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How to get strong wireless performance in a large house!

Discussion in 'Networking' started by cap2587, Feb 20, 2013.

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  1. cap2587

    cap2587 Thread Starter

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    I am trying to brainstorm some ideas for the best wireless set up in a house that is 2 stories and 8500 SQ Feet. The house is wired with ethernet jacks.

    Option 1. ASUS RT-N66U and Hawking Hi-Gain HWREN1

    Option 2. Two Apple Airport Extreme's at either end of the house.

    Option 3. Asus RT-N66U and Linksys WRT54G (DD-WRT Firmware).

    What about the placement of the equipment? Should there be one router/access point on each floor or just two at either end of the house. Thanks for any input on this issue.
     
  2. reticentAJ

    reticentAJ

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    Placement of the equipment is very important. Personally, I think it is something you will need to mess around with. I would probably recommend two routers. My house is much smaller than yours and one router covers the whole house, but in certain parts the signal is significantly lower (our placing of the router is poor though).

    Experimenting with it would be best. I'm pretty sure you could check out the ranges of the routers to see how far the signal is broadcasted. What I think would be a good set up is one on the top floor and one on the bottom. I probably wouldn't place them at the end of the house, because then a lot of the signal will go outside the scope of the house, unless you are able to direct the signal in certain directions. I would place one on the top floor and one on the bottom. Then, one of the routers would be placed in the right center part of the house (doesn't matter whether it is top or bottom floor) and then the other one would be left center of the house.

    I will not recommend routers as I have not had experience with a lot of routers. The majority of the ones I have dealt with are netgear.
     
  3. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    I think that is an excellent way to begin, and may be sufficient. Since you already have the cables in place you don't have to plan any farther ahead then that. You can easily add another or several if needed. Unless you already have routers I would suggest buying 802.11n 300 Mbps. Or the new 802.11ac if you feel adventurous.
     
  4. reticentAJ

    reticentAJ

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    Boom. Got something right.

    Never heard of the ac one. Thanks for the new information. Those routers are expense, but the speeds sound awesome. I don't understand why when using the 5GHz frequency you get about double the data speed compared to using the 2.4GHz frequency, at least that was the way it was when I was looking at some of the routers.
     
  5. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    In regards to the OP's question, I would do none of the options. You'll get a better wireless experience if you have a unified type wireless implementation. There are various vendors out there which do unified multi-AP type systems. You'll get better coverage and better roaming experience. Some vendors which produce these types of systems which don't require a full wireless controller are Aruba Networks, Meraki, and Ubiquiti.

    On the topic of 802.11ac, I've posted some discussions about this on another forum. 802.11ac is still in draft and hasn't been fully ratified. How ac is getting the faster data rates is due to channel bonding and the ability to use a broad range of channels in the 5 GHz space. The biggest promise of 802.11ac is the ability to support multiple wireless clients on a single AP at the same time. To clarify this statement, current wireless technologies only allow one wireless device to talk on the airwave at any given time. This is done to prevent collisions and why wireless is considered a half duplex technology. 802.11ac will allow the AP to service more than one wireless client transmitting at the same time. This multiplexing isn't out yet and won't be for about a year. Current draft ac hardware won't be upgradeable to these later features as it requires hardware support and can't be implemented via a firmware upgrade.

    I would save my money and wait till at least phase 2 of 802.11ac is ratified and implemented.

    Edit: To clarify my statement about the multiplexing feature of ac, the wireless communication is still half duplex where only one device can transmit at the same time. But how multiple wireless clients can talk to the AP at the same time and the AP to the clients is due to the ability to split the use of the antennas in the AP.
     
  6. reticentAJ

    reticentAJ

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    Thanks for the info. Didn't know only one device could communicate with the router at once.

    What's a unified wireless implementation?
     
  7. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    A unified wireless implementation is where all the APs function as one large wireless network. You don't get this with cobbling together multiple wireless routers trying to create a pseudo single wireless network. While you can have one wireless router set up to broadcast a SSID on say channel 6 and another wireless router configured to broadcast the same SSID on say channel 11, these two wireless routers are independent of each other in their RF management. While this may solve the problem of coverage issues, it won't be satisfactory when it comes to wireless roaming. The roaming algorithms used in wireless clients are weak at best. And many do come on this forum and complain about less than satisfactory roaming performance.
     
  8. reticentAJ

    reticentAJ

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    How is this unified implementation set up any differently than bridging multiple routers together?
     
  9. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Oh....let's see...

    A unified wireless system has the ability to adjust RF output on each AP so one AP won't overwhelm the RF output of another. A unified wireless system has the ability to assess which AP will provide the best performance and steer a wireless client to associate with the more ideal AP rather than allowing the client to make that assessment which as I said is weak at best.

    Other features which cobbling multiple wireless routers together won't give you are features such as band steering, automated/continuous channel selection to ensure the wireless system is constantly running on the least congested channel.
     
  10. reticentAJ

    reticentAJ

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    Ah. Ok. Makes more sense. Thanks.
     
  11. cap2587

    cap2587 Thread Starter

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    Thanks for all the great responses. Sounds like we are only scratching the surface of where wireless technology is heading. It is great that everyone is sharing knowledge and learning more about unified wireless system and AC Frequency etc
     
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