Router wireless modes considerations

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creatine

Regular Contributor
I live in a 3 story home, my RT-3100 router is on the 2nd floor and provides wireless access to devices on all 3 floors. I am currently building an unraid media storage NAS that does not support wifi, it needs to be hardwired to a LAN port. In an ideal scenario, the NAS would be on the 2nd floor, same room as the router, hardwired and there would be no need for this post. Unfortunately the only place for the NAS is on 3rd floor, running an ethernet cable to the 2nd floor is not possible. The idea I was considering was placing a 2nd Asus router on the 3rd floor and hardwiring the NAS to this router (ax86u or ax88u). I would then connect these 2 routers wirelessly. I see there are several wireless modes AP, Media Bridge, Ai Mesh available. My concerns are performance, especially when streaming 4k videos from the 3rd floor NAS to a device on the 1st floor.

Is what I am trying to do logical or is there a better way to accomplish my goal and maintain performance ?

Can you recommend a wireless mode for the 2nd router ?

Thanks.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
Having a second router in AP mode won't work because it requires a wired connection to the primary router. So you're left with Media Bridge, AiMesh node or Repeater Mode. Repeater Mode is always a last resort. Media Bridge would seem the most obvious choice.

But whatever mode you chose you will have the same problem. The bottleneck becomes the wireless link to the primary router. All traffic to and from the NAS will be sharing the same bandwidth/airtime as that used by the other wireless clients on that band. To make things worse the overall bandwidth is further reduced when the traffic is retransmitted to the remote client. One way to improve this would be to replace the primary router with a tri-band model and have a dedicated 5GHz band just for the NAS traffic.

N.B. I'm mostly ignoring the presence of the 2.4GHz band here because of it's low throughput and assuming all your bandwidth-heavy devices will be using 5GHz.
 
Last edited:

CaptainSTX

Part of the Furniture
While you have stated it isn't possible to run an Ethernet cable you need to look at other wired options which will probably give you better throughput than WiFi.

If you happen to have coaxial cable runs in your home MOCA would be a possibility. If not you can try Ethernet over power-lines. Wither of these options will probably be better than WiFi for the reasons Colin detailed.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
Trying to look on the positive side, 4k video streaming probably doesn't require too much bandwidth as it's usually compressed.

What is the maximum throughput currently achievable with the intended client? If this is very low having a high speed link between the router and the NAS won't help much.
 

creatine

Regular Contributor
Thanks Collin and Captain, that's what I suspected. It is a much older home so I am limited with existing wired options. Tried powerline adapters years ago and speeds were terrible. I like the idea of a triband router to replace the 3100 and use a 5ghz band as a backhaul. I will try to get my hands on one for testing.

The bitrate on some of the UHD disks I ripped is 70mb\sec. Though I am able to max out my 400mbit internet connection on speed tests with the wireless clients.
 

creatine

Regular Contributor
Here is the mediainfo for one of my rips, the file size for this movie is 70GB

1627049204130.png
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
You might get away with a simple WiFi device connected to the NAS (negating the need for a tri-band router) depending on the signal strength you're getting on the third floor. Any idea what kind of throughput you're getting up there?

Streaming video is a misnomer because it isn't a continuous stream of data. Rather, it sends intermittent bursts (or chunks) of data that the client buffers up. So it is quite tolerant of busy networks. However, if you were also wanting to do bulk data transfers to or from the NAS (e.g. backups) that could really cause congestion on your LAN.
 

creatine

Regular Contributor
My Nivida shield on the 3rd floor which is on the opposite side of the home from the 2nd floor router gets about 250Mbit\sec on internet speed tests. Unraid doesn't support wifi, needs to be seen as hardwired connection (wired to a router\adapter with wifi) I will play around with the equipment once I have the NAS setup.

Perhaps something like this
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B093GZLKPH/?tag=smallncom-20
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
I would not recommend any Wi-Fi adaptor when you seem to have the budget to consider the RT-AX86U.

Buy an RT-AX86U and make it your main router. Put the RT-AX3100 in Media Bridge mode with the router as ideally located and orientated towards the main router as possible. You may have greater than 1GbE throughput with this setup to your NAS. :)
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
Unraid doesn't support wifi, needs to be seen as hardwired connection (wired to a router\adapter with wifi)
Yes, I meant that as you only want something to act as a media bridge for one device (the NAS) you don't necessarily need an expensive device like the AX86U or AX86U. It seems overkill when no other clients will be using it. You might get away with something like an RT-AC66U_B1.
 

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