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Long range wifi router?

I'm looking into replacing my home wifi router with something either off the shelf or custom made. I've used several routers already and the issues I have is usually one of the following: low range or unreliability. For example, the Netgear Nighthawk AC3200 was extremely reliable but didn't cover every corner of my house. Now I'm using the Linksys AC6600 which blankets my house but isn't reliable or stable. Now I have a new problem which is that I need to be able to cover two houses without having to setup two different wifi networks or dealing with the unreliability of the Linksys Velop. I've heard a lot about custom pfSense routers and I don't really mind building my own custom router with some used parts. Also would prefer a solution that can handle a lot of devices, not necessarily at high speeds.

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look into mesh systems. 

4 minutes ago, hhamama66 said:

I'm looking into replacing my home wifi router with something either off the shelf or custom made. I've used several routers already and the issues I have is usually one of the following: low range or unreliability. For example, the Netgear Nighthawk AC3200 was extremely reliable but didn't cover every corner of my house. Now I'm using the Linksys AC6600 which blankets my house but isn't reliable or stable. Now I have a new problem which is that I need to be able to cover two houses without having to setup two different wifi networks or dealing with the unreliability of the Linksys Velop. I've heard a lot about custom pfSense routers and I don't really mind building my own custom router with some used parts. Also would prefer a solution that can handle a lot of devices, not necessarily at high speeds.

 

 
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Just now, Norwegiantweaker said:

look into mesh systems. 

 

I did. The Linksys Velop I'm using has been replaced 3 times already under warranty, so I'd rather not deal with those anymore.

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4 minutes ago, hhamama66 said:

I did. The Linksys Velop I'm using has been replaced 3 times already under warranty, so I'd rather not deal with those anymore.

there are other brands than linksys. i've had great success with netgear and asus. 

 
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1 hour ago, hhamama66 said:

I'm looking into replacing my home wifi router with something either off the shelf or custom made. I've used several routers already and the issues I have is usually one of the following: low range or unreliability. For example, the Netgear Nighthawk AC3200 was extremely reliable but didn't cover every corner of my house. Now I'm using the Linksys AC6600 which blankets my house but isn't reliable or stable. Now I have a new problem which is that I need to be able to cover two houses without having to setup two different wifi networks or dealing with the unreliability of the Linksys Velop. I've heard a lot about custom pfSense routers and I don't really mind building my own custom router with some used parts. Also would prefer a solution that can handle a lot of devices, not necessarily at high speeds.

Sounds like you need to wire up some AP and hook them to your network. WiFi has limits it can do, I think 2.4 Ghz has a max range of like 300 feet, but keep in mind that's in a lab, which doesn't take in to account other things running on the same bands as WiFi and walls. Once you add interference in to the mix you have less range and that's just the fact. I highly doubt you will be able to cover 2 houses with one WiFi router. 

 

PFsense doesn't do WiFi really. It more or less handles NAT, DHCP, and other networking service. BUT you will a network switch to hook up Ethernet devices and WIFI Access point(s) to provide WiFi for the area. Thought PFsense should be able to handle a lot of devices depending on the hardware you use. 

I just want to sit back and watch the world burn. 

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Do you have the possibility to have cable between the houses? If you do then do that and have one router or access point in each.

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. 
It matters that you don't just give up.”

-Stephen Hawking

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1 hour ago, Mihle said:

Do you have the possibility to have cable between the houses? If you do then do that and have one router or access point in each.

I do have an ethernet cable running between both houses and set up two separate routers. The question that I have is, is it possible to setup both houses as one access point but without dealing with the unreliability of mesh wifi routers?

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3 minutes ago, hhamama66 said:

I do have an eternity cable running between both houses and set up two separate routers. The question that I have is, is it possible to setup both houses as one access point but without dealing with the unreliability of mesh wifi routers?

Your problem is you used two routers. Two routers is very rarely ever the solution. Because each router is essential its own network. The proper way of doing this would be to have 1 router, and have wireless AP's in each house connected to that one router. This way every thing is on the same network, and one of the houses doesn't suffer from double NAT. 

 

Technically speaking you could use the router you have and use the second router you have as an access point. This should put everything on the same network, however, if you need to have wireless devices roam between the two then you need to use the exact same AP's because wireless roaming can be complicated in the best times. There are officially 3 separate standards in the WiFi spec that deal with WiFi roaming if I recall correctly. Also there are some propriety means that some companies have used. 

I just want to sit back and watch the world burn. 

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1 minute ago, Donut417 said:

Your problem is you used two routers. Two routers is very rarely ever the solution. Because each router is essential its own network. The proper way of doing this would be to have 1 router, and have wireless AP's in each house connected to that one router. This way every thing is on the same network, and one of the houses doesn't suffer from double NAT. 

 

Technically speaking you could use the router you have and use the second router you have as an access point. This should put everything on the same network, however, if you need to have wireless devices roam between the two then you need to use the exact same AP's because wireless roaming can be complicated in the best times. There are officially 3 separate standards in the WiFi spec that deal with WiFi roaming if I recall correctly. Also there are some propriety means that some companies have used. 

Would the wireless AP be hardwired? Roaming is one concern, the other concern is reliability. Any one of these Linksys routers I have get moved like two inches and it just screws with every device connected wireless or otherwise. In contrast to my desktop which is hard wired to my modem with no issues.

 

Also, what is double NAT and do you have any resources to help me set up roaming?

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2 hours ago, hhamama66 said:

what is double NAT

The biggest job a router does is allow you to share 1 IPv4 address that your ISP supplies you with multiple machines. The problem with having two layers is that some applications might require port forwarding and such, its a pain to do it if two routers are in the mix, also while most applications can tolerate 1 layer of NAT, several layers can cause issues. Then the other thing, is essentially each router sets up its own network. THATS YOUR PROBLEM. You have two routers, so you have two networks. 

 

2 hours ago, hhamama66 said:

ny resources to help me set up roaming?

The only advice I can give is used the exact same AP's. Thats generally the rule when it comes to roaming. AND understand that some devices just like to stick to an AP, so some devices might not play nice. 

 

2 hours ago, hhamama66 said:

Would the wireless AP be hardwired?

Yes they would. You would generally give them the same SSID and password. You will need to make sure they are on separate wireless channels that don't over lap. As long as the AP's are the same they should share the same roaming standard from what I have read. I have read that Ubiquti AP's are pretty good in this regard. On top of that they use POE (power over Ethernet) meaning one cable for data and power. 

 

2 hours ago, hhamama66 said:

In contrast to my desktop which is hard wired to my modem

Well if your desktop is connected to it with the other devices then this is not a modem, its a gateway. A modem and router in one box. Which means depending on how things are hooked up, you could have triple NAT on one router. 

I just want to sit back and watch the world burn. 

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1 hour ago, Donut417 said:

The biggest job a router does is allow you to share 1 IPv4 address that your ISP supplies you with multiple machines. The problem with having two layers is that some applications might require port forwarding and such, its a pain to do it if two routers are in the mix, also while most applications can tolerate 1 layer of NAT, several layers can cause issues. Then the other thing, is essentially each router sets up its own network. THATS YOUR PROBLEM. You have two routers, so you have two networks. 

 

The only advice I can give is used the exact same AP's. Thats generally the rule when it comes to roaming. AND understand that some devices just like to stick to an AP, so some devices might not play nice. 

 

Yes they would. You would generally give them the same SSID and password. You will need to make sure they are on separate wireless channels that don't over lap. As long as the AP's are the same they should share the same roaming standard from what I have read. I have read that Ubiquti AP's are pretty good in this regard. On top of that they use POE (power over Ethernet) meaning one cable for data and power. 

 

Well if your desktop is connected to it with the other devices then this is not a modem, its a gateway. A modem and router in one box. Which means depending on how things are hooked up, you could have triple NAT on one router.

ok, I don't have a modem and router combo. I have a modem supplied by my ISP which I have my desktop hardwired to, then I have a Linsys Velop hardwired to that ISP modem.

 

I still don't know what a NAT is and also, if I set up my second router to be an access point with the same SSID and password, would my phone or laptop just automatically switch to the network with the stronger signal?

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1 minute ago, hhamama66 said:

I still don't know what a NAT is and also, if I set up my second router to be an access point with the same SSID and password, would my phone or laptop just automatically switch to the network with the stronger signal?

They should, provided the signal is strong enough when in range. You will have to configure the wireless access points such that their area of coverage just barely overlaps (affected by distance apart and power output), so that the client can seamlessly transition to the stronger AP and not be stuck on the previous AP.

 

Can you post a rough sketch of the floor plans of the two houses, making note of where existing network equipment is located and how the two houses are positioned in relation to each other?

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1 hour ago, Falcon1986 said:

They should, provided the signal is strong enough when in range. You will have to configure the wireless access points such that their area of coverage just barely overlaps (affected by distance apart and power output), so that the client can seamlessly transition to the stronger AP and not be stuck on the previous AP.

 

Can you post a rough sketch of the floor plans of the two houses, making note of where existing network equipment is located and how the two houses are positioned in relation to each other?

 

SharedScreenshot.jpg

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8 hours ago, hhamama66 said:

I did. The Linksys Velop I'm using has been replaced 3 times already under warranty, so I'd rather not deal with those anymore.

are you doing a hardwired mesh or wireless only mesh? hardwired is far superior to the wireless method. I use unifi in my place

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Just now, anylettuce said:

are you doing a hardwired mesh or wireless only mesh? hardwired is far superior to the wireless method. I use unifi in my place

I was trying to make some sort of hardwired mesh system or see if it was possible to make a custom router with a crazy powerful antenna that could blanket both houses. I'll settle for the wired mesh since that seems to be possible.

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Just now, hhamama66 said:

I was trying to make some sort of hardwired mesh system or see if it was possible to make a custom router with a crazy powerful antenna that could blanket both houses. I'll settle for the wired mesh since that seems to be possible.

thought that was 1 house. there will be no chance to blanket both places using 1 device. can you get a line between the 2 houses? if not a solution like this is the option.

Does your isp agree with this? one of mine has clearly stated in the contract I can't do this. The other doesn't care provided I don't resell it.

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1 minute ago, anylettuce said:

thought that was 1 house. there will be no chance to blanket both places using 1 device. can you get a line between the 2 houses? if not a solution like this is the option.

Does your isp agree with this? one of mine has clearly stated in the contract I can't do this. The other doesn't care provided I don't resell it.

I currently have an Ethernet cable running from house 1 to house 2. As for whether my ISP agrees, I'm not sure. I guess I'll have to read through Spectrum's contract if I can find it. 

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2 minutes ago, hhamama66 said:

I currently have an Ethernet cable running from house 1 to house 2. As for whether my ISP agrees, I'm not sure. I guess I'll have to read through Spectrum's contract if I can find it. 

something to keel in wind with the ethernet run 

 

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8 hours ago, hhamama66 said:

I have a modem supplied by my ISP which I have my desktop hardwired to, then I have a Linsys Velop hardwired to that ISP modem.

 

Not possible. A modem will ONLY have 1 Output PERIOD. And the fact you have Spectrum confirms that. The only Cable modems with multiple Ethernet out are high end Docsis 3.1 and those are only used for Link aggregation for when you need to pull more than 1 Gbps. Ive been dealing with Coax internet for over 15 years, Ive figured out how most of the stuff works, because Comcast tech support is useless most of the time. 

 

You might want to supply us with some model numbers. Because Spectrum doesn't use Combo devices like you stated above. BUT they do rent out routers, so what you may consider to be your modem might saccutally be a router, that's the only way your network configure above works. 

I just want to sit back and watch the world burn. 

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7 hours ago, anylettuce said:

thought that was 1 house. there will be no chance to blanket both places using 1 device. can you get a line between the 2 houses? if not a solution like this is the option.

Does your isp agree with this? one of mine has clearly stated in the contract I can't do this. The other doesn't care provided I don't resell it.

If you own both houses/properties or have an agreement to share an internet connection with your neighbour without charging for it, this should be fine. Otherwise, I do agree with clarifying the contract details with the ISP.

 

7 hours ago, anylettuce said:

something to kee[p] in [m]ind with the ethernet run 

Lightning strikes are definitely something to be aware of. While the amount of electricity from a lightning strike might easily damage anything in its path, you should ensure good insulation for cable conduits and grounding of ethernet cables that run outdoors. Ubiquiti has their ETH-SP for this type of scenario. It should also be added protection if this same ethernet run between houses runs through a separate surge protector (e.g. a UPS on each end that can accommodate ethernet in/out), although I'm not sure if this will affect line signal quality.

 

8 hours ago, hhamama66 said:

SharedScreenshot.jpg

Without a scale, the proximity between the 'routers' in house 1 seem quite close. Are these wireless routers just running in access point mode?

 

Since you already have a 'router' in house 2 which is directly wired into the 'modem', all you need to do is configure this device (I hope you're talking about a wireless router) as an access point only. The primary modem/gateway will handle DHCP/NAT/etc.

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7 hours ago, Donut417 said:

Not possible. A modem will ONLY have 1 Output PERIOD. And the fact you have Spectrum confirms that. The only Cable modems with multiple Ethernet out are high end Docsis 3.1 and those are only used for Link aggregation for when you need to pull more than 1 Gbps. Ive been dealing with Coax internet for over 15 years, Ive figured out how most of the stuff works, because Comcast tech support is useless most of the time. 

 

You might want to supply us with some model numbers. Because Spectrum doesn't use Combo devices like you stated above. BUT they do rent out routers, so what you may consider to be your modem might saccutally be a router, that's the only way your network configure above works. 

Forgot to mention they provided a ten port switch that might be a router. Not sure as we intended to use our own wifi router from the day we signed the contract with them and we only have one network in our house which is on the Linksys Velop

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6 hours ago, Falcon1986 said:

If you own both houses/properties or have an agreement to share an internet connection with your neighbour without charging for it, this should be fine. Otherwise, I do agree with clarifying the contract details with the ISP.

 

Lightning strikes are definitely something to be aware of. While the amount of electricity from a lightning strike might easily damage anything in its path, you should ensure good insulation for cable conduits and grounding of ethernet cables that run outdoors. Ubiquiti has their ETH-SP for this type of scenario. It should also be added protection if this same ethernet run between houses runs through a separate surge protector (e.g. a UPS on each end that can accommodate ethernet in/out), although I'm not sure if this will affect line signal quality.

 

Without a scale, the proximity between the 'routers' in house 1 seem quite close. Are these wireless routers just running in access point mode?

 

Since you already have a 'router' in house 2 which is directly wired into the 'modem', all you need to do is configure this device (I hope you're talking about a wireless router) as an access point only. The primary modem/gateway will handle DHCP/NAT/etc.

I purchased an expensive insulate cable, though I'm not sure if it will protect against lightning strikes. As for how close the routers are in house two, if I move them any further apart the signal between them isn't so great. I assume my chimney in the middle of the house interferes with the signal. But yeah, this is the only way I can get good coverage in every corner of the house.

 

As for setting up the router in house 2 as an access point, would my wireless devices that roam between both houses have any trouble? Would it be easier if I just purchased another Velop node and use the ethernet backend feature it supports?

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52 minutes ago, hhamama66 said:

Forgot to mention they provided a ten port switch that might be a router. Not sure as we intended to use our own wifi router from the day we signed the contract with them and we only have one network in our house which is on the Linksys Velop

A switch is not a router, but a router can have a built-in switch.

 

Are all the green spots labeled as “router” mesh points for the Velop system?

 

As asked before, please list all of the network hardware you’re using (make/model) and how they’re connected. Include the same information for your ISP device. A diagram might be simpler to visualize.

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24 minutes ago, Falcon1986 said:

A switch is not a router, but a router can have a built-in switch.

 

Are all the green spots labeled as “router” mesh points for the Velop system?

 

As asked before, please list all of the network hardware you’re using (make/model) and how they’re connected. Include the same information for your ISP device. A diagram might be simpler to visualize.

In house 1, the red dot represents an Aris TM1602 and a Spectrum RAC2V1K which did turned out to be a router with a built in switch. The Aris modem is provided by Spectrum. Also in house 1, the green dots represent mesh points for the Velop system. As for house number 2, the single green dot represents a Netgear AC 1450

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9 minutes ago, hhamama66 said:

Aris TM1602

That’s your standalone modem.

 

9 minutes ago, hhamama66 said:

Spectrum RAC2V1K

That’s your wireless router. Are you using its wireless access point feature since you have a mesh system already? You shouldn’t need to because this might introduce a lot of interference and channel overlap.

 

11 minutes ago, hhamama66 said:

...the green dots represent mesh points for the Velop system. As for house number 2, the single green dot represents a Netgear AC 1450

Everything after the RAC2V1K should be configured in bridge mode or access point mode to avoid network conflicts. Even the Netgear wireless router in the other house should be configured in access point mode.

 

If you want to be able to move between houses and seamlessly connect to their WiFi, make sure that the power level of each access point’s antenna is set appropriately to just cover that house. Then you can assign them all the same SSIDs/encryption/password, but place their broadcasts on non-overlapping wireless channels.

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