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Needing a better home networking solution


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11 replies to this topic

#1 cjayel

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 01:49 PM

I started researching ways to improve my home network when my IPAD started dropping it's internet connection and had trouble loading pages. And also movies on my Netflix trial had buffering/loading issues. I could probably live with my non-blazing network and IPAD that drops it's connection periodically, but I would really like to be able to use Netflix. I've cancelled my trial version but am thinking of signing up again and trying to get it to work somehow.

My networking needs are pretty basic; emailing, texting, facebook, videos, netflix, NO gaming, ereaders (very basic... an ex.. my Galaxy had a 2gb data pkg...and I barely use 1gb)

My home network specs include:

In computer room of house (2400 sqft 2 story)
- Comcast modem (Speed tier is HD Preferred XF - 25mbps). Model Aris TM702G/CT
- Linksys WRT310N non-dual router (2.4GHz) (router is wired into modem and sits at about monitor height on a bookcase in vicinity of modem and main desktop pc)
WPA2 Personal/AES
Radio Band - Standard 20MHz
Wide Channel - 3 (greyed out)
Standard Channel -
No currently are no Firmware updates
- one Windows 7 desktop (ethernet to router). This is our main pc and has no wireless nic. Model ZT i7-2600
- one Windows 7 laptop model HPPavilion dv6-6173cl. Intel i7-2670QM. Wireless adapter-Wifi Link 1000 bgn (usually connect with both ethernet to router(connection speed is 1 gbps in the wireless properties) and my wireless (connection speed 65+ gbps (near router)))
- printer (wireless)

Family room
- is approx 50 feet from where the router/modem is in the computer room. There's 3 plaster walls and 1 half brick wall in between computer and family room
- Mitzubi TV (non-smart) We are soon buying a smart TV
- BluRay DVD (used this for the Netflix trial - wireless)
- IPAD (tried the recommended solutions for dropped wireless network connectivity issues to no avail. It connects ok but drops periodically and slow to load pages)
- Galaxy S5 Android (uses home wireless network when at home and it is slow to in the family room)
- Windows 7 laptop connection speed is 39+ gbps
- there's a junction? box in closet by family room that I think has just Comcast cable stuff..but not sure.

 My Comcast pkg is for 25 mbps
- Did 2 speed tests at Speedtest.com (mid day)
     connected w/ethernet and wireless turned off     Download - 29.66 / 29.63
                                                                                 Upload - 6.23 / 6.23
     ethernet unplugged and Wireless on   Download - 18.68 / 21.38
                                                                  Upload - 6.28 / 6.21
- a WifiAnalyzer android app shows only a few neighborhood wireless devices and they are using channel 11
- wifiAnalyzer app shows my router using channel 6 (this happens to be the recommended channel by the app)
- wifiAnalyzer app shows a dBm of -40 near my router and -69 out in family room where netflix and ipad are

These are a few of the solutions I've been reading about but couldn't find a definitive answer for my situation.
- new router (AC standard)   dual band
- powerline adapters (has to be wired?)
- accesspoint (has to be wired?)
- wifi extender
- external antenae
- port forwarding  (for netflix)
Best Buy recommended a new AC router with dual bands, 2.4GHz and 5GHz. I read that 2.4GHz is best for going through walls (which is my situation) so maybe I don't need AC.  My current N router doesn't have dual band but has what is called a Wide 40 MHz radio band channel.  I have experimented with different variations of the router config.

In summary, my Comcast modem and Linksys WRT310N(configured on ch 6 which isnt used much in neighborhood) should work just fine for our networking needs ...except for the location of the modem/router and the interference between them and our wireless needs out in the family room (ipad, smart phone, netflix, laptop). Also, since the router is connected to the main desktop pc (that doesn't have a wireless network card), moving the router I didn't think is a good option.  The Comcast modem, wired desktop main pc, & router are right together now.  I don't want to waste money trying different options but ok to spend up to $150 but am open to higher priced options.  Would really like to have netflix.

Any help, advice, or direction would be greatly appreciated.



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#2 CaveDweller2

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 03:51 PM

If your stuff can connect to 2.4 and 5ghz, then maybe a dual band might do you some good, otherwise why bother? How many bars do you see out in your living room?


Hope this helps thumbup.gif

Associate in Applied Science - Network Systems Management - Trident Technical College


#3 Wand3r3r

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 12:12 PM

Netflix doesn't require port forwarding.  I have two Roku's of which both run Netflix sometimes at the same time.

 

Those are a few walls to get through.  Might be best to run a network cable to that room [attic or basement access?] and connect a wifi router configured as a wifi switch.

http://www.techsupportforum.com/3001-connecting-additional-routers/

 

With that one connection you can do both wired and wifi in the room.  No wall interfering :-)

 

If  you can't run a wire than do the powerline adapters for the same connectivity.  I prefer wire since it rarely fails.



#4 cjayel

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 07:56 PM

Thank you for your responses.

 

Wand3r3r - Running cable from computer room (router lives) to family room (wireless needs, especially netflix) whether above or below is probably not a good solution as the family room is a remodel of sorts with separate attic, etc.  At this point I think I will opt for a dual band router (Asus RTN56U), since most my devices are not AC, except for Galaxy S5 android and setup a second router in family room using the powerline adapters.  Thank you for the suggestion.  Can the second powerline adapter hook straight into a smart tv (for netflix) w/ethernet...or....does it need to hook into that second router setup in family room as an AP?

 

CaveDweller2 - I usually get 1-2 bars and lots of drops on ipad mini out in family room and very bad Netflix buffering probs.



#5 CaveDweller2

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 11:43 PM

The other thing you could do is buy a dual band router and use your linksys with a dd-wrt firmware upgrade as a repeater. It's really easy to set up and they have VERY detailed instructions on how to do everything on their website. And your router will work. 

 

I'm not saying powerline won't work, my limited experience is its a pain in the butt to get working.


Hope this helps thumbup.gif

Associate in Applied Science - Network Systems Management - Trident Technical College


#6 uByte

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 06:17 PM

Just curious did you try plugging directly up to the cable modem and see if it still buffers? If it works great then I would try it connected directly connected to the wireless router. If it works directly connected to the router I would probably guess that it is the wireless router. I have lost faith in linksys over the past couple of years. They have not put out quality products like they did back in the day. 



#7 cjayel

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 06:56 PM

Thanks for the reply uByte.  I'm just learning about networking so not real savvy about it yet.   My cable modem/router is in computer room and TV is in family room.  Was accessing Netflix on TV so no, did not try connecting cable modem to TV directly, if that's what you meant.  And whether or not netflix would have a buffering issue on my desktop pc which is directly connected to modem & router in the computer room...I did not think to test either. Don't know if it would be a valid test or not and would probably never want to watch movies on pc anyway. 

 

I am glad to hear your opinion of Linksys as I was struggling with staying with that brand  or not (since I'm used to it) when I purchase my new dual band router. I think I'm going to go with the Asus RT-N56U or RT-N66U router and setup my current old Linksys WRT310N in family room as an Access Point using Powerline adapters.  Or, I may try CaveDweller2's suggestion of going with the dd-wrt firmware upgrade as a repeater option.   (Thank you CaveDweller2).  I read about it and it sounds like it could be a good option. 



#8 CaveDweller2

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 09:59 PM

The other router might get ya covered and there will be no need to set up an access point or repeater. "fingers crossed" But the dd-wrt firmware does TONS of stuff. wanna mess with VLANs? Wireless VLANS? VPN? that firmware does them and more =) Might be worth putting it on just for fun...lol

 

of course I have weird ideas about what's fun. don't judge me


Hope this helps thumbup.gif

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#9 cjayel

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 01:57 AM

And I will probably try it too...because it'd be fun!



#10 cjayel

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 11:04 AM

Installing the new Asus RT-N66U solved my problem of a poor wireless signal in my family room.  Netflix comes in great with no buffering issues and ipad doesn't drop the internet anymore.  The new router works well enough without having to setup an access point / powerline adapters in the family room that I thought I might have to do.  Using the 2.4Ghz channel on the new TV for network connection to get through my plaster/brick walls.  Yeah!!!



#11 technonymous

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 06:40 AM

It's really best to run a line or two to different sections of the house and put in a ethernet wall receptacle's, or ceiling POE WAP's etc. However, it takes some handyman work and tools to do it. There is a lot of DIY home improvement video's to watch to do things like that.


Edited by technonymous, 08 December 2014 - 06:42 AM.


#12 cjayel

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Posted 19 December 2014 - 09:34 AM

Thanks for the reply and suggestion technonymous.  If I have any further wirless issues, I will definitely look into wiring the house for ethernet.  Might have saved some time and headaches. 






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