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Poor wifi in house' can I utilise gigabit ethenet network?

Discussion in 'Networks & Internet Connectivity' started by Jed Shields, 17 Apr 2021.

  1. Jed Shields

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 23 Apr 2007

    Posts: 1,696

    Location: Cardiff-ish, Wales

    Hi guys and gals,

    Wifi coverage in my old semi detached house is really poor due to thick stone walls. I switched my Virgin Hub 3, in my front room, to modem mode and added a TP Link Archer 7 Wifi router. This hasn't msde any real difference.

    I get 200Mb in the same room, 30Mb in the next room and 7 in the room after that. At best. Sometimes nothing. Which is the problem.

    I have a gigabit ethernet network wired through the house. Am I able to plug something into the network that will give me a decent wifi signal in specific areas of the house? I was looking at the TP Link M5 mesh units , not sure if these fit the bill...
     
  2. WJA96

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 Jul 2005

    Posts: 17,159

    Location: Norfolk, South Scotland

    TP-Link Omada or Ubiquiti UniFi wireless access points. The general consensus of opinion is that UniFi is pretty much where it’s at in the prosumer space at the moment.
     
  3. Jed Shields

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 23 Apr 2007

    Posts: 1,696

    Location: Cardiff-ish, Wales

    Nice one
     
  4. Rainmaker

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Aug 2007

    Posts: 8,764

    Location: Liverpool

    Is it? :p That opinion hasn't really held sway since the whistleblower's revelations about their covering up the hack last year. That and the firmware is permanently in beta with broken features and things coming 'soon'. It seems TP-Link's Omada solution is gaining traction.

    For the same price as a new Unifi dish, though, I replaced our UAP-AC-PRO with a Ruckus R710. I got one of the many enterprise pull units from the bay, for under £200 delivered. They're around £1,600 each when new.

    It turned up like brand new (including new mounting kit), has multiple real antennae (versus little lines of metal in the UniFi) and 58 possible antennae configurations with 'BeamForming' for the best signal output. It does background scans every 20 seconds to adjust for client position and neighbouring WiFi interference, has full 4x4 MU-MIMO and SU-MIMO (unlike the UniFi), and puts out 5dB more power. It's like a brick compared to the UniFi - all the antennae and components are solid, though it's easy to mount (one screw or four, wall or ceiling). Power is either AC, PoE af or PoE at.

    [​IMG]

    Inside the UniFi UAP-AC-PRO for comparison:
    [​IMG]

    We've gone from having 70% signal upstairs, with one bedroom being a total dead zone, to having 100% coverage across the whole house *and* the garden. No more dead spots, fantastic throughput and rock solid enterprise stability. They run independently (no separate controller required) with the 'Unleashed' firmware, and if you add more to the house they automatically sync up and link together. A couple of dozen WLAN clients streaming at once, plus guests on the guest network + captive portal doesn't even make it blink, let alone sweat. Setup took about 40 seconds - just connect to the configure.me SSID, enter an admin name and password, name your WiFi network(s) and you're done.

    Best money I ever spent on WiFi, and I definitely wouldn't go back to UniFi et al. Just something to consider, as the cost is about the same (albeit they're not brand new at that price).

    OP, wire what you can if you have gigabit LAN throughout the house already. Anything else, I'd personally just fit an access point downstairs and see how you get on. If upstairs is struggling, you can later add one upstairs in a central location also to fill in the gaps. Wired is always your friend where feasible however.
     
    Last edited: 19 Apr 2021
  5. WJA96

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 Jul 2005

    Posts: 17,159

    Location: Norfolk, South Scotland

    I’m not defending Ubiquiti’s handling of the data breach, and as a new user the OP wouldn’t be affected anyway. Especially if they don’t need the cloud access features (and they wouldn’t).

    The issues that plague the UniFi routing team don’t affect the Access Point group. The access points are stable and work well.

    TP-Link have taken the opportunity with the security breach issue to carpet-bomb YouTube influencers with demo kit and where the Omada gear is tested back to back with UniFi it performs worse.

    A 3x3 AC Wave1 UniFi AP-AC-Pro actually costs £130 including VAT. And the ‘domestic/prosumer’ access point you should compare the Ruckus with is the UAP-AC-HDNano or UAP-AC-FlexHD, both of which are Wave2 and have every feature the Ruckus does and cost about £180 including VAT. You can spend £300 on a UAP-AC-HD or £450 on a UAP-AC-SHD or even £1200 on a UAP-AC-XG but they designed for shopping malls and sports stadiums so they’re a bit overkill. And while AC Wave2 still has a place, a lot of people are going with the new U6-Lite (£100) or U6-LR (£180) for very high speeds with appropriate WiFi6 clients). As for £1600 new, these things are sold to enterprise clients on support contracts and the customers get massive discounts to impress their line managers with. You paid £200 used with no warranty for something someone saved from a skip. Well done on recycling it, and you paid way too much.

    The UniFi HD models do all of that. The SHD has an additional radio that is constantly checking, never mind every 20 seconds. And the Ruckus doesn’t transmit 5dB more power. It’s legally not allowed to. It has 5dB more antenna gain, which allows Ruckus to fit a cheaper (lower power) amplifier chip and claim it’s a benefit. It’s marketing BS.

    The cost is not remotely the same. UniFi access points start at £70 and go up to about £180 for the latest all-singing, all-dancing U6-LR. There is a reason they’re so popular with enthusiasts. They’re really good.
     
  6. Rainmaker

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Aug 2007

    Posts: 8,764

    Location: Liverpool

    I'm afraid I genuinely don't have time to reply to all of your considered post, presently, @WJA96. It's a valid viewpoint and as I said for me Ruckus was the better and preferred option. I merely pointed out that UniFi/Ubiquiti are falling from grace at present, and their handling (flat out lying) of their hack was a huge red flag for anyone concerned about the integrity of their network. The hack wasn't just something affecting the past, that's a short sighted view imo. The malicious party also hacked and stole the source code for the products, as well as the signing keys and all SSO/session cookies for all currently logged in devices and users worldwide, enabling them to access any affected device or network at will. That's a monumental breach, and rather than inform customers promptly and help mitigate any potential damage, they went into PR mode and covered their own behinds for weeks (months?) on end. That's a scary, scary response from someone you're placing in your network.

    You are correct that the UAP-AC-PRO is no longer de rigeur, and other models have replaced it. Likewise Ruckus, Aruba, HP, Cisco et al have models scaling up the fence also. I simply pointed out there's another, battle tested and reliable option within the same price range. So long as you go in eyes open, enterprise kit at consumer prices is a worthy consideration, I think. One of the aforementioned brands high end models sold cheaply second hand is always going to outclass a consumer based product (crap antennae, cheap pared down chipset etc). You pays your money... and that's all anyone can do. I just offered an alternative option.
     
  7. WJA96

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 Jul 2005

    Posts: 17,159

    Location: Norfolk, South Scotland

    That’s not true. And even if it was true they could only access UniFi accounts with cloud access enabled and that’s now turned off by default, so you have to choose to turn it on, and if you have two factor authentication turned on they’re not getting in. You’re just scaremongering. You don’t know what was accessed. Heck, even Ubiquiti don’t know what was accessed because there are no logs apparently. Yes, they didn’t admit what happened. But that doesn’t mean that your home UniFi access point running in standalone mode with the controller on your phone is hackable.
     
  8. Rainmaker

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Aug 2007

    Posts: 8,764

    Location: Liverpool

    'Only'?... 'Even Ubiquiti don't know what was accessed'... Well not at the time perhaps, but the damage done, file access logs, the later discovered machines linking back to the databases, the stolen keys, the ransom demands... Well it paints the picture nicely. And one is supposed to trust them with key network infrastructure, after this... and their carpet brushing? Every man's choice...

    Is Krebs a decent enough source?:

    Ubiquiti All But Confirms Breach Response Iniquity.
     
  9. WJA96

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 Jul 2005

    Posts: 17,159

    Location: Norfolk, South Scotland

    No, because that report is based on information from a whistle-blower. You are stating as facts what the hackers accessed but the truth is we don’t know. So until you can prove that the hackers can access systems secured with 2FA and installed after the hack, please stop scaremongering your ‘facts’.
     
  10. Jed Shields

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 23 Apr 2007

    Posts: 1,696

    Location: Cardiff-ish, Wales

    Just to confirm, can I plug the suggested equipment into my ethernet network and then it provides a wifi signal from that point?
     
  11. BigT

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 3,269

    Location: UK

    Yes that’s exactly the idea, provided the other end of the cable ultimately goes into your router (normally the cables all run back to one central location and you connect them up there either directly into your router or maybe via a patch panel and switch)
     
  12. Jed Shields

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 23 Apr 2007

    Posts: 1,696

    Location: Cardiff-ish, Wales

    Excellent.
     
  13. Elevon

    Mobster

    Joined: 22 Sep 2006

    Posts: 3,168

    I use Powerline adaptors in ethernet only mode, that goes to third floor where I've 8 port gigabit switch box in my main gaming/computer room that connects to my wired devices( I prefer wired), my Virgin SH3 and AX20 router (ground floor) with TP Link powerline adaptors work great, the powerline adaptors have wifi as well but I have that disabled since my wireless reaches top floor from AX20 router and I use ethernet for full speed and my main use.

    House has been rewired fairly recently and powerline adaptors work great for the last five years.

    I have had great luck with powerline adaptors.

    :)
     
  14. Jed Shields

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 23 Apr 2007

    Posts: 1,696

    Location: Cardiff-ish, Wales

    I've used powerline adapters in the past but got poor results due to old wiring. I'm not sure how good the wiring is in my current house, may be worth borrowing some to check.