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New router suggestions

BrachusBrachus Member UncommonPosts: 97
I just moved my family of 6 into a new home with 5000 finished sq ft. The prior owner clearly didn't care about wires networking, so there is no ethernet lines run through the house, forcing us to go with wi-fi in most rooms for now. As there are 6 of us, we have lots of devices running at any time; 2 PS4's, 4 Ipad's, 3 desktop PC's, several laptops, and Apple TV's connected to every TV in the house. To handle the wifi load, I am looking for a new router. Any suggestions to handle the heavy gaming and streaming load in a 5000 sq ft house?

Comments

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,375
    edited July 2018
    Ubiquiti Unifi AP AC

    Still need a router behind that - any consumer router would be ok (Disable it’s wifi and use the Ubiuiti AP instead), or if you want to stay in brand Ubiquiti Edgerouter Lite.
  • PK4GoldPK4Gold Member UncommonPosts: 62
    Luxul XWR3150 and a WAP 
  • PemminPemmin Member UncommonPosts: 623
    your best bet is a mesh network. orbi, eero, velop etc

    single routers have trouble in larger homes because of signal loss due to hitting multiple walls, water pipes, appliances, etc.

    also stay away from non-mesh extenders and repeaters they cut signal

    your other option is to contact your isp or a local contractor about getting outlets ran in your home. its fairly cheap... usually runs anywhere from $20 to $120 dollars per outlet in most areas.

  • PhryPhry Member LegendaryPosts: 11,004
    I use a TP link wireless router, one of the great things about it is that you can 'prioritise' devices, so if the kids are all watching video's or whatever, you can ensure your gaming experience is not degraded by assigning priority to the appropriate devices - and limiting those pesky kids from hogging the bandwidth  :p
    All decent wireless routers have this feature tbh, some even have SPI. Which is worth bearing in mind if you are worried about the kids viewing things they shouldn't. :)
  • laxielaxie Member RarePosts: 1,118
    I've been struggling with WiFi in my flat for quite a while. Even getting signal from a neighbouring room is problematic.

    I bought powerline adapters for the WiFi and it has been life-changing in my case. They connect your PC to the router using the power network. Spotless connection with no issues.
    https://www.tp-link.com/uk/products/list-18.html

    I still have the WiFi for my phone and tablet, but the PC always has a guaranteed "direct" connection.
    rertez
  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,403
    edited July 2018
    I feel powerline ethernet needs well-run electrical wiring. Poorly run wiring can cause issues. Electric cables also don't have the same capability as an ethernet cable. For a US home, mesh network makes the most sense but it can be costly. Like a few hundred costly. It may also not work well as you still run into the same interference problems of any over the air technology. Newer homes should be easier as they don't have a bunch of exposed copper wiring and piping.
    If you want to get your home wired for ethernet. Do not get your ISP or an electrician to do it. Get someone who specializes in fishing wires through walls to run the ethernet. ISP technicians are limited in the way they can run wires to limit the amount of time they spend on a job and reduce the potential liability of an inexperienced technician. Electricians tend to run wires like it's electrical and use old wiring. I have seen electricians run RG59 cable in brand new homes using splitters from the 80s and daisy chain the line. It will cost more but will save you the headache of someone explaining why they have to drill a hole to the outside.
  • OzmodanOzmodan Member EpicPosts: 9,726
    Pemmin said:
    your best bet is a mesh network. orbi, eero, velop etc

    single routers have trouble in larger homes because of signal loss due to hitting multiple walls, water pipes, appliances, etc.

    also stay away from non-mesh extenders and repeaters they cut signal

    your other option is to contact your isp or a local contractor about getting outlets ran in your home. its fairly cheap... usually runs anywhere from $20 to $120 dollars per outlet in most areas.

    Please explain how extenders or repeater cut signal.  That line is nonsense far as I am concerned.  I put TP-Link extenders in a friend's home and they work great.   Furthest bedroom streams 4k with zero issues.
  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,375
    There is a bit of a difference between a mesh network and a repeater.

    For the purpose of this discussion - AP = Access Point, which is what is originating your WiFi Network (identified by the SSID). An AP isn't the same thing as a router - AP only bridges a WiFi signal to the network. The router is the device that handles all the network connections/DHCP server/etc. Most consumer devices, the router and AP are built into the same device - in commercial applications they are often separate. 

    Both mesh routers and extenders will daisy chain out however far out you want to cover an area with WiFi. They will hop the data back to the router, which then decides where that network traffic ultimately needs to go. You can think of APs essentially the same as ethernet switches/hubs - all they do is take WiFi data and pass it along -- AP takes WiFi data and put it on a physical network, extenders/mesh APs take WiFi data and pass it down to the next AP until it can get to the physical network, repeat hopping until you can finally get to the router.

    The biggest difference is that in a mesh network, all the APs know they are part of a mesh network. With an extender, the original AP (probably the one built into your router) has no idea it's part of a mesh network. 

    Your device defaults to connecting to the AP with the strongest signal. In reality, you want to connect to the AP that is the closest to your router that has a "good enough" signal, as that will give you the fewest hops.

    Having an extra hop will add a few milliseconds to your latency - it's not utterly disastrous, but you would like to avoid it if you can. The real problem comes in when your standing in a fringe area - say, your right between the root AP and the extender. Your device may keep switching between the root AP and the extender signal, which adds a good deal more overhead to the process.

    A good mesh network is smart enough to keep you on a "good enough" signal as long as it can, and the really good ones can beam form and adjust coverage area and signal strength to ensure they aren't overlapping too much and maximize coverage and to minimize channel switching. Extenders often are not, and usually are installed much too close to the original AP, which results in a lot of channel switching and severely degraded performance.

    laxie
  • rertezrertez Member UncommonPosts: 230
    edited July 2018
    I'd try a pair of powerline adapters and see how they work with your home's electrical wiring. Don't expect the nominal performance (my cheap TP-LINK 1 GB kit works at a stable 330 Mbps) but if it works well in your home you can get reliable and low latency wired connections in most of your rooms if not in all of them. Just remember to use wall plugs and avoid extenders to get an optimal performance.

    I heard that some US homes tend to have electrical wiring that's not always optimal for powerline network performance so I wouldn't go all in before testing it with a single kit in various wall plugs. I live in the EU and I've been using powerline adapters with success on various locations including my home and my office too.
  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,375
    edited July 2018
    Powerline adapters tend to work well for outlets on the same circuit.

    If you have outlets on different circuit breakers, it can be hit or miss... if they happen to be on the same phase, you may luck out. If not, it will have a lot of noise in it at best.

    I use Powerline at home - works well. I find I can get faster speeds with AC Wifi, but I get more consistent speed and better latency over the Powerline. But if your electrical doesn't let it work, it's much, much worse than WiFi in pretty much every regard. 

    The other bad part about Powerline is that for a lot of devices (phones, tablets, etc)... you still need WiFi anyway. But at least those don't tend to be high bandwidth devices, so you just need adequate coverage, and cheap repeaters may be adequate.

    I still strongly recommend the Ubiquiti lineup. Edgerouter Lite + AC AP is about $175-$250 combined (depending on which AC AP you get) - or about the same price as a high end consumer router.... The difference being Ubiquiti is commercial grade, will mesh very well if you need additional coverage, and can do anything and everything you would ever want to do with networking at home. Once you set it up, it will be bulletproof for years. The downside is that Ubiquiti is not plug and play gear, and it takes a bit of work/google-fu to get it set up initially. If you can make it through the setup, it's hands down the best WiFi solution I've found out there, period. Odds are one AP will cover your entire home and then some, and there are a variety of other products that can integrate right in (outdoor APs, radio antenna for long distance bridging, etc).
    rertez
  • OzmodanOzmodan Member EpicPosts: 9,726
    When you consider how expensive the mesh systems are and they also require a yearly fee, the extender solution is a much more desirable system by a large margin!  I just do not see the point in an expensive mesh system that offers a slight advantage.

    I think some of you are lost in just looking for the best technology.  Price points do matter.
    Asm0deus
  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,375
    edited July 2018
    Not all mesh systems require a subscription; I wouldn’t advocate one that does unless that price also included something nice beyond just the privilege of routing my network traffic. A simple extender can work, but as all things with wireless, it's performance will vary a lot with topology and a good bit of just plain luck.

    I would agree with Ozmodan though in that very few people actually need the full blown mesh system. ~Most~ folks, the problem with their WiFi is channel congestion - those people in dense neighborhoods, apartments, dorms, etc. Mesh won't help with that at all, and can actually make the problem significantly worse.

    If your problem is that you have to cover a lot of odd geometry, wall/floor interference, multiple stories of living/working area/etc... that's where mesh is made to shine. Now even then - for most people, you only have a problem because you have a low quality consumer router and it just doesn't have the strength to punch through and get to all areas. Mesh can help with that, but it's an expensive solution to the problem, whereas just a stronger AP would fix the problem at lot cleaner.

    If it's just one spot in your house - like your garage or something... an extender makes a lot of sense there. Why spend a lot of money to cover a place that isn't a high traffic zone? Or if your are only looking to cover phones and tablets - those aren't typically high bandwidth devices in the first place. But if it's your entire second floor where all your bedrooms and half your computers are, or the entire West side of your home, maybe something more robust would be better.

  • pri00dampri00dam Member CommonPosts: 3
    edited August 2018

    I just moved my family of 6 into a new home with 5000 finished sq ft. The prior owner clearly didn't care about wires networking, so there is no ethernet lines run through the house, forcing us to go with wi-fi in most rooms for now. As there are 6 of us, we have lots of devices running at any time; 2 PS4's, 4 Ipad's, 3 desktop PC's, several laptops, and Apple TV's connected to every TV in the house. To handle the wifi load, I am looking for a new router. Any suggestions to handle the heavy gaming and streaming load in a 5000 sq ft house?
    Any 902.11AC router would do the work. You should go for one model (according to your budget) which is already in market and has positive reviews. If you are not planning to create a different WiFi on your home, even an Access Point or Wireless Repeater will strengthen your wireless network. 
    https://www.corenetworkz.com/2018/01/setup-linksys-wap300n-wireless-access.html 
    Post edited by pri00dam on
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