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Old May 13, 2019, 08:35 AM   #1
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Hardwood
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Default How to improve my wi-fi range

I know some of you guys are really good at this so I'm going to pop the question.

My ISP modem router is at one end of the house (all cables converge), my extender is at the other (about 25') and this setup works. My detached garage is another 30 feet from the house and wifi in the garage from the extender is, shall we say, limited.

So I'm wondering which would be a better solution, Ethernet over powerline or another extender or a more powerful router. Any recommendations or ideas?

I'm currently leaning toward a D-Link DHP-W611AV PowerLine AC1200 Wireless Gigabit Starter Kit as I need WiFi in the garage.

Also, I have a fairly extensive x10 system that I've built up over the last 40 years. Would the powerline option interfere with the x10 powerline use?

Thanks for you help.
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Old May 13, 2019, 08:59 AM   #2
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I use an extender for my house. Works great. Haven't tried powerline Enet, but I've heard good things. Following this thread to see what others think.
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Old May 13, 2019, 09:00 AM   #3
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Extenders are always *iffy*. The reason being is that not all of the sold "extenders" are truly extenders. Most are just repeaters using the title of "extender".

POE is always the best bet to then a true extender and/or AP. Then you just have a mesh of your wifi AP's for your coverage.
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Old May 13, 2019, 11:06 AM   #4
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Power line enet can vary between great total crap depending on how well your house is wired. You have to remember that instead using twisted pair cables with proper terminations you have untwisted wire with tons of branches and no proper signal terminations. Plus if you share a transformer with a neighbor they could access your network if the plug in a power line enet adapter as well. I think your best bet is probably replacing the extender with a WiFi mesh system with 3-4 nodes.
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Old May 14, 2019, 07:43 AM   #5
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Power Supply

If you can get a bargain of 2x Asus RT-AC68U, (for a option of 3rd asus wifi-router if the signal in garage is not good enough, not necesserily a AC68U). You can get them paired with Asus aiMesh so they look like one network, its very easy. This should cost less than 300$ for two.

Im not sure we should be spending 500$+ per one AX-router yet. Maybe 200, but not 500 on draft.

I would also be interested on other ideas, if any.
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Old May 14, 2019, 09:04 AM   #6
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Thought of a mesh. Shaw, my ISP, up here has one system to rent. Major problem is my garage isn't heated (should have mentioned that earlier) and it can get to -20c in there during our winter. These mesh things can only tolerate 0c last I read.

I share a transformer with one other neighbour who's not sophisticated enough to even think about breaching my wifi, so that's a relief.

I see the ASUS router is about $180 each up here. Two would be cost prohibitive and then I worry about operating temps again. I suppose they produce sufficient heat to keep themselves warm.. maybe?

So back to the powerline enet again. Maybe the best bet is to get one with a money back guarantee. As long as I use the encryption I should be safe.
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Old May 14, 2019, 09:24 AM   #7
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Just keep in mind that powerline ethernet may not work for that location. It's all dependent on the wiring of your building. I tried it many years ago and discovered it would not work in my house due to the wiring. The rooms are wired separately so I couldn't use powerline ethernet anywhere outside of my office (where my network gear is located) which made it useless for me. I ended up going with Ubiquiti Access Points (and eventually one of their switches).
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Old May 14, 2019, 10:04 AM   #8
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If the node is plugged in and running all the time I wouldn’t worry too much about the temperature dipping down to -20C. For something that doesn’t have a battery I wouldn’t start worrying until you get to -40C. One of the biggest issues with consumer electronics in the cold is starting up the crystal oscillator when the board is totally cold soaked. Sometimes at low temperatures it will stall and the device will just sit there with no clock. If it’s already running when the temperature drops it should keep running. Another thing that happens is the clock frequency will get offset at low temperatures. This means the radio will be a little bit out of band which decreases range a bit but also makes certifications harder. TLDR, -20C isn’t really that cold and it should work fine if it stays plugged in all the time.
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Old May 14, 2019, 03:41 PM   #9
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You can get a decent router with POE support (with no wifi antenna, just a router box, or even you can have wifi router with two POE injectors) and two wireless APs over POE if your budget allowed it.
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Old May 15, 2019, 09:30 AM   #10
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Oh man.. so much to consider. Thanks for the suggestions.

And the less I spend = less grief from the wife so with that in mind..
One thing not mentioned is a better range extender. Right now I'm using a linksys RE6400 and it does work, it's range isn't great though and in the garage it's useable and that's about it. It's signal passes through the single house wall then 30' to garage and one garage wall. Not much obstruction.

Is there one that's really good? I was looking at the TP-Link RE350 AC1200 Wi-Fi Range Extender. Any comments or other recommendations?
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Old May 15, 2019, 09:55 AM   #11
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Old May 16, 2019, 08:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahjik View Post
I did read about these after your first post. My issue is I have no Ethernet cable coming close to where I'd want to put it.
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Old May 16, 2019, 11:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardwood View Post
I did read about these after your first post. My issue is I have no Ethernet cable coming close to where I'd want to put it.
Buy two of the Mesh units:

https://store.ui.com/products/unifi-ac-mesh-ap

Plug one into your router via Ethernet. Use the PoE injector on the remote unit and it will auto-uplink to the first unit.
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Old May 17, 2019, 09:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTwannabe View Post
Buy two of the Mesh units:

https://store.ui.com/products/unifi-ac-mesh-ap

Plug one into your router via Ethernet. Use the PoE injector on the remote unit and it will auto-uplink to the first unit.
Thanks again, dangit you're making me think too much

So I would disable the ISP provided modem/router's wifi, plug this into a lan port and power with the POE injector. Then if that's not enough range, I'd buy another and simply plug it in with it's POE injector.
Is that correct? Right now I have 3 SSIDs one 5G and two 2.4 (one is the extender's). So this will be a mesh and no more multiple SSIDs including the 5G? or will I still have to have separate IDs for 5G and 2.4?
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Old May 17, 2019, 10:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardwood View Post
Thanks again, dangit you're making me think too much

So I would disable the ISP provided modem/router's wifi, plug this into a lan port and power with the POE injector. Then if that's not enough range, I'd buy another and simply plug it in with it's POE injector.
Is that correct? Right now I have 3 SSIDs one 5G and two 2.4 (one is the extender's). So this will be a mesh and no more multiple SSIDs including the 5G? or will I still have to have separate IDs for 5G and 2.4?
Correct. You can use a single SSID for both 2.4 and 5G.
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Old May 21, 2019, 08:39 AM   #16
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Well GT you sold me. Nothing but rave reviews for the Ubiquiti UAP-AC-M-US Unifi Mesh Access Point.

I had to do some more research as it sounded like the software had to keep running 24/7 fortunately that's NOT the case.

Finding a spot in the house was the next issue. So now I've found a central hidden location with power and easy access to run a lan cable.

And lastly all four of my lan ports are used so one computer will have to convert to wifi.

Just need to order now. Before I install I'll wander around with the phone and get some readings so I can show the comparison.
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Old May 21, 2019, 11:21 AM   #17
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I went with a Mesh setup - works perfect
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Old May 22, 2019, 08:34 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curio View Post
I went with a Mesh setup - works perfect
Which one Curio?
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Old May 22, 2019, 09:14 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardwood View Post

And lastly all four of my lan ports are used so one computer will have to convert to wifi.
Add a POE switch like this one:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076HZFY3F/ref=emc_b_5_t

Run both AP's off of it and keep those ports freed up and mess of cables and injectors to a minimum. Can also do an 8 port if you think additional devices may be in your future.
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Old May 22, 2019, 09:42 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardwood View Post
Which one Curio?
I'm not as hardcore as the other guys here that love their command line setups and Ubiquiti etc... so I went with the very user-friendly Asus AIMesh; there's multiple different Asus routers (and routers that you can use as access points) that will work with their Mesh, all setup through an easy GUI interface.
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Old May 23, 2019, 08:33 AM   #21
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Turns out my TV has wifi so it's cable is now free and I don't need to spend money there.
I looked at the ASUS routers and wow another expense out of reach.
Thanks for the ideas guys.
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Old Jun 10, 2019, 06:24 AM   #22
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Ok, so the Ubiquiti Unifi UAP-AC-M Access point is installed and working as expected.
The first big benefit is only one SSID for the whole property, no extender no separate 5G/2.4G choices as the AP chooses for me.

Second benefit is the worst connection is out in the garage and shows at -57 where it used to be -70 with the extender and flaky. The rest of the house between -32 and -50 with D/L speeds from 115 (garage) to 150Mbs.

The setup gave me some issues at first (not hardware).
First problem was I couldn't install the controller software, kept getting a javaw error and the controller wouldn't start even though the required java 8 was installed a couple times and no solution online. It did install the first try on my second computer and worked perfectly.
After everything was hooked up my Hitron gateway would crash every few hours necessitating a reset. Now that I've turned off the Hitron wifi I'm problem free for 24 hours so I've got my fingers crossed.

I should have done this long ago.

Thanks everyone for you suggestions.
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