Building a new WIFI network

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by bp1000, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. bp1000 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2011
    I'm struggling with WiFi performance since i moved house.

    Firstly the Wifi signal from the ground floor is quite weak on the top floor of the 3 storey house. It also struggles to reach the patio or far corner of the house despite being central.

    The wifi is currently served by a billion 7700-N adsl wifi router.

    In addition to the weak signal on fringe areas the wifi traffic / channels are VERY congested. This is on the 2.4ghz band.

    I'm considering buying an airport extreme and placing this on the middle floor of my house transmitting 5ghz.

    I'm also considering buying 2x airport expresses and extending the 5ghz signal... 1 for the top floor, 1 for the ground floor. I think this will give me decent 5ghz speeds. But how would i connect the airport extreme to the router.

    Would homeplugs be sufficient? I assume i want to stream or airplay it will just stay within the wifi 5ghz network and not touch the router?

    However any internet traffic will be routed through the homeplug which will limit the throughput but this should be ok as my broadband is only 20Mbit.

    Or will the homeplug speed limit my wifi speed too?

    Or should i connect the airport extreme some other way...

    OR should i build the wifi network in a different way?

  2. scbond macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2010
    Nottingham, UK
    Maybe try a different channel that isn't congested as things will probably improve.
  3. bp1000 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2011
    Unfortunately i've tried them all including crossover channels. Channel 1 and 6 (UK channels) are extremely congested with very erratic throughput. Can be extremely slow and streaming is almost impossible.

    My wifi channel scanning shows 11 is the best and this is also the channel the router auto picks. But even then airplay drops out occasionally with a strong 78Mbps signal.
  4. scbond macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2010
    Nottingham, UK
    Hmm, well in that case I wouldn't go out and buy two Expresses straightaway but just try one at first. I would suggest plugging one directly into your router and disabling the router's wifi signal so that it's the AirPort broadcasting the signal. And rather than placing it centrally (though that is ideal) try placing it near to where you would use the signal most. If you go with multiple devices then consider linking them by ethernet cable instead of extending the signal wirelessly. That way you'll have full strength in two locations...when you extend wirelessly you'll get the best signal possible from the secondary router but it may still be getting a weak signal from the main router. That said, if you do extend wirelessly then the Apple routers are very good for this...I use an Extreme and an Express normally but then again that's because I'm only in a flat when I do use them.
  5. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    The bottom line is that nobody can tell you how wifi or homeplug will perform for you, nor how they will need to be arranged.

    It is all dependent on your local environment.
  6. cledet macrumors regular


    Mar 26, 2012
    San Francisco, CA
    What about wiring your house with ethernet jacks?
  7. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    ^ This. From the sound of it, I wouldn't expect an access point in the middle floor to be a sufficient remedy but it's going to take some trial and error to find the ideal setup for your WiFi network.

    Could be. You need to try and see what speed you get. Hardwiring with cat6 would be my preference but I'm not familiar with your home.
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    If yu try and use a wireless connection to extend your range the trade off is that most of the bandwidth is used by the routers to extend the range. you REALLY want to use wire to interconnect the routers.

    The very best solution will be to pull Ethernet cable. It is not hard to do. Find a place where you can drill, use closets where an exposed wire is acceptable ans remember that Ethernet cables can be 100 meters long if need be. So they can snake all over. Connect each floor via ethernet. Hard wired Ethernet will always give the best performance. (Use Cat 6 cable)

    The new Apple router have an antenna pattern that compresses the antenna pattern into a flattened "pan cake" and would NOT be ideal for a multi-floor house. a 5GHz band would be less flattened by a size size antenna.

    When you have coverage problems your first solution would be to look at antenna. Apple is not the best brand because there is no way to add an external antenna, you ony have the built-in one to use.

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