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Old 03-28-2016, 07:37 PM  
DaneMcCloud DaneMcCloud is offline
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Home Networking Issues

I recently upgraded to TWC 100mpbs speed and made changes to the home network. I dumped their Arris Modem/Phone/Router for an Arris Surfboard Cable modem, a TP Link Archer C7 AC1750 and a Netgear AC750 Dual Band Range Extender.

My home is three levels. I had the cable modem and wireless router moved to the middle floor last week with the hope that it would extend the range. In my studio, which is on the first floor, just below where the modem and router sit, I'm getting 110-120 Mbps, same as in the room where the equipment is located.

Without the Extender, I'm getting 100+ in my kitchen, which is about 40 feet away and in our playroom, about 60-70, which is on the same floor but the signal travels through several walls.

On the third floor, directly above the modem and router, it's at 118 and in the Master, which is adjacent to that bedroom, about 90. But once we jump across the hall and in to another room, it drops to 60. In my wife's office, it's barely at 5 Mbps, as it's at the furthest point possible in the house from the router.

When the Extender is plugged in, all of those numbers, save the family room and my studio, are cut into a third but my wife's office jumps to 25-30, which is significantly better than 5.

So, what are my options in order to get closer to 100 throughout the entire home? Should I hire someone to run a Cat 5 line (or two) to my wife's office so she can dump the wireless altogether? Or should I run a Cat 5 line under the house and use the Netgear AC750 as a Wireless Access Point?

Any input would be greatly appreciated, as this is driving my wife crazy and makes it so she really can't work from home because of the speed.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-28-2016, 07:54 PM   #2
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Anytime you use an extender, your transfer rates are cut in half from that extender. That's just a hardware limitation of extenders. Run cat6 to each floor. You can put a cheap switch on each floor at the end of the cat6 cable and have multiple ports. You could then also put individual access points on any floor that wouldn't cut the transfer rates in half.
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Old 03-28-2016, 08:14 PM   #3
DaneMcCloud DaneMcCloud is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish View Post
Anytime you use an extender, your transfer rates are cut in half from that extender. That's just a hardware limitation of extenders. Run cat6 to each floor. You can put a cheap switch on each floor at the end of the cat6 cable and have multiple ports. You could then also put individual access points on any floor that wouldn't cut the transfer rates in half.
Thanks, man!

I don't understand the concept of the Access Point. Does it broadcast like a router?
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Old 03-28-2016, 08:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaneMcCloud View Post
Thanks, man!

I don't understand the concept of the Access Point. Does it broadcast like a router?
It receives the signal from your router and 'extends' it on, but with much less bandwidth.

Find the exact center of your home and you might get what you need.
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Old 03-28-2016, 08:28 PM   #5
DaneMcCloud DaneMcCloud is offline
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Originally Posted by eDave View Post
It receives the signal from your router and 'extends' it on, but with much less bandwidth.

Find the exact center of your home and you might get what you need.
Thanks, Dave. Unfortunately, it's not an option to find the center but maybe the access point would be a better solution on the top floor.

The main structure of the home is steel and concrete, so I'm fairly limited where I can run lines.
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Old 03-28-2016, 08:33 PM   #6
Lex Luthor Lex Luthor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish View Post
Anytime you use an extender, your transfer rates are cut in half from that extender. That's just a hardware limitation of extenders. Run cat6 to each floor. You can put a cheap switch on each floor at the end of the cat6 cable and have multiple ports. You could then also put individual access points on any floor that wouldn't cut the transfer rates in half.
Dane, what Fish described is by far the best option.

However, if you want a quick and dirty option, or if you can't easily run Ethernet cables to other parts of your house, you could always go with a power line adapter. It uses your home power lines as the physical network cable. I know, it sounds like a horrifically bad idea. When I first read about these things I thought it was the dumbest idea I'd ever heard, but later I decided to give it a try. I have used them successfully to get decent network speeds on the second floor of my house (my Internet service is in my basement). You plug in the power line adapter close to your cable modem, and run an Ethernet cable from the modem to the adapter. Plug the matching power line adapter in on the second floor. Then you can either run an Ethernet cable from it to a cheap switch like Fish described for use by devices with Ethernet ports, or you can run it to a cheap wireless access point for use by wireless devices.

The main difference between a wireless access point and a router is that the router often acts as a DHCP server (it assigns dynamic IP addresses), and it can be connected directly to your ISP connection. The wireless access point doesn't do that. It just extends your existing network to wireless devices.
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Old 03-28-2016, 08:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaneMcCloud View Post
Thanks, man!

I don't understand the concept of the Access Point. Does it broadcast like a router?
The access point would plug into your switch(s) via network cable, and broadcast wifi. It uses ethernet though instead of wifi to wifi, so the speed isn't cut in half like a wifi repeater.

House is floor A, B, C. You'd have your modem and router on floor A. Install switches on both floor B and floor C. Run cat6 cable from router to floor B and floor C switches. Have 2 access points, plug access points into switch on floor B and the other on floor C. That would give you hard wired connectivity on every floor, as well as wireless on floor B and C, and a strong signal because it's just serving those floors and isn't halved because of extenders. Router is still controlling all connectivity. The switches, APs just extend that.

Gigabit switch: http://www.amazon.com/Netgear-GS105N...gigabit+switch

AP: http://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-TL-WA8...n+access+point
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Old 03-28-2016, 08:43 PM   #8
DaneMcCloud DaneMcCloud is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lex Luthor View Post
Dane, what Fish described is by far the best option.

However, if you want a quick and dirty option, you could always go with a power line adapter. It uses your home power lines as the physical network cable. I know, it sounds like a horrifically bad idea. When I first read about these things I thought it was the dumbest idea I'd ever heard, but later I decided to give it a try. I have used them successfully to get decent network speeds on the second floor of my house (my Internet service is in my basement). You plug in the power line adapter close to your cable modem, and run an Ethernet cable from the modem to the adapter. Plug the matching power line adapter in on the second floor. Then you can either run an Ethernet cable from it to a cheap switch like Fish described for use by devices with Ethernet ports, or you can run it to a cheap wireless access point for use by wireless devices.

The main difference between a wireless access point and a router is that the router often acts as a DHCP server (it assigns dynamic IP addresses), and it can be connected directly to your ISP connection. The wireless access point doesn't do that. It just extends your existing network to wireless devices.
Hey Bud, I tried the TP Link power line adapter in my wife's office but it was essentially the same as the Extender, between 20-25 Mbps.

The nice thing about the Extender is that we get 5 bars on the top floor, which provided a solid signal for our Roku equipped TV's but without it, the signal is very weak.

It sounds as if the best course of action is to hire a company to run Ethernet cables under the house and to rooms in the opposite side of the home, then set up the Netgear extender as an Access Point, while adding a gigabit switch to my wife's office.

The other issue is that we're paying $29.99 a month plus tax for a second VoIP line but if we can achieve a fast, reliable signal to my wife's office, we could drop that expense, as she would be able to make calls on her iPhone in her office, which she's unable to do at this time.

If so, I'd have no problem bumping up to 300 Mbps, which should be more than sufficient for the time being.
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Old 03-28-2016, 08:44 PM   #9
DaneMcCloud DaneMcCloud is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish View Post
The access point would plug into your switch(s) via network cable, and broadcast wifi. It uses ethernet though instead of wifi to wifi, so the speed isn't cut in half like a wifi repeater.

House is floor A, B, C. You'd have your modem and router on floor A. Install switches on both floor B and floor C. Run cat6 cable from router to floor B and floor C switches. Have 2 access points, plug access points into switch on floor B and the other on floor C. That would give you hard wired connectivity on every floor, as well as wireless on floor B and C, and a strong signal because it's just serving those floors and isn't halved because of extenders. Router is still controlling all connectivity. The switches, APs just extend that.

Gigabit switch: http://www.amazon.com/Netgear-GS105N...gigabit+switch

AP: http://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-TL-WA8...n+access+point

Ack! I just had the cable moved from Floor A to Floor B.

Thanks again for all of the info!
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Old 03-28-2016, 08:47 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by DaneMcCloud View Post
Ack! I just had the cable moved from Floor A to Floor B.

Thanks again for all of the info!
It's irrelevant which floor it's on now. Floor letters are interchangeable in my example. You're porting the network connection via wired networking to all floors. So it doesn't matter.
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Old 03-28-2016, 08:50 PM   #11
DaneMcCloud DaneMcCloud is offline
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It's irrelevant which floor it's on now. Floor letters are interchangeable in my example. You're porting the network connection via wired networking to all floors. So it doesn't matter.
Okay, cool. Thanks again for the assistance!
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Old 03-28-2016, 09:31 PM   #12
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I just realized I explained an extender to you when you asked about access points. And yet you repped me and thanked me even though I told you what you already knew.

You are a swell guy. May your bandwidth be phat.
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Old 03-28-2016, 09:53 PM   #13
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I just realized I explained an extender to you when you asked about access points. And yet you repped me and thanked me even though I told you what you already knew.

You are a swell guy. May your bandwidth be phat.
Hmmm. I didn't get a rep, or a thanks. However, I did get a "Hey bud, ...".
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Old 03-28-2016, 09:58 PM   #14
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Hmmm. I didn't get a rep, or a thanks. However, I did get a "Hey bud, ...".
A simple oversight. I'm sure.
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Old 03-28-2016, 10:24 PM   #15
DaneMcCloud DaneMcCloud is offline
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Hmmm. I didn't get a rep, or a thanks. However, I did get a "Hey bud, ...".
My apologies, as I had to help put the kids down for the night.

Thanks again!
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