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What is the best network setup for my specific needs?

Discussion in 'Networking' started by MrNickknack77, Nov 14, 2017.

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  1. MrNickknack77

    MrNickknack77 Thread Starter

    Nov 14, 2017
    Hello, my name is Nick and I am brand new to this forum. Please excuse any errors on my part! Although I am very good with computers, I get easily overwhelmed with networking stuff. Please note that I know my current setup is garbage and that's why I'm here, for help to fix it right!

    So I have a fairly complicated setup at my home. I will try to make this as simple to understand as possible.

    We need a new setup as ours is becoming very problematic. Due to the circumstances of the setup (which I will describe below) I honestly don't know what the best overall solution is, and so I am seeking help on here.

    Here's our setup:

    Charter high speed internet with rented modem from Charter

    Belkin AC1200 dual-band router that we own in the living room. It's the main router, about 1' away from the modem and connected using a short ethernet cable.

    Second router we own is in bridge mode and is in the back room of a large separate garage. It is roughly 75' away from the main router in our living room and is connected to it with a 200' ethernet cable. This router is a Cisco EA6500 dual-band router.

    The cable (one of the biggest issues I believe) is of poor quality, is WAY too long (I have a huge bundle of slack in the room), is unshielded, is "not" in direct exposure to rain or sunlight but is not protected by conduit or any other type of means. It is exposed to the elements, just not in direct contact. It is not underground but is tacked up along the bottom of our floor joists (in the crawlspace.)

    Here's my issues:

    The back room is my domain. It is a man cave, of sorts. I play XBOX a lot on my XBOX One S and GTA V Online and many other games on it. I am constantly battling with disconnects, party interruptions, serious lag, etc. My download speeds on average measure about 50-60Mbps and upload speeds around 5Mbps, on our 5GHz signal. However, I am having to reset the routers and modem as well as my XBOX Cache and clear the alternate MAC address every day, sometimes even twice a day and I still get problems. It's already a pain as it is but made worse by the fact that I have to run into the house, disarm our alarm, reset the routers, re-arm the alarm and lock back up every time. I know bandwidth is part of my problem and I'm sure that ethernet cable I have is the culprit. Everything just seems to bottleneck up too fast and the connection speed/strength is not consistent and jumps around a lot. We have issues even in the house with the connection now too sometimes. My XBOX itself is connected to the router via WiFi rather than with ethernet and I know that ethernet is a better way to connect it but I have tried that before and faced the same issues.

    Here's what I have done/bought so far:

    A new ethernet cable. My apologies for not remembering the specific type off hand but I did do my research on the different types before purchasing one and so I'm sure I bought the right type. It is much shorter at 100', much higher quality, and is shielded. I CAN buy and run conduit if needed but can't install it underground.

    Here's what I'm unsure about:

    I decided to buy 2 new routers and switch our modem out at Charter for a new one (we have had ours for a while and due to other issues as well I would rather just start back off on a clean slate). A friend bought a Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 router and loves it. It works beautifully for him. I know it is a good router but will buying 2 of them work for my setup or...? I know there's also new Google WiFi whole-home network kits and other new gadgets on the market that are rather pricey. Do I need to just chuck the entire idea of running an ethernet cable or using 2 routers? I'm just confused and worried about spending additional money on another poor setup. I know everyone usually has connection issues and lag here and there but mine is pretty unmanageable. I have to find a better solution.

    My apologies for the length of this and thank you for taking time to read it. I just need to know what the best setup would be for me. Seeing as Black Friday is coming up quickly, I am hoping to get a deal on new equipment. Any help/input is appreciated, and thanks!
  2. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

    Mar 23, 2005
    First Name:
    What does that mean? Since you are running an ethernet cable between the routers I assume that the second one is not being used as a wireless bridge or repeater. That still leaves daisy-chaining it and using as a router or using it only as an ethernet switch and wireless access point. Which? Or something else?

    Have you tested with a computer connected directly to the long ethernet cable to prove that the trouble lies with the cable (not the second router)?
  3. MrNickknack77

    MrNickknack77 Thread Starter

    Nov 14, 2017

    My apologies as I'm not tech savvy at all when it comes to networking. I probably used the wrong terminology. Basically my Cisco router out in the room is "paired" with the Belkin in the house. It is set to automatically copy the settings of the Belkin and work like an access point. The Cisco router was bought used a couple years back and the cover has been broken off and just sits on the top of it loosely, which is one of the reasons I want to replace it. And the ethernet cable definitely needs to be replaced even IF it isn't the main culprit as the outer plastic tube surrounding the wires is cracking and breaking in several locations. It's only a matter of time until it will break completely. I have tried connecting a computer to the ethernet alone and bypassing the 2nd router but the results were basically the same.
  4. openminds


    Nov 19, 2017
    I'm not sure what you mean by it's set up to copy the settings or paired. Not your fault, just so much terminology out there.

    Let's call router at the modem router 1, other 2.

    Router 1 will obviously work as a router. This will have DHCP active, assigning all your devices their own IP addresses. This will also dynamically assign all the different ports that different programs will need on each device when needed via UPnP. Your cat5 cable will plug into one of the standard Ethernet ports, modem into the wan or "modem" port. No special settings needed at this point at router 1.

    I am going to go on like you are setting up your man cave purely as an extension of your main home network. (You could set it up as a 2nd independent network). As an extension you will want to be sure your new router can be set up as a wireless access point, or just buy an access point because you will not need any of the functions of a router. If the router 2 you have now is set up as a router, with an active DHCP server, using the same ip addresses, you will have big conflicts. ( Unless you have it set up as a 2nd network.) So basically, router 2 is only acting as a multi port extension. With this setup, all of your devices will use the same ip group, with router bring something like, and your devices being,, etc. When router 2 is setup as an access point, it shouldn't have many settings available, and would be set up to gets it's IP address dynamically. You could go as far as assigning router 2 an IP like, just make sure to set your router 1 DHCP range to start after the IP you assign, ex. -
    And that should just about do it.
    Hopefully I made some sense here. If your goal is to set up a 2nd independent network, on a different ip address range and isolated from your main home network, pm me, or if you need more help.
    enterasource likes this.
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