wireless networking throughout home for streaming and mobile devices.

Current situation. My home is a large single story home with a split floor plan and is partially "wired" with cat 5e to the bedrooms, den, kitchen, etc. The jacks are on the walls and cables are run back to remote cable closet at one end of the house along with the cable service. I never completed the wired installation and have relied on a modem and single wireless N router in the front bedroom/office to provide wireless throughout. To provide better wireless signal/speed for streaming and mobile devices throughout, I'm looking for the optimum way to upgrade the network, to include wireless to support streaming and mobile devices throughout (bedrooms, den, etc.). I'm looking for recommendations on which types of devices/specs to use (routers, wireless, switches, access points etc) and the best areas to locate them for the best signal strength and speed. I currently have 100MPS internet service, but would like optimize for a fast internal network connection (to support cat 5e speed or faster) as well as potential faster internet access speed in the future.

A couple of options I'm considering are:
  1. Upgrading the wireless router at its current location in the office and add wireless extender(s) as needed;
  2. Upgrading the wireless router at its current location with a wireless mesh router and wireless receiver(s) as needed.
  3. Move the modem with a new wireless router to the remote cable closet and add extenders/receivers as needed.
  4. Move the modem and add new wired router (and switch if needed) to the remote closet. Connect the router/switch to existing 5e cables in the closeout and add wireless access points throughout connecting them to the 5e jacks where needed.
  5. Move the modem with a wireless router /mesh router to a central location (ie den) and add wireless extenders/receivers as needed. Then, connect the router using the existing cat 5e jack and install a switch in the closet for wired distribution throughout.
I'm sure there are many other options, and I appreciate any feedback on one of the above or other recommendations you have. It seems wireless routers are more popular and have more choices, but I don't know if that's the best solution in my case. I also don't know if its possible to have a separate wired router with wireless access points or if I would still need a wireless router. - Thanks,
 

Lutfij

Titan
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Ideally if you're house isn't horizontally expansive, you can manage with a single powerful top tie/mid range wireless router and provide wireless coverage across your crib. Omni directional antennas in a router mean that you're getting somewhat of a 360 Degree field of exposure. Routers with antenna's externally mounted have the advantage of somewhat orienting the network in a specified direction.

Might I ask how big your house is, square footage wise? A diagram of your house would also help two fold. If there aren't many Cat5e connections in your crib, one router with 4 gigabit LAN ports will do the job or pairing all the Cat5e connections to a Switch if you need more than 4.

Others will have more suggestions, no doubt. For now, this is my 2 cents.
Hope it helps
;)
 

Ketchup79

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I recently upgraded to a TP-Link Archer A9 after some re-configuring in the house and am very pleased. It is carrying video wirelessly from a media server to a Roku box on the AC band ~50 feet away without a sweat, not even caring about closed doors in the way. Has a great price too. Here is a review:
 

Ralston18

Titan
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I will add the suggestion that if you are using any of those very small USB wireless adapters then put them on the end of a USB extension cable.

Doing so will allow you to raise the wireless adapter up and away from the host computer with the end results likely to be improved transmission/reception.

Plus the wireless adapter is likely to run much cooler and hopefully contribute towards a longer lifetime.

They can, and do, get quite warm to even hot.
 
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Ketchup79

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I will add the suggestion that if you are using any of those very small USB wireless adapters then put them on the end of a USB extension cable.

Doing so will allow you to raise the wireless adapter up and away from the host computer with the end results likely to be improved transmission/reception.

Plus the wireless adapter is likely to run much cooler and hopefully contribute towards a longer lifetime.

They can, and do, get quite warm to even hot.
Yes! Thank you for mentioning. I use one of these https://www.netgear.com/home/products/networking/wifi-adapters/a6210.aspx
which comes with USB extension cable and a nice little dock.
 

bandit385

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In looking more at access points or extenders and since I need to also upgrade the router, I think a mesh router system may be another option with a second satellite with wired capability for synchronization / backhaul? I could locate the modem and main router in the den and the satellite in the bedroom to the left. This would require me to finish the wired installation. The routers would be 55+ feet apart separated by 3 interior walls. How does this sound?
 

kanewolf

Titan
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In looking more at access points or extenders and since I need to also upgrade the router, I think a mesh router system may be another option with a second satellite with wired capability for synchronization / backhaul? I could locate the modem and main router in the den and the satellite in the bedroom to the left. This would require me to finish the wired installation. The routers would be 55+ feet apart separated by 3 interior walls. How does this sound?
The Ubiquiti In-Wall units are access points, but they are designed to fit in a standard wall box. https://inwall.ui.com/ These can provide a single SSID, tuneable power for both radios and guest network.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
The mention of the Netgear USB wireless adapter led me to another, somewhat belated, thought.

Do avoid mixing and matching manufacturer's. Technically, if all standards are adhered to then all should be well.

However, if there are problems the manufacturer's will just blame each other.....
 

bandit385

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Thanks for the replies. The 16 port gigabit switch I have doesn't have POE. Should I upgrade the switch with one that has POE or are there recommendations for non-POE access points? Also, are there any advantages using a wired router (no wireless) and locate it in the closet with the switch and just use wireless access points to distribute through the house ? Or is it better to use a wireless router in a central location and wire back to the closet from one of the router ethernet outputs to distribute through the house?
 

kanewolf

Titan
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Thanks for the replies. The 16 port gigabit switch I have doesn't have POE. Should I upgrade the switch with one that has POE or are there recommendations for non-POE access points? Also, are there any advantages using a wired router (no wireless) and locate it in the closet with the switch and just use wireless access points to distribute through the house ? Or is it better to use a wireless router in a central location and wire back to the closet from one of the router ethernet outputs to distribute through the house?
IF you are going to use access points, then I would use the router as wired only. You can turn off the WIFI on any router -- I did that with the FIOS router. A single brand of WIFI hardware will usually make roaming more reliable. BUT roaming is controlled by the client hardware not the WIFI access points, so it may or may not work reliably for things like WIFI calling.
 

bandit385

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If using access points, are there any benefits to using a stand alone wired router vs. turning off the WIFI on a wireless router? Also, don't know if if matters or not, but the modem I have is ARRIS SB6141.
 

failboat

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Thanks for the replies. The 16 port gigabit switch I have doesn't have POE. Should I upgrade the switch with one that has POE or are there recommendations for non-POE access points? Also, are there any advantages using a wired router (no wireless) and locate it in the closet with the switch and just use wireless access points to distribute through the house ? Or is it better to use a wireless router in a central location and wire back to the closet from one of the router ethernet outputs to distribute through the house?
Use POE but just get the injector. 24V is about $2 with unifi. 48V AF/AT is $20. 24V is good for 100ft. AF/AT is good for 100M. POE switches add a ton of cost for the AT ones. It's not really worth it if you have less than 8 POE devices. If unifi made a 16p switch with 8 AF ports it would be great.
 

kanewolf

Titan
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Use POE but just get the injector. 24V is about $2 with unifi. 48V AF/AT is $20. 24V is good for 100ft. AF/AT is good for 100M. POE switches add a ton of cost for the AT ones. It's not really worth it if you have less than 8 POE devices. If unifi made a 16p switch with 8 AF ports it would be great.
Using an injector is OK. But since there are 24V and 48V injectors, you need to be careful that the injector matches the device being powered. A 24V injector (passive POE) could damage a device that was not designed for passive POE.
 

gggplaya

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I like my Asus routers which can be configured for AiMesh with a wired backhaul, which is how I use them. Just make sure to set it up as a wireless mesh node first, then plug in the ethernet during configuration. Otherwise it'll think it's a regular access point, not a mesh node. When moving throughout my house with my ipad the handoff has always worked well so far as I move between floors. I have an access point on each floor of my house.

For your house, you could keep the main router where it is, and place another mesh node on the green dot, that should be enough to give good coverage throughout your house.
 

bandit385

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Which Asus routers do you recommend which have the wired backhaul? Do they all have to be the same model (ie mesh node)? Also, would they work as wired access points if they were connected to a wired router?
 
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gggplaya

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The cheapest Asus router with AiMesh is the AC66u revB1 , which are around $100 each. After that, depending on your needs, you can get routers with larger processors, more antenna's to handle higher traffic and bandwidth demands, the new wifi 6 standard(wireless AX), and some other features. But for most home users the AC66u B1 will be fine. It has a a dual core processor and 3 antenna's.

They do not have to be the same model, you can mix and match ASUS routers as long as they support AiMesh. You can even mix in Asus Lyra nodes. Not all asus routers support AiMesh, they have to be certain chipsets to be compatible.

Yes, you can operate them as wired access points, or as wired backhaul Mesh. Guest network doesn't work with mesh, so some people set them to access point mode instead. In access point mode, you can still set them drop people off the access point if their signal drops below a certain strength, not really a smooth handoff but it gets the job done.
 

failboat

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Which Asus routers do you recommend which have the wired backhaul? Do they all have to be the same model (ie mesh node)? Also, would they work as wired access points if they were connected to a wired router?
Access points don't need to be the same model. There are some features like fast roaming that won't work if you don't use the same line. Lines like unifi let you config once and push out for SSID/PW.

If you're using wired access points wireless mesh isn't the right product. You only want to use wireless mesh if you want to extend a section further but can't get a wire there. You will lose a large amount of throughput each wireless jump with mesh.

For your question about a wired router. Depends on the features you want. If you just want basic NAT/DHCP anything will work just turn off wireless if it's not a good location. There are a few $50 wired only routers that have good features. If you have 1Gbs internet your options are limited to a handful. Many cheaper ones will bottleneck it.
 

bandit385

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Thanks for replies. I think a wired only router, like a Ubiquiti Edgerouter X or Lite, and few good access points or wireless routers (like the Asus models mentioned operated as wired access points) would give me the most flexibility. I'm also leaning toward desk mounted access points.

A few of the access points that I'm looking at are the Ubiquiti airCube or Unifi FlexHD Access points. The later looks to be fairly new and is more expensive than the airCube or Asus AC66u. So, I could get 3 ea AC66u's or 4 ea airCubes or 2 ea of the FlexHD's. Can anyone verify if the Unifi FlexHD can be powered from a AC power adapter, or only PoE only?
 

gggplaya

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If you're doing a separate router, another access point to consider is the Ruckus access points with Unleashed firmware. They can run standalone without a server and one will be set as the main access point and the others will copy the settings.

I think with most commercial intent equipment, you'll need to use a POE switch or POE injector.
 

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