Help catching up on the latest advice for WiFi in a new home

  • SNBForums will be unavailable for about 2 hours TOMORROW 23 January starting around 2PM EDT for a server changeover.

    All accounts and posts will be preserved.
  • ATTENTION! As of November 1, 2020, you are not able to reply to threads 6 months after the thread is opened if there are more than 500 posts in the thread.
    Threads will not be locked, so posts may still be edited by their authors.
    Just start a new thread on the topic to post if you get an error message when trying to reply to a thread.

mikesas

New Around Here
We are moving into a new home in a few weeks and it has been a long while since I have had to think about upgrading my WiFi set up and appreciate any guidance for someone who is not really caught up on the latest.

My current set up is a Netgear R7000 (purchased way back when it was first ranked as the leading recommendations on this site... yes it has been a while) connected to a Gigabit ISP connection. My main bandwidth concerns are my home office PC, home server and home theater equipment which are all wired to the R7000 in my current setup. We then have 40+ WFi connected devices which today are handled fine by the R7000 which is centrally located in the house. I stuck with this setup despite its age now because it works as is and has been rock solid stable. It has run for years at a time without the need to even reboot the router. I am behind on the firmware and fearful to upgrade despite security concerns because stability is my priority.

The new house was built in 1911 and is 3300 sqft with 3 floors and a basement. My home office will be on the 2nd floor in one corner of the house and the home theater equipment will be in the opposite corner on the 1st floor. I don't see no easy way to hard wire both and I have a stone chimney partially between them which may constrain the wireless signal some. My current thought is to locate the main router in my home office so my PC and home server can be wired to it there. And then use the best stable high bandwidth wireless connection for the home theater equipment to ensure reliable 4K streaming of video.

I am looking for any recommendations to best support my constraints. I want to have stable 4K streaming and good enough WiFi coverage across the house. I am not interested in wasting money for things I don't need, but more than willing to pay what it will take for stability and easy set up and maintenance.

Would I be best served with a mesh set up with a dedicated WiFi 6 connection between the two access points and then wire the home theater equipment to the wireless extended access point? I don't have any WiFi 6 devices currently and do not anticipate the need otherwise, but I suppose eventually some new device we purchase will support that also. But this is definitely not my priority. I am mostly concerned about stability as when life gets back to normal and I am travelling again for work, I don't want that call from my wife that the WiFi is not working especially since cell coverage is poor at the house.

Thanks for taking the time to read about my situation and provide some guidance and suggestions! I would love to hear recommendations / experience with specific equipment that would best fit my needs.
 

degrub

Very Senior Member
what are the walls constructed with ? Many old houses had solid wood wall or lathe with plaster - both make wireless very difficult.
Is there any cable tv cable installed ? you could use that with MOCA modems to extend ethernet.
last resort would be powerline devices. As long as the breakers are not arc fault type, it can work well enough.

You might consider using exterior/direct burial grade RG-6 cable outside the house to make a drop to an AP on each level.

Alarm system installers are usually pretty good at fishing in walls and not that expensive.
 

alba666

Occasional Visitor
I am in a house from the 1920’s, so here are a couple of pain points you will likely see:

1) Plaster walls: Plaster wall have wire mesh and are unfriendly to WiFi. Anything more than 2 walls between your WiFi source and a client is 2.4 GHz only. Add another wall and no service. Plaster walls are right up there with brick, concrete and metal on the WiFi headache list. I don’t see how you will stream 4K through walls, central chimney & floor.

2) Old Coax & power lines: No guarantee that MoCA or powerline will work to get you anywhere either.

Net-Net: Save yourself the stress. Bite the bullet and make a clean Cat6 run.
 

mikesas

New Around Here
what are the walls constructed with ?
There has been a lot of interior renovation and updating in the house already. Looks like mostly drywall now. I am not sure that the coax or power lines are quite new enough.

Any suggestions on WiFi Routers / AP Extenders to test out before giving in to having to figure out a hard wired alternative?
 

Fingers

Regular Contributor
Cable runs were not a viable solution form me. In the end I opted for Tenda av1000 ph6 powerlines (Broadcom chips work the best for me with zero drop outs). Feeding three Linksys LAPAC2600 AP's on each floor. I used a Wifi analyser app on my mobile to first do a survey. It help me find the dead spots in the house and find perfect placement. I have an copper 80/20 line coming into pfsense firewall and linked to managed switches. The Linksys AP's have been rock solid, I have never needed to reboot them due to config bugs etc.
 

alba666

Occasional Visitor
With drywall instead of plaster interior walls, you might be able to get what you want with a single router. Key is to try to place the router where you avoid the chimney being between the router and the home theatre devices. Even with a mesh, you need the best WiFi path between the nodes.
For instance, I had my main router (ASUS AX92U) on the fireplace mantel on an outside wall with my old AC88U upstairs in a ASUS AiMesh config. Simply by running some coax behind a couch, I was able to move the AX92U 12 feet toward center of house and get the coverage I needed with one router.
 

Latest threads

Sign Up For SNBForums Daily Digest

Get an update of what's new every day delivered to your mailbox. Sign up here!
Top