Question Wifi in a big house, no dead spots (new router/mesh/AP)

Nov 28, 2020
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Hi,

I need to make sure my parents get wifi in their house. It's ~300m2 (3 floors), brick walls.
Currently they use a modem/router from the ISP (https://www.upc.ch/dam/www-upc-ch/business/pdf/Support1/b2b-ConnectBox_Manual_EN.PDF) (ground floor) and Linksys WAG54GS first floor (it's using a different SSID).
Issue: lots of dead place with no wifi in the house.

I'm considering a router for ~250$ ((ASUS RT-AC88U)) or a mesh network
Is one decent modem/router able to cover such a house?
Can you recommend any mesh system?
I'd prefer the mesh, seems easy to setup and my parents have a landline phone connected, so not really looking forward to configuring that on a new modem.
 
How do you get the device on the ground floor connected to the linksys on the first floor.

Mesh is almost all marketing to get people to buy crap they don't need. Most are sold as decorator items for rooms more than technical devices.

A different router may not help when the problem is brick walls eating the signals. The ISP router likely puts out the maximum legal power so replacing it will make little difference to the coverage. Most times the problem is the end device not the router since the end devices many times have low power radios to save on battery.

Your best solution for better coverage is a wired connection to the remote rooms with a radio source on the end of the wire. If you have ethernet cables you can use a AP or a simple router running as a AP. If you have tv coax you can use MoCA technology to replace the ethernet cabling and still put a AP in the remote rooms. You can also consider powerline networks that use the electrical wires to extend the network. Many of these units have wireless AP built into the remote unit. Be sure to buy av2-1000 or av2-2000 if you go the powerline route.

Last and when nothing else works you consider wifi repeaters. That is all mesh really is. Some brands of mesh have a dedicated third radio but they still have many of the problems a wifi repeater has. Many of the so called mesh units are just the same old repeater technology renamed.
They all greatly drop the quality and bandwidth you get. You may have a strong signal but the data quality is still poor. In your house it may not work well. Key to mesh/repeater is the placement. You can't just stick them in the remote rooms and they magically work....even though that is what the marketing guys imply. They must be placed in a area they can get strong signals form the main router but still be able to send the signal to the remote area. In your case you would need to place the device in the middle of the wall since the signals can't get through.

Mesh only "seems" easy because the marketing guys pretend walls and floors make no difference and you can just plug magic boxes in rooms and magic wifi will appear.
 
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Nov 28, 2020
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The ground floor and first floor routers are connected via a Ethernet cable.

Ok, I decided to drop the Mesh idea.
After some research I will connect a ASUS RT-AC68U to the modem, turn the modem's wifi off (I don't think the ISP is providing quality hardware).
I'll replace the 10YO linksys WAG54GS with AC ASUS RT-AC51U.
If the signal will be missing I'll drag the cable to other room and buy more AC ASUS RT-AC51U.
Do you think this makes sense?
 
Nov 28, 2020
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OK, so I have now:
ASUS RT-AC68U set as a AP
ASUS RT-AC51U set as a AP
The wifi on the ISP's modem is off.
Both ASUS routers have different SSIDs.
If I set the SSIDs to the same, will clients be able to switch between the source with stronger signal with no issues?
 
They will switch but they are really stupid sometimes. They can not actually tell that there is another radio source because they can't scan for it when the radio is in use transferring data.

In general it works ok. You can always just stop and start the wifi and it tends to connect to the strongest signal. The recommended thing is to reduce the radio power so there is less overlap but still enough signal to get good performance. I am not sure of those asus have that option, some do but it will likely be ok with the default value.
 

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