Resolved Need to upgrade my home network

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by maflynn, Dec 26, 2015.

  1. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #1
    I need to re-do my home network setup due to increasing demands.

    Basically, I need a solution that allows wireless and some wired access on two floors.
    My router is in my office in the second floor, on the same floor the I have my master bedroom where I need two wired devices (directTV DVR and PS4). The PS4 could go wireless but the DirectTV has to use cat-5

    On the first floor, we can be mostly wireless but I will have an alarm panel that requires cat-5, so that's my only wired need.

    Basically, I need some sort of access points or extenders (or what ever) that allow wired connections and that they communicate to the main router fairly quickly

    I have a Netgear 3700 router (802.11n) but I'm thinking I'll need upgrade that to a 802.11ac type router.

    What products can I use to interact with a 802.11ac router that won't be slow?

    I have something now in the master bedroom (I forget what its called) that talks to the netgear but the communication link is too slow (I'm assuming the 802.11n is too slow at this point) which is why I'm thinking of a 802.11ac router.

    Does my post make sense, in terms of describing what I need?
     
  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus

    SandboxGeneral

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    #2
    I'd run one Ethernet cable from the second floor to downstairs and connect it to a switch and then from there to any devices that require Ethernet. I use a Dell Powerconnect 2808 switch myself. Connect that to your Wifi router upstairs and you're all set. You could also get a wifi access point to connect to the switch downstairs to enhance wifi reception on that floor as well.

    As long as your wireless devices have ac capability, then the upgrade will be worth it - which I think you do have some AC devices.
     
  3. LiveM macrumors 6502a

    LiveM

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    #3
    I'd just start afresh with an Airport Extreme ac router as your main and then an Airport Express in your master bedroom and downstairs. This will extend your WiFi network and provide one or two ethernet ports. If needed, you can connect the Expresses to a Powerline ethernet adaptor to send LAN signals through your mains power sockets. Some models will give you WiFi to the outlet but I have a TP-Link model which ismtotally reliable via ethernet to mains but WiFi to mains drops out a lot.

    One thing that is great about going all-Airport is that your portable devices do not get stuck on a distant Aiport and also do not get stuck on 2.4 or 5GHz as it will keep switching automatically.

    I'd be surprised if n is too slow unless you have fibre Internet.
     
  4. colodane macrumors 6502a

    colodane

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    #4
    Whatever you decide, I'd suggest using CAT 6 cable for any new ethernet runs. Not much more $$ and more future-proof.
     
  5. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #5
    In this type of scenario, I would go ahead and purchase a main router and a couple of access points along with a good gigabit switch. It sounds like this is quite a large area to cover with wireless, so I recommend going with the Ubiquiti UniFi line of APs. Furthermore, if you need complex routing capabilities, the Ubiquiti EdgeRouter Lite is a great option for the price and will be a bulletproof option for your network.

    Alternatively, if you wanted a more simple setup, you could go with an AirPort Extreme that would handle routing with additional APs wired over Ethernet where necessary. Either setup would work, but I recommend that regardless of what configuration you choose that you avoid extending over wireless and use Ethernet as the backbone.
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #6
    If you are looking to ditch the ethernet in the bedroom, DirecTV has newer receivers that do wifi. Both the HR44 and new HR54 receivers will run on wifi. If you are out of contract with DTV, you might try calling and telling them you will extend if they send you a new receiver. I've read in the DBSTalk forums people have been successful doing this.
     
  7. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #7
    I'm not really jazzed up about running wires in the wall our old house.

    Let me look into that, I forgot about Airport Express.

    Good idea, I forgot about that, so I'll need to get the right cables.

    I'm leaning towards a Linksys WRT1900ACS

    Interesting, let me see, I'm locked into a fairly new contract so I may not have that much leeway.


    Thanks everyone, I'm leaning towards getting a Linksys, though the Airport Extreme AC is something I may want to consider.
     
  8. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #8
    @maflynn A powerful router like the Linksys WRT1900ACS may offer ample coverage as it is.
     
  9. hallux macrumors 68030

    hallux

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    #9
    The only way an 802.11ac router will improve your internal speed is if you have 802.11ac devices to connect to it. If you're absolutely set on upgrading the router, it's be a bit shortsighted to NOT get an ac unit though.

    With 802.11n running at its best 300 mbps, your main bottleneck is going to be your internet connection unless you have several clients streaming HD video from an internal source. Of course, with an older home there are concerns about the wall construction causing interference that nothing short of several add-on APs or wired connections everywhere will fix.
     
  10. maflynn, Dec 27, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2015

    maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #10
    I do. Plus it will talk to the extender unit at that speed, so that will help where I put that in the house as well

    Edit:
    I think I have my marching orders, in that a AC router, along with at least one extender. The extender is needed purely for the ethernet connections.

    Linksys offers one with four ethernet connections which fits my needs nicely, in the bedroom (or use a hub/switch) with a typical extender.
    2015-12-27_07-10-24.png
     
  11. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #11
    Surprisingly, this is not the case. Give this article a read. The newer 802.11ac class routers actually sometimes provide a big boost to 802.11n client devices. Apparently the newer chipsets in those devices make more efficient use of the 802.11n standard somehow.
     
  12. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #12
    Even the AirPort Extreme 6th generation offered a nice speed gain for wireless N clients.
     
  13. mmomega macrumors 68030

    mmomega

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    #13
    I purchased two of these when they were released and were much worse than the Airport Extreme AC models. I believe I returned the 1900's in less than a week due to coverage wasn't great and having to restart them more than once in the week I had them.
    This was coming from 4th Gen AEBS, to the wrt1900, then back to AEBS AC and eventually on to some Ubiquiti UAP AC Access Points. This was all at work and I've recently sold off my tri AC AEBS network and gone with Ubiquiti EdgeRouterPoE, EdgeSwitch24 Lite and Dual UniFi AC LR's at home.
    All hardwired CAT6.
     
  14. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #14
    That's disheartening (in that I was leaning more and more to pulling the trigger).

    I think I may just go with the AEBS, given I run Apple equipment, and I can use the Airport Express to connect my PS4 and DirectTV receiver.
     
  15. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #15
    One thing to keep in mind is that there have been quite a few firmware updates to the Linksys since its initial launch which squashed most bugs people were facing.
     
  16. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #16
    I wasn't aware of that. Some of the stuff I read on the net was complaints about not getting firmware updates. The ACS model is a faster more improved flavor of the 1900AC, so that might in of itself be a good thing.
     
  17. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #17
    Linksys is not very good about releasing them but they have done a few. Apple on the other hand is dedicated to security and does a great job of keeping everything up to date whenever there was a flaw with the AirPorts.
     
  18. mmomega macrumors 68030

    mmomega

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    #18
    I was really wanting to like these, really just because I loved my old WRT54G and how rock solid that old setup seemed to be back 10 or so years ago.
    I bought 2 of them for my offices, I was replacing my aging 4th gen AEBS. My main office is around 10,000sqft and I knew within a day the WRT wasn't going to work but the 2nd office is barely 2,000sqft and mostly wwide open and it just was not consistent.... for me. Others may have better luck. I put in the AEBS ac and actually never touched it again after setup until it was replaced with the Ubiquiti system in currently and that was just because our network was growing and had around 100 wifi clients per day and 30 hardwired workstations. The AEBS was struggling but hanging on.

    The ACS may be an entirely different beast than the AC, it's just after dealing with that 1st gen I didn't want to go through it all again potentially.

    I also went through some EnGenius AC1750 routers that I actually still have though not using them and another brand that I can't think of atm. The Engenius were probably a close 2nd if not even with the AEBS AC.

    Actually came across a photo of my setup back in '05 with the WRT CableModem, Router and WiFi.
    Kind of miss all that... and those wireless headphones with wireless charging back then. Oh my.
    Picture 067.jpg
     
  19. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #19
    I had one of those as well - it was like a tank, which is why I was (am?) gravitating towards the Linksys. I currently have a Netgear, its not a ACS router, and it seems to reboot itself every so often. Plus setting it up was a pain

    I'm underwhelmed by it, and I figured as soon as I needed something faster the 802.11n, I'd not get a netgear again.
     
  20. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #20
    Were you putting 100 clients on a single base station?
     
  21. mmomega macrumors 68030

    mmomega

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    #21
    it was approx 100 over the course of a full work day, no more than 35 at a single time but yeah the AEBS was hanging in there but once I could I switched over to something a little more "enterprise" like.
    We started with about 6 workstations and 20 or so people in and out per day to 30 workstations and a few hundred people per day plus a 2nd location and VPN.
     
  22. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #22
    At the school we have the AirPort Extreme running as the main router and serving as an AP for a classroom and the main office, then we have fifteen UniFi APs (various models) serving about 150-175 concurrent clients. The AirPort never misses a beat so I am a bit surprised it was struggling in your case.
     
  23. mmomega macrumors 68030

    mmomega

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    #23
    It seemed to be struggling. I have a Meraki MX80 (VPN'd with an MX60 and 3 Z1) and 2 UniFi AC AP (square models) and the network screams right along.
    One of the other main reasons for switching was I wanted a hardware VPN to a 2nd location as well as offer 3 different WiFi networks, a main work network, employee network and guest and a UniFi AP at specific employees homes VPN'd to the main office.
    There may have been a way to work the Airport in but selling it off and moving on seemed and seems easier.
     
  24. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #24
    Wow, so your school went with Airpot over other's. Impressive. :)
     
  25. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #25
    The wireless network was my Eagle Scout project so I fundraised the whole thing. I had about $3000 to spend overall and we started buying parts around April of 2013 and installed it in August of 2013. At that time, UniFi was still fresh on the market and the UAP Pros were not released yet! Between the fact that the UAP Pros were not available, the UAP is only single band and was on backorder at the time, and the fact that it needed non-standard PoE equipment that couldn't be used for upgrades in years to come made me reconsider UniFi. I went with AirPort for its simplicity and security and it worked great! The initial setup was one AirPort Extreme with eight AirPort Expresses (connected via Ethernet over high end Gigabit switches of course) and it did great. As we added tablets for ~50 students, I installed four more Expresses which really gave a great benefit.

    Finally, going into this year, my headmaster asked that we go 1:1 for the entire high school and all faculty. I wanted to get a new system since that is a really large load that needed fine tuning in terms of network management, so we upgraded the Expresses to UniFi. We have about 65 Chromebooks, ~55 Dell Venue 8 tablets, and roughly ~30 BYOD for the freshman class with just the high school alone. On top of that, all students are permitted to BYOD for non-classroom use (e.g. after school) so we consistently see 175 clients on the network when school lets out. Furthermore, we also use Chromecasts in every classroom which require a strong wireless backbone. Currently, there are now 15 UniFi APs in use (both Pros and Standard) connected to an Extreme to handle routing and it works beautifully.
     

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