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Upgrading Wi-Fi at home with REALLY thick walls.

DragonoidPL
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Go to solution Solved by Falcon1986,
22 minutes ago, DragonoidPL said:

I was looking through Ubiquiti solutions (though I heard concerns about privacy with them as they send user data and you cannot turn it off, but that's just what I heard).

This was rectified in all recent UniFi Controller updates. They now specifically ask you if you want to send incident reports to UI.com when you're setting up a network for the first time. You can also turn it off in the Controller.

 

23 minutes ago, Doggo lover said:

I would go with some niceeee unify gear. a couple of ap around

That's going to be difficult if running ethernet will be limited since the APs need to be powered over ethernet. But I like how you're thinking!

 

16 minutes ago, Sorenson said:

I would try Netgear Orbis since they have a dedicated channel for backhaul. Idk if they would be enough with concrete walls though. 

Any mature mesh system that provides at least 3 wireless bands where 1 is dedicated to a wireless backhaul should work, whether it's an Orbi, ZenWiFi, Velop, etc. And most will allow a wired backhaul as well for an even more consistent signal. They're just very expensive up front and usually come as 2-unit packs with no ability to purchase single units, especially if you choose wireless AX; there might be more units in the older wireless AC models.

 

33 minutes ago, DragonoidPL said:

I am not against having seperate wired router and set of APs, but the only AP that I will be able to wire with cable to the router will be one in my room. Is there any set of APs that can connect to each other through Wi-Fi?

At the end of the day, you'll get a better overall experience of you run ethernet to connect all of your wireless access points (WAPs) to a central switch or router. A big house like that with so many interfering walls and levels will benefit from multiple WAPs on each floor (e.g. one on each floor at opposite ends of the house). WiFi doesn't reach far when steel/concrete is in the way and it has limited vertical propagation as well. Ubiquiti's products are a good option, but the cost can be high as well. A simple setup could use 3x UAP-AC-Lites connected over gigabit ethernet to your existing router/switch (assuming it's gigabit-capable) and letting the UAPs take over WiFi.

 

An alternative to wiring all WAPs to a switch would be to utilize the AC Mesh/Pro models but, of course, you'll need at least 1 good wired-in WAP for the mesh units to get a good signal, especially if this has to be done on 3 floors.

Being tired of people at my house complaining about not being able to access network on higher floors I decided it's time for an upgrade. I am currently using Archer C7 from TP-Link router and it is all. It's a pretty big house with thick, concrete walls with steel beams inside them. With three floors and router being on the second one in the right, bottom corner of the house the range is pretty bad on the third and first floor, plus rooms that are in top-left corner of the house on second floor. I cannot move the router anywhere else as my internet is hardwired here and I cannot go with cables through the house. I live in Poland (saying that for prices of things) and would like to pay around 350 euro for the upgrade. I am not against having seperate wired router and set of APs, but the only AP that I will be able to wire with cable to the router will be one in my room. Is there any set of APs that can connect to each other through Wi-Fi? I was looking through Ubiquiti solutions (though I heard concerns about privacy with them as they send user data and you cannot turn it off, but that's just what I heard). I also looked at some TP-Link solutions and even at AC4000 router. I need some guide on how to progress with it and what devices would be the best. Thanks!

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2 minutes ago, DragonoidPL said:

Being tired of people at my house complaining about not being able to access network on higher floors I decided it's time for an upgrade. I am currently using Archer C7 from TP-Link router and it is all. It's a pretty big house with thick, concrete walls with steel beams inside them. With three floors and router being on the second one in the right, bottom corner of the house the range is pretty bad on the third and first floor, plus rooms that are in top-left corner of the house on second floor. I cannot move the router anywhere else as my internet is hardwired here and I cannot go with cables through the house. I live in Poland (saying that for prices of things) and would like to pay around 350 euro for the upgrade. I am not against having seperate wired router and set of APs, but the only AP that I will be able to wire with cable to the router will be one in my room. Is there any set of APs that can connect to each other through Wi-Fi? I was looking through Ubiquiti solutions (though I heard concerns about privacy with them as they send user data and you cannot turn it off, but that's just what I heard). I also looked at some TP-Link solutions and even at AC4000 router. I need some guide on how to progress with it and what devices would be the best. Thanks!

I would go with some niceeee unify gear. a couple of ap around

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I would try Netgear Orbis since they have a dedicated channel for backhaul. Idk if they would be enough with concrete walls though. 

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22 minutes ago, DragonoidPL said:

I was looking through Ubiquiti solutions (though I heard concerns about privacy with them as they send user data and you cannot turn it off, but that's just what I heard).

This was rectified in all recent UniFi Controller updates. They now specifically ask you if you want to send incident reports to UI.com when you're setting up a network for the first time. You can also turn it off in the Controller.

 

23 minutes ago, Doggo lover said:

I would go with some niceeee unify gear. a couple of ap around

That's going to be difficult if running ethernet will be limited since the APs need to be powered over ethernet. But I like how you're thinking!

 

16 minutes ago, Sorenson said:

I would try Netgear Orbis since they have a dedicated channel for backhaul. Idk if they would be enough with concrete walls though. 

Any mature mesh system that provides at least 3 wireless bands where 1 is dedicated to a wireless backhaul should work, whether it's an Orbi, ZenWiFi, Velop, etc. And most will allow a wired backhaul as well for an even more consistent signal. They're just very expensive up front and usually come as 2-unit packs with no ability to purchase single units, especially if you choose wireless AX; there might be more units in the older wireless AC models.

 

33 minutes ago, DragonoidPL said:

I am not against having seperate wired router and set of APs, but the only AP that I will be able to wire with cable to the router will be one in my room. Is there any set of APs that can connect to each other through Wi-Fi?

At the end of the day, you'll get a better overall experience of you run ethernet to connect all of your wireless access points (WAPs) to a central switch or router. A big house like that with so many interfering walls and levels will benefit from multiple WAPs on each floor (e.g. one on each floor at opposite ends of the house). WiFi doesn't reach far when steel/concrete is in the way and it has limited vertical propagation as well. Ubiquiti's products are a good option, but the cost can be high as well. A simple setup could use 3x UAP-AC-Lites connected over gigabit ethernet to your existing router/switch (assuming it's gigabit-capable) and letting the UAPs take over WiFi.

 

An alternative to wiring all WAPs to a switch would be to utilize the AC Mesh/Pro models but, of course, you'll need at least 1 good wired-in WAP for the mesh units to get a good signal, especially if this has to be done on 3 floors.

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11 hours ago, Falcon1986 said:

This was rectified in all recent UniFi Controller updates. They now specifically ask you if you want to send incident reports to UI.com when you're setting up a network for the first time. You can also turn it off in the Controller.

 

That's going to be difficult if running ethernet will be limited since the APs need to be powered over ethernet. But I like how you're thinking!

 

Any mature mesh system that provides at least 3 wireless bands where 1 is dedicated to a wireless backhaul should work, whether it's an Orbi, ZenWiFi, Velop, etc. And most will allow a wired backhaul as well for an even more consistent signal. They're just very expensive up front and usually come as 2-unit packs with no ability to purchase single units, especially if you choose wireless AX; there might be more units in the older wireless AC models.

 

At the end of the day, you'll get a better overall experience of you run ethernet to connect all of your wireless access points (WAPs) to a central switch or router. A big house like that with so many interfering walls and levels will benefit from multiple WAPs on each floor (e.g. one on each floor at opposite ends of the house). WiFi doesn't reach far when steel/concrete is in the way and it has limited vertical propagation as well. Ubiquiti's products are a good option, but the cost can be high as well. A simple setup could use 3x UAP-AC-Lites connected over gigabit ethernet to your existing router/switch (assuming it's gigabit-capable) and letting the UAPs take over WiFi.

 

An alternative to wiring all WAPs to a switch would be to utilize the AC Mesh/Pro models but, of course, you'll need at least 1 good wired-in WAP for the mesh units to get a good signal, especially if this has to be done on 3 floors.

Thanks! That helps a lot. A friend of mine also recommended me some weird TP-Link device that uses powerlines to transfer ethernet. Do you know if it works well? It would solve my problems for sure.

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9 hours ago, DragonoidPL said:

Thanks! That helps a lot. A friend of mine also recommended me some weird TP-Link device that uses powerlines to transfer ethernet. Do you know if it works well? It would solve my problems for sure.

Yes. Powerline technology uses your home’s electrical wiring as a means to transmit data and create a “wired” network. You require wall plug-in units at each in/out point for all wired devices. Powerline works well if your electrical wiring is up to a good standard, was performed within the last 10 years and is on the same circuit between 2 or more connected devices. Signal quality can drop with poor quality wiring and added junctions.

 

I tried powerline before and would never go back because of how unreliable they are. I understand they fill a purpose, but you have to go in knowing what the limitations/problems are if powerline is all you have to use. From what others have said on this forum, you’ll only know if it works for you after you try it.

 

My advice is to run ethernet (CAT5e or better) whenever you can and, even if you think you can’t, there isn’t always an absolute “can’t”. Linus posted a video before where he needed to run cables and couldn’t do so in the traditional fashion, so he opted to run the vertical lengths for short courses outside the house in semi-protected conduits. Then, at each level just run the ethernet within neat cable tracts or along the endge of the wall/ceiling with cable tacks.

Quote

 

5-port gigabit switch —— ethernet ——> WAP (2nd floor)

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|

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5-port gigabit switch <—- ethernet ——- router/modem

|          |

|          WAP (1st foor)

|

5-port gigabit switch —— ethernet ——> WAP (basement)

 

 

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