My WiFi sucks... House works against me... Just want it to work!

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by GilmourD, Sep 18, 2016.

  1. GilmourD

    GilmourD [H]ardForum Junkie

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    So...

    I've currently got a Netgear R6250. It worked great in my old house but I have tons of trouble with it in the place we moved into a year ago, and it seems to be getting worse. It's current location is marked in red in my shitty MS Paint map of the house, and it's on top of a book shelf there. I moved it there from a lower position hoping to get better signal upstairs but there was zero change.

    It's pretty decent on the first floor, but even then my wife's fruitDevices (iPhone 6, iPad mini 2, MBP 2011-12, old iPad 2) seem to have issues with speed that my Android devices (Nexus 6, LG VK810) and my laptop (Gateway P7915u) don't have. My son's desktop is also wireless (Gigabyte GA-H170GIGABYTE GAH170N-WIFI motherboard) and has no issues, but it's about 8 feet from the R6250. We've also got a couple first-gen Chromecasts that seem to get a little funky bandwidth-wise and drop resolution. Everything else is wired (my desktop, XBox 360, some Sony BD player).

    When we get upstairs is where the problems get even worse. Regardless of device we lose connection to the router intermittently, but most of the time it will show connected but websites and apps that are using data take forever to load or just time out. It's worse in the upper left-hand corner upstairs, in the shitter, where the toilet is. As you know, we men spend a good deal of time there, so Intarwebnetz is important.

    So... I want something that just works and I want it to work for a price that won't cause my bank account to cry from loneliness. I don't want special features. I don't need it to spawn a cat that shoots lasers from its eyes. I just need WiFi that works in all areas of my house.

    I'd ideally like to keep the whole shebang under $150 due to the before mentioned crying bank account. I've seen some solutions from Ubiquiti that may come in around there, but I'd also like other options that you feel will do what I want.

    What say you, [H] Networking?

    upload_2016-9-18_11-24-10.png

    Cliffs:
    • Current wifi sucks
    • I made a map of my house with MS Paint
    • I need something that JUST WORKS on the cheap
    • ???
     
  2. GilmourD

    GilmourD [H]ardForum Junkie

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  3. Quartz-1

    Quartz-1 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Put in a wired access point such as that one upstairs and slave it to your router.
     
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  4. DrLobotomy

    DrLobotomy [H]ardness Supreme

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    Unplug your router and scan your house for neighbors' signal and note what channels you pick up. See where the signals are the weakest and put your router there if you can. Change your routers TX channel to one that you didn't pick up on your scan. Also note that TV remote controls and cell phones can interfere with your wi-fi sometimes. In other words don't keep all your cell phone chargers and phones next to the router. Same goes for TV remotes.

    Then decide if you want a wi-fi extender or access point.
     
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  5. GilmourD

    GilmourD [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Been there, done that.

    Network name is Candyland (my wife's name is Candice) and this has been her SSID since before we met).

    This is actually the clearest it's looked in a long time. Usually after I change the channels it's not long before other networks in the area change to the same channel.

    The problem is that the signal is just weak upstairs.

    Screenshot_20160918-150133.png
    Screenshot_20160918-150158.png
     
  6. GilmourD

    GilmourD [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Any hardware suggestions from the night crew?
     
  7. Grentz

    Grentz [H]ard as it Gets

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    Move to the unifis. The LR are best on the same horizontal level as the client. The normal are better for 360 coverage.

    I have always been impressed as have my clients at the gain in coverage.
     
  8. klank

    klank Killer of Killer NIC Threadz

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    Stay away from WiFi extenders. Adding an AP up stairs is your best option.
     
  9. +Eric

    +Eric Limp Gawd

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    Yup, best bet is to add another AP upstairs, wired if at all possible. Seriously, put in the effort, wire it.

    Also I don't really think so called "LR - Long Range" is the best option. they just up the output power but that doesn't help much on the receiving side at the AP. If the AP can't hear your tablet/phone/etc it doesn't matter how well the table/phone/etc can hear the AP.
     
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  10. cyclone3d

    cyclone3d [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Definitely put a wired AP upstairs.

    Just did this a few months ago at a relative's house because they were not getting any coverage upstairs.

    Wireless extenders suck big time. You might as well just use your money to start a fire instead of wasting time/money on an extender.
     
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  11. acascianelli

    acascianelli [H]ardness Supreme

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    I also recommend one or two Ubiquiti access points. I have a AC-LR, works awesome. The only downside I can say about them is that managing them is not as easy as other consumer grade access points. You need the management app running on a seperate system full time, or you can use the iOS app from an iPad or iPhone. I have the app running on a spare Raspberry Pi.
     
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  12. Shadohh

    Shadohh Gawd

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    I love my two Ubiquiti access points!
     
  13. GilmourD

    GilmourD [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I work in a school system as a tech where we have a deployment of Cisco 3700 series WiFi APs in 10 buildings across town all on the same network with individual VLANs per building. I don't think the management end of things will bother me too much.

    My problem is that I haven't looked at the upper end of consumer-level stuff like UBNT so I'm simply unfamiliar with what's good and what's a pile of shit.
     
  14. Grentz

    Grentz [H]ard as it Gets

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    You will like the new Ubiquiti gear. The new AC line (AC Lite, AC LR, AC-Pro....not the square one) can be individually managed by the app to be a straight AP, setup on a their controller running on a PC/server, or you can get a cloud key which is a small embedded device running the controller. The controller gets you things like the captive gateway, client monitoring, etc.


    Stop spreading this. What people that say this are missing is that the AP also has more receiving sensitivity so it does indeed give you better range. The AP can "listen" better for the weak client signals. This is of course on true LR stuff like ubiquiti.

    The deal with ubiquity's LR models is that they are not better in all scenarios as it changes the coverage. The coverage on the LR models is more horizontal and less vertical. Meaning you get less of a 360 sphere and more of a donut.
     
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  15. GilmourD

    GilmourD [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I think, with this explanation, the AC Lite may be my best option. Actually, more specifically, two of them. Might be slight overkill, but I won't have to worry anymore.
     
  16. +Eric

    +Eric Limp Gawd

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    Based on what? The receiver sensitivity specs they released? Oh wait.... They haven't.
     
  17. Grentz

    Grentz [H]ard as it Gets

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    I can tell you from running many of them at many sites, they do indeed increase the range with normal clients (phones, laptops, etc.) in the horizontal plane.

    Hate all you want, but Ubiquiti has been a solid improvement in every SMB site I have put them in and much better than other router/AP combos, even ones that cost more.
     
  18. jlbenedict

    jlbenedict [H]ard|Gawd

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    I think what is meant is the "client" (laptop, or whatever) needs to also have the power/range to transmit back to the AP. So, yes.. it does no good to have a wide range, if the client can't reach back to the AP.

    Kind of like two kids playing catch in the backyard... one is stronger than the other.. he says lets spread apart 100 yards... does no good if the other kid can't throw it 100 yards, like the strong kid.
     
  19. +Eric

    +Eric Limp Gawd

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    Oh I'm a HUGE UBNT fanboy, I just don't buy their marketing at face value. I try to convert everyone I know to using UniFi.

    UBNT doesn't release radiation patterns for their antenna's either, so this donut stuff.... Maybe you've seen it in the FCC's database though, I can't be bothered to look. Although I did see something saying the go for confidentiality with the FCC.

    The premium over the Lite is absurd with only marketing speak and your anecdotal evidence. And they do up the transmit power on LR vs Pro and especially vs Lite. So it in fact does seem they're relying on that higher transmit power, and there is no actual evidence of higher receive sensitivity or better radiation patterns. We even know the antenna gain is exactly the same as Pro, so that receiver must really be something or they've gotten really fancy with the antenna's radiation.

    Then you've got the price premium over Lite and how close it puts you to the getting a pro with it's 3x3 mimo on 5ghz. So yeah, I'll continue to "hate" on the LR AP's and stick with the Pro.
     
  20. Grentz

    Grentz [H]ard as it Gets

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    Fair enough, most of what I put in are either Lite's or Pros. The LRs I use in only select cases where I know range could be an issue and I cannot put in more APs.
    I have used both side by side enough to know that the LR will squeek a bit more out of an area. Not night and day, but it seems to give that last inch in some scenarios.


    The donut is again from evidence I have seen regularly in many different installations. The LRs do not perform in the vertical plane as well, but do eek out a bit more in the horizontal.

    Do keep in mind the LR has a slightly faster 2.4ghz radio (450) and is the same mount as the older Unifi Devices which can make it a good option to hit price points between the Lite and going to the Pro.
     
  21. GilmourD

    GilmourD [H]ardForum Junkie

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    It seemed like the Netgear was shitting the bed today so I ran to Microcenter and got a single AC Lite. I'm actually posting this from upstairs where it seems to be much better. I'll evaluate it for a while and see if a second one upstairs is necessary but this seems tons better already.
     
  22. +Eric

    +Eric Limp Gawd

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    Wow, I was unaware Microcenter stocked Unifi, That's awesome. I live about a 1/2 hour from one.

    Should work quite a bit better than the Netgear.
     
  23. GilmourD

    GilmourD [H]ardForum Junkie

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    It is, but the Chromecast upstairs is still out of reach of a good signal and it cuts out a bit on the shitter. I'm going to get a second one sometime next month and mount it up there. There's something fucky going on with the staircase in my house. It's probably got some wire mesh in the walls or something causing interference because signal drops noticably even on the first floor when it's between me and the AP.
     
  24. Take your old router and put it into bridge mode (if it supports it)

    Then buy two powerline adapters on the cheap and connect them.

    Your old router will act like an Access Point (AP) and offer you Ethernet ports to boot. Buying a powerline adapter is cheaper than buying a new access point which will do the same thing. Also the AP will likely NOT offer you additional Ethernet ports.
     
  25. GilmourD

    GilmourD [H]ardForum Junkie

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    You didn't read the whole thread, did you?
     
  26. Well I got through the first 5 replies *grimices*

    what does the signal strength look like in the room with the chromecast?
     
  27. NIZMOZ

    NIZMOZ [H]ard|Gawd

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    You would be a good candidate for a mesh setup like Googles new WIFI. Or euro or lupo.
     
  28. GilmourD

    GilmourD [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Forgot I even made this thread.

    I got the second AC Lite for upstairs. Drilled a few holes in walls, ran cable up to it, and now my WiFi is awesome.
     
  29. tangoseal

    tangoseal [H]ardness Supreme

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    I bought an Ubiquiti AP AC LR long range model.

    My house is a cabin with all wood construction and no sheetrock. Wood everything. Wood is an RF sponge. But the LR AP can reach out onto my property and cover at least 2 acres in all directions from inside the hhouse to the outside.

    The ubiquiti Long Range is a nice AP for sure.
     
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  30. Mackintire

    Mackintire 2[H]4U

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    Umm Yea they did....for the Gen 1 line up.

    For the newer models, you are correct they never released the radiation pattern. But the AC-LR does not have a higher output power. The antenna is a higher gain which increases the radiated power in some directions and weakens it in others.

    Hence the discussion on the donut of radiated power...which might be what it resembles...but I've never seen one for the AC-LR...

    The biggest benefit to designing an AP this way is the native increase in receive sensitivity... so your wimpy cell phone can actually be heard by the AP when you are far away.

    The biggest negative is users buying the AC-LR and not realizing that they need to turn the output power WAY down, just to get the thing to work properly in a residential setting.


    And NO the gain is NOT the same as the Pro model. The output power is the same, the gain and radiated power is not.
     
  31. Mackintire

    Mackintire 2[H]4U

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    What you 'll typically see is GREAT signal is horrible throughput at distance.

    To fix this you need to login to the Unifi Controller and view your device with the crappiest antenna (a Cell phone w/ WiFi)

    Have someone take a walk and monitor the signal strength in the managment console until the cell phone is at -80dbm. STOP

    Now check out the signal strength of the AP as seen on the phone.... It SHOULD be 1 bar.... but it probably isn't. At this point you are seeing a lie. You're phone has great signal from the AP, but the AP can barely hear the Cell phone.

    Have the person who is logged into the management console start lowering the power output of the Unifi MANUALLY starting at 25% power output and keep lowering it until the AP reads about 1 bar signal on the phone.

    Now you are actually seeing what you can bi-directionally transmit and receive and can determine what the useful range of the AP actually is.

    From this point you can test and tweak your power up or down a little but you need to know where about the cell's signal (as seen from the APs point of view) dies out.
     
  32. NIZMOZ

    NIZMOZ [H]ard|Gawd

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    I installed the Netgear Orbi yesterday, and it definitely covers the whole house vs my one router. Even outside into my front yard and back yard now. I will say that one of them isn't enough but with the package of two, it definitely works.
     
  33. evilwon

    evilwon Limp Gawd

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    If you have wired connections then you spent more than you needed too. Mesh networks are decent for older houses so you don't have to tear into walls to run cable but if cables are there, dedicated APs are a better solution. Wire to an AP will always beat a WiFi signal to fill a mesh network. I am not saying you are wrong, just that you spent about $400 when, if the cables are available, you could've spent about half or less than have of that and had more features and probably the same or better coverage.
     
  34. NIZMOZ

    NIZMOZ [H]ard|Gawd

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    I don't have any wired connections. Reason I went this route.
     
  35. evilwon

    evilwon Limp Gawd

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    I get it then. There is a reason for everything and that is one of the few reasons for that. I'll skip getting on my soapbox on how crappy the electricians were who worked on my house except for saying what person would be putting in 11 phone lines today?
     
  36. +Eric

    +Eric Limp Gawd

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    Umm, yea we weren't discussing Gen 1 anything, so what is your point?

    Well then I guess you should call out UBNT for being liars since you have information that is contrary to what they report. Because they say the antenna gain is 3dBi for LR, Pro, Lite and EDU models. Not to mention they report Power for LR is 22 dBm and 24 dBm and for pro 22/22.

    Like I said, maybe you have some information that is contrary to UBNT's OWN data sheets for the AC AP's that we are discussing. That would fly in the face of any idea that they have more receive sensitivity and that for the LR model they're not simply relying on output power, which is dubious at best since it's only 2dBm on 5ghz.

    Or maybe you can point to some sort of verifiable source that your claim of more gain is a real thing, not just something you are saying. Or maybe you can point to some evidence the radio's are different and one has an actual performance advantage in receive sensitivity.

    Datasheets: https://dl.ubnt.com/datasheets/unifi/UniFi_AC_APs_DS.pdf