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Need (lots of) help configuring a network between two houses

Discussion in 'Networking' started by Wildernaess, Jul 11, 2019.

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  1. Wildernaess

    Wildernaess Thread Starter

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    Hey all -- I'll try to be concise.

    In the House, there is Spectrum internet which should be about 200 Mbps wired. There is a router and an access point. In the house there are several devices, both wired and wireless. Both types of connection approach 200 Mbps (for wireless, this is assuming you are within a reasonable radius of the AP). So far, so good.

    But -- I live in the Apartment about 80-100 ft away, up a bit in elevation as well as on the second floor. There is something like a 10ft differential between our flat and the room in the House.

    To get internet in our Apartment, I have an EnGenius ENH202 (which advertises speeds up to 300 Mbps) configured as an AP w/static IP blasting towards our window from the House. It is behind a window, so the signal must pass through two windows currently.

    Internet access via EnGenius is both unstable and slow. I understand speeds will fall off, but I cannot get above 20 Mbps on any device and usually range from 7-13. As to stability, the internet drops out often, EnGenius disappears from list of WiFi network access points, etc. Interestingly, sometimes we can connect to the Spectrum 2G network more easily and reliably than EnGenius, though not always and not for long. EDIT: For example, the speed test just had EnGenius at 16 Mbps and Spectrum 2G at 33 (sudden, new high). I could handle the lower-than-advertised speeds (probably user error, I know), but the instability is killer.



    - I am not particularly confident that I have configured the AP settings correctly.

    - Also, I have another EnGenius ENH202 which I can use.



    So, my first question is: how should I best configure the network? Should I set up the second ENH202 and, if so, should the one at the House be configured as a Client Bridge with the one up here as an AP?

    My second question is: hardware aside, are there any settings yall can imagine which might be limiting my speeds/stability?



    I greatly appreciate any insight anyone may have, as I have been struggling with this for a lot longer than I'm willing to admit.
     
  2. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Almost always residential internet service is for that one household, not for use in other buildings.

    So our first question is about the terms of service of the internet contract.
     
  3. Wildernaess

    Wildernaess Thread Starter

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    It's the same service address and the apartment is basically an extended garage. Spectrum was made aware of our plans and the guys they sent out to set up the internet access (we live out in the country, so it had to be made serviceable). Long story short, it's all above-board.
     
  4. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Thank you.

    Is the AP in the house window using 2.4 or 5 GHz? If you have a choice, use 2.4, as the range is better. And out in the country you do not have a bunch of other wireless networks interfering.

    Do you get good service at the window of the apartment but it falls off as you get away from the window? If so, install a Range Extender (Repeater) in the window.

    A Repeater slows service but it should be satisfactory. Best are the Repeaters that connect to the AP with one frequency range (2.4 or 5) and then "broadcast" to the client devices using the other range.
     
  5. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    I would suggest getting a new setup which supports a point to point wireless bridge using directional external antennas. The problem you're going to run into is attenuation from physical barriers between the two buildings and also dispersion characteristics of the RF output of the omni-directional antennas used in all consumer grade wireless devices.
     
  6. Wildernaess

    Wildernaess Thread Starter

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    I was under the impression that the two EnGenius ENH 202 devices I have were precisely that.
     
  7. Wildernaess

    Wildernaess Thread Starter

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    The AP is using 2.4. It does fall off away from the window. I was hoping to use an ENH202 as client bridge down at the house to send the signal up here, then use the other 202 as an AP for the apartment. Does that not make sense?

    Another issue is that I can sit in front of the AP in the house and get only about 25 Mbps WiFi, while the Spectrum 2G router the AP is connected to can double or triple that. Is that normal fall-off from daisy-chaining? EDIT: In my apartment, just now, I got about 15 Mbps faster speed from the Spectrum router than from the ENH202, which is made for this kind of thing. Are there any settings I should check in on and make sure are set up correctly?
     
  8. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Do you have one or two of these devices?
     
  9. Wildernaess

    Wildernaess Thread Starter

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    Two.
     
  10. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Is there a way to verify what the signal strength is between the two devices? Since the antennas are directional on these units, it's critical they are aimed at each other correctly. This is why I prefer to have APs or bridges for outdoor use to have external antennas which make it easier to place the antenna and aim them.
     
  11. Wildernaess

    Wildernaess Thread Starter

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    Oh, I missed the part about external atennas; my apologies. I'm not sure about between them, as I can't get them to interact in a bridge-AP interface, but the signal strength itself is usually pretty strong up here.

    EDIT: Given the advertised specs on the ENH202, it seems like I shouldn't -need- a second one, and that just blasting one from the house as the Access Point should be enough. As I believe I said in the OP, the distance isn't that great and the ENH202 is made to work over miles.
     
  12. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    You need to have two of them. The intent of the system is to provide a way to do a wireless bridge over a decent distance. How this is accomplished is through two things. One, because these are classified as outdoor wireless devices, they're allowed to have stronger output RF radios than indoor APs. Second, they use directional antennas. This means the RF dispersion pattern is very focused for transmit and the same applies to reception. If you're trying to establish a wireless connection to a wireless device with omni-directional antennas, you're not going to get satisfactory results.
     
  13. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    I am not even slightly familiar with the ENH202 or similar, so thanks to zx10guy for picking up.

    My advice was for "simple" residential AP and Repeater.
     
  14. Wildernaess

    Wildernaess Thread Starter

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    Understood. So what configuration makes the most sense? The one down at the house as a client bridge and the one up here as an AP? I believe they can only be configured as APs, Client Bridges, Client Routers, or a few different WDS modes.
     
  15. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Based on the user manual, you want the ENH202 at the location where you have ISP connectivity to run as an AP. The location you want to extend Internet connectivity would run in client/bridge mode. The catch is the one in CB mode cannot provide wireless connectivity to any wireless device in that location. If you want to have wireless service there, you will need to add another wireless AP.
     
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