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TMI, but yeah the ins and outs of networking is certainly a new obsession. Coming from lockpicking

Learning networking on home AIO routers is similar to:

a) lock picking with paper clip (may not work as expected)
b) having a key for the lock (the UI does the networking for you)

By the way, I would never buy the models you are looking at.
 
Was a fun hobby until the Multipick Kronos came along and took all the challenge out of it. Though it is still fun to show people just how quickly I can get into their house.

SPP is incredibly relaxing to me so I avoid the Lishi tool and other big auto pickers. Just get me a TOK bar and short round hook and I'll work on getting into whatever. Been working on a Ruko 1200 D12 which is ridiculous so far.

If you can hardwire the ONT to a router in the living room position, that should give you wifi coverage in the entire condo, likely no nodes needed.

Then run a wire from living room to bed 2 if possible and just connect that to a switch.. You can dress it up with a wall plate on either side with RJ45 couplers (they make snap in keystone versions). Even if you need more ports, you can get an 8 port TP Link or Netgear switch for $20 to $30.

This is what I'm hoping to do, but the biggest non-negotiable thing is where the router goes. Everyone is deadset on it remaining in the practical worst possible location.
If it cant be move to the new location, should I move forward with a generally similar run like I drew up?

Is anyone really going to notice if you sneak in the attic and drop some ethernets down the wall cavities (probably quietly drill some holes in the top plate for them)? That's what I'd do.
Some of my neighbors + this condo association. Awful combo.

If you want the super duper gaming router, keep the 11000 and return the two XT12s. If you bought the XT12s as a 2 pack that may be your only option anyway. If you can return just one XT12 and the 11000, the single XT12 is probably all you need, but you'd have to try and see.

Yeah after this most recent idea + impulse buy, I am coming to terms with how over the top I am being. The set up and experimenting will certainly help

Any Cat5e or greater cable is fine, don't spend extra money on fancy cables. Cat5e is rated for 2.5Gig up to 100 meters.

Beware of the flat ethernet cables though, many don't actually meet their claims, though at shorter distances like what you have they probably will work fine at 1G or 2.5G even. If running in the walls, don't bother with flat, just good old round patch cables. If you're trying to run along trim, around doors, etc then the flat cable may be more attractive, and it looks like the distance is probably 50 feet or less, so they would probably be fine (even at 100 feet might be ok).

Already made the (yet again) quick decision to hit the "take my money" button for OOOO BIG NUMBERS Cat8. (I know I realize I've been ridiculous). I avoided the flat cables as I have learned that about them as well

My idea is running them throughout upper corners from living room to bedroom #2. They want them on the floor. Ill probably buy my own RJ45s and crimper to get them to a more appropriate length with some slack on either end in case.

In your original posts you mentioned AXE-16000 and ET12s, but later posts you're talking about AXE-11000 and XT12s. Shouldn't change anything but just not sure when ones you're dealing with or which would make more sense from a cost perspective to return/cancel.

In reality it may make more sense to return it all and go with a single AX6000, AX86 Pro, or AX-11000. You likely aren't going to use 6ghz right?

Yeah I decided against the 6ghz. From what I've read at a less-than-amateur level it seems like WiFi 7 may bring that into a more useable category but for now I can't justify it.

So I currently have the AX-11000 Pro, a pair of XT12s and that TP-Link switch to work with, and I am expecting returns once I get the network going.

Ill look into the others now. Is Tri-Band (2.4 + 5 + 5) of any value as a heavy gamer/streamer living with 3 others who work from home all having half a dozen devices frequently connected?

My house is packed with new, newer, newish devices and walls with the worst possible router location, no useable in-wall cable, and no wired connections period currently.

Thats the primary reason I've felt the impulse to push for overkill stuff. Just want it solved for the foreseeable future and drag my family from 2015 into the present.
 
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Learning networking on home AIO routers is similar to:

a) lock picking with paper clip (may not work as expected)
b) having a key for the lock (the UI does the networking for you)

By the way, I would never buy the models you are looking at.

Do you have any recommendations for further reading so I can learn as much as I can?

What hardware would you be looking at and buy?
 
SPP is incredibly relaxing to me so I avoid the Lishi tool and other big auto pickers. Just get me a TOK bar and short round hook and I'll work on getting into whatever. Been working on a Ruko 1200 D12 which is ridiculous so far.



This is what I'm hoping to do, but the biggest non-negotiable thing is where the router goes. Everyone is deadset on it remaining in the practical worst possible location.
If it cant be move to the new location, should I move forward with a generally similar run like I drew up?


Some of my neighbors + this condo association. Awful combo.



Yeah after this most recent idea + impulse buy, I am coming to terms with how over the top I am being. The set up and experimenting will certainly help



Already made the (yet again) quick decision to hit the "take my money" button for OOOO BIG NUMBERS Cat8. (I know I realize I've been ridiculous). I avoided the flat cables as I have learned that about them as well

My idea is running them throughout upper corners from living room to bedroom #2. They want them on the floor. Ill probably buy my own RJ45s and crimper to get them to a more appropriate length with some slack on either end in case.



Yeah I decided against the 6ghz. From what I've read at a less-than-amateur level it seems like WiFi 7 may bring that into a more useable category but for now I can't justify it.

So I currently have the AX-11000 Pro, a pair of XT12s and that TP-Link switch to work with, and I am expecting returns once I get the network going.

Ill look into the others now. Is Tri-Band (2.4 + 5 + 5) of any value as a heavy gamer/streamer living with 3 others who work from home all having half a dozen devices frequently connected?

My house is packed with new, newer, newish devices and walls with the worst possible router location, no useable in-wall cable, and no wired connections period currently.

Thats the primary reason I've felt the impulse to push for overkill stuff. Just want it solved for the foreseeable future and drag my family from 2015 into the present.

I think you need to figure out for sure what can and cannot be wired (and where the router has to be located), then can figure out the best method.

Depending how deep you want to get into it, you can run wire behind crown or baseboard molding and have it run to a nice wall jack. Have done that many times, usually pretty easy to gently remove molding and put it back, sometimes a bit of touch up paint or caulking may be needed. Once the molding is off you can even fish it across a ceiling sometimes and hide the hole, but usually easier to just run it "around" and just follow the molding down a hall and back up etc.

However plain round white (or whatever color you need to try and match, most molding and trim is white though) cable with some white round staples can be made to blend in pretty well. I like to just make sure the cable is turned so the printing on it is on the back where it is hidden.

Once you have a final vote from the family on what you can do, then we can go from there.

I would definitely try to get the router into that central location (maybe even in the hall on the other side of the wall if that is more acceptable to the family) hardwired back to the ONT. A hardwire to bed 2 with a switch is a definitely nice to have but I'd say if you can't get both, the centrally located main router hardwired back is the top priority.

If neither is an option, and the router has to be at the ONT with no wires, then you can probably get away with two devices, one at the ONT and one in Bed 2 (which will serve the wired devices as well as that side of the condo). A pair of tri-band would be ideal so you can dedicate the 5G-2 radio for backhaul only, but it is not a requirement, especially if you aren't a hardcore gamer looking for the lowest latency and highest possible throughput (which, honestly, you're not going to get with wireless backhaul regardless). You mention you are a heavy gamer which really dictates that you should have hardwired all the way back, but I do know plenty of people where that is not an option and they survive fine over wireless. In that case the tri-band routers are probably a good idea (second best to wired).

If you want as much bandwidth as possible to the gaming console(s) then maybe you do end up using a 3rd device, acting strictly as a wireless bridge for the wired devices only. But you definitely don't need anything super high end for that, just an AX class device that supports bridge mode and the link speed you need. But I'm already getting ahead of myself, again, figure out what you definitely can or can't do, then it is much easier to design the best solution.
 
Do you have any recommendations for further reading so I can learn as much as I can?

What hardware would you be looking at and buy?

Depends how far down the rabbit hole you want to go. People who want a highly flexible and semi-pro setup will be looking at a miniPC running PFSense or Opnsense and some standalone APs and switches. Or a pre-built wired only router from Ubiquiti, Mikrotik, TP-Link, etc along with matching APs. But honestly from what it seems your needs are, I think that is overkill, espeically with limited ability to hardwire stuff.
 

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