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Replacing ISP Router for a Mesh System (or something)

A little context before my question, I live in the UK and my ISP is TalkTalk (via BT but whatever).

 

We've had our service for a few years now and during the first say year or so our actually internet connection was horrible, dropping from the source, poor coverage, the works.

 

Currently the outages have stopped but we still have poor coverage across maybe 30% of our home and just having added a new addition we basically have no wifi in one section which means my dad has had to create a new network off of a powerline adaptor just so he can use his phone in his new office.

 

What I'm looking for is a replacement for our TalkTalk provided router (DSL-3782) that has both very strong connection because we have quite thick, dense walls and multiple access points on the same network so I can walk from one part of the house to the other end without dropping connection or switching networks (like having two access points with different names).

 

I've been trying to do as much research as I can but am a total noob when it comes to networking. I really want something easy to understand, install and maintain so when I move out I'm not getting phone calls every other day asking how to do this or that etc. Also, affordability is a factor, as always but I'm not afraid of convincing my mom to splurge a little to improve our quality of life and so she can watch the news on her tablet in bed without buffering or dropping connection.

 

Thanks for any help! Cheers!

i7 6700k | Asus Z170I Pro Gaming ITX |16Gb Kingston HyperX FURY 2400mhz DDR4 | EVGA 2080 Super Black | Samsung 850 EVO 250Gb + WD Black 2Tb | Corsair RMx 650W | Phanteks EVOLV ITX

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15 minutes ago, saladcrack said:

What I'm looking for is a replacement for our TalkTalk provided router (DSL-3782)

From the model of your internet gateway (that's a combined modem/router/AP), it looks like you have a DSL connection. Can you confirm this? And what speeds are you paying for from the ISP?

 

19 minutes ago, saladcrack said:

but we still have poor coverage across maybe 30% of our home and just having added a new addition

Can you provide a rough sketch of your home's floor plan? Also highlight where the ISP device is stationed.

 

21 minutes ago, saladcrack said:

we have quite thick, dense walls and multiple access points on the same network so I can walk from one part of the house to the other end without dropping connection or switching networks

Mesh systems rely on a wireless backhaul to the wired base station, but thick walls (especially brick/concrete) is the enemy of home wireless. So you'll end up with challenges where both clients and mesh points have difficulty communicating with each other.

 

A better solution is to strategically place wireless access points to cover specific areas in your home. These APs will need an ethernet backhaul to the router/switch, so being able to run ethernet will be required. The process is a bit more tedious, but is the most robust and simpler ways of getting this done. 

 

Not saying that it won't have its costs, but mesh WiFi can also get expensive the more mesh points you need to install.

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I have the Tp-link Deco m4 (3-pack) at home, we also had some problems with connection with our old router even doe are walls arnt that thick, so i dont know how well it works with thick walls but ill said is a good bet.
1. is easy to set up, just follow the instructions on the app and in 5 minuttes u have set it all up 

2. great app

3. Great range on it

4. its Mesh so u stay on the same network instead of switching between different wifi if u walk from one side to another side of your house
5. not to pricey compared to other mesh system (ill say)

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2 hours ago, Ozzi said:

even doe are walls arnt that thick

Are your walls wood with drywall or brick/concrete?

 

2 hours ago, saladcrack said:

Thanks for any help! Cheers!

Forgot to ask: What kind of a budget are you working with?

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3 hours ago, saladcrack said:

A little context before my question, I live in the UK and my ISP is TalkTalk (via BT but whatever).

 

We've had our service for a few years now and during the first say year or so our actually internet connection was horrible, dropping from the source, poor coverage, the works.

 

Currently the outages have stopped but we still have poor coverage across maybe 30% of our home and just having added a new addition we basically have no wifi in one section which means my dad has had to create a new network off of a powerline adaptor just so he can use his phone in his new office.

 

What I'm looking for is a replacement for our TalkTalk provided router (DSL-3782) that has both very strong connection because we have quite thick, dense walls and multiple access points on the same network so I can walk from one part of the house to the other end without dropping connection or switching networks (like having two access points with different names).

 

I've been trying to do as much research as I can but am a total noob when it comes to networking. I really want something easy to understand, install and maintain so when I move out I'm not getting phone calls every other day asking how to do this or that etc. Also, affordability is a factor, as always but I'm not afraid of convincing my mom to splurge a little to improve our quality of life and so she can watch the news on her tablet in bed without buffering or dropping connection.

 

Thanks for any help! Cheers!

 

The best advice i can give is LEAVE TalkTalk - probably the worst UK consumer ISP for speeds/reliability, regardless what they try and "advertise" 

 

I can recommend Zen if you only have an option of FTTC. Much more reliable connection and they also provide the very good Fritzbox routers.  You can then buymesh addons if you wish for that.

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4 hours ago, Falcon1986 said:

From the model of your internet gateway (that's a combined modem/router/AP), it looks like you have a DSL connection. Can you confirm this? And what speeds are you paying for from the ISP?

 

Can you provide a rough sketch of your home's floor plan? Also highlight where the ISP device is stationed.

 

Mesh systems rely on a wireless backhaul to the wired base station, but thick walls (especially brick/concrete) is the enemy of home wireless. So you'll end up with challenges where both clients and mesh points have difficulty communicating with each other.

 

A better solution is to strategically place wireless access points to cover specific areas in your home. These APs will need an ethernet backhaul to the router/switch, so being able to run ethernet will be required. The process is a bit more tedious, but is the most robust and simpler ways of getting this done. 

 

Not saying that it won't have its costs, but mesh WiFi can also get expensive the more mesh points you need to install.

According to my ISP contract I'm paying for "Faster Fibre" which is unlimited usage and average speeds of 67Mb/s, they guarantee a minimum of 48.3Mb but I'm getting at most half that even standing 5 feet away from the router. Our assumption that they have put fibre lines into the box at the end of our street and we have non-fibre lines running to each house.

 

 

And here is the layout of our house, it is a one floor bungalow so no up or down.
home_layout.thumb.png.71c55617a58df90a3ce697351fa45a02.png

Approximate width (garage to kitchen) is 16.89 meters and approximate depth (bedroom 3 to office) is 13.43 meters.

 

Our router is located in the living room which is where all the outside connections come in, we have it sitting on a shelf about head height (6ft) as close to the inside wall as possible.

 

And as you can see I've noted the problem spots as the far side of Bedroom 2 (my room) and Bedroom 1 (parents) where I experience issues daily while watching videos on my tablet and phone in bed (basically against the far wall deep in the Weak AF zone as does my mother in Bedroom 1. My dad has no connection at all aka the Deadzone designation.

 

Our walls are basically solid cinderblock/brick with insulation, drywall and plaster. Good 'ol British building.

 

Our budget is whatever gets results but anything over £200-300 would start to make Mom grumble. We have attic access and the ability to run ethernet basically anywhere in the house (in the attic) so placing access points in the ceiling is an attractive option as long as it doesn't hinder performance. 

i7 6700k | Asus Z170I Pro Gaming ITX |16Gb Kingston HyperX FURY 2400mhz DDR4 | EVGA 2080 Super Black | Samsung 850 EVO 250Gb + WD Black 2Tb | Corsair RMx 650W | Phanteks EVOLV ITX

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2 hours ago, ne10g said:

 

The best advice i can give is LEAVE TalkTalk - probably the worst UK consumer ISP for speeds/reliability, regardless what they try and "advertise" 

 

I can recommend Zen if you only have an option of FTTC. Much more reliable connection and they also provide the very good Fritzbox routers.  You can then buymesh addons if you wish for that.

How does the speed differ between different providers?

 

If they all go to the same box and are on the same line (BT in my area) then wouldn't switching to BT give me the same speed as I currently have on TalkTalk or are they somehow throttling speeds to save on cost?

i7 6700k | Asus Z170I Pro Gaming ITX |16Gb Kingston HyperX FURY 2400mhz DDR4 | EVGA 2080 Super Black | Samsung 850 EVO 250Gb + WD Black 2Tb | Corsair RMx 650W | Phanteks EVOLV ITX

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@saladcrack

 

Firstly, if you can put as many devices on ethernet, go ahead and do that. Smart TVs, desktop computers... basically anything with an ethernet port should be placed on a wired connection. This reduces how busy your wireless environment is so that your “only-wireless” devices can have less competition with the wireless radios.

 

Secondly, my approach to this would be to get a switch and 2 wireless access points. The hookup with Cat5e/Cat6a would look something like this...

Spoiler

ISP gateway — Switch — AP1 (at ‘T’ junction of br/lr)

                              |

                            AP2 (in office close to hallway)

You should get sufficient overlap for wireless coverage that way.

 

As for specific devices to use, I recommend Ubiquiti because of its great local and remote management (which you can do via the cloud when you’re not on location). You can get one of their new non-POE Flex switches and 2 of their UAP-AC-Lites (with POE injectors) for a budget setup and just run the UniFi Controller off of a PC/phone app/RPi; or you can upgrade to a full POE switch and/or higher density access points (UAP-AC-Pro or UAP-Nano-HD) with a dedicated controller device (CloudKey). An all-in-one alternative is to use a UDM (non-Pro) which is itself an AP/switch/controller and just run an additional UAP to the office.

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