Network setup for large home with FIOS

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by nitz1234, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. nitz1234

    nitz1234 n00bie

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    I need help determining how best to maximize the speed and throughput offered by FIOS and also ensure strong wireless coverage throughout the house. FIOS enters and the cable modem is situated at the west end of the basement. The footprint The home has wired Ethernet throughout. Currently, an ASUS RT-N66 wireless router is located on the first floor about 20 feet southeast of the modem location and is set as an Access Point. Sometimes the 5G signal from the router doesn't even reach 15 feet line of site or around the corner in another room.

    There are two gaming consoles in use over wireless and several wireless devices (iPhones and iPads). I would like strong wireless coverage throughout the house and also desire minimal performance degradation over the wired network. There are several wired switches in use for 3 printers, 6 computers/laptops and 2 NAS devices. I would also like to be able to stream video from network storage without issue.

    Not sure if I would need two or three access points, the house is 3,500 sq ft and basically 3 floors - there is a bedroom in the basement at the opposite end from the cable modem, and a sunroom, also wired, above the bedroom. I am not well versed in networking, so I am quite confused as to what I actually need here - a better router? What type of dual band access point will suffice as a cost effective solution? It's possible to wire one, maybe both gaming consoles, but that is the only change I could make in that regard. We also use Netflix via wired blu-ray player. Any help would be appreciated, especially specifics as to brand/model of equipment to purchase. I wouldn't be able to mount ceiling AP's. Thanks.
     
  2. criccio

    criccio Fully Equipped

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    Maybe look into the new breed of "mesh" AP's that are all the rage right now? The Ubiquity Amplifi, Eero, Google WiFi and Netgear Orbi systems are a few I can think of off the top of my head. They seem to be pretty good. Plenty of roundup reviews with all of them out there.

    They all have multiple AP's that work as a mesh system seamlessly so you can cover some large areas.
     
  3. nitz1234

    nitz1234 n00bie

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    Would any possible solution come in at $250 or less?
     
  4. criccio

    criccio Fully Equipped

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    Purely from a price perspective, most are closer to $400 but the Google WiFi system with 3 access points that are spec'ed to cover 4500sq/ft come in at $299.

    You'd have to read some reviews as I don't have any familiarity with these systems myself but there is a lot of buzz about them.
     
  5. Ron024

    Ron024 Limp Gawd

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    If you are using MOCA then you can use existing coax connections to extend the network and use old FIOS routers as a bridge to get wireless and wired connections.
     
  6. nitz1234

    nitz1234 n00bie

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    This sounds really good, but I must admit I would have no clue what most of it means. I have the cable modem in the basement and the FIOS 100/100 up and down plan. Wanted better coverage, so I put the ASUS router on the first floor, but it doesn't help much. The east third of the house cannot get 5G. I have another older router, but it's not dual band. Really looking to extend 5G coverage as that is the issue. Don't know what MOCA is, only that the house is wired and there are Ethernet connections in 10 rooms. On the first floor there really are no centrally located Ethernet ports, and the lone one on the second floor is in a bedroom. Was hoping to somehow be able to get something like three $50 routers/WAPs and be done with it.


    Also wondering what things to look out for that could compromise wired throughput. Thanks.
     
  7. BlueLineSwinger

    BlueLineSwinger Limp Gawd

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    OP states they have wired ethernet throughout the home and wireless has trouble getting through walls. This is pretty much the opposite of the environment a mesh setup is designed for. It's possible the issue of wireless penetration is due to the router/WAP itself and not the structure, but IIRC the RT-N66 is a decent performer (though haven't used one myself).


    Again, with wired ethernet throughout there's no call for this. It's needless added cost and complexity that, relative to ethernet, will actually degrade performance for connected devices.


    My solution would be to pick up at least one wireless access point (WAP) and connect it to the existing ethernet network. FWIW, I use the Ubiquiti Unifi UAP-AC-Pro and it works quite well. There are other similar WAPs out there that would probably serve just as well. Position it somewhat at the opposite end of the home relative to the existing router/WAP, accounting for usage patterns (e.g., it may be beneficial to put it in the same room as heavy users instead of another that, on paper, seems to look better).

    It's also possible that simply replacing the existing router/WAP would solve the problem. Check some reviews on newer higher-end AC units, find one that looks good, and pick it up somewhere that has a decent return policy should it not work out.
     
  8. HammerSandwich

    HammerSandwich Gawd

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    I agree with BlueLineSwinger's advice. Ubiquiti WAPs fit the $250 budget, and adding more is a piece of cake. Having a single portal improves management a bunch, too.
     
  9. nitz1234

    nitz1234 n00bie

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    Will one of these be enough? And what is the best placement? I only have the typical wall ports down by the floor and these look like wall or ceiling mount items. Does higher on a wall or on a ceiling provide better coverage, hence the design? Is the UAP-AC-PRO-US that is on Amazon for $129 the item referred to by BlueLine above?
     
  10. BlueLineSwinger

    BlueLineSwinger Limp Gawd

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    Every structure is different, so it's hard to say for certain if one additional WAP will be enough. Educated guess is that a new WAP, combined with the existing router/WAP, should be fine. Worst case, I believe, is another is needed and you're just barely over budget.

    FWIW, my single UAP-AC-Pro covers a ~2000 sqft. single level plus into the yards just fine. I currently have it sitting upside down on top of a bookcase (been lazy about doing the ceiling install) in a somewhat-central location.

    I bought mine off of Amazon.
     
  11. HammerSandwich

    HammerSandwich Gawd

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    Nitz, you should test before you decide or purchase.

    A wifi-analyzer phone app will help, but you can get by with a normal signal-strength meter. Move your router to a few different locations (it shouldn't need the WAN), and watch the signal as you walk around the house.

    You'll need maybe an hour for this, and the results will allow you to make an informed decision.
     
  12. Aluminum

    Aluminum Limp Gawd

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    Get the AP AC Pro, runs off PoE (injector included) so you can put it anywhere you can get a cat6 cable to. Running a low voltage drop in a ceiling or a wall is far easier and safer.

    5ghz is going to always be more limited in range which actually helps in crowded apt/condo areas, but the 2.4 on these is among the best. Highly doubt you need more than 1 with central placement even in a large house but they designed to grow, I use their stuff out on farms and in warehouses.
     
  13. nitz1234

    nitz1234 n00bie

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    What is a signal-strength meter? Where do I get one? And how would I walk around the house with the router, doesn't it have to be connected to the Ethernet plug? I'm just not that well versed in networks, sorry.

    And Aluminum said to run a low voltage drop in a ceiling or wall. Huh? What? I'm limited physically, so I can't go putting holes in ceilings trying to find wires and then somehow putting a mount in to connect to. Was hoping to avoid labor or labor costs altogether and just plop a couple AP's somewhere using existing Ethernet jacks, but it seems like there is a lot of work involved, and to get the most out of the recommended UAP AC PRO it appears that it should be ceiling mounted. Would hate to purchase it thinking laying it upside down on a bookshelf would work only to find I have no good location from which a strong signal will reach the whole house. The wife will put the kibosh on an unsightly placement undoubtedly. It's a little depressing to lack the knowledge in this arena, I envy you all.
     
  14. HammerSandwich

    HammerSandwich Gawd

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    You already have one in your phone & laptop. Bars of service ain't the best indicator, but they're a lot better than nothing.

    Power up the router in Potential WAP Location #1. Check useful radius with signal strength on phone/laptop while you wander. Move router to Potential WAP Location #2 & repeat. Etc.

    They broadcast a hemisphere. Bracket side is the dead area, but it's not 100%. 2-3 units can provide excellent zoned coverage, but you will want to consider location & direction.
     
  15. iroc409

    iroc409 [H]ard|Gawd

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    There are phone apps you can get that will give you detailed wifi analysis, and several of them are free. I haven't tried iPhone but I have one installed on my Samsung.
     
  16. SilverSliver

    SilverSliver [H]ardForum Junkie

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    If wireless has trouble penetrating walls, you have wires to most rooms and you want wifi, then you need a higher power mesh system. The Orbi is proven and powerful but only has a two pack so you might not get complete coverage for 3 floors, the Velop is new, powerful and you can get a three pack but is unproven aside from preliminarily positive reviews. Google Wifi, Eero, etc all have weaker nodes and will likely run out of steam trying to penetrate walls on each floor to provide full coverage.
     
  17. HammerSandwich

    HammerSandwich Gawd

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    The criteria I bolded make mesh a poor choice. WAPs with Ethernet to the router will work better in this scenario.

    Actually, WAPs with Ethernet to the router will work better in every scenario. Mesh offers automatic configuration & removes the need to run data wiring.
     
  18. Sp33dFr33k

    Sp33dFr33k 2[H]4U

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    I was having some issues getting a good signal to a new TV and to devices 2 floors away. Got one Unifi-AC-Lite and the issue is solved. Could probably turn off the radios on my router and still get good coverage.