Need router/modem with longer range - help appreciated

Bdonedge

Gawd
Joined
Jun 10, 2010
Messages
968
Hey all, right now I have a wifi/modem combo and its dual band and i am getting terrible range with it. My house is pretty long but I didn't think it was long enough to really affect anything but I'm wrong because my signal is weak and my bandwidth seems to be terrible even though I'm paying for the highest speed from my ISP.

Now my question is - are these router/modem combos just pieces of junk or are there alternatives that I can get that work better than what I have ? I have a dual band Netgear one that cox sold me.

If they aren't a viable option for what I need, what modem and router can I get that is affordable that will give me better signal strength across my house?

I have Cox and their website says it needs to be DOCSIS 3.0 compatible but I don't even know what even means (clearly)

I'd like to spend under 250 if possible
 

bbenz33

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 8, 2004
Messages
382
Is your bandwidth terrible only at the other end of the house where the signal is weak or all over?

If it is only at the far end of the house would it be possible to run an Ethernet cable to the that end of the house from your router/modem and setup an access point that will serve that end of the house? The easiest way to do this is to purchase another router, disable the routing portion of it and use it only as an access point.


Also you might want to investigate what channels you are currently using to see if you can isolate your network from your neighbors. You can download a Wi-Fi Analyzer app for your phone and see what channels are being used around you. The best option is to use channels 1, 6 and 11 as they do not overlap.
 

Ocellaris

Fully [H]
Joined
Jan 1, 2008
Messages
18,914
How long is this long house? Like mansion size? 1400 sq feet? Living in a shoebox?
 

flyman0xp

n00b
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
Messages
53
A couple of points on this. The Gateway devices (modem/router combo devices) that you find on the market are not the best wireless routers out there. The biggest question is do you get the proper speeds when hardwired via ethernet to the gateway? If so, it's not the internet connection but the inherent wireless limitations of a gateway device.

If you do determine that the overall connection is fine when using ethernet, the suggested setup would be a DOCSIS 3.0 modem with a separate wireless router of better quality. Stand alone wireless routers tend to have better range and wireless speed.

If you are unable to move to this setup, then I would highly suggest that you monitor other networks in the area to try and find a clean channel to set your network to. This will provide better throughput in areas of the home where you have relatively strong signal strength to begin with. If you have areas of the home that have very low wireless signal strength, then I would look at possibly moving your gateway to a more central location to boost overall signal strength in the home.

A couple of key points for wireless access point placement:

-It should be centralized in the home.
-It should be located at least waist to shoulder height to help propagate in it's natural direction.
-It should not be surrounded or directly by other electronic devices.
-It should not be in a closet, drawer, or otherwise concealed.

If your home has naturally poor environment for wireless due to materials of construction, poor shielding on electrical wiring, ect, then you may need to looking into running ethernet and setting up additional wireless access points in the home to ensure complete coverage.
 
D

Deleted member 126051

Guest
If you need range, you're better off with a stock cablemodem/router and a separate, purpose-built "long range" AP. Like the Ubiquiti Unifi UAP-LR

Ubiquiti's standard and Pro Unifi's cop out around 122 meters (400 feet). The LR has decent signal strength up to around 183 meters (600 feet). The only problem there is that the Unifi's require Power Over Ethernet.

Still, this is possible in your budget.
Note: Links are just to Newegg because it was easy to find stuff that way. Always shop for the best price. Just for gits and shiggles though, I checked Amazon. Prices are identical, save for a small markup on the Unifi. Still, if you have a Prime account...

Cablemodem: $100
PoE Switch: $45
Unifi UAP-LR: $86

$231 + Tax and Shipping
 

farscapesg1

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 4, 2004
Messages
2,607
If you need range, you're better off with a stock cablemodem/router and a separate, purpose-built "long range" AP. Like the Ubiquiti Unifi UAP-LR

Ubiquiti's standard and Pro Unifi's cop out around 122 meters (400 feet). The LR has decent signal strength up to around 183 meters (600 feet). The only problem there is that the Unifi's require Power Over Ethernet.

Still, this is possible in your budget.
Note: Links are just to Newegg because it was easy to find stuff that way. Always shop for the best price. Just for gits and shiggles though, I checked Amazon. Prices are identical, save for a small markup on the Unifi. Still, if you have a Prime account...

Cablemodem: $100
PoE Switch: $45
Unifi UAP-LR: $86

$231 + Tax and Shipping

The POE switch is not needed in this case because the UAP and UAP-LR are not standard POE devices. They require 24v connections like their power injectors and are not 802.3at/af compliant. The Ubiquiti Toughswitch can power them remotely, as well as the Ubiquti 5-port POE router.

Also, that modem appears to be just a standard docsis 3.0 modem, so no routing functions to handle the additional needs for multiple systems in the house.

If you don't have any hard-wired devices, I would say you could get away with

Cablemodem: - $100
Router - $69
Unifi UAP-LR: - $86

Total - $255

The Edgerouter X has one passive POE port that should power the UAP-LR and provide the routing functions that you need. Since you specifically asking about wireless, you'll likely never hit full download speed from Cox, so the reduced speed/processing capabilities in the X versus the Lite or POE models of the Edgerouter shouldn't be an issue. The downside is that these are N devices and limited to 300 Mbps at most, so compared to newer AC wireless devices they are slow. Ubiquiti is releasing an update line of all their products that will all be AC compatible (UAP AC Pro example) which should give a decent boost to speed under the 5Ghz ranges. Unfortunately, as they are just being released I'm not sure of their performance/reliability as their old AC model of AP has had various performance complaints.

Personally, if it was me however, I would probably want separate APs at each end of the house, whether connected by POE or not. In that case the standard UAP's are a little cheaper ($69 vs $86) but you would need two. That would give you better signal strength and speed and also split the device usage between different APs.

Cablemodem: - $100
Router - $69
(2) Unifi UAP - $69

Total - $307 - outside your $250 budget but would provide a more stable connection around the house.

Of course someone with more Ubiquiti experience may chime in for more details or correct some of mine. I'm sure others will say those things are overkill, but I've had such bad luck with the consumer "all in one" router/switch setups I can't see myself ever going back.
 

epimetheus

Gawd
Joined
Jun 20, 2004
Messages
815
The easiest way to do this is to purchase another router, disable the routing portion of it and use it only as an access point.

Don't do this. Adding a Unifi AP will be equivalent in price and much more stable in performance. Standard UAP's are $70 on Amazon and include the power injector. This is the easiest way to do what you need.
 

Khadgar

Weaksauce
Joined
Feb 18, 2006
Messages
90
I'll echo the Unifi route. I love my UAP - will be upgrading shortly to the newly announced UAP AC Pro.
 

Ocellaris

Fully [H]
Joined
Jan 1, 2008
Messages
18,914
I'll echo the Unifi route. I love my UAP - will be upgrading shortly to the newly announced UAP AC Pro.

With your fingers crossed that it works a hell of a lot better than the original UAP AC? I get people liking Ubiquiti, however their AC product was shit and they are way behind the curve on bringing a good AC product to market.
 
Last edited:

Khadgar

Weaksauce
Joined
Feb 18, 2006
Messages
90
With your fingers crossed that it works a hell of a lot better than the original UAC AC? I get people liking Ubiquiti, however their AC product was shit and they are way behind the curve on bringing a good AC product to market.

Yeah, good point, I did hear a lot of bad things about it. Probably best to wait until reviews/opinions start rolling in.
 

Aluminum

Gawd
Joined
Sep 18, 2015
Messages
687
+1 for UAP LR, the current model is known good, bang/$ = high and it has proven itself to have great coverage in real world use. If your house is too big for one of them, you are probably doing very well financially and can afford to buy more and/or run real wires ;) Keep your current modem/router/whatever and just turn off the wifi or set it up as a guest net on another channel etc.

Waiting for the soon to be available AC version is tempting but I would also let someone else be the early adopter since their first AC versions had so many problems.
 
Top