Question Would a switch work?

shobuddy

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I live in a two-story home with FIOS service that comes into the basement via Ethernet from the ONT thats located outside the house. I have a Quantum Gateway G1100 router in the basement that I use for wifi and to feed the three ethernet ports in the rest of the house, two on the first floor and one on the second. With the router being in the basement, my wifi is spotty in two of the second floor bedrooms. I know I could go with a mesh network (with backhaul) but instead, I'm thinking of putting a switch in the basement and then putting the router on the first floor. Since it is an open concept home, I'm sure the wifi would work a lot better with the router on the first floor. The switch in the basement would feed the three ethernet ports, one of which would be plugged into the router. I'm not really sure how a switch manages traffic but does this sound like a plausible solution?
 
Since the internet is coming into the basement. The router needs to be with it. As the ONT needs to plug into their router.

Get a second router for upstairs and configure it to act as an access point. You'd give it the exact same SSID, Network Key and Encryption type used by your main router for WiFi. Pay attention to encryption type preferably it's just WPA 2 with AES. None of the WPA/WPA2 TKIP+AES.

Once it is configured. Manually set the upstairs routers settings to be within the DHCP Range of your downstairs router. Then set your downstairs router as the upstairs gateway.

For example IP Address of downstairs: 192.168.1.254, Subnet 255.255.255.0

Upstairs:
Gateway/Router: 192.168.1.254
IP Address: 192.168.1.200
Subnet: 255.255.255.0
DNS: 192.168.1.254

Once that is all configured on your upstairs router. Plug one of the LAN ports into your wall Ethernet jack. Now it should act as an Access Point and a switch upstairs. With devices connecting automatically on wake or boot to the strongest signal. Also with the downstairs router. Reserve whatever IP Address you assign to the upstairs router.

Since you have Ethernet through the house. Access Points connected to Ethernet is better than Mesh. Mesh will also add it's own complications. Since the mesh will want it's own network. Making it difficult to connect local devices to eachother if one is connected to the mesh and the other is connected to the downstairs router.
 

shobuddy

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Thanks for the reply! I had previously tried using an old router as an AP but not with all the steps you described. I simply disabled DHCP and set the configuration to match the router except used a different SSID to see if my device would switch to a stronger signal. I found that my device stayed with the original basement router regardless of signal strength. I'll try configuring the AP in more detail as you described.

Mesh was my plan B. When you say AP is better than mesh, wouldn't it be the same if the mesh is connected with backhaul?
 
The only thing limiting you to what you propose is that the verizon router will need an ethernet connection to that ont and all your ethernet runs terminate in the basement.

So you could get the verizon to the second floor using one of those ethernet runs, but then how do you get the signal back downstairs to run to all the other ports via the switch? That's the challenge.

But luckily the challenge is easy. As long as you have coax in your house you can use a moca adapter to get the signal back downstairs to your switch and then to all the other ports. In fact, if your speeds are less than 500Mbs, you can get a G1100 and use it as a moca endpoint and it has a built-in switch and AP. And these can be found used for about $30.

The other option would be to use powerline adapters to get the signal back downstairs.

And you can also use moca or powerline to simply get the ont signal to the router on the second floor. Then you would be able to simply put a switch downstairs and plug in the router lan to your ethernet network and be good.

Lots of solutions to your problem. :)
 
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neojack

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the router should be the very first thing plugged to your provider.

it has two sidees : a WAN side : pluged to the provider
and a LAN side, wich all your stuff connects to.

simple routers only have a lan side and a wan side

combined routers often also have a switch on the lan side (so you have several lan ports), and also a wifi radio, pluged on the LAN side.

so, the router in your basement is a router + switch + wifi access point, combined.

if you need aditionnal wifi coverage, the best thing to do is to add another access point. configured as a "dumb AP"(i.e. not fulfulling a router's role, but more like a wifi switch)

You can buy such "dumb aps", the bests are the unifi from ubiquiti. Or you can buy an existing router and configure it like so (often it's not possible in default software)

then you connect this AP to a lan port on your router.
simplest thing is to use an UTP cable (also called network cable or RJ45 cable). an electrician or network guy can do this for you. Often if you offer like 50-100$ under the table to the cable guy who installs your internet, he would do it.

most dumbs APs can be powered by their LAN port, with an adapter that add 24 to 48v electricity to the UTP cable. So you can have the power adapter next to your router in the basement, and have your dumb AP neatly installed on the wall or ceiling

but if it's not possible you can reuse existing cables with adapters.
like reuse coax cables as suggested , or electricity cables with "powerline network adapters". but you have the cost of buying and maintenance and additionnal complexity.



Source : it was my former job, plan and install wifi in public places. i did exactly what i explained.
I installed the wifi in the planetarium of Montreal, several libraries, arenas, etc
all with unifi APs and custom openwrt routers
 
Last edited:
Reactions: shobuddy
Thanks for the reply! I had previously tried using an old router as an AP but not with all the steps you described. I simply disabled DHCP and set the configuration to match the router except used a different SSID to see if my device would switch to a stronger signal. I found that my device stayed with the original basement router regardless of signal strength. I'll try configuring the AP in more detail as you described.

Mesh was my plan B. When you say AP is better than mesh, wouldn't it be the same if the mesh is connected with backhaul?
I suppose but if the Mesh is all using Ethernet backhaul. Then they're really just setup as a router and access points. A lot of Mesh devices don't support Ethernet backhaul.

Even with those which do. Support wired backhaul. You're essentially going the expensive route. Even with cheap Mesh equipment. For the same price or most probably less. You could be placing a much faster high end 802.11AX router upstairs and have it act as an access point.

People buy Mesh because most don't have Ethernet runs or well placed runs. So, it's a much cheaper and easier solution than running cables all over the house to expand WiFi coverage. I'd see wired backhaul as a possible option for a large building where you are going Mesh Router > Wired Mesh Access Point > Wireless Mesh Access Point. Allowing you to provide the best signal possible to the wireless Mesh Access Points you can.

At any rate. If nothing was connecting to it. There was probably something wrong with the settings somewhere. As I said pay particular attention to the encryption settings. If one is WPA2 on and another is WPA/WPA2. It'll screw it up.
 
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