Bit of a noob with networking--- would love some advice.

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by Mezner, Jul 1, 2015.

  1. Mezner

    Mezner Limp Gawd

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    Hey guys, network noob here (more of a hardware/software kind of guy) wondering if I could get a bit of advice from one of the more well-informed members here.

    So here's my issue:
    I currently have xfinity as my ISP with a 150 down and 20 up plan. Internet speeds are great, no complaints--- when plugged in directly to the gateway they provided.

    Now here's where the issues come in. The WiFi signal the gateway gives off sucks. Big time. Speeds are mediocre at best and there are tons of dead-zones in my house, most importantly, my front/living room is a dead zone and my Smart TV is unable to hold a stable connection to our WiFi. Unfortunately, the gateway is upstairs, on the other side of the house in my office, so the signal has some walls and ceiling to go through. I've tried range extenders, didn't help. I'm at the point where I am just going to bridge my gateway to use as a modem and invest in a nice router (probably in the ~$100 range).

    Here are my questions:

    - Is investing in a good router my best bet?

    - Should I be looking at wireless N or AC routers?

    - Are there any better alternatives?

    Thanks in advance guys, I really appreciate it.
     
  2. +Eric

    +Eric Limp Gawd

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    IMO, you should wire everything possible no matter how much hassle it is. You only have to do it once. No matter what you buy you'll never get the endless/solid reliability you'll get from ethernet with wireless.

    If you have dead zones, you could buy access points and wire them up around the house. Just use the same SSID/Password and you can roam. Range extenders usually aren't very good/reliable. Powerline networking is probably going to be as horrible as range extenders.

    If you're just looking for a suggestion on a wireless router combo consumer thing, then they're a dime a dozen and good luck. There is already a thread for that.

    If you want to set up a solid network that doesn't fail you, you can look into getting a solid router (edgerouter, pfsense, or something else decent), a few ap's (unifi, or something else decent) and a good switch (HP 1810g or some zyxel, used dell/hp/cisco, or something else decent).

    There are endless options if you want to go for great reliability, and endless options if you wanna blow 200 bucks on consumer junk.
     
  3. redrage

    redrage Limp Gawd

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    if you are going to sink a bunch of money into a new router might as well put that money into wiring everything. then just get a couple cheap but hopefully still reliable APs to fill in the required dead zones. for your phone/tablets if you need.

    no need to spend $300 on a spider looking router that probably still won't be reliable going through tin ceilings (or whatever is hurting your signal)
     
  4. Mezner

    Mezner Limp Gawd

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    If I were to set up a cable modem downstairs where my television is, would it be as simple as getting a coax cable splitter and running one cable to the cable box and the other to the cable modem (of course i'd have to get the modem activated by my ISP)?

    Would this (theorhetically) allow me to set up a router (connected to the "new" modem) downstairs to provide a wired ethernet connection to my TV, while at the same time enhancing my WiFi coverage for my family's phones/tablets/wireless devices?
     
  5. FNtastic

    FNtastic [H]ard|Gawd

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    I agree with both responses to your post.

    AFAIK, you can only have one cable modem per account. Put it as close to your router as you can (if you can). Disable the builtin wifi on the modem/router the cable company provided. Do the rest based on the suggestions by the other members that have already responded.
     
  6. redrage

    redrage Limp Gawd

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    OR you could buy a $20-40 access point with 4 port switch and run one ether net cable to your living room to plug into access point and then another Ethernet cable into the TV and configure the AP for wireless

    This would be the more stable connection for your TV and such and also expand your wireless.

    Coax splitters can be a pain and i find they often go bad. went through a bunch in a period of 3 years before i quit using them.

    Other options include MoCA (make sure you talk to your cable company first)
    Powerline adapters, presumably with wifi
    I have limited experence in both other than my TiVo.
     
  7. Mezner

    Mezner Limp Gawd

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    So after some research it's come to my attention that most consumer routers are crap, as they are three devices crammed into one and made to work with each other. Thanks everybody for information, glad to be enlightened on the subject.

    I'll be looking into some Ubiquiti UniFi access points to carry on the signal throughout my house for my family's wireless devices. I'm going to find a way to route an ethernet cable down to the television as well from the modem/router, it's probably going to be a big pain in the ass, but once it's done, it's done.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015
  8. FNtastic

    FNtastic [H]ard|Gawd

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    Sounds like you've chosen to go the right route. Good luck! You will enjoy it!
     
  9. +Eric

    +Eric Limp Gawd

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    Excellent decision. You won't regret Ethernet.
     
  10. redrage

    redrage Limp Gawd

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    Most are crap. One that i found is pretty good is the motorola 6872, DOCSIS3, WiFi and 4 port Gigabit. Modem and switch are great. WiFi is okay (but no external antenna). MoCA is a nice touch. I dont' use it currently cause AtlanticBB gave me one of theirs that "I have to use/pay for" I know i don't but its pretty much the same other than i need to reboot it once a week. But it is pretty expensive for what it is unless you find a great sale like i did :) I don't suggest it at its normal price the quality isn't worth 190$+

    but looks like you are on the right track :)
     
  11. annilation

    annilation Limp Gawd

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    Have you thought about apple for wireless? They make great devices.

    Use a Airport Extreme connected to your modem. Then go as far as you have a decent signal and drop a Airport express (wireless bridge) that will extend your wireless signal.
     
  12. JediFonger

    JediFonger 2[H]4U

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    i agree with everyone's cabling suggestion.

    but if you are married (like me) your wife will want wifi, and you cannot make her plug ethernet into her macbook everytime.

    so... you will need wifi. i recommend getting a entry/level "basic" enterprise-grade AP. Cisco's 100/300 series are cheap on ebay nowadays. it's a no brainer, way better than consumer-grade router/wifi. plus, if you get one of them mesh-like things it'll be easy to expand assuming your house is massive. my house is small so all i needed is one