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Old 06-20-2016, 07:33 AM   #1
MDydinanM
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Home WiFi help

I'm a noob when it comes to this sort of thing so I decided to solicit the wisdom of the e46 OT tech gurus.

That said, I'm having home WiFi issues which I attribute to poor signal strength and the fact that I live in a four floor townhouse. I currently have Verizon FiOs as an ISP and have the company's Quantum Qateway Router seen here:

http://www.digitaltrends.com/home/ve...way-zwave-iot/

I have no tv, phone, etc, I only have an internet service since we have a Roku box and watch tv shows via Hulu, Netflix, Amazan, and other apps. The fiber optic cable comes in through the very bottom floor of the house and plugs directly into the router via a converter box.

That said, I get spotty service throughout the upper floors and signal strength is better at night (which I suspect is due to less interference at night -- sun up, freq up). I called Verizon about it and they also attributed it to interference (home appliances, walls, etc).

So my question is are there any compatible WiFi routers I can buy that can handle several internet devices at once and can send a very strong WiFi signal through multiple floors? It should also be able to handle 5G because I think, if I recall correctly, Verizon said they activated the 5G capability in its provided router. Ideally the router should be plug and play, that is, I can take the Verizon one out and put in the new one, or, alternatively, just get a LAN cable and plug a new router into the Verizon one.

I have a signal booster on the floor above, directly above the router itself, but I haven't been impressed with the performance and it doesn't work very well either.

I went to Best Buy and another local computer store, but I wasn't very confident with the answers provided by the salesmen in that they knew what they were talking about.

Thoughts?
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:57 AM   #2
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Do yourself a favor and get cheap dual band N routers and place it on the floors that have bad signal. Hard wire them to your main Verizon router via ethernet cables and you should have amazing wifi coverage throughout your home. A cheap $20-$30 router should do, no need to go overboard or be fancy.

Edit: don't try to buy just ONE additional expensive router and expect it to cover all your floors, it ain't gonna happen. Go cheap and go multiple routers as access points.

Edit 2: set all your routers to have the same SSID and password so your devices can roam seamlessly and doesn't have to disconnect and reconnect to a new SSID whenever it travels to a different access point. You can also set up the 5G band on all your routers using a different SSID so that you can put all your 5G capable devices on there to unclutter the 2Ghz band.

Edit 3: signal booster/extenders are crap.
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:00 AM   #3
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Home WiFi help

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Originally Posted by MorganFreeman View Post
Do yourself a favor and get cheap dual band N routers and place it on the floors that have bad signal. Hard wire them to your main Verizon router via ethernet cables and you should have amazing wifi coverage throughout your home. A cheap $20-$30 router should do, no need to go overboard or be fancy.

Well, I don't think running cables through all 4 floors of the house is really an option right now or practical. That's why I was hoping for recommendations on a really strong wifi router. But if that's the only way to do it id have to consider it.

Last edited by MDydinanM; 06-20-2016 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:11 AM   #4
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Well, I don't think running cables through all 4 floors of the house is really an option right now or practical. That's why I was hoping for recommendations on a really strong wifi router. But if that's the only way to do it id have to consider it.
You can try Ubiquiti products. They are entry level enterprise routers for home use.

Is snaking ethernet out the window and down/up to an additional router an issue? You really don;t need to drill holes in the floor..etc..if that's what you're afraid of.

Edit: I just use 50ft-200ft ethernet wires and run it out the windows to all 3 floors of my home to connect all my access points. Looks fine because I just made sure to do it neatly.

If you REALLY want a strong router then it's gonna be really expensive. It just depends on how much you're willing to pay?
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:27 AM   #5
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Home WiFi help

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You can try Ubiquiti products. They are entry level enterprise routers for home use.

Is snaking ethernet out the window and down/up to an additional router an issue? You really don;t need to drill holes in the floor..etc..if that's what you're afraid of.

Edit: I just use 50ft-200ft ethernet wires and run it out the windows to all 3 floors of my home to connect all my access points. Looks fine because I just made sure to do it neatly.

If you REALLY want a strong router then it's gonna be really expensive. It just depends on how much you're willing to pay?

Yeah, don't want to drill through floors and dry wall. Plus, HOA is pretty strict in our community so not sure how they'd feel about wires going in and out of windows. They do walk throughs once a month looking at the homes seeing what needs to be fixed on the exteriors.

That said, I'm not too worried about price and would consider a router that's ~$500 - $600 or so.

Last edited by MDydinanM; 06-20-2016 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:20 AM   #6
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Home WiFi help

Ill post a link to the ubiquiti routers when i get home, its around $240ish for a 3 pack and you should be set. Driving and on mobile lol
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:23 AM   #7
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:41 AM   #8
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Ill post a link to the ubiquiti routers when i get home, its around $240ish for a 3 pack and you should be set. Driving and on mobile lol
also, thoughts on the Linksys WRT1900ACS Dual-Band Smart Wi-Fi Gigabit Router?

http://www.linksys.com/us/p/P-WRT1900ACS/

Last edited by MDydinanM; 06-20-2016 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:59 AM   #9
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The problem with the new routers is the marketing that sells them on being more awesome. Yes they have more power but you also need devices that can run wireless ac and not just b/g/n in order to reap the most benefits. The newer Roku boxes will allow that but I don't know about yours.

Here are my recommendations.

1.) Get rid of the POS router/modem combo that all internet providers offer, they all suck.
2.) Replace with quality, up to date modem that's at least dual band. The way my home network is set up is that all devices that require higher bandwidth (chromecast, xbox, pc, ipad, phones) go on the 5GHz band, all the lower end devices (thermostat, cameras, etc) go on the 2.4ghz band. This way they don't interfere with each other.
3.) To extend the range, buy some power line extenders. They plug into outlets and allow fast network transfers over power lines. No need to run new wires. Then you can place access points wherever you want.
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:09 AM   #10
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The problem with the new routers is the marketing that sells them on being more awesome. Yes they have more power but you also need devices that can run wireless ac and not just b/g/n in order to reap the most benefits. The newer Roku boxes will allow that but I don't know about yours.

Here are my recommendations.

1.) Get rid of the POS router/modem combo that all internet providers offer, they all suck.
2.) Replace with quality, up to date modem that's at least dual band. The way my home network is set up is that all devices that require higher bandwidth (chromecast, xbox, pc, ipad, phones) go on the 5GHz band, all the lower end devices (thermostat, cameras, etc) go on the 2.4ghz band. This way they don't interfere with each other.
3.) To extend the range, buy some power line extenders. They plug into outlets and allow fast network transfers over power lines. No need to run new wires. Then you can place access points wherever you want.
do you have any brand suggestions for a powerful router and range extenders - especially range extenders that can handle dual band?

Last edited by MDydinanM; 06-20-2016 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 06-20-2016, 11:08 AM   #11
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Buy the $75 automatic wifi turnerofferandbackoner.
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Old 06-20-2016, 11:12 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by MDydinanM View Post
also, thoughts on the Linksys WRT1900ACS Dual-Band Smart Wi-Fi Gigabit Router?

http://www.linksys.com/us/p/P-WRT1900ACS/
That's a solid router. Like Sam said, get rid of your ISP router since that thing has horrible coverage. It shouldn't be a problem to do so because you don't have TV, since you need to keep that router if you plan on using TV. Buy your own router so you can save $10/month on renting one.

If you want, you can get the router you linked along with a PoE (power over ethernet) adapter so you don't have to run wires and use it with the ISP router. Leave one on the 1st floor and the other on the 4th floor, since signal tends to go downward. The one on the 1st floor should cover that floor and the second floor. The one on the 4th floor will cover the 3rd floor. Test out different locations to see which one works best.

Or, you can get rid of your ISP router and purchase 2 of the routers you linked along with a PoE adapter.

OR, if you plan on keeping your ISP router then you can try these:

https://www.amazon.com/Ubiquiti-UAP-...ubiquiti+lr+ap
(Only uses 2.4ghz)

https://www.amazon.com/Ubiquiti-Netw...uiti+lr+ap+pro
(Has 2.4 and 5Ghz bands)

Both comes equipped with PoE adapters.

Get your routers from Amazon if you have an account so you can try them out and return them if you don't like.

If I were you I'd just get rid of the ISP and get two good AC routers and call it a day. If you want to read reviews or tests on different routers then check out thewirecutter.com.
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Old 06-20-2016, 11:25 AM   #13
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do you have any brand suggestions for a powerful router and range extenders - especially range extenders that can handle dual band?
I wouldn't do range extenders since they share bandwidth with the main router which reduces your wifi speed. Also, you'd have to keep it close by to the router.
There's a difference between range extender and powerline adapter. Powerline adapters are usually the better choice because it's standalone and doesn't share the same bandwidth as your router, hence stronger signals. You can put it anywhere in your home. Usually you need 2 adapters, one connects to the main router and the other somewhere else where you can hardwire your device to or use an AP with it.
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Old 06-20-2016, 11:31 AM   #14
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If you want to save some money then try this router out:

https://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-Arche...er+C7+%28v2%29

It's an entry level AC dual band router which has amazing reviews. Get 2 and test them out to see if it will cover all your floors. You can always return it, lol.

I went through maybe about 6-8 routers from Amazon before I found out which one I really liked. Kept ordering different routers, testing them out then returning them.
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Old 06-20-2016, 11:42 AM   #15
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Ill post a link to the ubiquiti routers when i get home, its around $240ish for a 3 pack and you should be set. Driving and on mobile lol
I'll save you the trouble , this is what I use for my wifi.

OP, this placed on the 2nd or 3rd floor of your place properly you shouldn't have any coverage issues anywhere. You can go with a 3-pack of the cheaper version and put one on each floor outside the router floor for just a little more money, though you lose 5ghz iirc, but I sincerely doubt you'll have any signal problems with just the one, though I've only used it in single story and two story homes myself.

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Old 06-20-2016, 11:49 AM   #16
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I wouldn't do range extenders since they share bandwidth with the main router which reduces your wifi speed. Also, you'd have to keep it close by to the router.
There's a difference between range extender and powerline adapter. Powerline adapters are usually the better choice because it's standalone and doesn't share the same bandwidth as your router, hence stronger signals. You can put it anywhere in your home. Usually you need 2 adapters, one connects to the main router and the other somewhere else where you can hardwire your device to or use an AP with it.
OP, what he's trying to say is that you don't want a range extender. They are dumb and a band aid fix at best. What you want is an access point that is run off of a hardwire connection to the router. Powerline adapters are the way to go because they don't require any additional wiring. Depending on the router you buy, some of them can be programmed to become access points too.

The worst thing you can do is have a router inside of a router though so make sure the second device can be made into an access point.

Quote:
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I went through maybe about 6-8 routers from Amazon before I found out which one I really liked. Kept ordering different routers, testing them out then returning them.
Which one did you buy? My Netgear N600 sucks donkey nutz and it keeps dropping the 2.4GHz band for some reason until I reboot the device so I'm in the market for a new one.
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Old 06-20-2016, 12:20 PM   #17
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That's a solid router. Like Sam said, get rid of your ISP router since that thing has horrible coverage. It shouldn't be a problem to do so because you don't have TV, since you need to keep that router if you plan on using TV. Buy your own router so you can save $10/month on renting one.

If you want, you can get the router you linked along with a PoE (power over ethernet) adapter so you don't have to run wires and use it with the ISP router. Leave one on the 1st floor and the other on the 4th floor, since signal tends to go downward. The one on the 1st floor should cover that floor and the second floor. The one on the 4th floor will cover the 3rd floor. Test out different locations to see which one works best.

Or, you can get rid of your ISP router and purchase 2 of the routers you linked along with a PoE adapter.

OR, if you plan on keeping your ISP router then you can try these:

https://www.amazon.com/Ubiquiti-UAP-...ubiquiti+lr+ap
(Only uses 2.4ghz)

https://www.amazon.com/Ubiquiti-Netw...uiti+lr+ap+pro
(Has 2.4 and 5Ghz bands)

Both comes equipped with PoE adapters.

Get your routers from Amazon if you have an account so you can try them out and return them if you don't like.

If I were you I'd just get rid of the ISP and get two good AC routers and call it a day. If you want to read reviews or tests on different routers then check out thewirecutter.com.
can you elaborate on what a PoE is? I've got much learning and research to do, it seems with all these options!

That said, I only have one access point in the house -- where the FiOS cable comes in. The other home cable outlets do not work ever since switching from Cox Cable to Verizon and the latter had to drill a small hole in the wall on the bottom floor from the cable box outside.

Last edited by MDydinanM; 06-20-2016 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 06-20-2016, 12:21 PM   #18
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can you elaborate on what a PoE is? I've got much learning and research to do, it seems with all these options!
Power over ethernet. It sends both power and data over the same cable so you don't need a power supply for devices you plug into the PoE hub.
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Old 06-20-2016, 12:22 PM   #19
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Power over ethernet. It sends both power and data over the same cable so you don't need a power supply for devices you plug into the PoE hub.
oh ok gotcha.

so it seems like your recommendations may work for the first two floors, but the 3rd and 4th may have an issue for the reason I posted above, given one access point

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Old 06-20-2016, 12:28 PM   #20
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oh ok gotcha.

so it seems like your recommendations may work for the first two floors, but the 3rd and 4th may have an issue for the reason I posted above, given one access point
You can have multiple power line adapters to run to each floor.
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