Need help with new home wireless/wired set up

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by driphone, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. driphone macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    #1
    Hi, we are moving to a new home about 4500 sq ft with 2 stories + basement soon. I need some advice in how to best set up a digital network. The house is wired with CAT6 in all rooms.

    Here is what I have:

    2 recent Apple laptops, iPad mini r, iPod touch, a new Mac mini server, 2 Apple TVs and the list of devices may grow a little as kids are getting a bit older.

    I have the former generation Apple Airport extreme and the Verizon FIOS wireless router.

    Should I spend the $200 and buy the new Airport Extreme? Any major advantages over the former gen.? Will I need to repeat the wireless signal to have a decent connection in all floors/rooms for the wireless signal (basement not so important right now as it won't be finished yet).

    I will appreciate any advice MR members can share :)

    TIA,
    Sam
     
  2. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #2
    How well the house will be covered by wireless will entirely depend on the construction of the building and where in the building the wireless router is located. The best solution is to have it as centrally located as possible. Obviously, if you have a wired-capable device in a room with a wired connection, that would be ideal and maybe reserve the wireless for use in areas closer to the AP.
     
  3. driphone thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    #3
    Thanks Hallux. The house has lots of open spaces and high ceilings but the insulation is foam.

    Is there any advantage to using the new gen. Airport extreme unit?

    Is placing the main wireless unit in the attic recommended in general?

    Sam
     
  4. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #4
    If it's a 2-floor home (I certainly hope it is at that size!), putting it in the attic will provide great coverage for the upper floor with possibly spotty coverage on the lower floor. I'd be concerned about temperature extremes in the attic.

    The newest APE MAY get you better coverage but your best bet for signal penetration is to use 2.4 Ghz. That said, I have a Netgear router, on the 5Ghz radio I can still get a strong signal over 120' away from the router, with only 1 wall between - outside wall, going across the parking lot to the far side of the building across the way but still in line of sight of the router.

    You need to decide where you would prefer to have the most reliable wireless signal, unless you want to run a second access point on one of the pre-wired ethernet connections to provide a larger coverage area. You may also need to wait to see how it works once you move in.

    If it was me, I'd find a closet that's relatively central to the building, get your incoming internet run into there, run your AP as high in the closet as possible, then run an ethernet cable to wherever the ethernet terminates and plug in a Gb switch of the appropriate size to feed those ports. If you can't centrally-locate the router, place it at one end of the home, leaving you open to expanding with a repeater or second AP.
     
  5. eduardrw macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2013
    #5
    I have ~ 3000 sqft on two levels.
    Using an Time capsule on the upper floor gives me good coverage throughout the house for basic things.
    However once I started streaming video from iPhone and iPad to my Apple TV the bandwidth was not enough to do this without stuttering or long buffering waits.

    I added an Airport Express ($75) downstairs which is connected via cat6 to the Time Capsule upstairs creating a roaming Network.

    Works perfect with very good throughput!

    Roaming Network Howto: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4260
    Airport Express: http://store.apple.com/us/product/F...a99debe-4613-4717-a24d-25a66efa6227|499314955
     
  6. driphone thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    #6
    Thank you for the info Eduard. I suspect utilizing a new AE unit, I can then use my existing AE as a WiFi range extender.
     
  7. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    #7
    FWIW Apple refurb has prior generation airport extremes for $85 which looks like a really good deal unless you absolutely need 802.11ac wireless. Personally I would hard wire two or three of them together to make a good coverage pattern. Or you could centrally locate your current AE and test the signal in all the rooms before making a decision on additional hardware. In general, new home construction is easier on WiFi reception than older brick/mortar houses.
     
  8. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #8
    My philosophy is to hardwire any device that doesn't move around. The only devices not wired are our iPads and iPhones. Our older AirPort Extreme sits on top of a cabinet in the center of the house and gives good coverage on that floor and the basement.
     
  9. driphone thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    #9
    What is the major performance difference with the 802.11ac?

    Good suggestion as a starting point. So far the WiFi reception on the 1st floor floor with Verizon wireless router placed in the basement has been not great, 2nd floor almost non existent.

    Sam
     
  10. crzdcolombian macrumors 6502a

    crzdcolombian

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    #10
    wouldn't he be much better off getting 2 airport extremes. Maybe a 6th and 5th gen. The 5th Gen ones you can get on line for 50-70 bucks. A 6th gen is 200 new but I ahve gotten them before with an express for under 130. I have had 2 airport expresses in the past and I think they suck. Your home is huge compared to my tiny apartment and the house I use to rent. But at my parents house I gave them a airport extreme 6 and then extend the network with a airport extreme 5th gen and works great. The house is only 2500 square feet tho. The back yard is an acre and I have have wifi in basically all of it.
     
  11. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #11
    There's your problem. The router supplied by Verizon is crap. I have one in a vacation home and reception works ok for me where I have it placed but it doesn't reach well into the downstairs bedrooms. Best option is to turn off its WiFi and connect a better router in bridge mode.
     
  12. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    #12
    So apple advertises the new 802.11ac routers being 3x faster - having up to 1300 Mb/s transfer rate theoretically in an optimal scenario with great reception if you are connecting a properly equipped mobile device. So 802.11n would be around 450 Mb/s. Whether you see an improvement depends on what you use your network for. It helps if you are moving a lot of data between computers within your network and they are 802.11ac or gigabit ethernet equipped on both ends. 802.11n is adequate for nearly all internet usage scenarios, unless you have very fast fiber optic internet like google fiber.
     
  13. driphone thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    #13
    I am open to combining a 6th and 5th gen AE for better coverage.


    Interestingly, in our old set up I had turned off the Verizon's wireless signal and we were only using the AE 5th gen signal but the one story house was much smaller. The reception was great throughout.

    We have Verizon FIOS at (I believe) 75 down and 50 up.
     
  14. amareto macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2014
    #14
    Have you tested how is the roam between the Airport Extreme and the Airport Express?
    I usually do voip and video conf and would like to know if it can roam without dropping the call.

    Regards
     
  15. driphone thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    #15
    May I add if there is a performance difference between using an AE vs AE Express as a WiFi extender (secondary hub)?
     
  16. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    #16
    Every couple of years I've tried out the Powerline networking products and I've always been disappointed. Well that changed recently..

    I picked up a pair of TP-Link AV2 based devices (600MBit/s) and they've been absolutely amazing. I setup a small HTPC a couple of rooms away from my main computer and I'm using Steam streaming to the underpowered box with these network devices and it's incredibly low latency and high bandwidth.

    Wireless networks are great, but depending on the house and your needs, don't be afraid to give these a try.
     

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