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IT help with home WiFi -OT

ColbyLangColbyLang Posts: 616
IT gurus, my home was built in the 30’s. Solid centermatch walls and ceilings. 4,200sq feet. Have a Nighthawk router sitting about as centrally in the home as I could get it. Also have two Linksys range extenders to get signal to my farthest points. Still constantly losing WiFi signal to smart thermostats on both ends of the house and more importantly to our baby monitor. Any tips/suggestions? Not opposed to replacing any of it (router/extenders) if it will help. TIA
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Comments

  • etherdomeetherdome Posts: 418
    I had the same problem . 100 year old house with plaster walls. Terrible signal around the house.  First off, (and this probably doesn’t need to be said) if you don't have good service and fast speed there isn’t much else you can do. I have charter spectrum coming into my house at 400 mbps from the wall. Even with that I had  problems until I bought an Orbi router with the appropriate number And spacing of satellites in the house upstairs and down . Now I have a minimum of 80 mbps everywhere in the house including my yard and detached garage. Expensive but solved the hell out of my problems. 
    Upstate SC
    Large BGE
  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 3,180
    When you say it drops, does that mean that you don’t see the WIFI signal anymore?  Is the signal always low?  Do you have good signal but the connection drops anyway?  How are your range extenders connected to your main router (wired?)?

    ____________________
    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
  • WolfpackWolfpack Posts: 3,212
    Not an IT expert but, get a mesh Wi-Fi system. You may need to add a few extra points but, it should solve your issue. 
    Greensboro, NC
  • pgprescottpgprescott Posts: 13,079
    I just went to a mesh system. Works great. 
  • lightningquelightningque Posts: 41
    agree with @Wolfpack you need a mesh system like google wifi or Orbi, with that square footage and the type of walls you probably need at least 5-6 satellites.  They are the best way to go in my opinion.  The more you have the closer they can be to each other keep a strong mesh.  your devices will find the closest one and grab the signal from it. I am using google wifi and I love it.  super simple to install and set up, I have 22 devices running on my system plus wired devices.  
  • etherdomeetherdome Posts: 418
    edited June 24
    I should clarify that my above Orbi recommendation is one of the  mentioned mesh systems . It is awesome .
    Upstate SC
    Large BGE
  • ColbyLangColbyLang Posts: 616
    Will look into mesh systems. Current Linksys extenders are not wired. I suppose they are more like signal repeaters than actual range extenders. WiFi signal drops completely when it does, doesn’t lose signal strength. Thanks for all of the advice. I also have the highest upload and download package available for our home from our local Fiber supplier
  • dgordon2ncdgordon2nc Posts: 90
    Another vote for mesh. I have google WiFi and love it. It’s literally a setup and forget about it because it works so well. All people I have recommended it to say the same 
  • ColtsFanColtsFan Posts: 4,445
    Outside of an enterprise solution, I'm only familiar with Google WiFi. I actually just had a friend install it in their home, including a guest house, and they all mesh fine.
    Google claims each AP will cover 1500 sq. ft.. I would probably saturate your setup more and install a minimum of 4.
    ~ John - https://www.instagram.com/hoosier_egger
    1-XL BGE, 2-LG BGE, KJ Jr, Ardore Pizza Oven, King Disc 
    Bloomington, IN - Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoosiers!

  • dbCooperdbCooper Posts: 466
    Agree that a Mesh system is the best choice, with wired repeaters if possible.  Placement is important and to best determine that you need measurements, sometimes referred to as a Heat Map.
    I use a free Android app called WiFi Analyzer by Farproc... https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.farproc.wifi.analyzer&hl=en_US
    With that you can see signal strength at various locations, it will also show if the channels in use have noise/interference and recommend better ones.  Also of note, the 5 GHz band is faster but is more susceptible to obstructions than the 2.4 GHz band.
    LBGE, LBGE-PTR, 22" Weber
    Great Plains, USA
  • LegumeLegume Posts: 10,592
    I installed AmpliFi HD mesh in December and have been happy.  The base unit ends up being in one corner of the house on the main floor, so after a couple of months I did add a third satellite to get a strong reliable signal to the other end of the house as well as upstairs and the basement.
  • SemolinaPilchardSemolinaPilchard Posts: 1,264
    Mesh will probably solve your problem. Something you may want to try before going to mesh is to raise your router to a height of 6 feet.
  • blind99blind99 Posts: 4,674
    mesh is great, but if you have lousy signal two rooms away, a mesh device will be dependent on that signal strength.  the wifi indicator on your phone will look awesome but the speed and latency may not be.

    if you can add wired access points ("wired backhaul") you can keep the speed high at each access point.  And use switches (they're cheap) to wire as many device to the network as possible - TVs, sonos, playstations, printers, desktop computers, etc.

    I've been using google wifi for a few years now and it's been very solid.  i think it's changed since i bough it.  no idea of they support it or not.... i'm never sure about google products... If I did it again I'd look at the Amplifi system as well.
    Chicago, IL - Large and Small BGE - Weber Gasser and Kettle
  • LegumeLegume Posts: 10,592
    blind99 said:
    mesh is great, but if you have lousy signal two rooms away, a mesh device will be dependent on that signal strength.  the wifi indicator on your phone will look awesome but the speed and latency may not be.

    if you can add wired access points ("wired backhaul") you can keep the speed high at each access point.  And use switches (they're cheap) to wire as many device to the network as possible - TVs, sonos, playstations, printers, desktop computers, etc.

    I've been using google wifi for a few years now and it's been very solid.  i think it's changed since i bough it.  no idea of they support it or not.... i'm never sure about google products... If I did it again I'd look at the Amplifi system as well.
    That’s exactly why I ended up adding an additional antenna, I closed the distance between the hops, but overall spread remains the same.  The amplifi HD has decent diagnostics (for a non IT guy) to tell the strength between the antennae, so I just kept moving them around to different outlets to get the best layout.
  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 3,180
    At the best of my knowledge, Netgear Orbi is the only mesh system that does not rely on a cloud infrastructure which means what happens on your network stays on your network and if the cloud goes down, your network stays up.  I’ve been using it for a few years now and it has been flawless.  It also has a dedicated frequency for the mesh backbone so it doesn’t hog the wifi bandwidth. I highly recommend it.

    That being said, if your signal completely drops, it can be a number if things:
    -Interference caused by something in your house (microwave oven, defective neon ballast, CFL lights)
    -Electrical fluctuations causing your equipment to fail
    -Firmware upgrade required on your equipment
    -...

    Linksys is one of the worst brand IMHO but they have good marketing so people buy it 🤷‍♂️

    ____________________
    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
  • Sweet100sSweet100s Posts: 470
    paqman said:
    At the best of my knowledge, Netgear Orbi is the only mesh system that does not rely on a cloud infrastructure which means what happens on your network stays on your network and if the cloud goes down, your network stays up.  I’ve been using it for a few years now and it has been flawless.
    Really? Does this include Eero (now owned by Amazon)? 

     I have an early NetGear Orbi system with 2 satellites. Excellent coverage, but the firmware upgrade process has been buggy way too often. I was thinking about switching to Eero when they go to WiFi 6. However, not if what you said is true for Eero. The network has to work even when the internet is down.
    paqman said:
    It also has a dedicated frequency for the mesh backbone so it doesn’t hog the wifi bandwidth. I highly recommend it.
    Maybe that would make the Sonos speakers happier. Audio cutouts mean they barely work. i'm on a 100 Mbps downlink, so speed isn't a problem.
  • dmouratidmourati Posts: 847
    Unifi and NetSpot ftw. Hardwire everything you can. Mesh is overrated. 
    Mountain View, CA
  • cookingdude555cookingdude555 Posts: 2,763
    I have 1 gig fiber up and down, and the only way to get anything close to that on WiFi is to have a mesh system around my house.  I have an Orbi with 4 satellites.  One in each corner of my house, and one in the center of my basement.  Two are connected back to the base via a wired connection, and two use a dedicated wireless backhaul.  I pick up connection to my house about 3 houses down from my house.  Before this I did a DIY mesh with 4 nighthawks.  Worked well, but client roaming was not as good as on the Orbi.  Wireless clients would stick to their first connection until it went away, even if it wasn’t the best signal.

    John - SLC, UT

    Several eggs ..

  • buzd504buzd504 Posts: 3,159
    paqman said:
    At the best of my knowledge, Netgear Orbi is the only mesh system that does not rely on a cloud infrastructure which means what happens on your network stays on your network and if the cloud goes down, your network stays up.  I’ve been using it for a few years now and it has been flawless.  It also has a dedicated frequency for the mesh backbone so it doesn’t hog the wifi bandwidth. I highly recommend it.

    That being said, if your signal completely drops, it can be a number if things:
    -Interference caused by something in your house (microwave oven, defective neon ballast, CFL lights)
    -Electrical fluctuations causing your equipment to fail
    -Firmware upgrade required on your equipment
    -...

    Linksys is one of the worst brand IMHO but they have good marketing so people buy it 🤷‍♂️

    I'm not sure what you said about cloud infrastructure makes sense, but I guess it's too general of a statement to be sure.  I thought all the mesh systems established a local presence, but I could be wrong about that.

    I also thought Linksys was now the consumer division of Cisco, which doesn't necessarily give them credibility, but it's something (and FWIW, my experience with Linksys has not been good).

    I have a full Unifi infrastructure, but their stuff seems to age out rather quickly.
    NOLA
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 33,288
    Wire all your WAPs.  The "mesh" relay is a wireless consumer pitch where you can extend range without expensive network cables at the expense of performance.  Rarely this is ever done in commercial installs unless there are some extreme physical limitations. 

    The other appeal of "mesh" systems is mostly that they manage a single DNS server.  This is easily done with any heterogeneous mix of WAPs.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 33,288
    That said, 25 mbps handles 4k compressed video, so unless you are a geek about bandwidth, nothing wrong with running a notoriously inefficient wireless  mesh network because it will suffice and you don't have to be an IT person to setup.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • cookingdude555cookingdude555 Posts: 2,763
    Wire all your WAPs.  The "mesh" relay is a wireless consumer pitch where you can extend range without expensive network cables at the expense of performance.  Rarely this is ever done in commercial installs unless there are some extreme physical limitations. 

    The other appeal of "mesh" systems is mostly that they manage a single DNS server.  This is easily done with any heterogeneous mix of WAPs.
    This is somewhat true.  I ran this way for many years, using several routers in AP mode.  Where they struggle is the client handoff.  Since they are not talking to each other, they all think they are alone and will not drop the connection in favor of another closer access point (same SSID of course).  It would take an almost dropped connection before my wireless devices would roam to another AP this way.  The Orbi’s all talk and will force a disconnect on a client when its closer to a better AP.  It happens so fast that you cant tell, but it does a better job of staying on the best AP for the location.  I still prefer a wired backhaul for all of the APs in the mesh over the method that most of these employ. 

    That said, 25 mbps handles 4k compressed video, so unless you are a geek about bandwidth, nothing wrong with running a notoriously inefficient wireless  mesh network because it will suffice and you don't have to be an IT person to setup.
    what if you need 30 - 4k connections going in your house?  Download speed was a couple of hundred meg off tonight, not sure what's going on there.  =)

    John - SLC, UT

    Several eggs ..

  • jdMyersjdMyers Posts: 310
    Just a few questions.  What do you have for your internet source, conpany, type, speed.  Ie.  Xfinity, cable wire, 100mb service, or att, dsl thru phone cable, and 30mb service.  Which nighthawk do you have specifically and which linksys extenders are you using?.  Is extender 1 connected to the nighthawk and extender 2 connected to extender 1 etc how is it programmed.

    In many cases people will buy a good router then very low range extenders.  Then connect extender 1 to extender 2 and 2 to 3 instead of everything connected to the router specifically.

    Carbon monoxide detectors especially plughed into an outlet type can cut off wifi completely.  

    Ive done 1800 houses that are typically 3 rows of brick thick with tp link  re650 extenders that go 15000 sq feet each.  Then run house to barn to pool house just fine.  Cheaper than a mesh.  Got more punch thru.  Even use refurbished all the time
    Columbus, Ohio
  • ColtsFanColtsFan Posts: 4,445
    Go big or go home

    ~ John - https://www.instagram.com/hoosier_egger
    1-XL BGE, 2-LG BGE, KJ Jr, Ardore Pizza Oven, King Disc 
    Bloomington, IN - Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoosiers!

  • HeavyGHeavyG Posts: 7,059




    I know it's only a dozen cables but still... B) 

    Camped out in the (757/948/804)
  • ColtsFanColtsFan Posts: 4,445
    HeavyG said:




    I know it's only a dozen cables but still... B) 


    Yeah, I give zero sheetz how my network closet looks :)
    ~ John - https://www.instagram.com/hoosier_egger
    1-XL BGE, 2-LG BGE, KJ Jr, Ardore Pizza Oven, King Disc 
    Bloomington, IN - Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoosiers!

  • buzd504buzd504 Posts: 3,159
    I would post a picture of mine, but it is much closer to the picture on the left than the right.
    NOLA
  • ToxarchToxarch Posts: 1,886
    Whatever you use, make sure all access points are wired if possible.

    I've tried range extenders, even setup my own. Like mentioned, they do not like to hand off the signal to a closer access point. They will hold that device until the device is out of range, even if that limit is past the next access point.

    Had a Nighthawk 1200(?) in the parent's house (7000 sq ft, 2 story). It worked OK, but not great. Their ISP gave them a Ubiquiti AmpliFi HD so I switched to that and bought a AmpliFi mesh AP for it. It was nice on the main wireless router but the mesh AP speed was slow no matter where I put it. One day the AmpliFi wireless went bad, no idea why. They are not made anymore and it is way out of warranty so I bought them the Orbi RBR50 mesh, same as I use in my house, 1 router and 1 wired satellite. My house is 3400 sqft, single story and there are no dead spots. I can even turn off the satellite and get a decent signal at the other end of the house from the router. I put the same in their 7000 sqft, two story and I have not found any dead spots in their house. There's a signal for at least 100 feet outside the house too. 

    Is the Orbi the best? I do not know. I bought it based on reading a lot of user reviews. There are some bad reviews of it going out suddenly so be aware of that. Does it work for me? It's been 7 months and it's been the best wifi I have used. The only problem I have had is that I use the house wifi for cellular phone calls. If I make a call while pulling out of the driveway, the call will drop about 50 yards down the road as the phone switches to cell tower coverage. 
    Aledo, Texas
    Large BGE
    KJ Jr.

    Exodus 12:9 KJV
    Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.

  • ColbyLangColbyLang Posts: 616
    Ok, circling back. Bought an Eero system that came with 3 total satellites. I know it may not be enough but does say provides coverage for 5000 sq feet. If I have to buy one or 2 additional satellites and everything works, I’ll be thrilled. Planning on setting up tomorrow.

    question: multiple parts

    do I want to eliminate the Nighthawk all together, use it as a bridge for the Eero, bridge the Eero or do I want to double-NAT the Eero system? I have no idea what the last option is, but it’s a set up option within the Eero install guide. 

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