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  1. #1
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    Aug 2020
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    Home network/wifi

    I'm looking for some resources/ideas/advice on revising our home network situation. I am somewhat tech savvy in a conceptual sense, but when it comes to actually configuring these things, its not in my wheelhouse.

    I currently I have Buffalo Wireless Airstation (WHR-600D) wireless router connected to a cable modem with Xfinity service. The prior owners put coaxial cable into almost every room, presumably to serve cable TV, via external cable runs. I have an "office" at one end of the house for my WFH situation which is where the wireless router and modem live most of the time so I can have a wired connection. The wireless will serve about half the house from that location, but won't reach to the other end of the house to serve phones and a Roku streaming stick. So we end up moving the entire router set up to the other end of the house to watch something on TV. Our house is about 60-70' long and single level.

    So I'm trying to figure out if my existing wireless router is just old/weak and should be replaced, or I need a mesh network or need to wire in another router in the living room, etc. I willing to run ethernet cabling under the house in the crawl space to make it all work, but have found I really need a wired connection at my "office" to get reliable performance for meetings and big file downloads. I also am not interested in having some huge router with antennas sticking off of it to cover the whole house.

    Our connection is 100 mpbs or less, which has been totally adequate.

    Any ideas on how to solve this? TpLink Deco system? Wifi extender? Run ethernet to multiple access points?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Just get a router extender.

  3. #3
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    Do extenders provide a seamless experience? Wife will not want to deal with switching networks inside our house.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Seattle
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    eero mesh with one or two extenders.

    Switched our set up to this when we both started WFH at opposite ends of the house. Been very pleased with it. The eero app lets you control monitor access very easily.
    Last edited by PNWbrit; 09-12-2021 at 10:23 AM.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by old_newguy View Post
    Do extenders provide a seamless experience? Wife will not want to deal with switching networks inside our house.
    Not the one I tried a few years ago, there were 2 different network names. Now on a mesh router. Went with Orbi because like you, I need a wired connection for my work laptop to work perfectly. I have cat 5 in most of the house so I have a wired back haul for the router and 2 extenders. Costco purchase. Finally have seamless coverage in the house.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    630
    You don't need second router, just run Ethernet cabling to your desired spots, use switch if necessary at either point. You can also run Ethernet over coax with adapters. With your speed they should work just fine. I would also stay away from mesh and just put access point in the further part of the house through Ethernet connection

    Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    SF & the Ho
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    Home network/wifi

    Another vote for eero mesh. Super easy and great connectivity and throughput. Also, if your using xfinitys cable modem, return that pos and get your own. Your paying them for inferior product
    Last edited by mcski; 09-13-2021 at 09:07 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by old_newguy View Post
    Do extenders provide a seamless experience? Wife will not want to deal with switching networks inside our house.
    The one I have does. Itís a netgear AC750. Just mate it to your main router using the WPS buttons, move it to a point midway in the house, and boom, it goes from 1 bar to 4 bars in the far room on the same WiFi network name.

    It appears to be an undocumented feature thatís not spelled out that way in the user manual, but thatís what happened to me when I went to set it up.

    Also, it can be used as a wired access point, if you donít mind running some cat 5e to it. That gives you more bandwidth and still keeps the same network name. Iíve been meaning to do that, but havenít got around to it yet.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcski View Post
    Another vote for eero mesh. Super easy and great connectivity and throughout. Also, if your using xfinitys cable modem, return that pos and get your own. Your paying them for inferior product
    Eero or this is the direction I went, super easy and relatively cheap.
    https://www.costco.com/google-wifi--...QCEMHwF62vgwVT

    Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    NCW
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    3,544
    We set up the TP-link Deco M5 3-unit mesh earlier this summer when our old Asus started to flake out. It's been night and day improvement. Transitions are seamless, where previously our devices were always switching between bands based on distance from the router. Place a base station near any devices that require a hard line connection.

    The hardest part of the switch was updating the wifi name/password on the Vizio TV.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
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    3,717
    google mesh works.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  12. #12
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    Sep 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackattack View Post
    We set up the TP-link Deco M5 3-unit mesh earlier this summer when our old Asus started to flake out. It's been night and day improvement. Transitions are seamless, where previously our devices were always switching between bands based on distance from the router. Place a base station near any devices that require a hard line connection.

    The hardest part of the switch was updating the wifi name/password on the Vizio TV.
    Just make the new wifi name and password match the old one and everything works without issue. Iíve done that a couple times.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Ottawa
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    517
    UniFi dream machine and an in-wall HD access/mesh point
    Quote Originally Posted by jlboyell View Post
    Climate change deniers should be in the same boat as the flat earthers, ridiculed for stupidity.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    392
    Quote Originally Posted by mcski View Post
    Another vote for eero mesh. Super easy and great connectivity and throughout. Also, if your using xfinitys cable modem, return that pos and get your own. Your paying them for inferior product
    Agree with the Eeros mesh - was in the exact same situation as you where the WiFi signal wouldn't extend and it worked great and was very easy to set up. Google has a very good mesh network, too, but comes with speakers that have microphones if you at all hesitate about 1984 Big Brother. Eeros nicely just plugs into wall outlets and don't need a table, etc, other than the main base.
    Originally Posted by jm2e:
    To be a JONG is no curse in these unfortunate times. 'Tis better that than to be alone.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
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    162
    Orbi. works great.

  16. #16
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    Aug 2020
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    I really like the idea of running CAT6 and doing POE access points in out of the way locations, but I donít really have the space to setup a Dream Machine. I much prefer the look of the Deco system or the Unfi access points.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    814
    If you're just the average Joe, with modest bandwidth needs, mesh works. Probably easiest too, especially without Cat5/6 to multiple points.
    But if you regularly use a lot of bandwidth, have lots of devices, etc - then something like Unifi with non-mesh wired remote AP's works better. (I like unifi because I'm familiar with it, and it's not cheapish junk like TP Link, or other consumer-grade insecure garbage, but isn't super expensive enterprise level gear either.)

    Mesh uses either bandwidth you'd normally have for Wifi, or additional radio spectrum. (Mesh has to get it's "uplink" somewhere - that's either out of the Wifi bandwidth, or by using additional radios in adjacent radio spectrum.)

    Wired is almost always better. And wired AP's are "better" than mesh.

    All that said, mesh is probably "good enough" for lots of people - it's just not the first choice I'd make unless it was far easier than other choices. (And in my case, since I do have high-bandwidth uses, it's a bad choice.)

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregorys View Post
    If you're just the average Joe, with modest bandwidth needs, mesh works. Probably easiest too, especially without Cat5/6 to multiple points.
    But if you regularly use a lot of bandwidth, have lots of devices, etc - then something like Unifi with non-mesh wired remote AP's works better. (I like unifi because I'm familiar with it, and it's not cheapish junk like TP Link, or other consumer-grade insecure garbage, but isn't super expensive enterprise level gear either.)

    Mesh uses either bandwidth you'd normally have for Wifi, or additional radio spectrum. (Mesh has to get it's "uplink" somewhere - that's either out of the Wifi bandwidth, or by using additional radios in adjacent radio spectrum.)

    Wired is almost always better. And wired AP's are "better" than mesh.

    All that said, mesh is probably "good enough" for lots of people - it's just not the first choice I'd make unless it was far easier than other choices. (And in my case, since I do have high-bandwidth uses, it's a bad choice.)
    Yeah, my xfinity connection maxes out at 100 mbps, so these mesh systems with 300 mbps are enough for me.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Inside the Circle
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    2,516
    Very happy with the Deco system in our house. Covers all 3 floors effortlessly. With just the router on the middle floor in the middle of the house, the signal was worthless on the 3rd floor and in the basement and we only have a 1,500 sq ft house. I've been working from the basement for a year and I have no trouble with video conferencing (Teams and Skype) and streaming TV in 2 other locations. Internet is a 250 mbps fiber network thanks to rural access effort as a result of COVID.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Sandy, Utah
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    Mesh. At least 2 access points maybe 3 depending on house size. Orbi, Linksys, and a few others. I've been happy with Linksys velop that I got 2 years ago.

    Sent from my Pixel 4a (5G) using TGR Forums mobile app

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Posts
    12
    I redid my setup in the times of WFH, have a very spread out house with bad wall interference

    I set up a mesh network using there Omada hardware (2 AC1750's then a random switch/controller) and its pretty awesome, it enterprise quality as opposed to they're normal consumer junk. Its a little overkill, but offers a lot of flexibility & upgradability if you ever move

  22. #22
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    Feb 2006
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    Point 1- Buffalo routers back in the day were good. But Buffalo has not sold or done anything with routers probably since Wireless N was a thing (replaced by newer Wifi 5 and AC series routers) and now the Wifi 6 and AX routers. So yes, you probably could see a big improvement with a newer router.

    Also based on your description (hard to say without a site survey and knowing more like what materials the house has in it also- (drywall through out the interior walls?)) You would be a good candidate for a Mesh Wifi solution- like TP-Link Deco, Google Wifi, Eero (Amazon), Netgear Orbi, or the like... The question is 1 or 2 (with the base router makes 3 access points in a sense for coverage.) https://www.lifewire.com/best-mesh-w...ystems-4139748

    You do not want a Wifi "Extender" that they sell. They are using the same channel for the transmission and overhead and by their nature, you end up with the wifi signal cut in half and unless it is a very occasional use just not a good solution unless your internet speeds suck big time to begin with (like slow DSL)

    Your third option would be use some of that Coax cable to run a few devices. Moca adapters take and use the Coax to transmit ethernet network traffic instead of the standard twisted pair wire- Cat 5e or better that takes for a wired network connection for Access Points or second wired router set up as an access point. https://www.techreviewer.com/learn-a...moca-adapters/
    Last edited by RShea; 09-14-2021 at 11:57 PM.

  23. #23
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    Apr 2009
    Location
    Granite, UT
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    1,183
    I'd skip the wired options for extending your signal. Wifi speeds are improving at such a rapid rate, it's just not worth it. If you're committed to wired, I'd situate the items that need to be wired near the router. Personally, I've tried high powered gaming routers and extenders and haven't had consistent throughput. Currently I have the modem in the home office which is closest to the cable feed from the street. The coax is split there and one feed goes to the modem, the other to the living room cable box. The modem is connected via ethernet to an Asus Mesh Router (Zen XT8.) I use an ethernet switch to connect my wired devices to the mesh base station giving me the wired connection I want for my server, NVR, and a few other wired devices. The second mesh unit is upstairs at the other end of the house. I get great coverage everywhere and Asus' firmware and configurability is amazing. I can do most of my admin from the app on my phone. My current configuration is supporting 60+ devices.

  24. #24
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    Aug 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by RShea View Post
    Point 1- Buffalo routers back in the day were good. But Buffalo has not sold or done anything with routers probably since Wireless N was a thing (replaced by newer Wifi 5 and AC series routers) and now the Wifi 6 and AX routers. So yes, you probably could see a big improvement with a newer router.

    Also based on your description (hard to say without a site survey and knowing more like what materials the house has in it also- (drywall through out the interior walls?)) You would be a good candidate for a Mesh Wifi solution- like TP-Link Deco, Google Wifi, Eero (Amazon), Netgear Orbi, or the like... The question is 1 or 2 (with the base router makes 3 access points in a sense for coverage.) https://www.lifewire.com/best-mesh-w...ystems-4139748

    You do not want a Wifi "Extender" that they sell. They are using the same channel for the transmission and overhead and by their nature, you end up with the wifi signal cut in half and unless it is a very occasional use just not a good solution unless your internet speeds suck big time to begin with (like slow DSL)

    Your third option would be use some of that Coax cable to run a few devices. Moca adapters take and use the Coax to transmit ethernet network traffic instead of the standard twisted pair wire- Cat 5e or better that takes for a wired network connection for Access Points or second wired router set up as an access point. https://www.techreviewer.com/learn-a...moca-adapters/
    Thanks, I got the Buffalo referral from TGR back in 2013/2014. From you if I recall.

    And thanks to the rest of you have offered your input. I'm down the rabbit hole.

    For the coax, if I have a cable modem sending and receiving data on that line can I use it with a MOCA adapter (i see it mentioned in the article, just not clear on the terminology yet)?

    At this point the biggest thing I am running up is my internal cheap bastard, curiosity, aesthetics and skepticism around what data these companies are collecting via their apps and software running these mesh networks. My wife would have just bought one 2 weeks ago and been done with it.

    I cannot believe how much money it costs to buy one of these mesh systems, I also just don't like how they look. I have a perfectly functional wireless/wired router in my Buffalo wifi router, can I just add a powered and ethernet (or coax) connected access point like "the_prof" did? If I am reading correctly it seems like it shouldn't be that hard to configure, but maybe I'm underestimating the complexity of getting it to be a seamless experience. Or better, just add a POE adapter downstream of my existing router, run some CAT5/6 and mount an AP.

    The big appeal of a POE access point is that I can mount it in an out of the way location so I don't have to use up a outlet, provide it somewhere to sit and look at it. I could do a single cable pull from my current router location via the attic to a central location in my house in the hallway where I could mount it on the upper wall like a fire alarm and never think about it again. Neighbor is a low voltage electrician who could help me with tool for cable terminations, but I'm definitely not an expert on configuring a network.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    If you can do a cable pull- that is Almost ALWAYS the best route to take and do. You could do a few things- Get a new router for the main router. Then depending on which Buffalo router you have it may be able to very easily (switch on the unit or in the software setup) be set up as an access point with that wire that is going to be run to the main router. Yes, it would have to be near a power outlet though. But it is paid for and not anything new that you have to get.

    Otherwise you could go with the TP-Link Deco mesh setup and just use it. Should be around $150 for the 3 device AC1200 mesh and a bit of time installing and setting it up.

    Access points could be either via POE on a supported network switch or as you state the correct power adapter for the model of the Access Point you are going to install. Access Points usually are really solid solutions since they are more business class equipment, but a new router and an new AP and POE adapter would probably be more money than what most of the middle of the road mesh systems are running. If you have no budget limits, then Unifi DreamMachine is a pretty nice option, but there are issues with availability of the most popular Ubiquiti items out there too.

    A new AX router and AX Access Point would probably be $200 to $300 or so (router really depends on a number of things including the top speed). So then you add the POE adapter and some cable and connectors and you are getting closer to Dream Machine prices

    And to answer your question on the MOCA, that would be for a spare unused line- like if the cable company wired up 2 or 3 rooms, and you now no longer are using the Coax RG6 wire for whatever reason. It would not work on your existing lines being used for cable modem or TV etc. no.

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