Need help with extending wi-fi coverage across a 3-story house

Bryn

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No, he's already GOT a router; what he needs is APs (at least/one expects) one per floor. But, as you soon (should!) learn, the devil is in the details: even forgoing the dual-band horse I'm riding :D, you get good/...less good APs; you have to choose between locally (where mounted) powered (a VERY bad idea) or centrally, hence PoE. And if going PoE, you get to have to choose the right kit there too.

And I haven't even brought up cable or cable-related things yet (which is a geographically-dependant question so may not apply). :cool:
You're still making it complicated. Dual band is easy. My routers are all broadcasting 2.4 and 5GHz. He could just buy a few more routers, connect them with cables and have them all providing wifi.

I need three routers to give my whole property wifi coverage, and it took no longer than thirty minutes to set up after I'd had the cables professionally laid in place, and half that time was probably spent unboxing.
 

bdt

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You're still making it complicated. Dual band is easy. My routers are all broadcasting 2.4 and 5GHz. He could just buy a few more routers, connect them with cables and have them all providing wifi.

I need three routers to give my whole property wifi coverage, and it took no longer than thirty minutes to set up after I'd had the cables professionally laid in place, and half that time was probably spent unboxing.
Seeing as you're using routers (and I'm assuming default firmware), what does your WLAN look like - is it a single, contiguous SSID/key network where a PC on, say, remote router #1 can share files with one on, say remote router #3; how do you handle DHCP assignments as you move around the property?
 

bdt

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I do believe the Ubiquiti units all ship with their own PoE adaptors so there's no brain work or additional hardware required.
You're quite right, those 24V bricks they like to use (unless you get their top-end hardware, where they go up to "real" PoE voltage). But now you need a multiplug arrangement of some kind to plug those things into - say hello to cable spaghetti... :rolleyes:
 

Bryn

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Seeing as you're using routers (and I'm assuming default firmware), what does your WLAN look like - is it a single, contiguous SSID/key network where a PC on, say, remote router #1 can share files with one on, say remote router #3; how do you handle DHCP assignments as you move around the property?
All the PC's, phones, tablets, top set boxes, gaming consoles etc. are on the home network, receive ADSL connectivity and have access to all the shared files and folders. Each router has its own identity and need to be accessed individually. My phone usually connects to the strongest saved wifi connection automatically, but occasionally I need to take a second to quick toggle the wifi to make it reconnect with the closest router.
 

bdt

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All the PC's, phones, tablets, top set boxes, gaming consoles etc. are on the home network, receive ADSL connectivity and have access to all the shared files and folders.
Does 'home network' here mean the primary LAN/WLAN as obtained from the master (id est provides the internet feed) router? Are any PCs connected to any of the satellite routers?
Each router has its own identity and need to be accessed individually. My phone usually connects to the strongest saved wifi connection automatically, but occasionally I need to take a second to quick toggle the wifi to make it reconnect with the closest router.
This is the very thing we're looking to avoid: you effectively have four discrete networks that, at least in terms of mobile devices isn't *that* much of a hassle, it mostly just hops across; two-way file sharing between computers through those routers would be ...less... simple though. Also, it's not the right way to do this kind of thing; building with APs the way we're talking about is. *shrug* You're evidently satisfied with your network, but that was the call you chose to make (also, you glossed over getting the cables professionally laid.):rolleyes: For my part looking to go and install the 'best' solution (where large amount of 'best' means 'no hassle/invisible to the client'), that's not what I would do; but each to their own.
 

Bryn

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Does 'home network' here mean the primary LAN/WLAN as obtained from the master (id est provides the internet feed) router? Are any PCs connected to any of the satellite routers?
This is the very thing we're looking to avoid: you effectively have four discrete networks that, at least in terms of mobile devices isn't *that* much of a hassle, it mostly just hops across; two-way file sharing between computers through those routers would be ...less... simple though. Also, it's not the right way to do this kind of thing; building with APs the way we're talking about is. *shrug* You're evidently satisfied with your network, but that was the call you chose to make (also, you glossed over getting the cables professionally laid.):rolleyes: For my part looking to go and install the 'best' solution (where large amount of 'best' means 'no hassle/invisible to the client'), that's not what I would do; but each to their own.
I live with technophobes, and they don't spare a thought for the internet connectivity. The PC's and laptops have little to no movement, and everyone knows that if the signal bar on whatever device they're using doesn't show full or nearly full wifi signal they just need to toggle wifi off and on and the device will sort it out.

The cables were laid professionally for no reason other than because I'm lazy and didnt want to crawl around in the cramped and baking hot attic spaces.

The main router (receiving ADSL) manages the IP addresses. It makes no difference which router any particular device connects to - they get full internet access and file sharing functionality.

Each router cost R770 and the poor b**tard who spent a whole afternoon laying the cables only charged R500. That was two years ago when we moved in to the property. Small price to pay considering how important internet and file sharing is to my family.

Edit: To answer your question, five desktop PC's are connected to two of the routers (only one to the host router).
 
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Bryn

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+1
Works very well.
Where do you buy them from? Price Check has nothing and the official resellers in SA charge thousands for a single device. This seems like an outrageous solution for a home environment.
 

bdt

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This seems like an outrageous solution for a home environment.
Quite, but they're not cheap and are meant more for business use anyway. A far cheaper, but still quite good (mostly, I've got one giving me a hassle atm) beastie is the Tenda W301a It also happens to run very happily from PoE, which makes deploying them a pleasure.
 

Bryn

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Quite, but they're not cheap and are meant more for business use anyway. A far cheaper, but still quite good (mostly, I've got one giving me a hassle atm) beastie is the Tenda W301a It also happens to run very happily from PoE, which makes deploying them a pleasure.
That looks like something that would suit many homes. Personally I prefer my ordinary router setup. Any hardware troubleshooting doesn't require a ladder, if the main router stops working I can switch it out in minutes, when the house is sold I won't have ethernet ports on two ceilings, when we go holidaying out of town for a few days every few weeks I can just grab the least used router for 3G use and not affect connectivity for anyone remaining in the house, and random devices, like the PC's of kids having a LAN or the WD Live TV box used for streaming, can connect via cable no matter the part of the property they may be to ensure the most solid connection possible.
 

b@nD

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Outrageous

Where do you buy them from?
Price Check has nothing and the official resellers in SA charge thousands for a single device.
This seems like an outrageous solution for a home environment.
Little bit of Googling won't do any harm

"Official" is a deadly word when it comes to buying ICT equipment

*Outrageous* -- how much does it cost to fill up your big 4 x4 ????

The beauty of the Ubiquiti system is the UniFi

Neat , tidy , invisible , dedicated -- the way it should be.
 

Bryn

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Little bit of Googling won't do any harm

"Official" is a deadly word when it comes to buying ICT equipment

*Outrageous* -- how much does it cost to fill up your big 4 x4 ????

The beauty of the Ubiquiti system is the UniFi

Neat , tidy , invisible , dedicated -- the way it should be.
I meant the cost is outrageous compared to just buying three ordinary routers. My setup is neat and tidy, and you almost never have to manually switch to a closer router.
 

SauRoNZA

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R799 per AP isn't outrageous at all for what it offers.

Some places sell a bundled box of three for cheaper even.


Sure if you go 5ghz it's pricey, but that's a choice you need to make and ask yourself if it's worth it. I personally wouldn't bother.

I'd rather have a perfect 2.4ghz network, than a ****ty 5ghz one.
 

SauRoNZA

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You're quite right, those 24V bricks they like to use (unless you get their top-end hardware, where they go up to "real" PoE voltage). But now you need a multiplug arrangement of some kind to plug those things into - say hello to cable spaghetti... :rolleyes:
For sure, but at least it's all in one place.

Besides you could work some magic and wire all three into a single plug and tape them all together into one brick.
 

bdt

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For sure, but at least it's all in one place.

Besides you could work some magic and wire all three into a single plug and tape them all together into one brick.
Oh I hear you, and if you're coming from a work on your own kit perspective there's nothing wrong with doing that. But doing it as a job requires a whole different level of work and finish, and that's where I tend to come from.
 

SauRoNZA

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Yeah I think of you are rolling out a lot of these in a building then you'll want to approach it quite differently.

When you only want to put two or three in on a single floor then the cost of a PoE device to power them isn't really justified.
 

Bryn

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R799 per AP isn't outrageous at all for what it offers.

Some places sell a bundled box of three for cheaper even.


Sure if you go 5ghz it's pricey, but that's a choice you need to make and ask yourself if it's worth it. I personally wouldn't bother.

I'd rather have a perfect 2.4ghz network, than a ****ty 5ghz one.
So what's your opinion of my home network then? It's just three D-Link routers connected via network cable, and was quick and relatively cheap to set up. I've described my network above, but the simple of it is that they're all broadcasting 2.4 and 5GHz, provide internet just fine, allow file sharing without a problem and almost always do not manually need to be switched between if you move to another area in the property. Is this a 's**tty' network?
 

SauRoNZA

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So what's your opinion of my home network then? It's just three D-Link routers connected via network cable, and was quick and relatively cheap to set up. I've described my network above, but the simple of it is that they're all broadcasting 2.4 and 5GHz, provide internet just fine, allow file sharing without a problem and almost always do not manually need to be switched between if you move to another area in the property. Is this a 's**tty' network?
Depending on exactly how it's setup, yes it's quite possibly a ****ty network.

Mostly because of the fact that you have three routers running instead of three access points.

Which means potentially you have three firewalls running, three NAT tables, three broadcasts all over the place etc.

Chances are all the benefits of the 5ghz system having been nullified by the way it's been setup and there are probably a million loops bringing it down to a crawl.


The Ubiquiti system (and many other access point only non-router) setups is completely seamless. One SSID and one network which is handled completely from the network side and doesn't depend on each device to add each SSID individually and switch between them by hand or as connection fails from one to the other.

Your network is cheap for obvious reasons. But you could have probably done it better and cheaper without the 3 x Routers and using 1 x Router and 2 x Access Points.
 
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Bryn

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Depending on exactly how it's setup, yes it's quite possibly a ****ty network.

Mostly because of the fact that you have three routers running instead of three access points.

Which means potentially you have three firewalls running, three NAT tables, three broadcasts all over the place etc.

Chances are all the benefits of the 5ghz system having been nullified by the way it's been setup and there are probably a million loops bringing it down to a crawl.
Only the main router manages the DHCP. There's only one firewall. There is no overlap in strong signal quality between routers. What benefit would there be if I went with a Unifi setup? Speed tests indicate all 4Mbps of my DSL connection is accessible on any connected device and HD content can be played across the network without issue.

Edit: Nm. Read your edit. Obviously the Unifi setup sounds nice, but as I said above, is extremely expensive compared to some ordinary routers.
 
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