will more expensive WiFi get me a stronger 5.0 signal?

x509

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
2,175
So I'm setting up a Roku stick on my TV that is at the other end of my house from my router. The router is a TP-Link Archer C9. Sort of a budget-y model.

The Roku stick setup for networks said that the 5.0 network signal was not strong enough for a reliable connection. I was able to get a good-enough signal on the 2.4 network (https://hardforum.com/threads/2-4-guest-network-stronger-than-regular-2-4-network.1981727/) but we're planning to buy a 4K TV probably in a few months, and I'm thinking that a 2.4 network can't stream fast enough for that 4K TV. I also don't like using the guest network because then I can't use one of my PCs to send videos to the TV.

If I spent some serious bucks for a WiFi router, would I get a stronger 5.0 signal? Any recommendations? I picked the TP-Link because of strong security, and that's a consideration for me for a new router?
 

Vengance_01

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 23, 2001
Messages
6,192
If you have cat 5 runs within the house separate APs. Otherwise you will need a mesh style setup.
 

x509

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
2,175
Do you have existing wiring, or is that an option?
Yes, but only if I first say ROTLFMAO. :ROFLMAO:

So, about 30 years ago (yes 30!) we were doing a remodel, so I put 10Base2 "thin Ethernet" in the walls, before the drywall guys closed up the walls. Did I say that 10Base2 was rated for 10 Mbit/sec.:ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: Like I said, ROTFLMAO. :ROFLMAO:

x509
 

x509

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
2,175
If you have cat 5 runs within the house separate APs. Otherwise you will need a mesh style setup.
I don't know the first thing about mesh systems, except some of them are $$$. My first, basic question is even with all the mesh "repeaters" in the house, do I get the same throughput that I would with just a single router? My second question is, can you recommend a mesh system vendor for a two story house, no basement, plus a detached garage. Can the mesh network extend to my backyard and my garage? Extra $$, I presume.

Are you also saying that one of those "gaming" routers that cost north of $300 won't give me greater reach on my 5.0 network?
 

Brian_B

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 23, 2012
Messages
3,356
5Ghz has a much smaller range. A better router “might” help, but probably not all that much. If 2.4 isn’t fast enough, your bet option is to figure out a way to move your device and router closer, or find a way to hard wire
 

x509

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
2,175
Use the old wire to pull new wire. EZPZ
I am not sure that will work. The old wire snaked in between studs, with lots of turns around corners between the basement and the second floor, and is probably over 50 feet long. Still, that's an intriguing idea. Is there any way to lubricate the old cable or certainly the new cable. I'm a bit concerned that if I'm pulling hard on the old cable, I might pull the new cable too tight and bend the new cable beyond what is allowed. Any suggestions here? I'm going to start a new thread.
 

drdoug99

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 21, 2001
Messages
390
Will a more expensive router be better? not necessarily. Use an app like Wifi Analyzer to check your actual RF signal strength throughout your home.

Depends on how big your house is....how many walls, line of sight, etc. You can't just have a loud radio blasting and expect to clearly hear it on the other end of the house. It might work, but then again it might not. (the louder radio, or router)

You might be able to get by with a wireless extender, again use wifi analyzer to make sure you have a good signal to extend.

We use Eero mesh systems at my work....again, for certain situations they work very well.

Another option might be, if your router has removable antennas, buy some higher gain antennas for the router. That would be the cheapest option.

The best way, honestly you might want to just pay a contractor to run new Ethernet lines as well....one outlet shouldn't cost that much. That way you could have an Ethernet switch or a wired wifi extender to boost the other area of your house.

There's a million ways to go about this unfortunately.
 

faugusztin

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
2,666
Also don't forget, WiFi is two way communication. A better router won't fix your antenna in your Roku.
 

marshac

American Hero
Joined
Mar 25, 2003
Messages
2,389
There's always powerline adapters - I've got 2000Mb ones around the house for sonos devices since the local wifi was overly saturated by the neighbors. Pretty solid and speedy connections honestly.
 

Eickst

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 24, 2005
Messages
1,873
I am not sure that will work. The old wire snaked in between studs, with lots of turns around corners between the basement and the second floor, and is probably over 50 feet long. Still, that's an intriguing idea. Is there any way to lubricate the old cable or certainly the new cable. I'm a bit concerned that if I'm pulling hard on the old cable, I might pull the new cable too tight and bend the new cable beyond what is allowed. Any suggestions here? I'm going to start a new thread.
As long as the old cable isn't stapled to the studs like they do new construction romex you should be fine

I cross them over, bend them back across themselves and twist each cable over, then use tape and tape the crap out of it to 'smooth' any hard edges. Think of it like making a noose with each cable you're just looping the nooses through each other

I've never had one of these not work unless old cable was stapled somewhere.
 

x509

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
2,175
As long as the old cable isn't stapled to the studs like they do new construction romex you should be fine

I cross them over, bend them back across themselves and twist each cable over, then use tape and tape the crap out of it to 'smooth' any hard edges. Think of it like making a noose with each cable you're just looping the nooses through each other

I've never had one of these not work unless old cable was stapled somewhere.
I can't get inside the walls to tape over the hard edges. So I have two questions.
1. How tight or strong does the "noose" have to be for the pull cord?
2. Is there some kind of lubricant that would make it easier to do this job?

Actually a third question: Can standard Cat 5e or Cat 6 do the job? Or do I need some kind of special sheathing?

x509
 

x509

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
2,175
There's always powerline adapters - I've got 2000Mb ones around the house for sonos devices since the local wifi was overly saturated by the neighbors. Pretty solid and speedy connections honestly.
That sounds like a quck-and-easy solution. Thanks. Any recommended vendors?
 

Brian_B

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 23, 2012
Messages
3,356
1. How tight or strong does the "noose" have to be for the pull cord?
2. Is there some kind of lubricant that would make it easier to do this job?

Actually a third question: Can standard Cat 5e or Cat 6 do the job? Or do I need some kind of special sheathing?

1.
Wrap it with electrical tape a few times. If that doesn't hold, it's hung on something and isn't coming through anyway. Electrical tape is better than duct tape.

2.
https://www.lowes.com/pd/IDEAL-32-oz-Yellow-Gold-Wire-Pulling-Lubricant/3178691
or
https://smile.amazon.com/Passion-Lu...s=50+gal+lube&qid=1558323666&s=gateway&sr=8-1

3.
If your just going through the wall no. If your going through HVAC ducting or a crawl space in the roof where there is a furnace or air handler, yes. The rating would be called "plenum rated"

Powerline adapters:

Work decently well so long as both your circuits are on the same branch in the breaker box. If they aren't, then they hardly work at all. tl;dr hit or miss, can work well, but have a good return policy. TP-Link and Netgear are both common.
 

x509

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
2,175
Powerline adapters:

Work decently well so long as both your circuits are on the same branch in the breaker box. If they aren't, then they hardly work at all. tl;dr hit or miss, can work well, but have a good return policy. TP-Link and Netgear are both common.
I have a main breaker panel outside with a subpanel for the upstairs remodel expansion. Does that count as different branches in the breaker box?
 

Brian_B

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 23, 2012
Messages
3,356
I have a main breaker panel outside with a subpanel for the upstairs remodel expansion. Does that count as different branches in the breaker box?
Most homes have Power that comes in at single phase 220. That gets split into two halves for 110vac with neutral in the middle. Your lighting and outlet breakers tend to alternate to try to keep the two halves more or less equally loaded. POE adapters can’t talk across the halves.

The traditional word is across breakers in the box - and that is true, you pick up a lot of noise in a breaker box. But they can still work across breakers as long as they are on the same half. But on different halves it’s not going to work well if at all.

A sub panel is going to act just like an extension of your breaker box
 

Shooter308

Gawd
Joined
Oct 29, 2006
Messages
514
How far away is your Roku TV from your router?

How many walls are in between them?

Are these devices in the upstairs or main level of your home? Do you have an attic crawl space?

If you have an attic crawl space or a good under the floor crawl space and verify that you don't have any electrical or plumbing where you need to run a Cat5 or Cat6 cable run, you could use a locating bit and drill a hole to run the network cable from one end to the other, then terminate them with some jacks and patch the one end into your existing router if you have an available port, and patch the other end into the TV.


All of this can impact the best method to solve your issue.
 
Last edited:

Eickst

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 24, 2005
Messages
1,873
I can't get inside the walls to tape over the hard edges. So I have two questions.
1. How tight or strong does the "noose" have to be for the pull cord?
2. Is there some kind of lubricant that would make it easier to do this job?

Actually a third question: Can standard Cat 5e or Cat 6 do the job? Or do I need some kind of special sheathing?

x509
You don't tape inside the walls, you roll the tape over the cable where you've twisted them together so it's a smooth blob of tape instead of twisty cat 5 cable that can get caught on stuff.

It will work, I don't even use duct tape, painters tape is usually enough. Duct tape would probably hold better and if you have multiple turns may be a better chance of success
 

x509

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
2,175
Most homes have Power that comes in at single phase 220. That gets split into two halves for 110vac with neutral in the middle. Your lighting and outlet breakers tend to alternate to try to keep the two halves more or less equally loaded. POE adapters can’t talk across the halves.

The traditional word is across breakers in the box - and that is true, you pick up a lot of noise in a breaker box. But they can still work across breakers as long as they are on the same half. But on different halves it’s not going to work well if at all.

A sub panel is going to act just like an extension of your breaker box
Thanks. The entire upstairs subpanel leads to one circuit in the main panel, but I don't know which side of the breaker box. I guess the only way to find out is to order a pair and hope for the best. If things don't work out, there is always eBay or Craigslist.
 

x509

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
2,175
How far away is your Roku TV from your router?

How many walls are in between them?

Are these devices in the upstairs or main level of your home? Do you have an attic crawl space?

If you have an attic crawl space or a good under the floor crawl space and verify that you don't have any electrical or plumbing where you need to run a Cat5 or Cat6 cable run, you could use a locating bit and drill a hole to run the network cable from one end to the other, then terminate them with some jacks and patch the one end into your existing router if you have an available port, and patch the other end into the TV.


All of this can impact the best method to solve your issue.
Router is on the first floor. Roku is plugged into a TV on the second floor, at the other end of the house. Maybe 40 feet horizontal, 8 feet vertical, with several walls and a floor in between. The house is wood-frame, with standard drywall walls. Only metal is nails and water and waste pipes.

There is a good crawl space, but a direct run to the second floor bedroom would involve cutting into the drywall on two floors to drill through the floor plates and the firestops. I would prefer to avoid that. That is why the pull cord idea interests me.

x509
 

x509

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
2,175
You don't tape inside the walls, you roll the tape over the cable where you've twisted them together so it's a smooth blob of tape instead of twisty cat 5 cable that can get caught on stuff.

It will work, I don't even use duct tape, painters tape is usually enough. Duct tape would probably hold better and if you have multiple turns may be a better chance of success
If I need to pull only one Cat 5e or Cat 6, do I need to apply tape anywhere except where I tie the new twisted pair cable to the old thin Ethernet coax.

For everyone who may not be familiar with 10Base2, it's coax, and you can read about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10BASE2.
 

Eickst

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 24, 2005
Messages
1,873
No you're just using tape to 1) strengthen the physical tying of the cords together and 2) make it a smoother mass with no abrupt edges
 

Brian_B

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 23, 2012
Messages
3,356


A bit overkill since they are talking about romex to a fish tape, and romex solid core is a lot stiffer than CAT ever would be .... but same concept.
 

MMitch

Gawd
Joined
Nov 29, 2016
Messages
807
I'm using ASUS GT-AC5300 and 5.0 gets thru 2 floors and 2.4 almost to the end of street (apartment building). I tried the LAN over power lines but the results were mixed.
Anything I depend on is wired but I share my wifi with my tenants so the provided router from ISP was crap.

There's better option than the ASUS but I like the ROG lines and I deducted it ;) you can get nighthawks for half that price.
 

Eickst

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 24, 2005
Messages
1,873
Awesome video, I was just about to do something in MS paint to illustrate what I was trying to explain.....the video makes it more obvious lol
 

OliverQueen

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 17, 2019
Messages
170
The Roku stick setup for networks said that the 5.0 network signal was not strong enough for a reliable connection. I was able to get a good-enough signal on the 2.4 network (https://hardforum.com/threads/2-4-guest-network-stronger-than-regular-2-4-network.1981727/) but we're planning to buy a 4K TV probably in a few months, and I'm thinking that a 2.4 network can't stream fast enough for that 4K TV. I also don't like using the guest network because then I can't use one of my PCs to send videos to the TV.
If you are streaming 4K digital files that have been legitimately purchased or streamed via Netflix etc and not full 4K rips from BD-4K media, then most services require a minimum of 25mbps connection to stream in 4K. 2.4Ghz will easily handle those speeds.
 

x509

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
2,175
If you are streaming 4K digital files that have been legitimately purchased or streamed via Netflix etc and not full 4K rips from BD-4K media, then most services require a minimum of 25mbps connection to stream in 4K. 2.4Ghz will easily handle those speeds.
We are streaming only 1080p, but my wife says that a Roku stream is constantly interrupted every few seconds with a "loading" message if I am also using WiFI to transfer files between two of the systems on my LAN.
 
Joined
May 30, 2019
Messages
2
While it wasn't cheap I use an Orbi RBK50 and it works better than I every expected it to. Replaced a Ubiquiti system with it and have been completely satisfied.
 

Keljian

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Messages
1,199
I must be in the minority. I use google wifi. No mess, no fuss, it simply works
 
Tags
5.0ghz
Top