Using a Wifi Access Point

Status
This thread has been Locked and is not open to further replies. Please start a New Thread if you're having a similar issue. View our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Nemo2000

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 5, 2006
Messages
229
Following a recent upgrade of my home network, I now have a router with 5GHz WiFi capability. Most of my devices are connected by wired Ethernet, but there is one laptop which is used in a different room and relies on a WiFi connection.

The laptop's inbuilt WiFi adapter is only 2.4GHz capable, so I have plugged in a new USB AC1200 adapter to provide 5GHz support. The laptop and router talk at 835/835 Mbps when close together, but with the laptop in its normal location then the speed drops to 535/535.

With my old 2.4Ghz router I used a Wifi Extender in the same room as the laptop - this worked, but of course the speed dropped to about 150/75 because of the re-transmission 'hop'. I am thinking therefore of buying a new 5Ghz-capable Extender, but using that as an Access Point with a wired connection to the router.

Download speed on the incoming broadband is about 35Mbps. Given that the proposed new extender only has a 100Mbps Ethernet port, whereas my new router has 1000Mbps ports, what sort of speed am I likely to get between the AP and the laptop, assuming a good signal on the 5GHz? Will it be approx 835/835, or will it still drop a lot?

Running an Ethernet cable between the router and the AP is not going to be easy, so I don't really want to go though all the upheaval for little or no real benefit over an above the current 535/535 ?
 

zx10guy

Trusted Advisor
Spam Fighter
Joined
Mar 30, 2008
Messages
6,713
First don't ever use an range extender/booster/repeater in any wireless network. They're horrible with what they do to the overall wireless network. Those devices should be the absolute last resort if no other options are viable.

If you get an actual access point which is 802.11ac capable, I have not seen any that have 100Mbit ports on them. It totally defeats the purpose of have 802.11ac capability when your hardwired network connection is less than what the wireless portion is able to do.

Here are my recommendations in order:

1) Get a unified wireless system. Look for one that can support each AP being hard wired. If all else fails these systems have the ability to do a wireless mesh between member APs. Some possible candidates are Google WiFi, Eero, Linksys Velop, Netgear Orbi, Ubiquiti. Ubiquiti has been gaining a lot of favor among the home enthusiast crowd as their devices provide business/enterprise features at prices a home user can stomach. Their setup from what I understand is pretty easy and GUI driven. The advantages of these systems are centralized RF management where the signal strength of each AP is adjusted so it doesn't stomp over the neighboring member AP in the unified wireless system. There are also features such as continuous channel selection where the system monitors RF interference and automatically changes channels to a less crowded one. Roaming between APs and steering of the client to an AP which provides the best performance. And these systems only have one SSID that is broadcast for both 2.4 and 5GHz.

ETA: Forgot to mention, you would turn off the built in AP in your wireless router and then connect up a member AP of the unified wireless system at that location.

2) Get a stand alone AP. Adjust down the power output of the radios in this AP where you just get connectivity when you are within the coverage of your existing wireless router. I suggest you use a different SSID for this AP as attempting to use the same SSID being used with your wireless router might cause problems where both APs overlap in coverage. Roaming will also be a bit of a problem with stand alone APs. But chances are if you purchase a dedicated AP, it will be of a higher grade than the ones built into wireless routers and you'll have the luxury of being able to broadcast a single SSID for both 2.4 and 5GHz.
 

Nemo2000

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 5, 2006
Messages
229
Thanks for the reply.

To be clear, the laptop is the only device that requires WiFi - everything else is wired - so I would be quite happy to use the AP only and turn off the WiFi in the router.

Having used an extender before (as an actual extender) with my older 2.4Ghz kit, my basic idea was to replace it with a 5Ghz version and use that as described above as an AP instead. I had the Netgear EX6120 in mind, which has a Fast Ethernet port and would be reasonably cheap enough for this job. I could use an EX6250 instead and get a Gigabit port, but I'm not sure that it would be worth the extra expense.

As an alternative, I could simply put the router in the same room as the laptop and then wire Gigabit back to a new Gigabit switch in the router's current position in order to support all the wired devices. It might actually be cheaper in terms of kit, but for various reason would be far more complicated and disruptive to install, so I want to avoid that!
 

Fireflycph

Morten
Joined
Apr 1, 2016
Messages
1,577
I'm just wondering, and forgive me if you feel I'm intruding on the thread, why, if you're going to pull a cable anyway, you don't just hardwire the laptop in the other room? It'll save you the expense of any new hardware - sans the cable and connectors, of course.
 

Nemo2000

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 5, 2006
Messages
229
A qood question :)

Two reasons why not cabled:-
1. The laptop is used in several different locations in that room, so a long fly-lead would be needed and could provide a trip hazard.
2. RJ45 connections are not rated for a large number of insertions. I have had practical experience in the past where the retention 'nib' in the socket has worn down or broken off, rendering the connection unreliable, and as the socket is usually soldered to the motherboard it can be a very complicated (and expensive) job to replace it!
 

zx10guy

Trusted Advisor
Spam Fighter
Joined
Mar 30, 2008
Messages
6,713
I looked at the info on the EX6120. While it will work as an AP, I wouldn't use it. I would get a proper AP. This device requires being connected into a wall outlet. This is really not an optimal place to have an AP.
 

Nemo2000

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 5, 2006
Messages
229
No problem about wall-outlet - I have one high up above the door specifically installed for the old 2.4Hgz extender :)
Surely anyway any sort of AP would require a power source?
 

zx10guy

Trusted Advisor
Spam Fighter
Joined
Mar 30, 2008
Messages
6,713
Yes. APs require power but they'll work with PoE (power over Ethernet). I have three APs. Two of them are getting power over their Ethernet connection from a switch that provides connectivity on all the network drops at various points of my house. You don't need to get a switch that can do PoE. Just get a PoE injector which is a brick that has two Ethernet ports on it. It plugs into a wall outlet. You take your connection from your main router and connect the LAN port of the router to the Ethernet In of the PoE injector. The Ethernet Out goes to the AP where on this side it supplies PoE.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2002
Messages
3,491
Swap out the wifi card for something 2.4 Ghz capable. They'll probably be less expensive than an access point and whatever extra hardware....
 

TerryNet

Terry
Moderator
Joined
Mar 23, 2005
Messages
81,494
Swap out the wifi card for something 2.4 Ghz capable.
Uh, did you miss or forget the first sentence of the second paragraph of post # 1? It says, "The laptop's inbuilt WiFi adapter is only 2.4GHz capable, so I have plugged in a new USB AC1200 adapter to provide 5GHz support."

And, by the way, even if he wanted to circle back it would not be necessary as the new AC1200 adapter supports both 2.4 and 5 GHz.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2002
Messages
3,491
The 5Ghz band is not great at penetrating walls.
Live with what you got, get a repeater, or move the router.
 
Status
This thread has been Locked and is not open to further replies. Please start a New Thread if you're having a similar issue. View our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 807,865 other people just like you!

Latest posts

Staff online

Top