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Old 05-02-2012, 01:25 PM
Bun-Bun Bun-Bun is offline
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Default Help networking my new home

Bought my first house! yay! But it's a two storey and my DGL-4500 doesn't reach the top floor very well (it is in the basement).

I have tried buy several repeaters (DAP-1360 and the latest was netgear 3000RP). However I have nothing but problems with devices dropping connections. IE they have wireless connections but they loose routing to the router and thus internet. Or they have internet but file sharing fails to work via netbios names forcing me to do everything via IP addresses. Plus I would like to keep everything on the same SSID (for mobile devices that move around the house). To my understanding the way these devices repeat they need to have two different SSID's.

After a lot of reading I have figured out that in order to set up my network the way I want I need two routers capable of WDS repeated supporting WPA.

Secondly I just found out N doesn't support WEP which I need for some of my devices that do not support WPA.

Currently looking at getting two Asus RT-N66U routers. Then I could put all my legacy devices on G @ 2.4GHz and my newer devices on N @ 5.0Ghz right? But can you WDS repeat on both radio's simultaneously?

Or should I just stop all this headache and start running cat6 cable upstairs? Or is it possible to upgrade the attenna's enough that I do not need to worry about repeating? I could save the cost of the second router in attenna's. I have no dead zones just reception is poor upstairs and slow with just the DGL-4500.

EDIT: I should add the house is about 20' wide x 35' long. When the netgear 3000RT repeater is working (its placed on the mainfloor in the room directly above where the router is) I get good reception and speed throughout the house.

Last edited by Bun-Bun; 05-02-2012 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:57 PM
stevech stevech is offline
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run the cat5/6, now or eventually.
As an Interim, don't fight with WDS or repeaters. Instead, use one of these schemes (see forums here)...

MoCA - if there's TV coax near the router and in/near the distant room, in which you put a WiFi access point (AP) or a WiFi router re-purposed as an AP. These connect to existing coax that can loop through the MoCA box and onward to the TV.

IP networking over AC power wires: HPNA, etc. These just plug in.
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:54 AM
claykin claykin is offline
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Any reason why you cannot move AP to main level? Sounds like one good AP placed properly may cover house well.

I would not bother with WDS. Too much potential for problems.

I agree you should cable as much of house as possible. Cat5e probably fine. Most people don't terminate cat6 properly which lessens chance it could ever work at 10GigE. And fyi, Cat6a is req'd for real future proofing. 6a is pricey and harder to find.
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:13 AM
Bun-Bun Bun-Bun is offline
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Server room is in the basement. Which is where I keep the modem/router/switch (basement is hardwired with cat6). Thus the router stays in that room. AP on the other hand can move.

I already have a huge roll of cat6 sitting here and 100's of RJ45 mod plugs. No concerns there. Only thing Cat6a offers over Cat6 is better alien crosstalk suppression and thus longer runs. I do not see myself ever needing 100m of 10GigE. Cat6 is enough. And I have no issues terminating it properly. I find Cat6 easier then Cat5e thanks to the mod plugs.

Anyway. So if I run a cable straight above the server room and put an access point there you think I will have good enough coverage? Can I have a AP hardwired with the same SSID? IE have a AP on the main floor and my main router in the basement (connected via Cat6) with the same SSID? That way it doesn't matter where I am in the house my mobile devices will connect and have good signal. Should they be on different channels?

Any good stand alone AP's I should consider? I am replacing my DGL-4500 with the Asus RT-N66U anyway (ordered it yesterday). A second one just for AP purposes seems overkill.

EDIT

Cisco WES610N has good performance and is not so expensive. But can I wall mount it? I am thinking of putting the AP in my main hallway above the security key pad. It's where the stairs going up and down are. I figure this should be the best spot. I could build a shelf...

NVM it's a bridge. Not a AP. And looking at the cost of good AP's I might as well just get another Asus RT-N66U, it's wall mountable too. One in the basement for my older stuff that is only g/wep compatible and the main floor one as a AP for n/wpa2 for the computers upstairs.

A POE AP is enticing though. Put it up on the wall and only one cable going up to it. Nice and clean. Would just have to add a POE injector.

For now though I think I am going to see if I can't just move the new router a bit and see what kinds of signals I can get up stairs. As it stands currently my DGL-4500 on a mixed network has 3-4 bars on the computers upstairs (only 1-2 bars on my phone) with it being on a shelf in my server room (metal and glass). RT-N66U has two radios and better wireless. I will see if I move it to the top of the shelf and separate the g and n networks and see what effect that has on everything. And then go from there. I have about 3 neighbouring networks coming into my house. But they are all 2.4GHz. So I think taking my computers and phone to 5ghz would be best.

OR! use the new RT-N66U as the AP upstairs and keep the DGL-4500 where it is for routing duties.

Too many options...

EDIT2

hahaha I moved the antenna's on my DGL-4500 so that they were sticking straight out from the router (horizontal) and I gained 10dbi to the computers upstairs. What is funny is the signal is now just as good as what it is with the repeater. The one computer is -54 and the other is -75. They get 7mbps and 5mbps respectively. My phone upstairs in the worst spot (only one bar) gets 10mbps, which is only 2mbps less than what it gets next to the router. I assume its the fact I am using WEP that is making it so slow.

So yeah, I am going to try and just do the entire house with the one Asus RT-N66U. Repeaters suck.

Last edited by Bun-Bun; 05-03-2012 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:18 PM
tipstir tipstir is offline
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How much sq ft is this new place. Older home or new home built. Older homes have a lot of metal and cast iron pipping can cause issues. My prior dwelling was built in 1927 although it got a gutted and updated in 2001 still, WiFi signal was all over the place. Same setup as you network closet was in the basement family room and ran CAT 5e about 32 nodes links worth through the underground basement (can fit model those old Model T or 1920 style of cars only).

Up through the floor boards then up and old dryer vent over the roof pillar (out in the very cold/freezing to very hot days) on the second floor. My old place looked like the Amityville Horror House on the East side. Basement, Underground Garage, Main Floor, Second Floor and Huge Floor Attic. I had used 3x TPLINK Ultra 300 3x SMA ANT on each floor that worked well until each one of those WiFi Routers started to fail like a domino effect!

When they work single was about 80 to 100% where each one was showing 100% on each floor as you move to the second or basement the single of the other two would be lower than the one on the floor you were on. Outside the signal was very strong I could go about 100 to 150 feet and also into the deep woods next to me.

Even drove in my car at the time with the WiFi laptop to see how far I could go before the signal would drop.

So if I was like you use gig devices and huge gig switch connected via your CAT 6 or higher cable make sure each access point doesn't have anything connected to it just the one connection cable. If you need more connections for LAN then run more cables for each device (node). Test the room where you place your access point to make sure there isn't anything interference.

Today I am in a new house don't need too my what I have now is shown below my sig..
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:52 AM
Bun-Bun Bun-Bun is offline
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That sounds like an interesting home!

It is an older home. Built 1912 (century old!) ~1280sq ft on the two floors plus the basement.

There is cast iron and copper pipe throughout. Duct work above the server room for HVAC. Also a suspended ceiling in the basement.

After last nights experiment I really think that putting the Asus RT-N66U on the main floor as a AP will cover the entire house well. Leave the DGL-4500 in the basement for legacy G devices (which are all mostly in the basement anyway).

Already figured out a good run path for the Cat6 for the AP placement.
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:07 PM
Bun-Bun Bun-Bun is offline
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Got my RT-N66U today. Hooked it up over lunch at work and get tomatoUSB on it. Can't wait to get home and try it out!
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:01 AM
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With the RT-N66U in the basement I get anywhere from the same to 10dbi better signal throughout the house for 2.4GHz. Moved it up to the main floor with my 100 ft cable going up the stairs and my computers upstairs had full signal (in the windows thing) and my phone with wifi analyzer showed anywhere from -30 to -60dbi throughout the house.

5.0Ghz was sketchy with the router in the basement. Few dead spots upstairs. However moving it to the main floor made 5.0GHz usable anywhere in the house. slowest bandwidth on my phone was 5mbps (single stream).

So it comes down to if I want to use 5.0GHz for the 40mhz b/w I need to put the router on the main floor as a access point. Or I can just use 2.4GHz and leave it in the basement. 2.4GHz I am limited to 20mhz. Too many neighbors have wireless. There is no one near me on the 5.0GHz band though.

I think what I am going to do though is put my DGL-4500 on legacy duty. 2.4GHz b/g/n WEP on channel 1 or 6 (lots in my area on these channels but they dont make it into my basement). Put the RT-N66U on the main floor as a AP with 2.4GHz to N only 20mhz b/w on channel 11 WPA2. And then 5.0GHz N only 40mhz b/w WPA2. That way depending on what roomate I get and what they have for wireless they will be able to connect to the access point and whatever I decide to use I will be able to choose which ever works best for the given location of the house (or yard).

Side note. RT-N66U with tomato is awesome. So much configurability its insane! I liked the Asus F/W as well though. Will take some testing to figure out if there is a performance benefit to either though.
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Old 10-19-2012, 04:28 PM
Bun-Bun Bun-Bun is offline
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Just wanted to come update the status of my shananigans for anyone coming across this in the future.

I ordered a second RT-N66U now that they are under $150. Moved one up to the main floor hardwired to the router downstairs. Both upgraded to the latest shibby tomatousb firmware.

Router upstairs is set as a AP only and serves the entire house both 2.4Ghz and 5.0Ghz (5.0Ghz in 40mhz channel width) using WPA2. I also setup two vlans (which required enabling 802.1Q trunk overide in tomato) and setup a guest network wvlan upstairs for roomates.

Router downstairs is setup as a gateway and serves the house 2.4Ghz using WEP for legacy devices (Wii and other mobile devices).

Everything is working awesome and these RT-N66U routers are the best I have ever owned. DHCP/DNS resolves/reboots/configuration everything is more robust and works much quicker. Its like having my old Linksys router back but with all the new features.

Very happy with my setup now.
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