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What is the best way to extend the coverage of a dual band wireless router (specifically the 5g) (1 Viewer)

NewlyRetired

Footballguy
I have a dual band router.  The 2.4g band can reach every where in my home and I would like to have the same for the 5g (with out compromising speed).

I purchased a basic Netgear Wifi extender and while it did an excellent job of extending the coverage of the 5G network, it came at a pretty decent speed cost.

Are their any products that can both boost coverage area and not compromise any of the 5g speed?   I specifically want as high a speed pipe as possible to my 4k TV which also is unfortunately in a location in my house that is too far from the router to receive an solid 5g signal raw and the router really can't be moved as it is an central location that covers all my 2.4g devices well.

I have heard that some of the "mesh" systems that create multiple points in your home can work well but I have never used one and am unsure how the speed degradation is (if any). 

 
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culdeus

Have good
There's a larger discussion on this.  All I remember is it got me using ubiquiti access points which are flawless.  

 

gianmarco

Footballguy
I have a dual band router.  The 2.4g band can reach every where in my home and I would like to have the same for the 5g (with out compromising speed).

I purchased a basic Netgear Wifi extender and while it did an excellent job of extending the coverage of the 5G network, it came at a pretty decent speed cost.

Are their any products that can both boost coverage area and not compromise any of the 5g speed?   I specifically want as high a speed pipe as possible to my 4k TV which also is unfortunately in a location in my house that is too far from the router to receive an solid 5g signal raw and the router really can't be moved as it is an central location that covers all my 2.4g devices well.

I have heard that some of the "mesh" systems that create multiple points in your home can work well but I have never used one and am unsure how the speed degradation is (if any). 
Get a mesh router system.

One of the best purchases/upgrades I ever made. It's been talked about here a lot and it's pretty consensus.

ETA -- The most recent thread on this

 
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NewlyRetired

Footballguy
Get a mesh router system.

One of the best purchases/upgrades I ever made. It's been talked about here a lot and it's pretty consensus.

ETA -- The most recent thread on this
thanks I will give that a read through!

While I have you here, can you tell me how much speed degradation there is on the mesh system?

For example, my normal 5g wifi (when I am in range, which my TV is not) gets me around 110M.  But the extender I just put in only gets around 70M.

Will I see a similar loss on the mesh system that used the "dots"/extra pieces to help spread the signal wider?

 
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beer 30

Footballguy
thanks I will give that a read through!

While I have you here, can you tell me how much speed degradation there is on the mesh system?

For example, my normal 5g wifi (when I am in range, which my TV is not) gets me around 110M.  But the extender I just put in only gets around 70M.

Will I see a similar loss on the mesh system that used the "dots" or extra pieces to help spread the signal wider?
For mine, in the room where my router is, it’s around 180m. Anywhere outside of that room and it would drop to between 30-50m or just not at all depending on where you were in the house.

Just tested it and it’s about 130m anywhere in the house and garage now with the mesh network.

 

gianmarco

Footballguy
thanks I will give that a read through!

While I have you here, can you tell me how much speed degradation there is on the mesh system?

For example, my normal 5g wifi (when I am in range, which my TV is not) gets me around 110M.  But the extender I just put in only gets around 70M.

Will I see a similar loss on the mesh system that used the "dots"/extra pieces to help spread the signal wider?
You essentially don't. That's the beauty of it. I mean, on the edges of coverage you will, but none of those spots are actually in my house.

 

NewlyRetired

Footballguy
For mine, in the room where my router is, it’s around 180m. Anywhere outside of that room and it would drop to between 30-50m or just not at all depending on where you were in the house.

Just tested it and it’s about 130m anywhere in the house and garage now with the mesh network.
ok thank you.  That is almost the identical % loss I am seeing with the extender.

 

NewlyRetired

Footballguy
You essentially don't. That's the beauty of it. I mean, on the edges of coverage you will, but none of those spots are actually in my house.
hmm, this is different from what beer 30 posted above.  I guess there is a lot of variation here. 

 

gianmarco

Footballguy
hmm, this is different from what beer 30 posted above.  I guess there is a lot of variation here. 
If I do a speed test in various spots, I might have 250 instead 300mbps. But it's not noticeable practically and the strength is transmitted throughout the house at each point.

Previously, with a decent router, signal just got weaker and weaker the further you got. I have full strength now near all the access points.

 

Dinsy Ejotuz

Footballguy
I have heard that some of the "mesh" systems that create multiple points in your home can work well but I have never used one and am unsure how the speed degradation is (if any). 
I have a 3-router (not 1 router + 2 points) Google mesh system and it's been incredible.

We have ~300mps high speed coming into the basement level and connecting directly to the first Google router.

Also have a Google router on the 2nd and 3rd floors and traffic between them is seamless.  Enough that it solved my serious Rocket Leaguer's ping rate/lag problems on the 3rd floor.

I also got three routers (more $$) instead of a router and two points so I could attach a 5-port switch off of each.  Downstairs that lets me hardwire to the TV and both computers.  On the 2nd floor directly to the TV.  And upstairs to my kid's gaming computer. 

So it's wified in-between floors, but having the main connections on each floor be wired seems to help a little bit vs a 2nd over-the-air jump from the router to the device.

Can't say how much doing this and cutting the cord has improved our  overall connectivity.

ETA:  what Gianmarco said above too.  I get 200+mps if I run speed tests on any of the wired device or my phone anywhere in the house.  

 
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NewlyRetired

Footballguy
for you guys that have xfinity internet, what plan do you use?

I currently have the 400M plan and see around 110ish wireless on 5g.   If I jump to the 800M plan, can I expect to see around 220ish wireless 5g, or is it not linear that way?

 
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stbugs

Footballguy
hmm, this is different from what beer 30 posted above.  I guess there is a lot of variation here. 
Extenders are Ok but it’s not the same as a mesh router set. I’ve got TPLink Deco M9 Plus and love it. Had three and added a fourth for a back room right next to my Traeger. Traeger WiFi isn’t the best and it’s outside so that one noted in that back bedroom makes it perfect. No dead spots and I’ve got 3 floors for 3 real mesh nodes. I don’t count the Traeger one because it’s basically below another one.

The one thing I really like about mine is that it’s Tri-band. It’s not WiFi 6 or whatever that new protocol is, which was way more expensive at the time, but it’s got a dedicated band just for the back haul from the nodes to the Internet connected router. All nodes are identical so any can be the main one. That third band means that the node to node traffic doesn’t conflict with the device traffic. It was noticeable when I replaced my dual band mesh router which was noticeably better than the Mack daddy single router with extenders. My house is on the big side so it’s always been an issue. The regular router had dead spots and was spotty with lots of drops and reboots. The dual band mesh didn’t have the drops but wasn’t always lightning quick. The tri band has gotten rid of all problems and it’s more about the Spectrum cable Internet performance, which is typically fine.

 

stbugs

Footballguy
for you guys that have xfinity internet, what plan do you use?

I currently have the 400M plan and see around 110ish wireless on 5g.   If I jump to the 800M plan, can I expect to see around 220ish wireless 5g, or is it not linear that way?
If you only get 110ish on WiFi with 400 plan, I wouldn’t expect the 800M to double it.

 

gianmarco

Footballguy
for you guys that have xfinity internet, what plan do you use?

I currently have the 400M plan and see around 110ish wireless on 5g.   If I jump to the 800M plan, can I expect to see around 220ish wireless 5g, or is it not linear that way?
1) I would make sure you are getting 400M at your router. Check with a direct wired connection.

2) If you are truly getting 400M and you upgrade to a mesh system, my guess is that your WiFi speeds will drastically improve.

3) If your WiFi speeds do not improve with a mesh system, increasing to 800M will not do anything.

 

jhib

Footballguy
NewlyRetired said:
gianmarco said:
You essentially don't. That's the beauty of it. I mean, on the edges of coverage you will, but none of those spots are actually in my house.
hmm, this is different from what beer 30 posted above.  I guess there is a lot of variation here. 


I read beer30's post as a before-mesh and after-mesh comparison.  Sounds like he's actually saying the same as gianmarco regarding the mesh network. (I personally have google's mesh and will agree with others that you'll likely be much happier with mesh if you're able to go that way)

 

NewlyRetired

Footballguy
I read beer30's post as a before-mesh and after-mesh comparison.  Sounds like he's actually saying the same as gianmarco regarding the mesh network. (I personally have google's mesh and will agree with others that you'll likely be much happier with mesh if you're able to go that way)
I read it like this:

before mesh he had 180 (at router) dropping to 30/50 else where (or even worse)

after mesh he has 180 (at router) dropping to only 130 every where else

Thanks for the advice on the mesh!  It certainly sounds like the way to go.

 
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NewlyRetired

Footballguy
My wife asked me a question I should be able to answer but I am unsure.

The cables in our house are probably the old RG6 coax cables that connect the data from the street to our cable modem inside our house.  I would guess these are 15-20 years old.

Do I need to upgrade these cables to get better speed if I upgrade my service?  And if so what do I use?

 
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beer 30

Footballguy
I read it like this:

before mesh he had 180 (at router) dropping to 30/50 else where (or even worse)

after mesh he has 180 (at router) dropping to only 130 every where else

Thanks for the advice on the mesh!  It certainly sounds like the way to go.
Yes, before/after comparison and the drop is barely noticeable compared to what I had before. Aside from that, the biggest difference is the consistency everywhere in my house. Prior to mesh, there were areas I. The house that would just go dark from time to time.

My house was built in 97, I’ve never upgraded any cabling so I assume we are on the cheapest junk available 24 years ago. Would it be better if I switched it out? Probably but I’m too lazy to mess with it.

 

NewlyRetired

Footballguy
gianmarco said:
1) I would make sure you are getting 400M at your router. Check with a direct wired connection.

2) If you are truly getting 400M and you upgrade to a mesh system, my guess is that your WiFi speeds will drastically improve.

3) If your WiFi speeds do not improve with a mesh system, increasing to 800M will not do anything.
ok I did some testing today.

I went right to the router and connected with a lan cable to a laptop that had a gig ethernet port and I see roughly 330m from the router (we pay for 400m and I assume this will change through out the day).   But wireless, right next to the router, drops to 100Mish.

My goal is to keep my 400M service and get a budget mesh system and hope to see consistent speeds of 150m at my end devices (especially the ones that support 5g).

While I have not settled on a budget mesh system, something like this is what I am looking at:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06WVCB862/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

Is 150M a reasonable hope or unrealistic with this type of mesh system above?

 

gianmarco

Footballguy
ok I did some testing today.

I went right to the router and connected with a lan cable to a laptop that had a gig ethernet port and I see roughly 330m from the router (we pay for 400m and I assume this will change through out the day).   But wireless, right next to the router, drops to 100Mish.

My goal is to keep my 400M service and get a budget mesh system and hope to see consistent speeds of 150m at my end devices (especially the ones that support 5g).

While I have not settled on a budget mesh system, something like this is what I am looking at:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06WVCB862/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

Is 150M a reasonable hope or unrealistic with this type of mesh system above?
I think it's definitely reasonable and I would guess you'll see higher. 

 

STEADYMOBBIN 22

Footballguy
eero mesh user here. 1 gig Google Fiber connection. I have so many things connected and no noticeable loss in speed. 


This is what we have. Went with Eero over Orbi because it was an easier set up and from what I read, less drops when switching between the different zones. 

 

Dinsy Ejotuz

Footballguy
My wife asked me a question I should be able to answer but I am unsure.

The cables in our house are probably the old RG6 coax cables that connect the data from the street to our cable modem inside our house.  I would guess these are 15-20 years old.

Do I need to upgrade these cables to get better speed if I upgrade my service?  And if so what do I use?
Probably/maybe.

We had to have the box on the outside of our house upgraded before we could get more than 100mps Internet.  But I think ours was probably a lot older than yours. 

IIRC we were going to have to pay like $125 to get that done, but lucked into a service problem that required a new box to restore our existing (pre-upgrade) service level.

And the cable from the box to the main router downstairs is definitely not basic coax.  Everything else in our house (that's not wifi) connects via ethernet cables.

 
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belljr

Footballguy
My wife asked me a question I should be able to answer but I am unsure.

The cables in our house are probably the old RG6 coax cables that connect the data from the street to our cable modem inside our house.  I would guess these are 15-20 years old.

Do I need to upgrade these cables to get better speed if I upgrade my service?  And if so what do I use?
Doubtful.   RG6 is still the preferred coax cable, sure a cable can go bad but unless you have a bad cable you won't.  I am at gigabit speed with the same cable I've had in the house 

Eta: now you might want a dual shield rg6 etc

 
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CletiusMaximus

Footballguy
I'm not a tech guy but I installed an Orbi mesh system about 2 years ago that really helped - particularly getting a strong signal in my garage.  It took me way longer than it should have to get it all working, but its been well worth it.

 

ignatiusjreilly

Footballguy
I'm just an unfrozen caveman lawyer so I can't tell you about download rates and such, but I do know that early in the pandemic we got an eero and it was a complete game changer. Easy to install, no more dead zones, no notable change in speed.

 

NewlyRetired

Footballguy
Hi guys,  I need some help.

My mesh system arrived today and it was super easy to set up.  I walked around the house with my phone and I am getting significantly higher speeds than before.  

But the big problem is that I only see that speed on my phone itself.  The other 5g end devices (my computer and tv) run significantly slower than my phone.

I am laying my phone right next to my computer, running the exact same speed test at the same time on both devices and the phone is running twice as fast.

The difference is even worse at my tv.  In fact my TV is running at almost the identical speed as my PS4 and my PS4 does not even support 5g.   

I do not understand how to tell which band the end devices are using though since it is all one network now.

Any advice?

 

gianmarco

Footballguy
Hi guys,  I need some help.

My mesh system arrived today and it was super easy to set up.  I walked around the house with my phone and I am getting significantly higher speeds than before.  

But the big problem is that I only see that speed on my phone itself.  The other 5g end devices (my computer and tv) run significantly slower than my phone.

I am laying my phone right next to my computer, running the exact same speed test at the same time on both devices and the phone is running twice as fast.

The difference is even worse at my tv.  In fact my TV is running at almost the identical speed as my PS4 and my PS4 does not even support 5g.   

I do not understand how to tell which band the end devices are using though since it is all one network now.

Any advice?
It's weird, but when I had to reset my router information once due to changing providers, it took a while for speeds to get up correctly to all devices. Either restart the network or just give it a little time.

Also, make sure the devices you are checking are capable of higher wireless speeds. Finally, a lot of these mesh systems allow you to prioritize certain devices. You may want to try that.

 

tonydead

Footballguy
Step 1 - Upgrade router.

Step 2 - WAP at far ends of the house.  Get's you more bands to strategically connect devices.

 

NewlyRetired

Footballguy
It's weird, but when I had to reset my router information once due to changing providers, it took a while for speeds to get up correctly to all devices. Either restart the network or just give it a little time.

Also, make sure the devices you are checking are capable of higher wireless speeds. Finally, a lot of these mesh systems allow you to prioritize certain devices. You may want to try that.
ok thanks I will start to look into the settings/config part of the router app..  My tv is only weeks old and I am sure it supports 5g.  I just don't think it is being used for some reason.

 

belljr

Footballguy
ok thanks I will start to look into the settings/config part of the router app..  My tv is only weeks old and I am sure it supports 5g.  I just don't think it is being used for some reason.
Not sure what system you got but the router should tell you what's connected and to what band

 

CletiusMaximus

Footballguy
Hi guys,  I need some help.

My mesh system arrived today and it was super easy to set up.  I walked around the house with my phone and I am getting significantly higher speeds than before.  

But the big problem is that I only see that speed on my phone itself.  The other 5g end devices (my computer and tv) run significantly slower than my phone.

I am laying my phone right next to my computer, running the exact same speed test at the same time on both devices and the phone is running twice as fast.

The difference is even worse at my tv.  In fact my TV is running at almost the identical speed as my PS4 and my PS4 does not even support 5g.   

I do not understand how to tell which band the end devices are using though since it is all one network now.

Any advice?


I had the same issue on our various devices - my ipad getting 200+mbs sitting in the same room as my television getting 20.  It just took some time and re-booting, trying different options until everything got on the same page.  I still notice that often my television gets a certain speed, while running a speed test on my Roku attached to the same television gets a much faster speed.  Also, the stuff that is farther away will still use the 2.4.  I was told the 2.4 reaches greater distance than the 5.

 

NewlyRetired

Footballguy
Not sure what system you got but the router should tell you what's connected and to what band
got the Deco M5.  I just updated the firmware.  I will see if the menu's list out which end device is using which band.

 
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Osaurus

Footballguy
I had the same issue on our various devices - my ipad getting 200+mbs sitting in the same room as my television getting 20.  It just took some time and re-booting, trying different options until everything got on the same page.  I still notice that often my television gets a certain speed, while running a speed test on my Roku attached to the same television gets a much faster speed.  Also, the stuff that is farther away will still use the 2.4.  I was told the 2.4 reaches greater distance than the 5.
Significantly more.

 

NewlyRetired

Footballguy
Things seem better after a few tweeks although the numbers seem to range quite a bit speed test to speed test.  My desktop is now seeing over 250m as a top speed where as before I added the mesh router, I only saw in the low 100's.

I think the TV is fooling me and I have a feeling it is the installed browser.  When I run the speed test, I can see on my phone the download speed at my TV is much higher than what the installed browser is telling me.  I think the test may be too short for the browser because I notice my speed is still climbing when the test ends.

I think I am ok for now but I am going to keep poking around and testing all the 5g devices.

 

gianmarco

Footballguy
Things seem better after a few tweeks although the numbers seem to range quite a bit speed test to speed test.  My desktop is now seeing over 250m as a top speed where as before I added the mesh router, I only saw in the low 100's.

I think the TV is fooling me and I have a feeling it is the installed browser.  When I run the speed test, I can see on my phone the download speed at my TV is much higher than what the installed browser is telling me.  I think the test may be too short for the browser because I notice my speed is still climbing when the test ends.

I think I am ok for now but I am going to keep poking around and testing all the 5g devices.
In the end, I would recommend just using the TV and see if it's working.  If you are able to stream and get a high quality picture, I wouldn't worry about it.  Ultimately that's what you're looking for and the mesh system will throttle and make sure your device is seeing the speeds it needs to in order to meet the demand.  Whether it's 100 or 200, either is likely higher than is needed.

 

CletiusMaximus

Footballguy
Things seem better after a few tweeks although the numbers seem to range quite a bit speed test to speed test.  My desktop is now seeing over 250m as a top speed where as before I added the mesh router, I only saw in the low 100's.

I think the TV is fooling me and I have a feeling it is the installed browser.  When I run the speed test, I can see on my phone the download speed at my TV is much higher than what the installed browser is telling me.  I think the test may be too short for the browser because I notice my speed is still climbing when the test ends.

I think I am ok for now but I am going to keep poking around and testing all the 5g devices.


There are a few free third party apps you can install on a Fire Stick or Roku, possibly also on your TV, that test internet speed rather than using the browser.  When I first set up my mesh system and was a little bit obsessed with this, I set one up to run a test once a day and checked it every once in a while.

 

NewlyRetired

Footballguy
In the end, I would recommend just using the TV and see if it's working.  If you are able to stream and get a high quality picture, I wouldn't worry about it.  Ultimately that's what you're looking for and the mesh system will throttle and make sure your device is seeing the speeds it needs to in order to meet the demand.  Whether it's 100 or 200, either is likely higher than is needed.


There are a few free third party apps you can install on a Fire Stick or Roku, possibly also on your TV, that test internet speed rather than using the browser.  When I first set up my mesh system and was a little bit obsessed with this, I set one up to run a test once a day and checked it every once in a while.
thanks guys!  I actually don't have a lot of worry about the tv functioning.  Even at the lowest recorded speed I am way higher than what Netflix recommends for 4k streaming.  I am more interested in making sure I have a relatively efficiently configured set up.

I think downloading a specific speed app makes sense instead of the dumb browser.  I will see if the GoogleTV store has one later today.

Even if nothing gets better from here, the mesh system is already significantly better than my old stand alone browser for speed and coverage.

 

gianmarco

Footballguy
thanks guys!  I actually don't have a lot of worry about the tv functioning.  Even at the lowest recorded speed I am way higher than what Netflix recommends for 4k streaming.  I am more interested in making sure I have a relatively efficiently configured set up.

I think downloading a specific speed app makes sense instead of the dumb browser.  I will see if the GoogleTV store has one later today.

Even if nothing gets better from here, the mesh system is already significantly better than my old stand alone browser for speed and coverage.
Good to hear and not surprising. You'll probably notice you don't really have dead zones either. It's night and day to traditional routers. It just works.

 

NewlyRetired

Footballguy
Not sure what system you got but the router should tell you what's connected and to what band
ok I found where they buried it in the app.  All the 5g devices in the house are correctly being connected to 5g.

There are a few free third party apps you can install on a Fire Stick or Roku, possibly also on your TV, that test internet speed rather than using the browser.  When I first set up my mesh system and was a little bit obsessed with this, I set one up to run a test once a day and checked it every once in a while.
You were correct.  As soon as I downloaded a few real speed apps instead of the dumb browser, the speed on the TV now much more closely matches what I see on my phone.

I think I am done testing for now and will just go into full use mode and see if any issues pop up but I doubt they will.

 

UncleZen

Footballguy
I just converted to google mesh about 3 weeks ago and I'm sold. I had the router and extender before. I work from home and would watch my signal just drift in and out all day long, especially in those important zoom meetings. I was constantly resetting the system to fix dead connections.  Made the switch to mesh and I haven't lost a signal yet. My only issue now is all of my smart plugs work on 2.4ghz only and I lost that ability. (or it's above my pay grade)

 

gianmarco

Footballguy
I just converted to google mesh about 3 weeks ago and I'm sold. I had the router and extender before. I work from home and would watch my signal just drift in and out all day long, especially in those important zoom meetings. I was constantly resetting the system to fix dead connections.  Made the switch to mesh and I haven't lost a signal yet. My only issue now is all of my smart plugs work on 2.4ghz only and I lost that ability. (or it's above my pay grade)
If your system does 2.4ghz and 5 ghz (which it should), then you can still connect them. The key is getting them far enough away from the points so that they have to connect via 2.4ghz. Once you do that one time to set up, then it'll be fine from there on out. The easiest way is to disconnect all but the router and then go as far away from that as you can that has an outlet.

 
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