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  • Jul 23rd, 2017 3:37 am
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[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jun 21, 2003
1896 posts
157 upvotes
Burlington, ON

Home WiFi advice

My wife and I just bought our first home and moving from a 1 bedroom apartment to a small home I am after some advice. We rely on the internet for all our music/movies/TV/etc. We do not currently subscribe to any cable/tv packages and get along just fine using internet and subscriptions for all we need. (NFL Gamepass, MLB.tv, netflix, Spotify). The home we bought is a smaller home so I am not entirely concerned about my wifi signal in the home but we have a large lot (216' deep) so lots of backyard space and a detached garage that we'll likely spend time in. So for that area I am thinking our single router will not be sufficient. I am hoping to get some advice on what the best way to extend our network will be. Ideally I don't want to completely overhaul and buy all new equipment so I would prefer suggestions that allow us to use our current router and extend from that. I am comfortable setting up a network but just don't know what the best combination of hardware for this is as I have never had to extend one.

Our current router is a TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750.

Any help is greatly appreciated! Also I should a bit about the layout I suppose. The house is a bungalow and the main router will be in the basement, along an exterior wall about half way along the depth of the house. As the attic is open and easily accessible I have no issues with running CAT6 across the house if that is needed or recommended.
10 replies
Deal Fanatic
Apr 20, 2011
7143 posts
2226 upvotes
ON
If your goal is service for the backyard, I'd install an access point or repeater in or on the detached garage.
I wouldn't do anything until you actually test, though. You might be surprised how far it extends outwards.
Unless you have aluminum siding, like me. Then it's good for like 30ft, max (and by good, I mean connects at all, nevermind fast).
Sr. Member
Jul 1, 2009
653 posts
104 upvotes
ChicoQuente wrote:
Jul 16th, 2017 5:18 pm
Ideally I don't want to completely overhaul and buy all new equipment so I would prefer suggestions that allow us to use our current router and extend from that. I am comfortable setting up a network but just don't know what the best combination of hardware for this is as I have never had to extend one.
Here's the thing. Zero-handoff roaming is pretty cruddy on consumer hardware. As long as you are aware of that, and accept those limitations, continue on.
ChicoQuente wrote:
Jul 16th, 2017 5:18 pm
As the attic is open and easily accessible I have no issues with running CAT6 across the house if that is needed or recommended.
Then do so. Since you want to keep your existing hardware, mesh networks are out of the question (although fairly simple to set up) and running hardwires is the best solution. The simple way is to put your current router where you will use it the most. If the signal doesn't reach well to where you want it, run a line and put another access point there. If you're using a router as an AP, disable DHCP and you're good to go. If you want wifi in your backyard, you can get an outdoor AP with a unidirectional antenna.

on a side note: are current mesh network systems set up as intended, or as glorified range extenders? From what I'm seeing, it's not like they're using an entirely separate set of antennae or frequency as the backbone...
Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
15828 posts
1717 upvotes
Montreal
If you are repainting or doing Reno's run ethernet cable. You won't regret it. That way you can install APs wherever you want.

If you can afford it, run cable to every tv and PC location in the house. If you can run cable to the 2nd floor that's ideal.

I don't bother with mesh networks. I have three ssids, one for upstairs, one in the basement, and one for the central portion of the first floor.
Newbie
Mar 8, 2008
23 posts
6 upvotes
Newmarket, Ontario
Netgear nighthawk Ex7000 repeater solves most coverage issues easily.
Newbie
Oct 26, 2008
53 posts
18 upvotes
Saint-Laurent
I know what you mean, I tried multiples ways to extend the coverage in my home and yard without changing hardware but I found out it was not possible I'm my case.


I solved my wifi signal issues with the Netgear Orbi. Unlike mesh wifi or repeater solutions you maintain full speed even with the second (or third) satellite. Other mesh networks (ex google wifi) are know to cut the speed by half with each extra satellite. You also only have one ssid so no switching between connections.

I am getting between 50-60mpbs out of my 120mbps connection at nearly 60 feet away in my yard and between 50 and 120 throught the house.

I have the main router in my basement and the satellite in my bedroom.
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jun 21, 2003
1896 posts
157 upvotes
Burlington, ON
Thanks for all the advice so far guys. It's all hypothetical at this point as we take possession on September 6. I'm just doing my research so that I know what my options are when we get in. Internet connection is important to us and I want to hit the ground running if we have troubles.

Or I looks good but well beyond what we are okay spending. In an ideal world I'll get there, setup the router and find out there's no problem! Fingers crossed.

Having said all that I am still always open to hearing more suggestions and recommendations.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 21, 2002
6931 posts
896 upvotes
Winnipeg
https://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

works well very affordable, very low powered around 3.5watts load, crossband, specs say beamforming. Don't place it too close easy setup interface. Does not offer wired AP capability it only repeats with gigabit wire if needed for a device. Bought one and tried it bought another because its pretty dam good for the money.
Newbie
Mar 31, 2011
41 posts
24 upvotes
Network technician here! I have to say, most home grade wireless is garbage. For a lot 214' deep I would say your best bet in a decent price range would be something from ubiquiti networks, either the outdoor ap or the directional antenna. I would say going AP route would cause headache and mix-match mesh handoff sucks at the best of time. Stick an atenna outdoors, setup a HomeWifiOutside network and just have your device remember it. Or wait and overhaul when it's more feasable for you. The headache of a Frankenstein network is not worth the savings in initial equipment cost.
Deal Addict
Aug 25, 2006
3157 posts
752 upvotes
mr_raider wrote:
Jul 16th, 2017 7:27 pm
I don't bother with mesh networks. I have three ssids, one for upstairs, one in the basement, and one for the central portion of the first floor.
Running cable is best if you can do it. Otherwise, I would consider mesh networks. Let me add some info to this thread. I see a few users asking about mesh. With a new mesh or even a hub & spoke network, there is only 1 SSID regardless of how many points you have. Different systems have different technology. Most are MESH and Netgear Orbi is hub & spoke. Check them out if you love fast wireless networks.

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