Should I invest in a new router?

theDeviL

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Sep 8, 2006
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I recently moved to a new apartment and I'm using a router I've been successfully using for a few years now (and ASUS RT56U). I have downsized from a 3bed apt to a newer 2bed apt but my Wifi has really suffered. I have no idea what they put in these wall but my router is in my living room and i will literally loose all connection in my bedroom.

In my last apt I was able to stream content across my entire apt without a hicup. Should I upgrade to one of them triband routers? or would I benefit more from using an access point? I haven't a clue as to how to improve my lead walled apartment.

Any input is greatly appreciated!
 

deaedius

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A new router may not resolve any issues if you are experiencing interference. I would spend time finding what channels are widely used and which ones aren't and see if just simple change will make a difference.
 

Yariko

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A new router may not resolve any issues if you are experiencing interference. I would spend time finding what channels are widely used and which ones aren't and see if just simple change will make a difference.
This, because the wall would be pretty bonkers to block your wifi so well.
 

Elf_Boy

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Ethernet is always better - most particularly for gaming.

Not always practical, but better.

If you have an android phone/device get 'WiEye' for free from the play store and check what channels are in use. It also has a meter that will let you check signal strength. Sometimes moving the router a few inches can make the difference.

Could be the router got beat up in the move too. They do go out.
 

Streiw

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I'd check interference first, as apartment complexes are often loaded with WiFi signals. I'd also suggest running an open source firmware, such as DD-WRT, or Tomato. If that doesn't help, I'd upgrade to an AC router and run on the 5GhZ band.
 

PornoSatan

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If it worked great before you moved then its either the walls or the interference like someone else mentioned, you shouldn't have to get custom firmware to resolve this. It should be completely unnecessary in this instance.

I'd check interference first, as apartment complexes are often loaded with WiFi signals. I'd also suggest running an open source firmware, such as DD-WRT, or Tomato. If that doesn't help, I'd upgrade to an AC router and run on the 5GhZ band.

If it is the walls then 5ghz would be even worse in this case. 5ghz is really only decent with like a single thin wall or direct line of sight in my experience.
 

Skripka

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Do a site survey with inSSIDer first before spending money.
 

Streiw

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If it worked great before you moved then its either the walls or the interference like someone else mentioned, you shouldn't have to get custom firmware to resolve this. It should be completely unnecessary in this instance.



If it is the walls then 5ghz would be even worse in this case. 5ghz is really only decent with like a single thin wall or direct line of sight in my experience.

I always upgrade my router firmware to one of the open source variants, as they always have more options available. I wasn't necessarily saying to upgrade to one as a trouble shooting method, more as a, "While you're messing with your router, you might as well go ahead and flash one" kind of thing.


Didn't know that about 5ghZ, though. I use it in my basement and it seems to do better than 2.4ghZ for devices upstairs.
 

Skripka

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If WIFI works in one room but not the adjacent room then it's probably not interference but the material in the wall that's blocking signal. Try a pair of powerline adapters to provide wired connectivity in the bedroom or optionally use that to add another WIFI access point.

http://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-TL-PA6010KIT-Powerline-Adapter-Starter/dp/B00IBPLI48

I'd sooner use Cat6 than powerline...especially in an apartment where lord knows how not to code and dirty the power is even on a good day.

IIRC a Faraday cage for 2.4gHz only needs mesh with a 1/4" spacing
 

NetJunkie

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5Ghz doesn't go through walls as well..but that band isn't usually as overloaded so I'd start there. Better AP/routers DO make a big difference and it's not always about how much you spend. I just picked up a NetGear X6 for $299 and my $129 Apple Extreme 6th gen destroyed it on coverage and speed at the fringes.
 

peanuthead

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5Ghz doesn't go through walls as well..but that band isn't usually as overloaded so I'd start there. Better AP/routers DO make a big difference and it's not always about how much you spend. I just picked up a NetGear X6 for $299 and my $129 Apple Extreme 6th gen destroyed it on coverage and speed at the fringes.

I agree. I bought a Trendnet and it covers my multi-level home and even out to the end of the driveway.
 

theDeviL

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Thanks for all the great suggestions. The thing that boggles my mind is that this apt is brand new I mean the building is not even finished yet.

I ran some tests using an app called WiFi analyzer on android, and apparently the 5ghz line is stronger in my Apartment but as soon as I walk through the hallway into my room the signal goes flat. (see attached floor plan and signal strength).

jUwai9bC.jpg


The Apartment is very new and the finishes are so clean I'm reluctant to run a physical cable and given where my internet line is it would be tricky to get to the room. I might explore the power line thing but I wonder if perhaps getting a new AC router and using my current one as an access point somewhere in the middle might work best.
 

Ocellaris

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Try putting the router in the corner to the right of the stove in your floor plan. That would give you significantly less walls to go through across the majority of your apartment. The RT N56U isn't exactly a powerhouse router even if it was working fine for you before.

Get a better router if the problem keeps up. You don't need a tri band since that won't help with walls and such. I ditched a well reviewed Netgear R6250 AC router for a WRT1900AC because I wanted a strong WiFi signal across my entire house and lawn. I went from sketchy wireless and part of my house and dropped connections when outside to solid connection everywhere in my house (5GHz) and outside (on the 2.4GHz network). I have my cell phone connected to both the 2.4 and 5GHz networks on the new router, it almost always connects to the 2.4 network before I finish parking my car.
 
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BigBadAl

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Try putting the router in the corner to the right of the stove in your floor plan. That would give you significantly less walls to go through across the majority of your apartment.......

This.

Getting the router as central as possible is going to be the best improvement for the least outlay.

Next up would be to go for a centrally (or as close to it as possible) mounted access point.

Unifi from Ubiquiti do very well for their price, if you want to make sure you cover your apt go for the UAP-LR but that's 2.4Ghz only, range-wise, next up is the UAP-Pro which is 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz, very close, if not identical coverage wise.

The single best thing I ever did in my house with respect to Wi-Fi was to go this route, no two ways about it.

Prior to this I had DDWRT running on some iteration of the Linksys routers with the power raised a little and dual 9dBi antennas on it.

The antennas improved things slightly, but I still had coverage nulls here and there. As soon as I installed the UAP-LR I have whole-house coverage, including back garden, front driveway and halfway down the street. I even pick up my SSID in a neighbours house 3 doors down from me on his smart TV.

I understand the finish of the place is nice, but in order of reliability, it`s ethernet, then powerline adapters, then wireless access point.

Re-evaluate that list excluding any options that may include/introduce wiring, however slightly unsightly it may look, and top of the hill you have an external access point.

good luck
 

PornoSatan

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I agree with ocellaris, I think any of these spots could be interesting. Depending on the signal going through that wall and into your living room, putting it in your bedroom closet might even be an option if the wifi devices in the living room are directly south.

wifi.jpg
 
D

Deleted member 88227

Guest
I ran some tests using an app called WiFi analyzer on android, and apparently the 5ghz line is stronger in my Apartment but as soon as I walk through the hallway into my room the signal goes flat. (see attached floor plan and signal strength).

A 2.4Ghz band penetrates solid objects better than a 5Ghz band. Their range (5Ghz) is also shorter than 2.4Ghz bands.
 

theDeviL

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Those Ubiquity APs cost as much as a new router. If I'm not mistaking doesn't the RT56U support bridging? what do you guys think about me upgrading to a new RT-AC68U as my main router and using my old 56U as a bridge inside my bedroom closet (assuming theres a connection in there, I'll have to explore).
 

Ocellaris

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Those Ubiquity APs cost as much as a new router. If I'm not mistaking doesn't the RT56U support bridging? what do you guys think about me upgrading to a new RT-AC68U as my main router and using my old 56U as a bridge inside my bedroom closet (assuming theres a connection in there, I'll have to explore).

If you want to buy a new router, feel free to spend the money. However you may run into the same problem if you plan to stick it in the same location. Wireless bridge mode is only going to work well if you can get a solid connection between the two routers.

This threads is relevant to your situation (people talking about wireless bridge between a 56U and a 68U):

http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/next-generation-broadband-network-ngbn-forum-320/asus-rt-n56u-secondary-router-wireless-bridge-possible-4480164.html
 
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MScrip

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Those Ubiquity APs cost as much as a new router.

It depends on how much you plan to spend on a router.

You can get a Ubiquiti AP for as low as $65.... and all $65 of that goes towards an excellent wireless access point. It's a device with one purpose.

But if you get a $65 router... only a small portion of that money is for the actual wireless part. You've also got the mainboard and processor, memory, gigabit hub/switch, and so on. Your $65 is spread across many components in the router.

Now if you spend $150 on a router... in theory you should get better components across the board... including a better wireless access point.

But there are still a lot of walls, appliances, and bathroom fixtures between the router in the living room and the bedrooms. If that's the problem... can any router deal with all those obstructions?

You might be forced to... A) move the router to a more central location in the apartment... or B) add an access point in the kitchen closer to the bedrooms.

A better router in the living room still might be battling distance and obstructions. But you could always try... buy a router locally and take advantage of the return policy.
 
D

Deleted member 126051

Guest
Repositioning your existing router should fix your problems.

You, currently, have it dropped in what is possibly THE worst place for it in the apartment.

You have to penetrate a MINIMUM of THREE walls to go from your living room to the nearest (wall-wise) bedroom.

If you *HAVE* to have a router in that location, get yourself a regular old wired router, and set the wifi router up to work as a wifi access point.
For the bedroom without the terrace, you're penetrating SIX walls.
Realistically you're also likely dealing with attenuation issues on the longitudinal wall(s) as well. Further degrading signal.

PornoSatan's suggestions for drop points to move the wifi point to are actually good.
 

theDeviL

Limp Gawd
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Sep 8, 2006
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yeah the router is kindda fixed to that wall, i mean I'm sure I can relocate it but not without drilling a few permanent holes and as I said before it's a lease. There are also no hidden outlets fro power and i'm not going to have a router sitting next to my coffee machine.

It's a little tricky but I appreciate all the feedback I certainly have a lot of options.
 

Ocellaris

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yeah the router is kindda fixed to that wall, i mean I'm sure I can relocate it but not without drilling a few permanent holes and as I said before it's a lease. There are also no hidden outlets fro power and i'm not going to have a router sitting next to my coffee machine.

It's a little tricky but I appreciate all the feedback I certainly have a lot of options.

Buy a much better router with external antennas then. Get one of the highly rated AC1900 routers over the newer routers with two 5ghz networks since a second 5GHz won't do anything for you.
 
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