Rec. for a specific type of internet router

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Carson
Posts: 551
Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 3:26 pm

Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by Carson » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:14 am

I can't figure out what I am looking for so asking for some recommendations. This is our setup.

100-year old brick and lathe & plaster house (Chicago)
Comcast 100 mpbs cable service comes into the basement to a Motorola Surfboard gateway that provides 5ghz wifi to devices in the basement. If you connect to the gateway via ethernet port, you get 100 mpbs service. You can use the wifi within about 20 feet of the gateway, otherwise it drops.

We need a wifi router that would be supplied with internet by using an ethernet cable from the gateway, to the main floor of our house. We want to distribute 2.4 ghz to the garage (40 feet away) and 5 ghz within the main floor of the house. We don't have a second story, and our overall footprint is about 1100 square feet.

DH is okay at setting things up, but I am a novice and don't even know what I am looking for.

Thanks for any thoughts.
30-something personal finance enthusiast, just get getting started on this whole portfolio thing.

mptfan
Posts: 4659
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Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by mptfan » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:15 am

Google Wifi. I just set it up in my house and I love it, best thing I've done recently.

jebmke
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Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by jebmke » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:22 am

For that size space, a single router would probably work. I'd figure out how to shut down the routing in the cable modem (it sounds like a combination cable modem/router) and then drop the router off the ethernet cable on the main floor and let the remote router do all the routing. There should be a way to log into the cable modem and configure it to stop routing.

Any major brand would probably do the job. I use TP-Link at several tax prep sites and I like their hardware. They have a range of price points. Netgear, Asus are also good brands.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

tev9876
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Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by tev9876 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:28 am

I have found that the combo modems/routers that ISPs rent you are garbage for the wifi signal. Any decent router should do much better if you just plug it into one of the Ethernet ports on the gateway. Better yet, see if you can get rid of the gateway and the rental charge they are hitting you with monthly and just buy your own modem for under $100.

I used to buy cheap (<$50) routers but found they became finicky after a year or so, probably due to thermal issues. I'm now running a Netgear Nighthawk that is a couple years old and flashed with Tomato firmware that has been flawless in my 1000 sf house.

Carson
Posts: 551
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Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by Carson » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:32 am

We just get the service from comcast. The piece of hardware that I was calling a gateway is a Motorola® SURFboard® SB6121 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem. We need the it (cable modem/router combo) to send out a wireless signal within the space of the basement to use devices down there. When we installed on the main level, we couldn't connect to it in the basement. On the good side our house is probably bomb proof. :oops:

The google wifi sure has glowing reviews.

Would it be setup as: Comcast cable in > Existing Surfboard > ethernet cable > Google Wifi unit > distribute Wifi to an initial point upstairs

Then I would need another Google Wifi unit towards the back of the house to extend the signal out to the garage?

ETA, I do use a VPN occasionally for work, maybe once a week?
30-something personal finance enthusiast, just get getting started on this whole portfolio thing.

RootSki
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Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by RootSki » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:36 am

Get a couple of power line ethernet adaptors/transceivers. I believe many of them will generate their own wifi signal where every you place them in the house so no need for a secondary router.

jebmke
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Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by jebmke » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:41 am

RootSki wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:36 am
Get a couple of power line ethernet adaptors/transceivers. I believe many of them will generate their own wifi signal where every you place them in the house so no need for a secondary router.
The electrical wiring in older houses often don't do well with powerline. It might be worth a try if they can get their hands on some to try but the risk is that they buy them and the wiring doesn't support the speed.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

KlangFool
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Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by KlangFool » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:51 am

Carson wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:14 am
I can't figure out what I am looking for so asking for some recommendations. This is our setup.

100-year old brick and lathe & plaster house (Chicago)
Comcast 100 mpbs cable service comes into the basement to a Motorola Surfboard gateway that provides 5ghz wifi to devices in the basement. If you connect to the gateway via ethernet port, you get 100 mpbs service. You can use the wifi within about 20 feet of the gateway, otherwise it drops.

We need a wifi router that would be supplied with internet by using an ethernet cable from the gateway, to the main floor of our house. We want to distribute 2.4 ghz to the garage (40 feet away) and 5 ghz within the main floor of the house. We don't have a second story, and our overall footprint is about 1100 square feet.

DH is okay at setting things up, but I am a novice and don't even know what I am looking for.

Thanks for any thoughts.
Carson,

I bought 2 of this for my kids. One for each apartment. And, they work fine.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BU ... UTF8&psc=1

<<If you connect to the gateway via ethernet port, you get 100 mpbs service. You can use the wifi within about 20 feet of the gateway, otherwise it drops.>>

Based on your description, Google WiFi will not work for you. Your brick wall is too thick for the Wireless signal to go through.

KlangFool

KlangFool
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Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by KlangFool » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:56 am

Carson wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:32 am
We just get the service from comcast. The piece of hardware that I was calling a gateway is a Motorola® SURFboard® SB6121 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem. We need the it (cable modem/router combo) to send out a wireless signal within the space of the basement to use devices down there. When we installed on the main level, we couldn't connect to it in the basement. On the good side our house is probably bomb proof. :oops:

The google wifi sure has glowing reviews.

Would it be setup as: Comcast cable in > Existing Surfboard > ethernet cable > Google Wifi unit > distribute Wifi to an initial point upstairs

Then I would need another Google Wifi unit towards the back of the house to extend the signal out to the garage?

ETA, I do use a VPN occasionally for work, maybe once a week?
Carson,

Come on. Google WiFi connect each other via WiFi signal. So, if you have a problem sending WiFi signal around, how does Google WiFi helps you? If you are connecting the WiFi unit via Ethernet cable, you just need a normal good WiFi unit. Why spend the few extra hundred dollars?

Wired is better than Wireless to go over brick walls.

KlangFool

jebmke
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Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by jebmke » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:01 am

some mesh systems allow wired backhaul; I don't know about Google's. But the size of the space doesn't warrant anything more than a single drop so a mesh doesn't make sense to me either. The TP-Link router you link to is an excellent choice.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

dcdowden
Posts: 107
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Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by dcdowden » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:10 am

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BU ... UTF8&psc=1

I also have this TP-Link Archer router plugged into the ethernet port on my cable gateway and it works great - excellent speed, coverage and much more stable and reliable than other routers that I have had - all at a very reasonable price.

gips
Posts: 472
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 5:42 pm

Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by gips » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:15 am

Carson wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:32 am
We just get the service from comcast. The piece of hardware that I was calling a gateway is a Motorola® SURFboard® SB6121 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem. We need the it (cable modem/router combo) to send out a wireless signal within the space of the basement to use devices down there. When we installed on the main level, we couldn't connect to it in the basement. On the good side our house is probably bomb proof. :oops:
as others have pointed out, you're probably paying $10/month for the router. You can purchase your own with a quick payback (this is, after all, bogleheads!):

https://www.amazon.com/Motorola-SB6121- ... B00768SBAU
Carson wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:32 am
The google wifi sure has glowing reviews.
Would it be setup as: Comcast cable in > Existing Surfboard > ethernet cable > Google Wifi unit > distribute Wifi to an initial point upstairs
yes, how will you get the ethernet cable through the floor?
Carson wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:32 am
Then I would need another Google Wifi unit towards the back of the house to extend the signal out to the garage?
ETA, I do use a VPN occasionally for work, maybe once a week?
probably not, start with one device and see if you need another. it's nice to have the option with google wifi. The VPN should work just fine. In the end, you're probably overpaying a little for what you need but the option to extend your network is very nice.

bloom2708
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Location: Fargo, ND

Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by bloom2708 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:28 am

mptfan wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:15 am
Google Wifi. I just set it up in my house and I love it, best thing I've done recently.
+100

Get the 1 unit to start. You an add a second unit if you need coverage on a corner. Worth every penny.
Where to spend your time: | 1. You completely control <--spend your time here! | 2. You partially control <--spend your time here! | 3. You have no control <--spend no time here!

Carson
Posts: 551
Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 3:26 pm

Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by Carson » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:30 am

The surfboard gateway (thingamajig ;) ) is ours. I bought it when we got internet service 3 years ago.
dcdowden wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:10 am
I also have this TP-Link Archer router plugged into the ethernet port on my cable gateway and it works great - excellent speed, coverage and much more stable and reliable than other routers that I have had - all at a very reasonable price.
Thanks to you and KlangFool, that is helpful! It sounds like that router would work, but I don't know if it could push it all the way out to the garage. There's already been an ethernet cable fished from the basement into the room we would put it in.

The thing that appeals to me about the google devices is it sounds like they're quite effective in extending service around the house, even walls that are solid. And it sounds user friendly.

Of course we are frugal folks, but at this point we have had this hodgepodge of stuff that works 'okay-ish' and I am fine even wasting a little money if it comes with consistency and ease of use. It'll just be costco bourbon on the next round... :beer
30-something personal finance enthusiast, just get getting started on this whole portfolio thing.

mxs
Posts: 459
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:54 pm

Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by mxs » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:43 am

I suggest looking at the different mesh systems available. Google, TP-Link, Tenda, etc...
I got the Tenda Nova MW6. This is 3 units for close to $150. You can add more units down the road if you want, up to 8 I think, but I doubt you will need more than 3. We wired the internet to one of the mesh routers, then the internet gets carried to the other routers wirelesses and gets repeated seamlessly. I believe you can hard wire the internet to each unit if you want. I know you can run a wire from a unit to a computer to get nearly full speed, which is what I did. Basically each unit has a power plug and wired internet in and/or out that you can use if you want. At the minimum you will have three units powered and one with a hard wire internet in. It was simple to setup and costs ~$150. Other options are likely a little more expensive or a lot more expensive.
Last edited by mxs on Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

bryanm
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:48 pm

Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by bryanm » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:50 am

Carson,

It might be helpful here to define some terms, to help sort out what works best for you:

Modem: This is what converts your cable line to an ethernet.
Gateway/Router: This is the "central controller" of your network. It's what lets devices talk to one another and with the internet. In almost all situations, you only want one for your whole home. "Routers" don't care about wireless or wired. They're just a traffic cop. (Don't worry about the difference between gateways and routers. They almost certainly don't matter here. Think of them as the same thing.)
Wireless Access Point ("AP"): This is a unit that "converts" an ethernet cable to a wireless signal. It allows multiple devices to "jump" onto your network wirelessly. It's best to think about an Access Point as a completely separate functionality than a router.

The confusing part here is that many units combine these functionalities. So, a "wireless router" is really a "router" with a built in "wireless access point"--it is the central controller, but also allows people to jump onto the network wirelessly.

For your setup, you mention you have a SB6121 cable modem. Great! That's a good little unit. You also mention that your basement has wifi right now. From what I can tell, the SB6121 does not function as a gateway/router--it typically has one cable and one ethernet plug on the back . I suspect that you have another box working as a router/wireless AP. This will be the one that has multiple ethernet plugs on the back.

If you have an Ethernet line fished, and you're happy with your basement set up, all you need to do to add wireless to the house is add a Wireless Access Point. Not a wireless router. If you add a second router, you have two controllers, and funny things might start to happen. There are tons of wireless access points on the market. If you're a bit technical, I'm very fond of the Ubiquiti UAP-AC-PRO-US (about $200). It's pricier than the competition, because it's made for small businesses, but it's much more reliable and provides a stronger signal than consumer units. One AP should do for the whole house. It's might be trickier to set up than a normal consumer AP (which you usually just plug in and they work).

The trouble with mesh systems (like Google Wifi and also the eero, which has great reviews) is that they typically want to function as both your AP and your router. In your situation, that probably means you want a unit in your basement and a unit upstairs. Make sure the units allow for a "wired backhaul", which means you can connect the two together via an ethernet cable (the one from your basement to your main floor). This is also a totally fine setup. Just make sure to replace whatever router you have downstairs right now with a new mesh unit.

Adding a single "dumb" access point is probably the simplest and cheapest solution. The problem is that it gets harder to expand the upstairs network if one AP doesn't do the trick. Replacing the current router with a mesh device is more expensive but means expansion is easier in the future.

mac_guy
Posts: 179
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Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by mac_guy » Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:36 pm

jebmke wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:01 am
some mesh systems allow wired backhaul; I don't know about Google's. But the size of the space doesn't warrant anything more than a single drop so a mesh doesn't make sense to me either. The TP-Link router you link to is an excellent choice.
Google WiFi allows wired backhaul. In fact, that is how I have mine setup and it works great. Some of the rooms in my house got Cat5E wired ethernet jacks some years ago and I make use of them now.

Here are instructions from Google:

Using Google Wifi points and/or OnHub devices
(✓) Modem → Primary Wifi point → Mesh Wifi point

1. Modem’s LAN port connects to Primary Wifi point’s WAN port via wired Ethernet

2. Primary Wifi point’s LAN port to any Mesh Wifi point port via wired Ethernet

You can chain multiple Mesh Wifi points via wired Ethernet.

(✓) Modem → Primary Wifi point → Mesh Wifi point → Mesh Wifi point → and so on…

Include a switch downstream of the Primary Wifi point
(✓) Modem → Primary Wifi point→ Switch → Mesh Wifi point

1. Modem’s LAN port connects to Primary Wifi point’s WAN port via wired ethernet

2. Primary Wifi point’s LAN port connects to switch’s WAN / uplink port via wired ethernet

3. Switch’s LAN port connects to any Mesh Wifi point’s WAN port via wired ethernet

Switches and Mesh Wifi points may be connected in any order (as long as they’re downstream of the Primary Wifi point) and you may connect several of these devices via wired ethernet.

(✓) Modem → Primary Wifi point → Switch → Mesh Wifi point

(✓) Modem → Primary Wifi point → Mesh Wifi point → Switch → Mesh Wifi point

KlangFool
Posts: 10146
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by KlangFool » Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:37 pm

Carson wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:30 am
The surfboard gateway (thingamajig ;) ) is ours. I bought it when we got internet service 3 years ago.
dcdowden wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:10 am
I also have this TP-Link Archer router plugged into the ethernet port on my cable gateway and it works great - excellent speed, coverage and much more stable and reliable than other routers that I have had - all at a very reasonable price.
Thanks to you and KlangFool, that is helpful! It sounds like that router would work, but I don't know if it could push it all the way out to the garage. There's already been an ethernet cable fished from the basement into the room we would put it in.

The thing that appeals to me about the google devices is it sounds like they're quite effective in extending service around the house, even walls that are solid. And it sounds user friendly.

Of course we are frugal folks, but at this point we have had this hodgepodge of stuff that works 'okay-ish' and I am fine even wasting a little money if it comes with consistency and ease of use. It'll just be costco bourbon on the next round... :beer
Carson,

<<I don't know if it could push it all the way out to the garage. >>

If it does not push the wireless signal to the garage, just add Ethernet cable from this router to the garage and buy another unit. It is not magic. If the wireless signal of this router cannot get to the garage, the Google WiFi cannot reach the garage either. They have a similar Wireless capability.

KlangFool

KlangFool
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Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by KlangFool » Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:40 pm

Folks,

802.11ax is coming out. I would spend as little as possible on the older technology.

https://www.networkworld.com/article/32 ... wi-fi.html

KlangFool

bryanm
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:48 pm

Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by bryanm » Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:56 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:40 pm
Folks,

802.11ax is coming out. I would spend as little as possible on the older technology.

https://www.networkworld.com/article/32 ... wi-fi.html

KlangFool
Timing WiFi standards is almost as bad as trying to time the market. The frustration of having no signal while waiting outweighs the benefits of the new tech. AX is mostly for crowded environments. I doubt home users will see much improvement. Plus, OP probably already has an existing phone, laptop, etc., that uses current (or older) standards and wouldn't work with the new tech anyway.

Focus on getting the coverage you need and ease of setup. Other concerns are secondary. If you have very high speed or latency sensitive requirements, run a cable.

KlangFool
Posts: 10146
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by KlangFool » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:32 pm

bryanm wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:56 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:40 pm
Folks,

802.11ax is coming out. I would spend as little as possible on the older technology.

https://www.networkworld.com/article/32 ... wi-fi.html

KlangFool
Timing WiFi standards is almost as bad as trying to time the market. The frustration of having no signal while waiting outweighs the benefits of the new tech. AX is mostly for crowded environments. I doubt home users will see much improvement. Plus, OP probably already has an existing phone, laptop, etc., that uses current (or older) standards and wouldn't work with the new tech anyway.

Focus on getting the coverage you need and ease of setup. Other concerns are secondary. If you have very high speed or latency sensitive requirements, run a cable.
bryanm,

Just to be sure that you understand exactly what I am recommending.

A) I am recommending spend $80 on the TPLink 802.11AC router.

B) I am recommending against spending a few hundred dollars on the Google WiFi which is not based on the new 802.11AX standard.

KlangFool

bryanm
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:48 pm

Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by bryanm » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:42 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:32 pm
bryanm,
Just to be sure that you understand exactly what I am recommending.<br/>

A) I am recommending spend $80 on the TPLink 802.11AC router.<br/>

B) I am recommending against spending a few hundred dollars on the Google WiFi which is not based on the new 802.11AX standard.<br/>

KlangFool
I think that's probably fine advice. My only real concern is that OP shouldn't use a router upstairs if they are going to keep their current router in the basement (I believe they want to keep WiFi down there). They could use the TPLink upstairs and disable its routing functionality, making it an access point.

(I also think Google Wifi is a fine choice, though I understand your concern and agree it's expensive relative to just putting an AP upstairs. EDIT: And, yes, a potentially soon-to-be outdated option, though I would guess AC remains viable for at least 5 years.)

lightheir
Posts: 2298
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:43 pm

Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by lightheir » Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:02 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:37 pm
Carson wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:30 am
The surfboard gateway (thingamajig ;) ) is ours. I bought it when we got internet service 3 years ago.
dcdowden wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:10 am
I also have this TP-Link Archer router plugged into the ethernet port on my cable gateway and it works great - excellent speed, coverage and much more stable and reliable than other routers that I have had - all at a very reasonable price.
Thanks to you and KlangFool, that is helpful! It sounds like that router would work, but I don't know if it could push it all the way out to the garage. There's already been an ethernet cable fished from the basement into the room we would put it in.

The thing that appeals to me about the google devices is it sounds like they're quite effective in extending service around the house, even walls that are solid. And it sounds user friendly.

Of course we are frugal folks, but at this point we have had this hodgepodge of stuff that works 'okay-ish' and I am fine even wasting a little money if it comes with consistency and ease of use. It'll just be costco bourbon on the next round... :beer
Carson,

<<I don't know if it could push it all the way out to the garage. >>

If it does not push the wireless signal to the garage, just add Ethernet cable from this router to the garage and buy another unit. It is not magic. If the wireless signal of this router cannot get to the garage, the Google WiFi cannot reach the garage either. They have a similar Wireless capability.

KlangFool
I believe Klangfool is wrong on the google wifi being as simple/dumb as a regular router.

One of the advantages of Google wifi is that you can position nodes to pass signal around or through tough areas. For example, you can put a wifi node right next to the brick wall and that may be enough to penetrate it from close range (as opposed from the basement), or put nodes to a side non-brick wall or window so the signal can go around the brick wall and through a more forgiving substance.

That said, wired options are still probably superior to wireless if brick walls are indeed the problem, and worth a look. They're not perfect though - you have to test it out - my powerline system worked great 90% of the time, but at least 10% of the time, it totally failed. Which was wayyy too high a failure rate for me.

I put a google wifi node high up in my house to reach an attached garage where my gym equipment is; there was a tough wall blocking direct transmission through the wall, but the high node has solved the problem, likely by sending signal through the roof.

I've bought some pretty hi-end routers as recently as 2 years ago, and the Google wifi is sooooo much better than all of them - in setup, range extending (just add nodes!), maintenance (none), and monitoring (awesome phone app, check up your network in realtime.) It is definitely a far better system than a regular router.

KlangFool
Posts: 10146
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by KlangFool » Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:18 pm

lightheir wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:02 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:37 pm
Carson wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:30 am
The surfboard gateway (thingamajig ;) ) is ours. I bought it when we got internet service 3 years ago.
dcdowden wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:10 am
I also have this TP-Link Archer router plugged into the ethernet port on my cable gateway and it works great - excellent speed, coverage and much more stable and reliable than other routers that I have had - all at a very reasonable price.
Thanks to you and KlangFool, that is helpful! It sounds like that router would work, but I don't know if it could push it all the way out to the garage. There's already been an ethernet cable fished from the basement into the room we would put it in.

The thing that appeals to me about the google devices is it sounds like they're quite effective in extending service around the house, even walls that are solid. And it sounds user friendly.

Of course we are frugal folks, but at this point we have had this hodgepodge of stuff that works 'okay-ish' and I am fine even wasting a little money if it comes with consistency and ease of use. It'll just be costco bourbon on the next round... :beer
Carson,

<<I don't know if it could push it all the way out to the garage. >>

If it does not push the wireless signal to the garage, just add Ethernet cable from this router to the garage and buy another unit. It is not magic. If the wireless signal of this router cannot get to the garage, the Google WiFi cannot reach the garage either. They have a similar Wireless capability.

KlangFool
I believe Klangfool is wrong on the google wifi being as simple/dumb as a regular router.

One of the advantages of Google wifi is that you can position nodes to pass signal around or through tough areas. For example, you can put a wifi node right next to the brick wall and that may be enough to penetrate it from close range (as opposed from the basement), or put nodes to a side non-brick wall or window so the signal can go around the brick wall and through a more forgiving substance.

That said, wired options are still probably superior to wireless if brick walls are indeed the problem, and worth a look. They're not perfect though - you have to test it out - my powerline system worked great 90% of the time, but at least 10% of the time, it totally failed. Which was wayyy too high a failure rate for me.

I put a google wifi node high up in my house to reach an attached garage where my gym equipment is; there was a tough wall blocking direct transmission through the wall, but the high node has solved the problem, likely by sending signal through the roof.

I've bought some pretty hi-end routers as recently as 2 years ago, and the Google wifi is sooooo much better than all of them - in setup, range extending (just add nodes!), maintenance (none), and monitoring (awesome phone app, check up your network in realtime.) It is definitely a far better system than a regular router.
lightheir,

<<I believe Klangfool is wrong on the google wifi being as simple/dumb as a regular router.>>

I design WiFi network as my day job. :oops: :shock: :happy :sharebeer

<< One of the advantages of Google wifi is that you can position nodes to pass signal around or through tough areas. For example, you can put a wifi node right next to the brick wall and that may be enough to penetrate it from close range (as opposed from the basement), or put nodes to a side non-brick wall or window so the signal can go around the brick wall and through a more forgiving substance.>>

Spending more money on Google WiFi and hoping that the WiFi signal can penetrate the brick wall. How does that help?

<< That said, wired options are still probably superior to wireless if brick walls are indeed the problem, >>

https://community.arubanetworks.com/t5/ ... d-p/298939

<<Brick, concrete, concrete blocks | -12 dB>>

If the wireless signal cannot pass 20 feet, something is attenuating the signal. And, an older house has better and thicker wall.

KlangFool
Last edited by KlangFool on Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bob60014
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Location: The Land Beyond ORD

Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by bob60014 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:21 pm

Carson,
Are you in a Chicago bungalow or similar and on a typical Chicago lot? If so if you have access to the attic and there is electric available, run a Cat5e or Cat6 cable up there and install a wifi router. This will provide wide area coverage on your lot and likely more. You can then drop ethernet cables to other rooms from this point, if needed or desired.

Having the wifi in the basement obviously limits its effectiveness. My B.I.L. lives in Portage Park and did the above and gets a signal at either end of his block. As always, ymmv.

Carson
Posts: 551
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Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by Carson » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:14 am

bob60014 wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:21 pm
Are you in a Chicago bungalow or similar and on a typical Chicago lot? If so if you have access to the attic and there is electric available, run a Cat5e or Cat6 cable up there and install a wifi router. This will provide wide area coverage on your lot and likely more. You can then drop ethernet cables to other rooms from this point, if needed or desired.

Having the wifi in the basement obviously limits its effectiveness. My B.I.L. lives in Portage Park and did the above and gets a signal at either end of his block. As always, ymmv.
Bob, youv'e got it and I'm on the NW side too. We have an unfinished attic and talked about putting a router up there - but the operating temperature of routers only goes as low as 0*C - our attic is routinely below freezing for a couple of months.

We tried having the 'cable modem wifi router' come in to our main floor, but the 2.4ghz didn't reach to the garage. So that is when we put it sending out 5ghz and extending the signal. It's just the 'extending the signal' part isn't working so well anymore.

I had never heard of a wireless access point - cool that many don't need a separate power supply. Not sure if we have the technical skills to set it up. Irony in all of this is I manage a batch of NW engineers for a living, I just don't have the budget to staff them at my house!
30-something personal finance enthusiast, just get getting started on this whole portfolio thing.

SimonJester
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Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by SimonJester » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:25 am

Carson wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:14 am
Bob, youv'e got it and I'm on the NW side too. We have an unfinished attic and talked about putting a router up there - but the operating temperature of routers only goes as low as 0*C - our attic is routinely below freezing for a couple of months.

We tried having the 'cable modem wifi router' come in to our main floor, but the 2.4ghz didn't reach to the garage. So that is when we put it sending out 5ghz and extending the signal. It's just the 'extending the signal' part isn't working so well anymore.

I had never heard of a wireless access point - cool that many don't need a separate power supply. Not sure if we have the technical skills to set it up. Irony in all of this is I manage a batch of NW engineers for a living, I just don't have the budget to staff them at my house!

Look for a WIFI router / AP with external antennas. The Wireless APs that do not require a power supply, require a POE (Power over Ethernet), so you would need a POE capable switch. Setting up an AP / Wireless router should not be that difficult. I would attempt to run a wires ethernet cable to the upstairs level and put an AP there. I dont think I would place one in the attic space...


As for 802.11AX unless the devices you are using can support 802.11AX you will be dropping down to the AB,G/N standard so no gain there either.
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

lightheir
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Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by lightheir » Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:10 am

KlangFool wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:18 pm
lightheir wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:02 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:37 pm
Carson wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:30 am
The surfboard gateway (thingamajig ;) ) is ours. I bought it when we got internet service 3 years ago.
dcdowden wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:10 am
I also have this TP-Link Archer router plugged into the ethernet port on my cable gateway and it works great - excellent speed, coverage and much more stable and reliable than other routers that I have had - all at a very reasonable price.
Thanks to you and KlangFool, that is helpful! It sounds like that router would work, but I don't know if it could push it all the way out to the garage. There's already been an ethernet cable fished from the basement into the room we would put it in.

The thing that appeals to me about the google devices is it sounds like they're quite effective in extending service around the house, even walls that are solid. And it sounds user friendly.

Of course we are frugal folks, but at this point we have had this hodgepodge of stuff that works 'okay-ish' and I am fine even wasting a little money if it comes with consistency and ease of use. It'll just be costco bourbon on the next round... :beer
Carson,

<<I don't know if it could push it all the way out to the garage. >>

If it does not push the wireless signal to the garage, just add Ethernet cable from this router to the garage and buy another unit. It is not magic. If the wireless signal of this router cannot get to the garage, the Google WiFi cannot reach the garage either. They have a similar Wireless capability.

KlangFool
I believe Klangfool is wrong on the google wifi being as simple/dumb as a regular router.

One of the advantages of Google wifi is that you can position nodes to pass signal around or through tough areas. For example, you can put a wifi node right next to the brick wall and that may be enough to penetrate it from close range (as opposed from the basement), or put nodes to a side non-brick wall or window so the signal can go around the brick wall and through a more forgiving substance.

That said, wired options are still probably superior to wireless if brick walls are indeed the problem, and worth a look. They're not perfect though - you have to test it out - my powerline system worked great 90% of the time, but at least 10% of the time, it totally failed. Which was wayyy too high a failure rate for me.

I put a google wifi node high up in my house to reach an attached garage where my gym equipment is; there was a tough wall blocking direct transmission through the wall, but the high node has solved the problem, likely by sending signal through the roof.

I've bought some pretty hi-end routers as recently as 2 years ago, and the Google wifi is sooooo much better than all of them - in setup, range extending (just add nodes!), maintenance (none), and monitoring (awesome phone app, check up your network in realtime.) It is definitely a far better system than a regular router.
lightheir,

<<I believe Klangfool is wrong on the google wifi being as simple/dumb as a regular router.>>

I design WiFi network as my day job. :oops: :shock: :happy :sharebeer

<< One of the advantages of Google wifi is that you can position nodes to pass signal around or through tough areas. For example, you can put a wifi node right next to the brick wall and that may be enough to penetrate it from close range (as opposed from the basement), or put nodes to a side non-brick wall or window so the signal can go around the brick wall and through a more forgiving substance.>>

Spending more money on Google WiFi and hoping that the WiFi signal can penetrate the brick wall. How does that help?

<< That said, wired options are still probably superior to wireless if brick walls are indeed the problem, >>

https://community.arubanetworks.com/t5/ ... d-p/298939

<<Brick, concrete, concrete blocks | -12 dB>>

If the wireless signal cannot pass 20 feet, something is attenuating the signal. And, an older house has better and thicker wall.

KlangFool
Do you mesh networks in your design? What I'm saying above is exactly how any mesh user would bypass brick walls. (Like sending signal through the roof via a superiorly positioned mesh point from above.)

bryanm
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:48 pm

Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by bryanm » Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:52 am

Carson wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:14 am
We tried having the 'cable modem wifi router' come in to our main floor, but the 2.4ghz didn't reach to the garage. So that is when we put it sending out 5ghz and extending the signal. It's just the 'extending the signal' part isn't working so well anymore.

I had never heard of a wireless access point - cool that many don't need a separate power supply. Not sure if we have the technical skills to set it up. Irony in all of this is I manage a batch of NW engineers for a living, I just don't have the budget to staff them at my house!
I think the beauty of the Google system (or similar mesh systems) is the simplicity of set up. Don't get me wrong, the access points aren't terribly difficult either--most have a mobile app to assist--they're just not quite as simple. I would say disabling the routing functionality of a router/AP is harder than setting up an access point. I would bet some of the consumer-level APs (e.g., netgear, linksys, etc.) are pretty darn simple too.

On the 5ghz/2.4ghz issue, most APs (and your modem/router/AP) should be able to do both at the same time. 2.4ghz should reach farther than 5ghz. So I wouldn't try to use one over the other. Set up both and use the 5ghz when close to the AP and the 2.4 when far away.

The above-poster is correct that the APs that don't need separate power use power-over-ethernet (PoE) (this is tech that just re-purposes some of the ethernet wire to carry power). You don't actually need a PoE switch (which can be expensive). You can get a PoE "injector," which is basically a power brick that plugs into the wall at some point along the ethernet and makes it a PoE line. The Ubiquiti AP I mentioned above comes with one standard. I wouldn't bother with this unless you want to put the AP in a place that doesn't have readily accessible power.

The beauty of considering routing and APs separately is that you can put the router anywhere. Mines sitting in a closet. My AP is installed into my ceiling and covers the whole house beautifully.

bryanm
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:48 pm

Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by bryanm » Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:57 am

I've just realized I'm being a poor guide here. Lots of info and nothing concrete. So here it is: buy this, plug into your ethernet run, and be done.

https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B0087NZ31S?sa-no-redirect=1

$90 bucks, great reviews, touchscreen setup. Simple!

KlangFool
Posts: 10146
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by KlangFool » Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:04 pm

lightheir wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:10 am

Do you mesh networks in your design? What I'm saying above is exactly how any mesh user would bypass brick walls. (Like sending signal through the roof via a superiorly positioned mesh point from above.)
lightheir,

Choice A) Use 2 Mesh AP to get around a brick wall and spend a few hundred dollars doing it.

Choice B) Use an Ethernet cable to get around a brick wall and pay $80 for a normal Wireless AP.

Please explain to me why choice (A) is better than (B)?

KlangFool

lightheir
Posts: 2298
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:43 pm

Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by lightheir » Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:04 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:04 pm
lightheir wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:10 am

Do you mesh networks in your design? What I'm saying above is exactly how any mesh user would bypass brick walls. (Like sending signal through the roof via a superiorly positioned mesh point from above.)
lightheir,

Choice A) Use 2 Mesh AP to get around a brick wall and spend a few hundred dollars doing it.

Choice B) Use an Ethernet cable to get around a brick wall and pay $80 for a normal Wireless AP.

Please explain to me why choice (A) is better than (B)?

KlangFool
If it's easy to send the Ethernet cable around/thru the brick wall, then that's the way to go! I for one, cringe at the thought of trying to get an ethernet cable passed behind drywall and ceiling across my entire house to the attached garage as someone who has no experience doing this, ever.

The mesh can def be easier - the google wifi 3-pack comes as a standard set, and it's just a matter of trying out different places to drop the node so it works best. You likely wouldn't spend any extra money, AND there's no drilling to pass long cable through walls. (Plus, it just works better overall than a non-smart router for nonexperts.)

Carson
Posts: 551
Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 3:26 pm

Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by Carson » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:05 am

Hi all, just wanted to update since you were so helpful.

We had a mini-meltdown on Monday and I ordered the TP Link archer c7 recommended upthread. We put it in a central room on our main floor, and drilled a small hole through the floor to fish the ethernet cable up from the basement. DH had it up and working in about 20 minutes. The setup seemed seamless.

We can now reach the garage via 2.4ghz and my office (which was a finished porch on the exterior of the house) with 5ghz. Testing my first day with 4 hours of conference calls. We'll see!
30-something personal finance enthusiast, just get getting started on this whole portfolio thing.

jef
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:35 pm

Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Post by jef » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:46 pm

Another fan of Google wifi here. I have had it for a year. Simple, easy, great app, frequent automatic updates by google. It was a little pricey, but worth it in my opinion.

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