New Router for Extensive Home Network - suggestions?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by bt2513, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. bt2513

    bt2513 Member

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    My old Linksys WRT-610N periodically resets to factory defaults and I'm getting tired of reconfiguring it. Time for upgrading!

    My home is not average - I use the network extensively for media sharing and have a dedicated server. I need Gigabit for the HDBaseT equipment and for future proofing. I like modular options that don't try to take over everything and am considering a stand-alone router with separate access points for the upstairs and basement - wireless signal gets shoddy down there but it could be my old router. What do you all recommend?

    Setup below:
    * Cat6a running to each room
    * Phicomm rack mount Gigabit switch in network closet
    * Synology Disktation 1513+ Server
    * A bevy of wireless devices including work laptops, phones, printer, tablets, etc.

    Wired Devices:
    * iMac - family room
    * HTPC - media room
    * PS3 - media room
    * Pioneer AVR - media room
    * Samsung SmartTV - living room
    * 2 HDBaseT extenders - network closet
    * SmartThings Hub - network closet
    * AT&T Microcell
     
  2. Peteyvee

    Peteyvee Premium Platinum Member

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    Apple Airport Extreme and use Airport Express(es) as needed for WAPs. Just hardwire them from the ports on the Extreme. Run one of the other ports to your gigabit switch. Should be configured and up and running in about 3 minutes...
     
  3. lespaulreedsmith

    lespaulreedsmith Member

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    ^^^
    This. That's how my house is running as well. The Airport Extreme is a powerful and great router.
     
  4. Tahitijack

    Tahitijack Member

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    For those that are just reading this without adding comments, something I learned during the past few weeks. Since day one my modem and wireless router were residing in a telecom cabinet in my master bedroom closet. I've always complained that the wifi was slow. My wife thought it was because our provider had slowed it down to get us to pay extra to upgrade to faster speeds. I pulled the router out and put it on the floor of the closet. Wham! We are moving at warp speed now. Yes!
    So if you have a similar set up try moving the router out to free and clear with room to breathe. Hope this helps.
     
  5. Peteyvee

    Peteyvee Premium Platinum Member

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    Actually, to increase range and speed, you want to get it up in the air, not on the floor. They make wall mounts for the Apple Extremes and Expresses...
     
  6. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

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    Actually, actually, wireless depends a lot on whatever else might be going on around the radios and antennas. If he's got something causing interference in or near the closet, it could make sense that it works better on the floor. Also, if the "floor" is on the third floor of a house, the floor might work better for broad coverage of the lower floors.

    Unless you've done a wireless audit of your house, it's a crapshoot. Move it until it works better, and don't assume that the place you want to put it is the place in which it will work well.

    I mounted my top-of-the-line cisco WAP in the dead center of my house and it sucked hard. I moved it to the home office which is in the "wrong" spot entirely, and the performance quadrupled. The culprit was the rack of gear in my garage spewing out RFI.

    Also, remember that the WiFi signal emanates from the antennas like a giant donut. There's a reason that many WAPs have antennas that swivel and bend. I've helped companies by showing them how the performance changes when the swiveled the antennas so that the donuts were more efficiently aligned. The most common issue I see is people mounting them on the walls with the antennas sticking out perpendicular to the wall. In a small environment, it probably doesn't matter, but when trying to maximize signal over space, it probably does.

    FWIW I replaced that high-end Cisco WAP with an Apple Airport Extreme. It works far better in my house than anything else I've used. Great box.
     
  7. LPBlue

    LPBlue Member

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    Damn, I was going to say Porter Cable, Freud or Ryobi ...carry on...nothing to see here (woodchips fly).
     
  8. Peteyvee

    Peteyvee Premium Platinum Member

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    Actually, actually and even more actually ;), it's completely dependent on the individual situation of the home or office. Since we both deal with this stuff for a living, I'm not going to dispute any of your points, which are all valid, but in most homes, I think we can both agree that you don't want the main wireless router on the floor. That's why most WAPs are ceiling mounts...

    And yes, the new Extremes (the tall ones with ac as well as b/g/n) are pretty awesome.
     
  9. Boobala

    Boobala Member

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  10. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

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    ^^ Mount THAT on the ceiling! :)

    I don't see any antennas, though. Maybe it's like an AirPort where the antenna's on the inside.

    Putting the WAP on the floor is a great way to get it stepped on so you can buy a newer one. :)
     
  11. Tahitijack

    Tahitijack Member

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    My router is in a second floor closet. Its got room to breath but not where it could be stepped on or subject to items landing on it. I plan on looking for a small wall shelf to move it off the floor. Ceiling mount or perhaps top shelf will be looked into, but after moving from 20 MPH to 120 MPH on the net, I don't want to mess around too much.
     
  12. cob666

    cob666 Member

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    Are you looking for a router or a wireless access point? I've disabled the wireless on my router and installed two Ubiquiti UniFi access points, one in my house and the other in the detached garage / studio. Coverage and signal is better than it's ever been. A bonus is the UniFi APs include a guest network so our guests can get internet access and remain isolated from our internal network.
     
  13. PSaulino

    PSaulino Silver Supporting Member

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    Had an Airport Extreme, it was better than the $89 whatever brands but still not good enough -did not cover far enough and would sometimes get weird after many connections and these days, we have a LOT of connections. Work meetings here, kids with multiple devices - sounds like your situation.

    So I said screw it and got one of these: Cisco Small Business Pro AP 551N Wireless Access Point:

    http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/Cisco-Small-Business-WAP551-wireless-access-point/3109382.aspx


    We use these at our work offices.

    Our house is built and expansive both vertically and horizontally, plus we have an outside patio. The Cisco is attached to the Verizon Fios router set to DHCP. $254 - but worth it, distance and connection issues ALL SOLVED.

    Paul
     
  14. pokey

    pokey Supporting Member

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    I use an Asus RT-N66U. Great little router!
     
  15. forum_crawler

    forum_crawler Member

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    Any of the "AC" compatible routers from ASUS will be a good choice.
     
  16. tazzboy

    tazzboy Supporting Member

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  17. mark123

    mark123 Member

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    I almost always recommend using whatever the latest generation router that your internet provider uses. Since you already have a gigabit switch for your internal hard wire network, you are covered.

    My main reasoning is that if you ever have a issue with your internet service - support is always a issue with third party routers. Verizon/Brighthouse/Whoever your provider is doesn't train their support people on the latest Airport or Cisco router, they only know their own equipment. If the wireless sucks or doesn't get where you need to go, then use access points and disable or don't use the wireless in the ISP's router. If you have service issues and are using the ISP's router, I'll guarantee your service call with go smoother and much faster with less heartache.

    There are exceptions of course such as hardware based VPN's or content filtering routers - but for the most part, the latest version of your ISP's router is my choice for most people.
     
  18. bt2513

    bt2513 Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions - I should mention that I already own my modem. The TWC modem was an outdated piece of junk so I bought a reasonably priced Motorola last year.

    Highly interested in the Cisco SB router - I could add access points as needed. I have about 2 dozen devices connected at any given time so robust hardware is appealing.
     
  19. Fndrbndr

    Fndrbndr Member

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    If you have IT skills, the Mikrotik routers are amazing for how little they cost. Business-class tech at consumer-grade prices.
     
  20. bt2513

    bt2513 Member

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    Would a managed switch offer the same security and configuration options as a router - without wifi of course?
     

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