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Modem -> Ethernet-Only Router -> Wireless AP?

FlyScript
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Go to solution Solved by cmndr,

Wired router.

Here are two options with 10 gig connections. Note, SFP+ requires you to either use DAC (direct attach copper cables) or an RJ-45 transceiver.


https://store.ui.com/products/udm-pro
https://www.amazon.com/QNAP-QHora-301W-AX3600-Fanless-SD-WAN/dp/B08MQT9ZCX

 

Posted (edited)

Hi all! May be a bit of a noob question as I'm new to networking. I'm basically looking to upgrade from my all-in-one modem/router combo to a more sophisticated ~2Gbps setup in a specific way.

 

My apartment layout is a little weird, as the Coax comes into the second bedroom (my home office with a few different computers I want to hardline), but it's not an ideal place for a wireless AP as it doesn't have great signal strength for the rest of the apt.

 

I'd ideally like to place a wireless AP out in the hallway, and have that run back to a wired-only router in said second bedroom (connected to a dedicated modem, then the line into the apt). The wired-only router would also handle all the devices in that room, maybe via a switch depending on how things grow.

 

Only, I'm not actually sure what the actual name of this wired-only, no WiFi router equipment I'm looking for even is! And the search terms I can think of being up almost exclusively WiFi routers. Does anyone know what I'm thinking of? Gateway? Wired-only router? Outside of rack-mounted thousand dollar enterprise options, I've seen stuff called "Multi-LAN Wired VPN Router", is that what I'm looking for?

 

To help illustrate what I'm trying to do, here's a diagram of my intended network configuration, with the gateway/bridge/wired-lan router/whatever it's called that I'm trying to find, highlighted:
449454965_networklayoutplanhighlighted.thumb.png.ba417ea5ed41c5def3289efda7c9eaee.png

 

Specific hardware recommendations are welcome! Please tell me if I'm being stupid (I know I could probably just disable the WiFi on a wifi-enabled router and just connect an AP to that, but that feels wrong). Thanks so much in advance! 

Edited by FlyScript
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AFAIK, any decent wifi router have an option in the settings to act like just as an AP.
You need to run ethernet cable from it to your main router.

If you don't want to run ethernet cable from it to main router, you'll want repeater.

APMODE.png

Repeater.png

There is approximately 99% chance I edited my post

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Did you look into a MESH-solution? That should be the easiest to set up and you can position as many MESH-APs as you need wherever you need them as they need only power. That way you can utilize your existing router and just expand your Wifi.

 

There is even an AiMesh Mode Option in the post above... if your existing router comes from your ISP, you should try to check which MESH-solution is compatible.

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7 hours ago, Poinkachu said:

AFAIK, any decent wifi router have an option in the settings to act like just as an AP.
You need to run ethernet cable from it to your main router.

That's good to know!

 

My query is really about that main router; I want to get one that doesn't have WiFi capabilities if possible, but I don't know where to look or what that's necessarily called!

 

Basically every router I can find has WiFi, and it seems like a waste to just turn the WiFi capabilities off when I maybe get a better one without WiFi

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7 hours ago, ColdFusion04 said:

Did you look into a MESH-solution? That should be the easiest to set up and you can position as many MESH-APs as you need wherever you need them as they need only power. That way you can utilize your existing router and just expand your Wifi.

 

There is even an AiMesh Mode Option in the post above... if your existing router comes from your ISP, you should try to check which MESH-solution is compatible.

 

That's definitely worth baring in mind, thanks! I'd prefer to do things wired if possible, but I like that idea.

 

My router is just some 500Mbps Arris Surfboard that I'm going to replace with a separate dedicated 2.5Gbps capable modem and router. Probably Netgear nighthawk stuff? Originally this was going to be the end of it, but the more I think about it, the more I want a standalone wired router in the office and separate dedicated AP out in the hallway.

 

I could leave the WiFi router in the office, but then the apt wouldn't get great signal and you can forget about 5GHz. I could put the WiFi router out in the hallway, but then I'd need another cable coming back into the office to serve the computers in there.

 

So, it makes sense to me to separate the job of router and AP to the appropriate locations if possible. Buying another wireless router just to act as an AP or make a mesh network seems like a good fallback plan, but I'd like to avoid the extra cost by just using dedicated hardware if possible 

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A better solution (Especially security wise) is to see if you can change your ISP Router into "Bridge Mode" 

(They usually can, but it may require a phone call to the ISP to do it.  Because passwords and shit.)

 

That way your ISP Router isn't doing anything but passing internet to your WiFi router.  This is good because ISP Provided routers are a popular attack vector, because there's a LOT of those out there.  By making your own router be the router, you can set better passwords and security and such.  

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23 minutes ago, tkitch said:

A better solution (Especially security wise) is to see if you can change your ISP Router into "Bridge Mode" 

Thankfully, I have my own all-in-one modem/router (not provided by my ISP), but unfortunately it's just a low end Arris Surfboard and it's only rated for 500Mbps, which falls far short of what I'm trying to achieve 😕 My line in is Gigabit, but I'm only utilising half of that thanks to this crap modem/router all in one!

 

As it is, I want to get myself a nice new ~2 or ~2.5Gbps modem and router, where each is its own separate and dedicated bit of hardware. This will form the basis of my future networking setup, and give me room to upgrade my line-in in the future.

 

The problem is that the room where the coax line-in comes into the apt is a bad place to have a WiFi AP, so I'd like to separate the WiFi AP capabilities from the router. I'd like to have a line from an ethernet-only router through the wall/ceiling of the room, up to an AP out in the hallway.

 

That way, the wired-only router stays in the room where most of my tech that requires hardline is and doesn't require many cables running back into the room from a WiFi router if I put that in the hallway (and I get good WiFi coverage in the apt.)

 

Problem is, I don't know how to find such an "ethernet-only" router! I've heard the term "gateway", "bridge", "multi-LAN wired VPN router", but I don't know if any of these are actually what I'm looking for and I can really only find enterprise stuff. 

 

I hope I'm making sense here, but let me know if I need to clarify anything!

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If you look for a router without Wifi, you can turn to Lancom (Cisco-Label for consumers), Allnet, Cisco itself, ZyXel (that's waht i could find on a quick search, but you should take this info with a grain of salt because this reflects the manufacturers available in Austria.

 

At least Cisco and Lancom should be definitely available around the world though.

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2 hours ago, ColdFusion04 said:

If you look for a router without Wifi, you can turn to Lancom (Cisco-Label for consumers), Allnet, Cisco itself, ZyXel (that's waht i could find on a quick search, but you should take this info with a grain of salt because this reflects the manufacturers available in Austria.

 

Thanks so much, I'll have a look! Is "router without wifi" the search term you used? If there's a technical name for that hardware, please lmk

As an aside, I've updated the original post with a network diagram that I hope more clearly shows what I'm trying to achieve and highlights my point of confusion

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Have you thought about building your own firewall/router and using pfsense, opensense, etc..

 

You could also look at something like UniFi's EdgeRouter series.

 

https://store.ui.com/collections/operator-edgemax-routers

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17 minutes ago, Deeya said:

You could also look at something like UniFi's EdgeRouter series.

 

https://store.ui.com/collections/operator-edgemax-routers

 

Thank you so much!!! That EdgeRouter seems like exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for!!!

 

Do you know if there's a technical name for this kind of ethernet-only router that'll help me search for others to compare those UniFi ones to?

 

Building my own pfSense/whatever router is a bit beyond the scope of what I'm trying to achieve right now, but is something I might do in the future 🙂

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I am pretty sure you can just turn off WiFi broadcasting with most consumer routers and the LAN ports still work fine.  Then connect a second router in AP mode with ethernet.  You may even have this option on your current router if you want to test it.  Or a good mesh would probably be easier unless you are streaming games across devices.

 

The term is just router or wired router. As compared to a wireless router.  a wireless router uses wLAN 😉

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Wired router.

Here are two options with 10 gig connections. Note, SFP+ requires you to either use DAC (direct attach copper cables) or an RJ-45 transceiver.


https://store.ui.com/products/udm-pro
https://www.amazon.com/QNAP-QHora-301W-AX3600-Fanless-SD-WAN/dp/B08MQT9ZCX

 

3900x | 32GB RAM | RTX 2080

1.5TB Optane P4800X | 1 TB Adata XPG Pro | 2TB Micron 1100 SSD
QN90A | Emotiva B1+, ELAC OW4.2, PB12-NSD, HD800
 

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23 hours ago, alexjzim said:

I am pretty sure you can just turn off WiFi broadcasting with most consumer routers and the LAN ports still work fine.  Then connect a second router in AP mode with ethernet.  You may even have this option on your current router if you want to test it.  Or a good mesh would probably be easier unless you are streaming games across devices.

 

The term is just router or wired router. As compared to a wireless router.  a wireless router uses wLAN 😉

 

Yeah, I was trying to keep with dedicated hardware and now that I know the correct term, I think I finally have some options 😄 thanks so much!

 

23 hours ago, cmndr said:

Wired router.

Here are two options with 10 gig connections. Note, SFP+ requires you to either use DAC (direct attach copper cables) or an RJ-45 transceiver.


https://store.ui.com/products/udm-pro
https://www.amazon.com/QNAP-QHora-301W-AX3600-Fanless-SD-WAN/dp/B08MQT9ZCX

 

 

Thanks for the options, I'll have a look! SFP is super interesting to me and would be a good way to future proof, might have to save up longer tho 😛

 

Why does seemingly every router only have a single 2.5Gbps ethernet port?! Ah well

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9 minutes ago, FlyScript said:

Yeah, I was trying to keep with dedicated hardware and now that I know the correct term, I think I finally have some options 😄 thanks so much!

 

Thanks for the options, I'll have a look! SFP is super interesting to me and would be a good way to future proof, might have to save up longer tho 😛

Be aware that SFP+ isn't necessarily better, just different. The main benefit is that it's cheaper and it's "good enough" for short runs of a few feet (using reasonably priced DAC cables)  and can handle fiber optic for longer runs.

I use SFP+ DAC cables for my NAS/switch and do RJ45 from the switch to my desktop, which is further away.

9 minutes ago, FlyScript said:

Why does seemingly every router only have a single 2.5Gbps ethernet port?! Ah well

Cost savings.

There is the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX6000 but it's pricey.

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On 6/29/2022 at 11:37 AM, FlyScript said:

Probably Netgear nighthawk stuff?

The S33 is I think is the current king of high end cable modems, it offers a 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port so it should cover most of what any Coax based provider can do. 

 

On 6/29/2022 at 1:04 PM, FlyScript said:

I don't know how to find such an "ethernet-only" router!

Ubiqtuti is what you looking at. I think Mikrotik also has some wired only options. Basically you are going to probably need to look in to more "Prosumer/Business" type of equipment, because most consumer grade gear is going to have WiFi, because well people are dumb and think WiFi = the internet and so companies have to dumb things down. 

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

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1 hour ago, Donut417 said:

The S33 is I think is the current king of high end cable modems, it offers a 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port so it should cover most of what any Coax based provider can do. 

 

Ubiqtuti is what you looking at. I think Mikrotik also has some wired only options. Basically you are going to probably need to look in to more "Prosumer/Business" type of equipment, because most consumer grade gear is going to have WiFi, because well people are dumb and think WiFi = the internet and so companies have to dumb things down. 

Well, unless you go for a PC of course.  There's some insanely cheap boxes that can do 2.5Gbit on pfSense now, just picked one up myself.

Router:  Intel Celeron N5105 (pfSense) WiFi: Zyxel NWA210AX (1.44Gbit peak at 160Mhz 2x2 MIMO, ~900Mbit at 80Mhz)

Switches: Netgear MS510TXUP, Netgear MS510TXPP, Netgear GS110EMX
ISPs: Zen Full Fibre 900 (~915Mbit) + Three 5G (~500Mbit average)

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25 minutes ago, Alex Atkin UK said:

Well, unless you go for a PC of course.  There's some insanely cheap boxes that can do 2.5Gbit on pfSense now, just picked one up myself.

Not talking about a gateway dude. Talking a straight cable modem. Gateways are shit. You always go with a standard modem if you can. 

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

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4 hours ago, cmndr said:

There is the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX6000 but it's pricey

Please forgive the noob question, but is there any difference between the 2.5gbps WAN port and the 2.5gbps LAN port? Are they just arbitrary names? I know it stands for Wide Vs Local Arena Network, but I don't see how that would play into these 2 ports?

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LAN means a connection to a local area network and WAN is for a wide area network.

In practice this is usually WAN = connect to internet

and LAN = local network.

For most prosumer and enterprise grade routers every or nearly every port can be configured.

A big part of what routers do is routing traffic between different networks (so getting traffic from your LAN to the rest of the world and vice versa). You (usually) only have 1 external IP address from your ISP and a router allows you to share that IP.

2 hours ago, Alex Atkin UK said:

Well, unless you go for a PC of course.  There's some insanely cheap boxes that can do 2.5Gbit on pfSense now, just picked one up myself.


That's pretty cheap.
The only worry I'd have would be power draw. If you're in a high energy cost area (parts of California average 27 cents per KWH) and that draws like 30 extra watts, you can easily up your power bill by $70/year

https://energyusecalculator.com/electricity_ledlightbulb.htm

 

3900x | 32GB RAM | RTX 2080

1.5TB Optane P4800X | 1 TB Adata XPG Pro | 2TB Micron 1100 SSD
QN90A | Emotiva B1+, ELAC OW4.2, PB12-NSD, HD800
 

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1 hour ago, cmndr said:

In practice this is usually WAN = connect to internet

and LAN = local network.

 

Ahh okay thank you! I have big dumb. Didn't clock that one was "line in", one was "line out" (from the wall to the network).

 

I think right now I'll go with the Arris S33, Motorola MB8611, or Netgear CM1200 for the modem, depending on what's a better deal when I get to it next paycheck 😛

 

As for the router, the Mikrotek RB5009UG+S+IN looks pretty good I think? A 2.5Gbps port for me to switch out to my PCs for now, and an SFP+ to use instead when I invest in that gear later (2.5 port will probably then go to my wireless AP).

 

Wireless AP will just be my old all-in-one in AP mode until I invest in a proper AP somewhere down the road 😄

 

New to all this, but that seems like a good price and should future proof me to a good degree I think?

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34 minutes ago, FlyScript said:

Ahh okay thank you! I have big dumb. Didn't clock that one was "line in", one was "line out" (from the wall to the network).

 

I think right now I'll go with the Arris S33, Motorola MB8611, or Netgear CM1200 for the modem, depending on what's a better deal when I get to it next paycheck 😛

 

As for the router, the Mikrotek RB5009UG+S+IN looks pretty good I think? A 2.5Gbps port for me to switch out to my PCs for now, and an SFP+ to use instead when I invest in that gear later (2.5 port will probably then go to my wireless AP).

 

Wireless AP will just be my old all-in-one in AP mode until I invest in a proper AP somewhere down the road 😄

If you're in "hand to mouth" mode, faster networking should probably be low on your list of priorities, provided there isn't an immediate link to faster gear bringing in more income or learning about networking and IT doesn't improve future career prospects. There aren't a ton of use cases that benefit from an internet connection being faster than what 99% of websites provide. Maybe downloading Steam games?

 

Realistically doing a FULL 2.5Gbps or 10Gbps upgrade can be something like $200 for a modem, $300 for a router, $300 for a switch and then $50-100 per PC that you connect. It's around $1000.

Plus a more expensive internet connection.

 

34 minutes ago, FlyScript said:

New to all this, but that seems like a good price and should future proof me to a good degree I think?

While networking gear tends to have longer life cycles, future proofing usually doesn't work that well for anything involving computers (maybe cabling going inside of a wall?).

 

I will admit I dropped some cash on 10Gbe ($250 switch before the COVID price hikes, $100 on NICs, $15 on cables) but I wanted to consolidate my storage into a single NAS.

3900x | 32GB RAM | RTX 2080

1.5TB Optane P4800X | 1 TB Adata XPG Pro | 2TB Micron 1100 SSD
QN90A | Emotiva B1+, ELAC OW4.2, PB12-NSD, HD800
 

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6 hours ago, Donut417 said:

Not talking about a gateway dude. Talking a straight cable modem. Gateways are shit. You always go with a standard modem if you can. 

I'm rather confused what you're talking about here to be honest.

 

Yes the media converter its best if its just that, either cable to ethernet, DSL to ethernet, FTTP to ethernet, etc.  Though technically there's not much between a modem and gateway, at a core level they're very similar hardware and software internally as the bridging is done in software.   Then you need a router after that, and I personally prefer something I can fully configure without proprietary vendor locks restricting my control. 

 

Its why I gave Zyxel a slaking for not showing AP client link rates over SNMP, why I hate Ubiquitis controller because it tries to brainwash you into getting all their equipment by showing you a ton of things you can't use (and is bigger and heavier than necessary due to that) and being more complicated than necessary about configuring things.  To their credit, their API isn't completely terrible though.

I have heard good things about Mikrotik, but again with an x86 box you can change the router OS on a whim if they do something you do not like.  Many moved from pfSense to OPNsense due to some goings on at Netgate.  Plus if you ever upgrade to newer hardware like I just did, you have a spare PC to do whatever you want with rather than e-waste.

 

4 hours ago, cmndr said:

That's pretty cheap.

The only worry I'd have would be power draw. If you're in a high energy cost area (parts of California average 27 cents per KWH) and that draws like 30 extra watts, you can easily up your power bill by $70/year

https://energyusecalculator.com/electricity_ledlightbulb.htm

 

It only comes with a 12V 3A PSU so it can't ever use more than 32W and it wont be doing that much if at all.

Router:  Intel Celeron N5105 (pfSense) WiFi: Zyxel NWA210AX (1.44Gbit peak at 160Mhz 2x2 MIMO, ~900Mbit at 80Mhz)

Switches: Netgear MS510TXUP, Netgear MS510TXPP, Netgear GS110EMX
ISPs: Zen Full Fibre 900 (~915Mbit) + Three 5G (~500Mbit average)

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2 hours ago, Alex Atkin UK said:

Though technically there's not much between a modem and gateway,

In my experience they over heat, have poor WiFi performance and if they come from my ISP, they are a pain to configure. Half the options are available via the web interface while the other options you need to use the Comcast app. ALSO modems last forever, however WIFi standards and Ethernet standards can change over time, having a separate device makes it easier to upgrade the "Router" part without having to put a new modem on your account, Comcast has made it slightly harder to do over time. The S33 like I stated it just a plain Jane modem with 2.5 Gbps Ethernet out. No bullshit. 

 

 

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

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2 hours ago, Donut417 said:

In my experience they over heat, have poor WiFi performance and if they come from my ISP, they are a pain to configure. Half the options are available via the web interface while the other options you need to use the Comcast app. ALSO modems last forever, however WIFi standards and Ethernet standards can change over time, having a separate device makes it easier to upgrade the "Router" part without having to put a new modem on your account, Comcast has made it slightly harder to do over time. The S33 like I stated it just a plain Jane modem with 2.5 Gbps Ethernet out. No bullshit.

Not denying that, but an ISP router in bridge should be indistinguishable from a modem.  The catch of course are scummy ISPs that charge a rental, but that's a regional thing.  If they don't, it can be good having ISP equipment in bridge mode as if it fails they have to replace it, not you.

Of course the flip side is (for example) cable in the UK you can't really buy your own cable modem.  They will bundle it for free as a new customer but then try to make you buy any newer model they release, even though it can ONLY be used on their service.  Though threatening to cancel usually solves that.

Good thing so far is fibre providers in the UK provide their own ONT, so if it fails its entirely their problem to replace, and you just stick your own router into that.  But even on DSL where its a mix of choose your own or ISP provided, depending on the ISP, not all ISP gateways are bad.  Though it seems a lot of ISPs in other countries still have a reputation for poor ISP provided devices.

Router:  Intel Celeron N5105 (pfSense) WiFi: Zyxel NWA210AX (1.44Gbit peak at 160Mhz 2x2 MIMO, ~900Mbit at 80Mhz)

Switches: Netgear MS510TXUP, Netgear MS510TXPP, Netgear GS110EMX
ISPs: Zen Full Fibre 900 (~915Mbit) + Three 5G (~500Mbit average)

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