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Improving Wifi coverage


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lt8480

We have a Virgin Super Hub 3.0 downstairs in our open plan living space, but we get really poor wifi signal upstairs with it often dropping.

 

We only use the wifi for our phones. (We have desktop computers, TV, printer, etc. all connected via ethernet around the house / each room has 1 or 2 ports).

 

Our switch and patch panel is in a cupboard in the middle of the house upstairs, so I was thinking a fairly basic access point might suffice here considering the modest amount of connected devices and the basic speed provision we'd need. Also, the max distance you can be from the access point would be 7m so power/range also assume not critical either.

 

Would a TP-Link AC1200 suffice or am I being too cheap?

(to note for any alternative suggestions there is only 7cm above the top of the wall outlet (UK) and note many similar products look quite a bit taller. I would prefer not to have to buy an extension cable as have plenty of sockets already in the cupboard, but would happily a wall mounted device in the cupboard and its power cable run to the wall outlet)

 

Alternatively I was thinking of turning off the wifi on the hub and putting 2 access points in with more intelligent handover function, but seems like a costly exercise for limited phone use - unless a good budget option exists I'm missing?

 

Any thoughts/assistance much appreciated.

 

 

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+BudMan

That device looks like you can use it as normal AP.

 

AP.png.c2220619590c31261ad3f99d4462ebc6.png

 

If that is how you plan on using it - it should be fine.

 

Keep in mind that any wifi router can be used as just AP.  So if you find just plain wifi router that meets your needs for wifi and budget and allows for better placement that would work too.  Just turn off its dhcp server and connect it to your network with one of the lan ports.  This also allows you to have more lan ports in that area as well.

 

While there are protocols that can help a client move from one AP to another 802.11k, r and v - your client may or may not support these, etc.  So while some higher end wifi solution, unifi for example might support these or have future support for these protocols.  You may not need them for your use..  Especially if your balking at the budget of moving to such a system.

 

Do you have an old wifi router on a shelf you could just use?  That for sure something I would test with before buying anything if you have budget constraints.

 

If placement is a concern - unifi has an wall mount AP that just connects to where your ethernet jack is, and then uses poe for power.

https://store.ui.com/collections/unifi-network-wireless/products/inwall-ap

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Mindovermaster
Posted (edited)

Yeah, I have my "old router" set up as an AP in my living room, going to my switch and the PFSense box. Our house is one level, so it works well. :)

 

As my PFSense box doesn't have wireless. (well, it does, but not enabled in BIOS)

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lt8480

Sadly no spare router to use/test. Thanks for the input.

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Mindovermaster

No really need to "test" it. Get the one BudMan posted above, bang.

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lt8480

My switch doesn't POE so I'd need something else.

 

The AP I looked at before looks to only have 100Mbps ethernet connection, as I have 600-700Mbps internet connection think I should at least invent in something with a gigabit connection.

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Mindovermaster

You don't need a PoE for an AP, bud. It's just connect into your switch and use it. Have to switch your router to AP mode, tho.

 

You don't need gig for wireless. I'll let BudMan expand on this.

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+BudMan
2 hours ago, lt8480 said:

The AP I looked at before looks to only have 100Mbps ethernet connection

Well that would be a concern yes ;)

 

If you do not have a wifi router laying around - then just buy whatever one meets your budget and specs.. Gig wire would be a big must if you ask me.  While your not going to get gig over wifi unless you were running AX, and had AX clients.  You for sure can get over 100 over wifi.. Anything with a 100mbps wire connection is pretty useless as modern day AP..   Since there is nothing between 100 and gig - you really need to connect with gig wire to your AP.  To provide for higher than 100, even if your wifi is only 200.  Which is a very common speed with pretty much any client and any typical AC wifi router/AP.  400 is common over anything with 2 streams and 5ghz AC..   If your devices are only going to be using 2.4, then its hard to get over the 100 real world speed.

 

You can pick up a cheap gig wifi AC router, and just use that as AP.. If you have a place to put it where you want and a wire and power plug near by.

 

I see a TP-Link AC1200 Gigabit WiFi Router (Archer A6) on amazon for $40..

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