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73 posts

Master Geek


#272436 24-Jun-2020 20:27
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Hi folks

 

Got myself in an annoying home networking position and keen to hear some advice.

 

I have a setup with 2 computers which require decent bandwidth. A desktop which is used for gaming and streaming among other things, and a linux server which hosts a bittorrent client, filesharing, plex server, etc. Both of these sit on a desk, previously ethernet'd straight into a router which ethernet'd into my fibre box (ONT). Neither have a wifi card or any way to connect wirelessly. End result was both got 100mpbs down/10mpbs up which is what I was paying for. This setup worked well for me.

 

Fast forward to now, I've just moved house and the ONT is on the other side of the house. I've signed up to a 200 down/20 up plan which works great over 5GHz wifi in the same room or ethernet plugged into the router.

 

I need a way to get that sweet 200/20 over to my desk. First I bought and tried an ethernet-over-power kit (which I've had success with in the past) but they didn't connect - different circuit breakers, I guess.

 

Then I tried setting the router on my desk (which was previously just being used as a switch) to WDS mode, so it intercepts my wifi signal from the router plugged into the ONT and outputs that via ethernet to both desktop and server. The thing is, my desk is far enough away from the ONT that the wifi in this room is poor (tested both on my phone + desktop using the WDS). I'm getting anywhere from 4-40mpbs which is painfully slow and worse - inconsistent.

 

So the question - how can I improve signal strength to my desk, preferably up to the 200/20 which I pay for? I can spend some money if I need to but prefer some DIY hack if possible. Slightly salty about shelling out the $100 on the EoP kit for it to just not work.

 

Any suggestions or tips welcome, especially if it's worked for you in the past. Happy to provide specifics on model numbers etc if it's helpful.

 

Thanks for your time & appreciate your help in advance
ara 


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  #2511728 24-Jun-2020 20:40
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WiFi6 aka ax



73 posts

Master Geek


  #2511731 24-Jun-2020 20:47
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Linux: WiFi6 aka ax

 

 

 

Hi there, thanks for your reply.

 

 

 

I hadn't heard about ax before. Definitely looks fast enough. Would you suggest 2x ax routers using WDS? A quick check online puts the cheapest new ax router at $218 (NZD) which is a bit out of my price range for 2x.

 

 

 

Cheers

 

ara


 
 
 
 


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Master Geek


  #2511734 24-Jun-2020 20:51
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Linux: WiFi6 aka ax

 

 

 

Really not sure how WiFi 6 is going to help OP when signal range appears to be the issue here?

 

 

 

 

 

@Arachan you haven't said if you're renting the house or not, but running proper CAT5/6 cabling through walls really would be the ideal solution. Even better if there's already some in the house but I'm guessing that's not the case?

 

Otherwise you've ruled out Powerline adapters, so really the only thing left that I can think of is to use a mesh WiFi system like NETGEAR Orbi or Google WiFi.

 

 

 

I'm currently renting in a house that I can't modify so I simply ran an OM3 fibre cable between 2 rooms along the ceiling. In my previous rental I had an outdoor-rated CAT5e cable going out my bedroom window and down into the garage. The things we do for good internet!

 

 


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  #2511792 24-Jun-2020 20:55
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speed is far greater at edge of coverage over WiFi6

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Master Geek


  #2511793 24-Jun-2020 20:56
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Might also pay to post up what kind of modem/router you're using for WiFi right now.

 

I've also had great results switching several friends' houses over to use UniFi WiFi access points from Ubiquiti, where the ISP-provided router's range just wasn't good enough.

 

One particular friend's house went from having no 5 GHz WiFi signal in a bedroom at all, to getting the full 100/20 speed they pay for in that room after installing a single UniFi access point by the ONT several rooms away.


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Master Geek


  #2511795 24-Jun-2020 21:00
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I'd seriously consider hard wiring the computers with Ethernet back to your router. It's a little bit of pain for a much larger overall benefit with stationary devices. (Full duplex communication & true gigabit throughput with Ethernet vs Half duplex & a *maximum realistic* throughput of 5-600Mbps via wifi).

 

Ethernet over Powerline adapters work ok across different circuits. What they don't like is going through surge protection devices (e.g. multiboards with built-in protection). Double check to make sure none of those are used at either end.

 

Wifi is best kept for portable devices, and the fewer the client devices connected to each AP, the better the overall performance. Don't worry about 802.11ax (Wifi 6) for now. It's expensive & there are very few APs & client devices which currently support that standard.

 

The only way to genuinely improve the wifi reception at further areas in your place is to run dedicated wifi access points which are (preferably) hard wired back to the router. There are mesh systems, which use wireless tech instead of cables for the backhaul, but these can be pricey and results can be disappointing depending on your house layout & construction.




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Master Geek


  #2511816 24-Jun-2020 21:54
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Thanks for the responses everyone.

 

 

 

Sounds like hardwired ethernet is really the only way to go. I hadn't even considered this due to the complexity of trying to wire it through my rental (3 bedroom and it's almost exactly corner to corner). Across the kitchen/living, through a door, across the hall, another door, across the room to the desk...ouch.

 

 

 

I'll investigate using a flat ethernet cable + something like these command cable clips. I don't particularly mind a loose ethernet cable given the advantages but I'm sure my partner would!

 

 

 

 

 

OzoneNZ:

 

I've also had great results switching several friends' houses over to use UniFi WiFi access points from Ubiquiti, where the ISP-provided router's range just wasn't good enough.

 

 

 

 

Can you link me a specific product you'd suggest? Would the idea being plug that into my existing router which goes to my ONT, then WDS off the UniFi's network with my desk router?

 

 

 

OzoneNZ:

 

Might also pay to post up what kind of modem/router you're using for WiFi right now.

 

 

 

 

I have a Netcomm NF18ACV (freebee from Trustpower) connected to the ONT, and a TP-Link TL-WR1043 on my desk.


 
 
 
 


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  #2511822 24-Jun-2020 22:13
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Since you've already sunk some $$ into your EoP units, I'd be trying a bit harder to get them working. As has been pointed out, make sure they are plugged in upstream of surge protectors/multiboards. You can also use a mains extension cord to plug to different circuits, not that I've found that to be a problem. It may be a different phase, so try a few different sockets etc.



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Master Geek


  #2511827 24-Jun-2020 22:30
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Okay so testing various outlets with the EoPs seems fairly hit and miss - requires more testing.

 

 

 

Something odd I've noticed is when I dig out a 20m ethernet cable (cat 5e) and plug it directly into the NF18ACV (avoiding the TL-WR1043) I only get about 90mbps. Could this be to the length of the cable - or is the cable potentially faulty (kink etc?). Windows also shows it's only a 100mbps link - any idea what gives? Not exactly encouraging me to wire up ethernet through the house.

 

 

 

I like to consider myself reasonably competent but there seem to be enough moving parts that I can never quite pin down the cause of networking issues...very frustrating. Will definitely be considering ONT location more seriously next time I move!

 

 

 

Cheers

 

ara




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Master Geek


  #2511837 24-Jun-2020 22:57
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Okay have tested the EoP a bit more.

 

 

 

First as a baseline, 20m ethernet straight to NF18ACV. Got 100mbps in windows and around 90mpbs in speedtest as mentioned.

 

 

 

Then setup like this (all ethernet is cat5e):

 

ONT -> ethernet -> NF18ACV -> ethernet -> EOP1

 

PC -> ethernet -> EOP2

 

 

 

First, both EOPs next to each other on the wall to ensure they actually work. Got same speeds as above, so the EOPs work.

 

 

 

Then put EOP2 in various plug points, getting closer to my desk each time. Laundry gave same as above, the 2nd closest outlet in my room gives me 12mbps (this is my current best 😑, will sit on this for now). Plugging EOP2 into the closest power outlet to my desk gives me the dreaded "IP address dynamically assigned" and no connection at all.

 

 

 

Is it worth opening the up my circuit breaker panel and seeing what I can learn? Or I could ask the landlord if they have a wiring diagram for the house? Any suggestions welcome, starting to tear my hair out :)

 

 

 

Cheers

 

ara

 

 


66 posts

Master Geek


  #2511838 24-Jun-2020 22:59
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Hi

I had a similar issue in our townhouse complex, the NF18 just can't keep up with interference and range sucks.

I got a used DIR882 D-Link modem router which I flashed DDWRT on and plugged it into the slingshot NF18 and made it operate as a range extender.

Installed an Asus PCE-AC88 wifi card and boom, PC picks up about 600down and 500 up. Gaming is rock solid and the coverage is full bars all around the house now, especially my room which is the exact opposite corner.


51 posts

Master Geek


  #2511863 25-Jun-2020 00:56
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Arachan:

 

I have a Netcomm NF18ACV (freebee from Trustpower) connected to the ONT, and a TP-Link TL-WR1043 on my desk.

 

 

 

 

I would say therein lies your problem - the last friend I installed a Ubiquiti access point for had the exact same Netcomm unit from Trustpower, the WiFi on those is REALLY piss-poor.

 

What we ended up doing was purchasing a Ubiquiti AP AC Lite and configuring wireless networks on that, then completely disabling the wireless functionality on the Netcomm unit and leaving it to do routing only.

 

The difference was pretty stark - the 5 GHz network didn't even show up in the network list on his bedroom TV and 4K YouTube videos would continually buffer. After the Ubiquiti AP went in, 4K YouTube playback was seamless and had almost full signal strength on the 5 GHz network.

 

 

 

Great thing about the Ubiquiti access points is that the transmit power (which you can crank to Very High), channels, etc. are all easily configurable; you can even do an "RF environment scan" to find the least congested WiFi channels to use in your area.

 

 

 

I've also personally had bad luck with units from the TP-Link TL-Wxxx range; I had two TL-WDR4300 units and they both had fairly average signal range and needed rebooting every few days to remain functional.

 

To be honest I would just chuck a PCI express WiFi card in your desktop PC and call it a day rather than trying to use the TP Link as a WiFi client to link back to the router.

 

 

 

If you're around Auckland you could possibly try out my Ubiquiti access point at your place to see what kind of difference it makes




73 posts

Master Geek


  #2517273 4-Jul-2020 16:29
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A quick update. I've realised a few things:

 

  • My TL-WR1043 is 2.4GHz only. So not going to be suitable as a wireless receiver at the speed I need.
  • Sitting at my PC on my phone, I can connect to the 5Ghz wifi from my NF18ACV and get ~150mbps, not bad!
  • The 20m ethernet cable I have (supposedly cat5e) does not appear to be fast enough - windows says 100mbps connected and speedtest is a bit less.

 

 

So my thought now is to hopefully borrow a decent 5Ghz router off someone, and test that as a wireless receiver. Failing that my other option appears to be buying 2x wifi cards.

 

Taking a quick look on pricespy, I don't see any PCI cards which accept 5Ghz. Is this not a thing - can anyone suggest options for this?

 

 

 

At some stage I will need to get a proper 5Ghz router to replace the freebee but given my phone gets a decent speed here that doesn't appear to be the bottleneck currently.

 

 

 

All of this is a bit of a mess but I still think wiring ethernet along the skirting boards will be harder.

 

 

 

Cheers

 

ara


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  #2517286 4-Jul-2020 17:24
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Hi just to say cat5e is totally gigabit rated, infact good for even 10g at 20m, and 5gig at 100m, so I doubt that is an issue, it's possible you have a faulty cable or one of the end terminations is only 2 pair, but cat5e is gig rated, period .

Cyril

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