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First Post - Upgrading from R7000. Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Wireless Buying Advice' started by CyBuzz, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. CyBuzz

    CyBuzz New Around Here

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Hello all, I have been reading a bunch of post on here trying to figure out what to do. My situation is that i have is that i need(want) to upgrade my wireless router. I currently have an older R7000 Netgear router that i have been having trouble with (dropped signal, dropped internet, iffy signal) and want to upgrade. I just had mediacom out and they re-ran my drop and that fixed some of my internet issues but i still have signal issues and here comes the final issue. I have 2 kids that game, stream, etc. at the same time i am working from home (VPN into office) occasionally. I have read a bunch of threads and think i might know what direction to take but wanted to get everyones opinion.

    I only have 100/20 (or whatever is the upload) from mediacom but they said i can get up to gigabit. Here is what i am considering....and the are vastly different so not an apple to apple comparison. I am not a network admin but understand basic networking and can figure it out.

    Option 1: Commercial Off The Shelf Router
    Asus RT-AC86U ~$200
    Option 2: SOHO Router, Switch, AP, Management Console.
    Ubiquity: USG, 8 Port PoE Switch (50W), nanoHD AP and cloud key - ~$480

    What i want to accomplish with whatever setup is:
    Manage the load on the network. I have 20-30 devices (IoT, phones, tablets, tvs, directv, gaming consoles, laptops, desktops, nas devices, watches, etc.) .
    My wife and i occasionally work from home and VPN into the office.
    I like to be able to VPN (openvpn) back into my network when away.
    I want to be able to see who/what is taking up all the bandwidth (so i can tell them to stop or turn off) if we have issues.
    We stream video (Netflix, Amazon, etc.)
    the boys are always streaming youtube
    get decent wifi signal everywhere in my house (2 story + basement)
    I have fiber (dont use), coax (rg6?) and ethernet (cat 5 or 6, dont recall) in each room of the house installed when built 18 years ago.

    i want to go the SOHO route for the following reasons:
    expandability (AP wherever i want with PoE)
    better hardware (i think)
    managed network versus dumb network (cloud key?)
    manage the traffic better?
    network stability?

    however the wife looks at the price tag and asks why not just get the COTS router, whichever router that would be.

    I want to make the investment in the SOHO but want to verify with folks that may have a similar situation that my reasons are valid with the equipment i am looking at.

    Anyway, thanks for reading this far if you did and thanks for any responses. my eyes are burning with all the reading on these screens i have been doing. If i missed anything or didnt include any info you need, just ask.

    CyBuzz.
     
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  3. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Messages:
    13,509
    You said you get "decent" signal everywhere, yet you say some of your reasons for upgrading are dropped and "iffy" signal. Which is it?

    Given the devices and your layout, a single point router is likely not up to the job. If your router is installed where all your Ethernet runs originate, move your router there, wired or wireless and add a few inexpensive access points connected via Ethernet.
    https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/bas...best-way-to-get-whole-house-wireless-coverage
    https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless/wireless-reviews/33159-2x2-ac-access-point-roundup
    https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless/wireless-reviews/33191-2x2-ac-access-point-roundup-part-2

    You should also consider putting all slower and IoT devices on 2.4 GHz and leave 5 GHz for streaming.
    If the boys do most of their streaming at one location, set up an AP near them with a different SSID so they connect to it.
     
    ubimea likes this.
  4. CyBuzz

    CyBuzz New Around Here

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Thanks Tim. I want to get decent signal everywhere. it is iffy/spotty right now. if i put the router in the basement it is not good on first or second floor. if i put it on 1st floor, it is not good on second or in the basement. using wifi analyzer i get 2-3 stars for a couple channels in 2.4 and for 5GHz i get 3-4 on the upper channels.

    I will read through those links you posted and digest them. I have also been reading even more about MikroTik. seems like they have a following but you need to know your stuff to configure them. might be something i need to learn if i go that route. I guess i just want to get something that is going to handle the load. I dont want to have to struggle with connections or bandwidth if my kids are playing or streaming.

    I guess like others that posted here just want some validation that if i go the SOHO route, it will be better equipment, stability and be able to manage the network load better than my R7000(or AC86U or COTS routers). I also am that guy that likes to buy more than he needs so i can grow into it.

    Thanks for your feedback and I will take a look at those links.

    ETA: The gaming, console at least, is wired so they are not stealing bandwidth from wifi but i question if the amount of traffic is taxing the router so that it slows the wifi down. Dont know if it even works that way but i figure there is one router with one processor and one set of memory to manage it all.
     
  5. CyBuzz

    CyBuzz New Around Here

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Tim,

    Thanks for the links. it appears i may have to rethink my approach. if i read everything correctly, i should be able to drop an AP on my main level to get my signal issues resolved. I think i can also VLAN the IoT stuff and then segregate the other stuff on 5GHz/2.4GHz. I also think i can gradually build this out to add the other stuff i wanted (bandwidth monitoring/management) by adding a better router, managed switch, etc. At least this approach should spread the cost out over time.

    Again, thanks for the links and the feedback.
     
  6. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Messages:
    13,509
    If you have the ability to install multiple APs with Ethernet backhaul, the specific equipment doesn't matter as much as how you deploy it.

    When you expect one device to handle many active devices, eventually you run out of bandwidth because "slower" devices eat up more bandwidth than "faster". "Slow" and "fast" don't just mean the maximum link rate they support, but also how far they are from the router/AP.

    "Commercial" gear isn't necessarily better than SOHO. They just tend to give you access to lower level wireless controls. But you need to know how to configure those controls or you will end up with lower performance.

    If you can segregate bandwidth hogs from other devices onto their own AP and/or channel, you go a long way toward network stability.
     
  7. CyBuzz

    CyBuzz New Around Here

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Tim, Thanks for the help. I ended up getting a TPLink EAP225 and put that up on the main level and that has worked well. It has obviously helped with signal for the main level...where most of the family utilizes WiFi.

    After getting that set up i ended up picking up a Unify USG and Cloud Key to play around with. I now run everything through an unmanaged switch and like how i can see who and what is going on on the network. I will eventually get a managed switch so i can segregate my bandwidth hogs (Gaming) on VLans (once i figure those out) and hopefully organize my network better. I have removed my R7000 from the mix as it just complicated things and i think the 2.4GHz radio was failing. I kinda wish i had picked up a UniFi AP for the integration but too late for that now. the EAP225 works great.

    Since the USG has 2 ports that i can use as LAN i tried setting up the AP on one and everything else on the other but couldn't get the two networks talking to each other. if you have any experience with the USG and have advice it would be appreciated. I have posted over on the ubiquity forum but 63 views and no responses. i will post on snb also.

    Again, thanks for your help. Just adding the AP was a great step in the right direction.
     
  8. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    13,300
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Keep in mind that "commercial gear" also has different priorities than consumer gear - total capacity vs. individual client performance.

    Different markets.
     
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