Help with wireless router

smokey982

smokey982

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I recently switched from Charter internet to AT&T fiber. The speed I’m supposed to be receiving is 300mbps and occasionally I get that. But I seem to have a lot of issues with web browsers lagging when using iPhones and iPads. After some research on the AT&T forums it seems to be a wide spread problem with the AT&T routers. Many people said they fixed their issue by installing a different wireless router “Downstream” from the AT&T router? Is this recommended? Is it as simple as plug and play or is there settings I’ll need to tweak?


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harshness

harshness

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It has been my experience that Apple devices can be very finicky about the routers they connect to via Wi-fi. If you think your iDevices absolutely need Vmax from your broadband connection, I'd concur that you use a separate router or an access point (or a router configured as an access point).

There are a couple of blog posts on the WWW about how to brain the router functionality of the gateway and they seem pretty involved (editing json code).

I think it may be easier just to turn a Wi-fi router that you know works into an access point and plug that into a LAN port on the gateway. Of course you also want to disable the Wi-fi feature on the gateway so you aren't stinking up the band. Hopefully there's a menu option for that.
 
smokey982

smokey982

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So in dummy terms. Find a good router, run an Ethernet cable from the AT&T router to my new router, and disable the WiFi on the AT&T router? Seems simple enough. Is there anything in particular I need to look for in the new router? If it matters, I do have a couple items that will only work on 2.4ghz.

That’s another issue all together because I noticed the speed on the 2.4ghz is much slower than the 5ghz.


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TheKrell

TheKrell

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This may be overkill, but I got fed up with our dead spots on the upstairs level and installed an Orbi main mesh router and satellite with a wired backhaul. No more dead spots.
 
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harshness

harshness

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So in dummy terms. Find a good router, run an Ethernet cable from the AT&T router to my new router, and disable the WiFi on the AT&T router?
You need to make sure no devices other than your router are attached to the gateway Ethernet ports or they won't be able to see your LAN.
Is there anything in particular I need to look for in the new router? If it matters, I do have a couple items that will only work on 2.4ghz.
You need something that is at least dual band to catch your 2.4GHz devices. Probably something that markets itself as at least as AC1200. The higher the AC number, the faster it may potentially be (and the more spendy it is likely to be). Name brands are fairly important as Apple seems to like to push out the corners of the compatibility envelope.

You can spend stupid money on a router and it probably isn't worth it unless you're putting an enormous strain on your Wi-fi portion of the LAN. I'd personally avoid business routers as they have features that you won't likely have any need for and they usually cost much more.

Consider buying your router from someone who has a well-documented return policy in the event that you hate it for some reason.
 
smokey982

smokey982

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As far as brands go. Would I be safe with anything from Netgear or Arris? I see Amazon has the Netgear Nighthawk R6700 for less than $100.

I see Best Buy has some as high as $250-$300. What could that possibly give me that the $84 Netgear wouldn’t give?
 
Voyager6

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I prefer the Asus line of routers. I have had great results from them. The RT-86U is a great router that I am currently using at home. The RT-AC86U is also MESH capable.
Amazon product

There is also the RT-AC68U available.
Amazon product
 
EarDemon

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That’s another issue all together because I noticed the speed on the 2.4ghz is much slower than the 5ghz.


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Higher frequency = Shorter reach of signal, faster theoretical maximum speed, poorer building/wall penetration
Lower frequency = Longer reach of signal, slower theoretical maximum speed, better building/wall penetration

As far as brands go. Would I be safe with anything from Netgear or Arris? I see Amazon has the Netgear Nighthawk R6700 for less than $100.

I see Best Buy has some as high as $250-$300. What could that possibly give me that the $84 Netgear wouldn’t give?

Better processor, more RAM, more features.

A [wireless] router is essentially a computer running a thin OS, with DHCP server and other services, with an integrated switch and integrated wireless access point. Like with any computer, the more demanding the workload, the better the experience will be with a faster processor and more RAM. Some of the more expensive 'gaming' routers support link aggregation and/or have a 2.5 Gb port. The most expensive ones are the brand new wireless 802.11ax routers, there are very few wireless ax client devices out there, but unless you want to future proof, that is overkill.
 
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smokey982

smokey982

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A [wireless] router is essentially a computer running a thin OS, with DHCP server and other services, with an integrated switch and integrated wireless access point. Like with any computer, the more demanding the workload, the better the experience will be with a faster processor and more RAM. Some of the more expensive 'gaming' routers support link aggregation and/or have a 2.5 Gb port. The most expensive ones are the brand new wireless 802.11ax routers, there are very few wireless ax client devices out there, but unless you want to future proof, that is overkill.

Well let me just tell you guys what I’m using and see what you recommend. I have a small one level home (approx 1700 sqft).

My wired devices: Apple TV (Seldom ever use), Ooma home phone.

Wireless devices: 3 iPhones, 2 iPads, Dish Hopper (w/3 joeys), wireless printer (seldom use), iRobot vacuum (once a week), iMac computer (seldom use), SimpliSafe alarm system, indoor security camera, Samsung tv, and Honeywell thermostat.

So it’s basically some iPads and iPhones surfing the web / looking at social media. And Netflix on the TVs. I have had some issues with my camera lately that I’m thinking may be tied to the slow 2.4ghz I’m getting but I can’t say that for sure.





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harshness

harshness

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So it’s basically some iPads and iPhones surfing the web / looking at social media. And Netflix on the TVs. I have had some issues with my camera lately that I’m thinking may be tied to the slow 2.4ghz I’m getting but I can’t say that for sure.
Without knowing what each of these devices features in terms of band support, I'd suggest that you hardwire your TV and your printer at minimum.

If more than a few of your devices live only in 2.4GHz land, you're probably going to have to acquire new devices to vacate it.

Consider whether or not your camera is a great distance (factoring in signal-blocking structures) from the router. If it is, perhaps locating a router (or access point) closer may solve the problem. Masonry is an inhibitor.

wi-fi-signal-loss-by-building-material-1024x576.png


At 1,700ft^2 the distances get long at 5GHz and access points or mesh are worth considering.
 
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smokey982

smokey982

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The only things I know for sure that use 2.4 is the camera and robot vacuum. But the camera is the only thing I’ve had issues with. It’s located in the same room
As the router and probably no more than 20ft away from it.
 
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arlo

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Going on the OP's questions. I'm a bit geeky and have been working with wifi routers for a few years.
It's widely known that some isp provider in Canada bought a mess of cable modem/routers. They were a flop. They got dumped on the market and cable/isp's in the US snapped them up. Wifi on them was terrible, and they were trouble prone. ZyXel. Arris modems that users swapped them for worked great. I bought my own at Walmart.

I'm running 2 Asus RT-AC68P's here. Several years old. Both are running Asus Merin firmware. And they are a joy. I don't even feel a need to upgrade.
Router 1 runs off my cable modem and router 2 is plugged into router 1 and is upstairs. One uses a 192.168.5.xxx network and the other uses 192.168.10.xxx.
A bit tekkie yes, I know for the plug 'n play users. It's not really that difficult.

One thing about ISP routers with wifi. They have sometimes hidden power output/receive (tx/rx) settings. It's there for a purpose. Heat and interference.
With my custom firmware I saw that the power was set to the mid 60's. I ran it up to 80 or so and got an extra 10 yards or so of usable signal. No heat or sudden death issues so far.
I dropped the DHCP settings from somewhere around 225 down to 30 for each router. I'm not hosting an Internet Cafe'.
And assigning static (assigned per MAC address) IP's for devices helps a lot too. There's tons of stuff going on inside of the pretty box.
Perhaps, lets say, your IP camera or security DVR is sucking up 50mbps (they will...and more) you can limit the bandwidth used for that unit.
Or the rug rats are freaking out your Netflix because they're upstairs doing mag dumps on online gaming. Or if you're a real rat, you can kill that website in the router settings.

Apple devices are finicky with wifi. My 2 friends with an iphone and ipad couldn't connect to a router with WPS (the push button method).
But PC's and Androids had no issues. Crazy stuff. Giving the the wifi passy was the only way they could connect.

And channel interference is real. Some of my clients pack their devices close to their wifi modems and routers. Move them several feet apart, problems go away.
5GHz is tons faster than 2.4. But a Wendy's burger wrapper in front of a phone on 5GHz facing a router with 2.4 & 5 will quickly switch to 2.4.
Heck. I'm using a 2-wire dsl modem with wifi in bridge mode in my garage. Works great. There was a box of them in the dumpster.
So setting up a reliable wifi network doesn't really take a gold mine of equipment.
 
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harshness

harshness

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I'm running 2 Asus RT-AC68P's here. Several years old. Both are running Asus Merin firmware. And they are a joy. I don't even feel a need to upgrade.
Router 1 runs off my cable modem and router 2 is plugged into router 1 and is upstairs. One uses a 192.168.5.xxx network and the other uses 192.168.10.xxx.
Any particular reason you chose to split your LAN into two subnets (IP address spaces)?
 
harshness

harshness

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No real reason it's just how I do it. Nets are named the same but separated by a good distance. Threshold switching is a bit more seamless.
How do you deal with servers/NAS?

It sure seems like setting one of the routers to access point duty would be a whole lot less fuss.
 
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arlo

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How do you deal with servers/NAS?

It sure seems like setting one of the routers to access point duty would be a whole lot less fuss.

Just goes to show many ways you can do it. Server is a Win 10 PC with several mapped drives with all of my stuff.
No dealing with anything. As long as the server (has Plex also) is on. I can connect to it. Win, Linux.
Same with an HDHomerun and Enigma2 receiver.
There is also a repurposed DN dish in my cellar way with a WRT45g router at the focus point with corner reflectors on the antennas running DD-WRT and an identical one in my garage some 100 yards away in a window. In client bridge mode. Hooked to an old Dell running Ubuntu (CAT5) AND a 2wire DSL router shoved in bridge mode. For wifi down there. It just works. No issues, and shows that choosing your own method of doing things your way (some reading and experimenting involved). It's just a system that I don't have to touch. Very stable.
 
harshness

harshness

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So you've created a route or maybe some DNS to get to the servers from the other subnet? Seems like there must be a whole lot of mapping going on.

Giving two networks the same name seems to defy logic.
 
EarDemon

EarDemon

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Going on the OP's questions. I'm a bit geeky and have been working with wifi routers for a few years.
It's widely known that some isp provider in Canada bought a mess of cable modem/routers. They were a flop. They got dumped on the market and cable/isp's in the US snapped them up. Wifi on them was terrible, and they were trouble prone. ZyXel. Arris modems that users swapped them for worked great. I bought my own at Walmart.

Can you share a link to the story?

I'm running 2 Asus RT-AC68P's here. Several years old. Both are running Asus Merin firmware. And they are a joy. I don't even feel a need to upgrade.
Router 1 runs off my cable modem and router 2 is plugged into router 1 and is upstairs. One uses a 192.168.5.xxx network and the other uses 192.168.10.xxx.
A bit tekkie yes, I know for the plug 'n play users. It's not really that difficult.

I’m confused. Daisy chaining two routers together is not tekkie. Unless you have a bunch of services disabled on the daisy chained router, you are doing more harm than good. Double NATing increases latency. If you want to segregate traffic and/or have two different subnets, creating VLANs off of one physical router is the better way to go.


One thing about ISP routers with wifi. They have sometimes hidden power output/receive (tx/rx) settings. It's there for a purpose. Heat and interference.
With my custom firmware I saw that the power was set to the mid 60's. I ran it up to 80 or so and got an extra 10 yards or so of usable signal. No heat or sudden death issues so far.
I dropped the DHCP settings from somewhere around 225 down to 30 for each router. I'm not hosting an Internet Cafe'.

Adjusting the power output of the antennas and limiting the number of DHCP leases is nothing unique. My very first wireless router, a Motorola 802.11b from 2002 supported both.

Apple devices are finicky with wifi. My 2 friends with an iphone and ipad couldn't connect to a router with WPS (the push button method).
But PC's and Androids had no issues. Crazy stuff. Giving the the wifi passy was the only way they could connect.

WPS is garbage and should not be used.
https://www.howtogeek.com/176124/wi...-is-insecure-heres-why-you-should-disable-it/

And channel interference is real. Some of my clients pack their devices close to their wifi modems and routers. Move them several feet apart, problems go away.
5GHz is tons faster than 2.4. But a Wendy's burger wrapper in front of a phone on 5GHz facing a router with 2.4 & 5 will quickly switch to 2.4.

Of course channel interference is real. Its no different than packing two dozen people in a condensed space with walkie talkies and having every one try to communicate on the same channel. RF sucks and should only been used when absolutely necessary.

There is also a repurposed DN dish in my cellar way with a WRT45g router at the focus point with corner reflectors on the antennas running DD-WRT and an identical one in my garage some 100 yards away in a window. In client bridge mode. Hooked to an old Dell running Ubuntu (CAT5) AND a 2wire DSL router shoved in bridge mode. For wifi down there. It just works. No issues, and shows that choosing your own method of doing things your way (some reading and experimenting involved). It's just a system that I don't have to touch. Very stable.

If that works for you, more power to ya. No way would I have a set up like that personally. Two switches with SFP/SFP+ ports and fiber connecting the two would be the way to go. If wifi is needed, plug in a WAP via Ethernet to each switch.
 
Voyager6

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I have a pair of ASUS RT-AC86U routers running ASUS-Merlin. One is hooked to the cable modem (Arris SB6183) as the primary and the other is set up as an access port. Mesh was just activated with the latest ASUS-Merlin firmware update. I haven't tried it yet but according to the forum the results have been great.
Asuswrt-Merlin
[Release] Asuswrt-Merlin 384.13 is now available
 
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