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Opinions on future network setup

Zerxal
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47 minutes ago, Zerxal said:

Alright, I'll just replace the cable as cat 6a rather than fiber.

 

The only things that use WiFi are my laptop and mobile devices. TV, Apple TV, and all desktop computers in the house use Ethernet. 

 

Could you also clarify on:

 

"In an ideal setup, you design the network around the ingress point (eg the cable modem in this case) 

So it would be like:

 

Modem (also AP) - (Switch) = (Switch) - AP

 

Then the switch on each floor connects only to the devices on that floor. "

 

I don't really understand.

Your modem may have an AP in it, connect Ethernet from the switch port on the modem to a GigE or 10Gig switch, then connect that switch to a switch on the other floor. You can use the same type of switch for this. If you need PoE, you either add PoE injection or get a switch that supports PoE. If you need PoE on both floors, your second switch should be power-able from PoE, or you can just have two PoE switches. Like if you only need two AP's (one per floor) just stick them on top of the Ethernet switch. If you need to reach other rooms, that's where you decide if you need repeaters, additional AP's or just run Ethernet to the device if it has it.

 

SmartTV's are kinda notorious about behaving poorly with WiFi, so that's something I'd try to get Ethernet to, even if you just put a switch in the living room and run everything from there. 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Kisai said:

Your modem may have an AP in it, connect Ethernet from the switch port on the modem to a GigE or 10Gig switch, then connect that switch to a switch on the other floor. You can use the same type of switch for this. If you need PoE, you either add PoE injection or get a switch that supports PoE. If you need PoE on both floors, your second switch should be power-able from PoE, or you can just have two PoE switches. Like if you only need two AP's (one per floor) just stick them on top of the Ethernet switch. If you need to reach other rooms, that's where you decide if you need repeaters, additional AP's or just run Ethernet to the device if it has it.

 

SmartTV's are kinda notorious about behaving poorly with WiFi, so that's something I'd try to get Ethernet to, even if you just put a switch in the living room and run everything from there. 

 

 

The modem I'm looking at is this one: https://www.arris.com/surfboard/products/cable-modems/sb8200/

 

I'm specifically planning on purchasing it because it doesn't have a AP in it so I'm only using UniFi APs.

 

My TV living room TV and Apple TV, the ones that matter, are all using Ethernet already from a cable that is run under my floor radiators. It's not a far distance from my switch in the dining room to my TV and it is hidden 90% of the way.

 

How many APs would you suggest using for a house my size, 4000 square feet?

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1 minute ago, Zerxal said:

The modem I'm looking at is this one: https://www.arris.com/surfboard/products/cable-modems/sb8200/

 

I'm specifically planning on purchasing it because it doesn't have a AP in it so I'm only using UniFi APs.

 

My TV living room TV and Apple TV, the one that matters, are all using Ethernet already from a cable that is run under my floor radiators.

 

How many APs would you suggest using for a house my size, 4000 square feet?

If it's two floors of 2000sq each, you should only need one per floor unless the walls are very resistant to Wifi signals. If it's brick like you said earlier, that's probably going to make it worse. Usually drywall/timber buildings one WiFi access point is good for about 50ft line of sight indoors. Like if you put most of your equipment in one room, you should only need one in the bedroom hallway and one in the living room to cover everything. If you have exceptionally WiFi resistant walls, then I might just suggest abandoning the WiFi altogether and only put it in the room with the WiFi-only devices. Unless you really want to take your laptop into every room and outdoors.

 

Outdoors might actually be easier to solve, just place one AP near a window or door.

 

What I would suggest, if it's possible, is to get the equipment first and run the cables as though they would be permanent and see how well the wifi works with your existing devices.

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18 minutes ago, Kisai said:

If it's two floors of 2000sq each, you should only need one per floor unless the walls are very resistant to Wifi signals. If it's brick like you said earlier, that's probably going to make it worse. Usually drywall/timber buildings one WiFi access point is good for about 50ft line of sight indoors. Like if you put most of your equipment in one room, you should only need one in the bedroom hallway and one in the living room to cover everything. If you have exceptionally WiFi resistant walls, then I might just suggest abandoning the WiFi altogether and only put it in the room with the WiFi-only devices. Unless you really want to take your laptop into every room and outdoors.

 

Outdoors might actually be easier to solve, just place one AP near a window or door.

 

What I would suggest, if it's possible, is to get the equipment first and run the cables as though they would be permanent and see how well the wifi works with your existing devices.

Outdoors isn’t really an issue as I’m not concerned about it. Upstairs should be fine as well.

 

What I worry about is downstairs with the living room.

 

I drew up a little picture of it for clarity.

 

7FD6161A-96C2-4A7A-8CDA-C9E0EEF73FE2.thumb.png.e1101d1cb7964b41822887c43e323f85.png

 

Red is a brick wall, and green is where the switch and cat5 cable from upstairs is.

 

It’s wedged in between a door to my kitchen and my living room. My living room is an addon to the house, and my exterior is made of brick. The brick was left there as a wall.

 

I worry that if I put my AP right where my switch is, the brick wall will entirely cancel the connectivity in my living room.

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9 hours ago, Zerxal said:

Outdoors isn’t really an issue as I’m not concerned about it. Upstairs should be fine as well.

 

What I worry about is downstairs with the living room.

 

I drew up a little picture of it for clarity.

You might just need one extra AP then inside the room separated by the brick wall.

 

Quote

 

Red is a brick wall, and green is where the switch and cat5 cable from upstairs is.

 

It’s wedged in between a door to my kitchen and my living room. My living room is an addon to the house, and my exterior is made of brick. The brick was left there as a wall.

 

I worry that if I put my AP right where my switch is, the brick wall will entirely cancel the connectivity in my living room.

Brick, concrete and metal all absorb or reflect WiFi signals. People often don't realize that radio signals are not light waves, Just because something is opaque doesn't mean all signals are blocked, and just because something lets light through doesn't mean it lets wireless signal through. This is why people have poor reception on their mobile phones inside cars if their windows have certain tints to them. Just because you can see through it, doesn't mean it doesn't absorb WiFi or 3G/LTE radio.

 

If that's a permanent hole in the wall between the Dining Room and the Living Room, you might also get away with putting an AP in the "door way" between them, but that might depend on the way the antenna's are arranged. Like if you can remove an antenna and connect an antenna wire to move the antenna and extend the signal into that room, it would work as well, but the MIMO functionality might be impaired. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Kisai said:

You might just need one extra AP then inside the room separated by the brick wall.

 

Brick, concrete and metal all absorb or reflect WiFi signals. People often don't realize that radio signals are not light waves, Just because something is opaque doesn't mean all signals are blocked, and just because something lets light through doesn't mean it lets wireless signal through. This is why people have poor reception on their mobile phones inside cars if their windows have certain tints to them. Just because you can see through it, doesn't mean it doesn't absorb WiFi or 3G/LTE radio.

 

If that's a permanent hole in the wall between the Dining Room and the Living Room, you might also get away with putting an AP in the "door way" between them, but that might depend on the way the antenna's are arranged. Like if you can remove an antenna and connect an antenna wire to move the antenna and extend the signal into that room, it would work as well, but the MIMO functionality might be impaired. 

 

 

Issue is that I really don’t want to have wires running up my walls. I guess I could mount it in the doorway since it’s just open, and the cables would be mostly hidden. Would the nanoHD work well for this, and I’m guessing I’d need to put a second one on the same floor in addition to the one in the doorway?

 

Also, is there any way to convert a coax port into an ethernet one? My whole house is wired for coax very well. If I can convert it to ethernet I have a lot more places that I can put APs. I do have cable TV though, so I don’t know if that would interrupt it.

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2 minutes ago, Zerxal said:

Issue is that I really don’t want to have wires running up my walls. I guess I could mount it in the doorway since it’s just open, and the cables would be mostly hidden. Would the nanoHD work well for this, and I’m guessing I’d need to put a second one on the same floor in addition to the one in the doorway?

 

Also, is there any way to convert a coax port into an ethernet one? My whole house is wired for coax very well. If I can convert it to ethernet I have a lot more places that I can put APs.

You can, it's called MoCA. Yes you can but you might have to disconnect it at the termination box so that the inbound cable only goes to the cable modem, and the other lines are properly terminated. Otherwise there may be crosstalk or noise that degrades both the modem's performance and the MoCA system. As both MoCA and WiFI are RF, there's also a potential issue there.

https://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/td/docs/video/at_home/Cable_Accessories/4031235_B.pdf

This is a manual that has info on how to deal with Cable Modem/MoCA, there's filters you can use too.

 

Keep in mind you might only get 100Mbps from MoCA if you get old equipment, There is 2.5G equipment out there. IMO I consder MoCA a "last resort" if you're unwilling to run ethernet, but it's still better than trying to run fiber. However you end up having to buy additional MoCA adapters and those can cost a fair bit. You can also get WiFi units that have MoCA in theme.

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5 minutes ago, Kisai said:

You can, it's called MoCA. Yes you can but you might have to disconnect it at the termination box so that the inbound cable only goes to the cable modem, and the other lines are properly terminated. Otherwise there may be crosstalk or noise that degrades both the modem's performance and the MoCA system. As both MoCA and WiFI are RF, there's also a potential issue there.

https://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/td/docs/video/at_home/Cable_Accessories/4031235_B.pdf

This is a manual that has info on how to deal with Cable Modem/MoCA, there's filters you can use too.

 

Keep in mind you might only get 100Mbps from MoCA if you get old equipment, There is 2.5G equipment out there. IMO I consder MoCA a "last resort" if you're unwilling to run ethernet, but it's still better than trying to run fiber. However you end up having to buy additional MoCA adapters and those can cost a fair bit. You can also get WiFi units that have MoCA in theme.

Guessing it's still better than Ethernet Powerline?

 

And should two nanoHD's cover an entire floor?

 

I just really don't want to have Xfinity open holes in the walls to run Ethernet cables all over the place.

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On 6/2/2020 at 6:39 AM, Zerxal said:

Guessing it's still better than Ethernet Powerline?

 

And should two nanoHD's cover an entire floor?

 

I just really don't want to have Xfinity open holes in the walls to run Ethernet cables all over the place.

Powerline, Phone line and Cable all essentially use the same technique to run ethernet over them, but of the three, cable at least is shielded, so it will only get interference from bad termination. Power and phone line don't have that.

 

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4 hours ago, Kisai said:

Powerline, Phone line and Cable all essentially use the same technique to run ethernet over them, but of the three, cable at least is shielded, so it will only get interference from bad termination. Power and phone line don't have that.

 

Alright. I was thinking, if I need two APs per floor, would two AP Pro's work as good as nanoHD's? Saves me about $120 if I use AP Pro's.

 

Along with that, I can get two wired APs per floor just fine. For the other two, would it be fine if they're put in repeater mode and not wired with ethernet?

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5 hours ago, Zerxal said:

Alright. I was thinking, if I need two APs per floor, would two AP Pro's work as good as nanoHD's? Saves me about $120 if I use AP Pro's.

 

Along with that, I can get two wired APs per floor just fine. For the other two, would it be fine if they're put in repeater mode and not wired with ethernet?

 

Repeater/mesh network mode should be fine if the devices are all the same manufacturer with the same radio set. I've not tried to set one up before, but it may only be relevant if you're playing games with a wifi-only device (eg stadia controllers)

 

Looks like this is still Enterprise grade hardware, but not insanely priced. Yeah the AP Pro might be fine, but the nanoHD appears to support a later WiFi standard, but is the same price.

 

My honest opinion is that if you're willing to spend money on the WiFi hardware, better to set it up correctly the first time.

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4 minutes ago, Kisai said:

 

Repeater/mesh network mode should be fine if the devices are all the same manufacturer with the same radio set. I've not tried to set one up before, but it may only be relevant if you're playing games with a wifi-only device (eg stadia controllers)

 

The only devices that use WiFi in my house are mobile devices.

 

What I meant is, is there any reason I should use nanoHD's over Pro's? Using 4x pros instead of 4x nanohd's will save me around $120.

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14 minutes ago, Zerxal said:

The only devices that use WiFi in my house are mobile devices.

 

What I meant is, is there any reason I should use nanoHD's over Pro's? Using 4x pros instead of 4x nanohd's will save me around $120.

Probably not. Even if the nanoHD supports a later WiFi standard, it doesn't mean that your devices do.

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51 minutes ago, Kisai said:

Probably not. Even if the nanoHD supports a later WiFi standard, it doesn't mean that your devices do.

Well, thank you for your help. I’ll go revise the network setup and purchase the components in the following weeks.

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