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Thread: I need a new router help me out

  1. #1
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    Question I need a new router help me out

    Hello friends,

    It's time to update/upgrade my router. My uses are simple but as soon as my brother and I are both living here. I am adding on about 700 to 900 sq. feet for me. Give this bigger house to my brother. Then he'll be next door in my old age trip... So they have 2 phones, 2 ipads and a computer/s... I just have this one computer.

    So is there a brand or a special thing to look for knowing it will often have multiple devices. A strong signal also. Were within a 100 feet but there are the walls, maybe the house floor to penetrate also.

    Help point me in a direction or good place to read. I have cable 60Mbps.

  2. #2
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    Hey buddy -

    Consumer routers are always a bit of russian roulette. There is no particular brand that is head and shoulders above others....and pretty much all brands have had some good models, and some stinkers. Also a challenge is that technology keeps changing, so what was great 2 years ago is run of the mill now.

    3 options to cover a larger area well:


    • 1. A good/very good AC router for maximum range and coverage. Hopefully it is enough for the entire house, and some outdoor space too. Hard to know or test....buy well, set it up and test. Mount it centrally, and test the edges to confirm adequate coverage and performance. Easiest, fastest, cheapest, but range is limited by router location and interference (walls, plumbing, etc).


    • 2. Do option 1, and be ready to add a second WAP (wireless access point) if coverage is not adequate. Keep in mind that a WAP is just an extender, not a full router. Just connects/relays devices to the router. Be ready to mount router towards one end of the house, and WAP at the other end. Better coverage, but need to place two devices well (which can be challenging depending on room house/roomm layout, and get an ethernet cable from router to the WAP. Many WAPs/extenders need AC power too, which limit install options and can be unsightly.


    • 3. Plan on separate WAPs to a central router. The router does no wifi at all. A bit more complicated to setup and more $, but best coverage. Plan toout mount the 3 WAPS where you can get an ethernet cable to them and back to the router, and roughly towards the edge/perimeter for max coverage. Router can go anywhere.....that you can get ethernet cables to. Nice to put to mount router out of site: closet, laundry room, garage, whatever. but the 3 WAPs need to be mounted on ceiling or up high on a wall. Doable if you have easy attic access, only need about 1/2" hole in the ceiling for each ethernet cable to poke down, and WAPs are easy to mount.



    If your coverage is adequate now with your old router, then #1 will probably work, as newer AC routers typically have better coverage than N or older. The best AC might even have close to twice the range of their older cousins. As for which....

    Good wifi router review info here for comparison to other units. Tom's is usually good too.

    If you wanted to go big, and really cover the whole house, the deck, and some of the yard, 3 of these WAPs would do you well. Still need a router with 3 ethernet ports to hook these to. They run on the data cable, no other power needed (there is a POE power injector for each WAP), so a simple router without wifi (or one that you turn wifi off) will do nicely. If you are gonna consider this, the challenge is running ethernet to each WAP. Easy during construction, more challenging in an existing house.
    Last edited by unclemac; 09-19-2015 at 11:19 PM.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  3. #3
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    I hope I'm not butting in here but, I've thought about this for a while, and I've got a Airport Extreme n version. How much more area will the Airport Extreme ac add to the coverage, approximately, I understand there are many other factors. I've been thinking of adding another Airport Extreme n version as an relaying extender. The ac version is more secure, and that would be my leaning. But it's twice the price.

    One line and buildings are 100' apart. I wonder if laying a line from one to the other might be in order. Especially if you are doing an addition to one building where stuff will be open and available.

  4. #4
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    At times I have three wireless routers doing duty in my house and office. Two are regular older Cisco or Netgear routers that get their signal via DHCP and connect to wireless devices via DHCP. All the computers in the office are direct hardwired to a switch that is firewalled, so business computers aren't on wireless. All the portable stuff gets wireless signals from the wireless routers used strictly to extend range. I also will at times turn on internet sharing from the MacPro over wireless, that works poorly as it is a well known failing that they vary signal strength and even connectivity for some reason.

    I recently bought this cheapo Netgear router from Amazon to hook in my bedroom since Da Boss is doing more and more work there from an iPad. I expect it to provide area coverage in the bodroom as its sole purpose.

    When I am in my portable office in town doing EMT duties, I use a higher end Netgear router in a plastic tool box hooked to an internet high speed radio that I point at the tower on the mountain. It is superb for the $$.

    All of these units work, all have limitations. But all are also well in a tight budget. My last Apple router worked for not very long. I haven't tried another. My bet is Apple does a pretty good job on them generally, I just got a bad one.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  5. #5
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    The Apple routers have been pretty solid overall, and easy to manage.

    I liked Netgear for a long time, but I saw a lot of failures of a few models.....so I moved on. I expect they have good and bad like everybody.

    Linksys was a pioneer, then Cisco bought them.....then recently sold them to Belkin. Have one now, its OK. It is AC, compared to previous Buffalo N model, and disappointed to report that coverage is about the same. Maybe 10% better. I expected more... My hunch is my previous excellent N wifi was about as good as my current average AC wifi....for overall coverage.

    Just a hunch, but that sounds about right: AC has better range as a protocol, but hardware and antennas matter, so regardless of N or AC, anybody that needs maximum coverage should do their homework. A great N router is likely similar in wifi range as an average AC router. Or so my theory goes....
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  6. #6
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    Default Thanks, all

    It's funny as aged as my router is we get access every where but is slower here and there. My lot's just over a 100' wide so the house is within that. The garage and most of the main lawn really are within 100 - 140 feet of center. You can walk further but won't often. A center located new router will/should do the trick. The bigger one Rick pointed at on Amazon would be a decent step up and looks to have better signal coverage.

  7. #7
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    That Netgear that I take portable is inside a plastic tool box, outdoors, on the other side of a 4 bay ambulance garage from the office that my computer is in. I do have odd ball locational issues, like if the LCD monitor is in just the right relationship to the computer it won't connect. But I expect that at over a 100 foot distance and through several walls and around a bunch of ambulances.
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  8. #8
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    Name:  RouterPlanC.png
Views: 104
Size:  9.3 KBI think building construction makes a big difference. My place is in a horse shoe shape, brick walls outside, and a cell phone menace, membrane roof. My router is placed up top my book shelf. To get to the other furthest side, it has to go through two brick walls and others. I just doesn't work, my phone never shows wifi. But I just went outside to check, and I can go 120' from the AirPort Extreme if it's just through a window. If I got another AirPort Extreme 802.11n I can extend the network, but where's the best location?

  9. #9
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    Right where it says 0 wifi. That'd do it :^)
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  10. #10
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    So even though the wifi signal is not showing up on the phone, the AP Extreme will pick up a signal? It seems like if there were no signal,... how could it? Sorry to question this but . . .inquiring minds want to know . . . if it's not a course in physics anyway.

  11. #11
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    That's where you route the cat5 to put another WiFi router.

    As far as using a WiFi extender, you would need to plug it into different places and see where the newly created blend of coverage holes and overlaps leaves you.
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  12. #12
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    Ah Ha! I'm not as dumb as I thought I was. But still not as smart as I'd like to be. The whole thing about how these signals travel is a total mystery to me. One side of a wall can have no signal (and it's just a regular 2X4 sheet rocked wall in a hall) but the other side is great. And that side is farther away.

    I've been wrestling with this for a couple of years, so I'm not in a big hurry to remedy the situation. Both "legs" at the far end of the house have poor signal strength. The garage would be nice to resolve, the bedroom, I'm sleeping and don't care about it. Thanks Rick!

  13. #13
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    ...You think there is nothing in the wall....but what about pipes?

    Wiring?

    Buried treasure?

    Hidden bodies?
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  14. #14
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    I built or had my house built and remember each and every wire... there is a bunch of speaker wire to/from where stereo is/was to speakers then. I'm using a simple woofer with 2 desk mid/tweeter. I have or crossed wires every where and was good 25-30 years ago but now they are all covered up. slowing my internet...

  15. #15
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    You know, I'd forgotten about the hidden bodies. It was sooooo long ago, how could I remember them?

    It is kind of funny. To get to that hall the signal would have to pass through 2 brick walls. Down at the end of the hall there's a door that opens to that center court yard, not problem with signal there. But just 8' to the left there's the 0wifi area. Does it go around corners? I guess that can be my homework.

  16. #16
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    That's the fun of wireless. Hard to know. Signals will bounce....some bounces may help, most will hurt hurt...due to absorption I would suspect. Declines in strength pretty rapidly over distance.

    Wireless shadows and blind spots are a real thing.

    If you want to see and map your wireless coverage.....and like a fairly simple, fun, project...grab netspot and do it up.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  17. #17
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    Wireless & fun, that's the ticket. Great info on those links. Looks like it could take a while to really understand wifi. Thanks!

  18. #18
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    rwm, I found this today. Might clear some things up for you, it did for me.http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/08/te...=59516940&_r=0

  19. #19
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    My cheapie Netgear is literally only good in the bedroom and maybe the next room over from where it sits. The older Cisco router at the other end of the house is a lot better. Luckily, they do a good job of full coverage.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  20. #20
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    This new router is interesting... it has two channels or networks. A 2.4G and 5G Rick and Unc would understand better than myself... I don't know other than one is faster I think. It reaches a little further than my older netgear for range not what I'd hoped but what it's intended for. My few speed tests have been better consistently higher.

    My brothers phone connected right away. That was good. When I expand the house I'll need to setup multiple locations.

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