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Need some advice for new router location in parents house

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Miau

New Around Here
Hello,

my name is Nico, and I have been reading this forum for quite some time now, but I think I am at the point where I need to actively ask for some advice.
I hope this is the correct section for it.

My parents are getting optical fiber to they home, so I need to help them with picking a new router and also the location for it.
The house is made of solid brick walls and ceiling, and I have tried to draw a profile of it.

Please don't pin me down on the exact numbers (metric system, sorry for that), but the number of walls and the location should be accurate.
I do not know how thick the walls and ceilings are, but I would guess walls ~20 cm (~8 inch) and the ceilings should have about the same.
Every floor is equally built, except the basement has some additional space in the west (grey walls), and one horizontal wall at the chimney is moved ~1 m to the south (also grey).
The blue areas are the ones where the WIFI connection is very bad at the moment, and should be solved with the new setup.

The optical network (ONT) will get terminated in the basement where the old broadband was also terminated.
We have some ethernet cables running through the (not used) chimney (orange color) to the top/roof of the house, where the router (1) is located now.

On the first floor we have also an ethernet cable, which is creating an AP (2).
First floor does not have a dedicated AP, since my grandma lives there and the connection is sufficient enough for her.

In the basement is the apartment from my sister, and we have another ethernet cable running from the south wall outside of the house from the roof to the basement, creating another AP (3).

For the new fiber optical we just have to use a normal ethernet router, no fiber feature needed.
We will need to buy new routers, and not use the old ones anymore.

And now comes the point where I need some advice, have some questions.

We are flexible regarding the hardware, but I am running an AX68U for years now and am very pleased with it and would like to stick with ASUS.
The only requirement I have is that I can run a net-to-net VPN (wireguard) between my parents’ home and mine, for synology backups.
The router also needs two 2.5G-Ports, one for the ONT, and one going to the second router.

I have done some research already, and I think about buying two GT-AX6000 (~215 USD), the AX88U Pro is more expensive (~240 USD).
They should be pretty solid with price/performance for my family.
My parents use the internet only for streaming and also TV over ethernet (Sky) and some home office (ethernet though).
My sister does the same, except she plays some games from time to time.


Questions:
1)

Are there some "cheaper" alternatives when using the router only as AP, lets say to get the wifi into the blue areas?
The AX68U for example can only be bought used, but are also rare.
2)
Can the GT-AX6000 be mounted upside down, on the ceiling? Or maybe also on a wall?
3)
I am still not sure if I should run the router as AP or AiMesh.
Since I do not live near my parents anymore, and neither them nor my sister knows a lot about these things, I tend to use the AiMesh to create one big WIFI.
If you have any points against it (security for example), I will be happy to listen.


The second picture shows the new locations, where I would place the two routers (I would like to not spend ~700 USD for three GT-AX6000).
The chimney at the (1) router location is used as a supply cabinet for food, so I could hide it there at the ceiling.
The issue I see is that the chimney is made of brick and also roughly 20cm thick.
For the (2) router, I am not sure about the location, but since my sister is using the room with bad connection (blue) for home office, I would try to place the router as close to this wall as possible.

I am open for any suggestion, and my father will drill any hole and pull some ethernet cables where I tell him to do so.
So please let me know what you think "could" be the optimal position.

I know in the end it is try&error, and before deciding for the final position, I will walk around with a very long ethernet cable and find the right spot on the two floors.
But I think you have much more experience and expertise and can point me into the right direction.

Kind regards
Nico
 

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Welcome to the forums @Miau.

Buy a couple of quality premade cables (Cat5e is more than good enough for 2.5GbE speeds at up to 100'/30 Metres runs) and with luck, you may be able to (re)use it when you decide the locations are correct too.

Don't recommend buying the GT-AX6000 today. Too old. For a mere $35/each additional, you will get a newer model, better RF design, and better performance, and (more than likely) longer, long-term support).

I would guess putting the router in the 'chimney' is the worst place you can.

See the links below for how I design AiMesh setups for my customers.


How to Connect an AiMesh Node

AiMesh Ideal Placement

Control Channel Setup 2021

Reset Mini Guide + Control Channel Setup Details

Control Channel Setup (more)





The takeaway is that from a 3D perspective, with wired backhaul, you want the nodes to be as far as possible from each other.

Start with a single router and find the position/location/orientation of that main router that will serve as many rooms/areas as possible. Do test different Control Channels while you're concurrently considering the best location too. Settle on the combination that gives you the lowest latency (not just the highest download speeds).


With the main router dialed in, add one AiMesh node and move it around until it covers the additional areas required. Only add another node if absolutely necessary. And only if using one of your existing routers in Media Bridge mode (i.e. for your wired capable clients), doesn't help in your environment.

You more than likely won't get 'perfect' coverage and throughput throughout the home, no matter what you do. But using the least amount of routers/nodes and concentrating on the areas where the most use is expected will give you superior results than having a bit more coverage 'everywhere', but then having issues with 'too much WiFi' in your home.

As you said, only testing in your particular environment will give you the very best results. But the above is where I start for the networks I create.
 
I have been reading this forum for quite some time now

Never read about single wired router, PoE switch and multiple PoE access points? Many threads around discussing possible options. Seems like you have no idea what to do and perhaps the best course of action is to call someone and get Wi-Fi system installed professionally. For this specific building and region you will have to spend >$700 otherwise you'll chase ghosts with consumer products forever and your family members will have to live with the consequences.
 
FWIW - if the ISP is including the residential gateway...

use it - it'll work fine, and more importantly...

When it doesn't work - it's not your problem to solve, that is for the ISP's Customer Support Team to sort out.
 
Don't recommend buying the GT-AX6000 today. Too old. For a mere $35/each additional, you will get a newer model, better RF design, and better performance, and (more than likely) longer, long-term support).
OK, I thought they were the same internally, but yeah, the newer one will not get EOL so fast and will most likely have longer support, valid point.
Thanks for all your links, very informative.

Never read about single wired router, PoE switch and multiple PoE access points? Many threads around discussing possible options. Seems like you have no idea what to do and perhaps the best course of action is to call someone and get Wi-Fi system installed professionally. For this specific building and region you will have to spend >$700 otherwise you'll chase ghosts with consumer products forever and your family members will have to live with the consequences.
Yes, I did, but this is not a Wiki it is a forum where one can ask questions, is it?
Maybe comparing to your knowledge I "have no idea", but that does this mean I should not try to acquire some of it.

FWIW - if the ISP is including the residential gateway...

use it - it'll work fine, and more importantly...

When it doesn't work - it's not your problem to solve, that is for the ISP's Customer Support Team to sort out.
This will not work for the new ISP, they will only sell a router to you if you want but do not offer support.
The old one (German "Telekom" = T-Mobile US) was lending the router, and they took care when there were issues.

What is new speed (down and up)?

What is model of old router and APs?
DL = 1000 Mbit/s and UL = 500 Mbit/s
Old model doesn't matter because it was rented and will go back, see quote above.
The AP's were just some cheap ASUS, I think one repeater (I think RP-N12) and one router (don't remember) my sister bought, that's why I said we will not use them anymore.


Thank's for the input, I will keep on reading and I found a "damaged package" AX88U Pro for ~200 USD and think I will pulled the trigger on this one.
 
OK, I thought they were the same internally, but yeah, the newer one will not get EOL so fast and will most likely have longer support, valid point.
Different printed circuit board layout (likely due mostly to the outer case shape and size, plus the lack of need for the Aura LED lighting of the GT model); exact same CPU and radios / drivers. I keep seeing it said the RT model has a better RF design, but unless the circuit board somehow makes it true (which I doubt) then it's not really possible. It could be better argued that the antenna layout is functionally superior on the GT, from an RF performance perspective when it comes to spatially locating a client, and that truly is the only "radio" difference between them.

And there's absolutely no way of knowing at this time (unless you are or know well an Asus engineer, etc. who might know of such plans) /which/ model will receive longer support or life.

Beyond all that I well agree with the advice to investigate possibly-more-appropriate equipment (small-business-class) as well.

Gl-inet is selling what looks to be a very comparable router as their Flint 2, for a much better cost, and their VPN throughput claims, which are higher than those two Asus models can do, seem to be proving true. That capability is certainly a factor you'll be concerned with while shopping, whatever you end up getting, based upon your stated plan of use.

If you do go with Asus routers and don't have to have an easy-to-set-up VLAN system-wide "guest network" then by using AiMesh you'll instead lose the (even-more-)valuable configuration options which AP mode provides. Either way allows for creating "one big wifi" but in the AiMesh version the performance within the system always falls behind what APs can do, in my experience.

P.S. I'd love to see those thick brick floors. Must be a lot of stone archways below, hahaha!
 
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