Improving Wifi Signal in Home

Discussion in 'Horn Depot' started by Mr. Deez, Sep 21, 2019.

  1. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez Beer Prophet

    As those on West Mall know, I live in Germany. I live in a modern 3-story home that's about 3700 square feet and has thick flooring and walls (concrete, etc.). My Wifi kinda blows, and I'm trying to improve it.

    Currently, I have cable internet service (usually about 120 Mb/s) and use the basic wireless router (Link) that comes from the internet company. There is only one hook-up for internet service, and it is located on the first floor in the corner of my living room. That kinda stinks, but the upside is that the first floor has a completely open floor plan. Accordingly, the signal easily covers the entire first floor with no problem. There is an open, sorta-spiral staircase that leads to an open space, four bedrooms, and a bathroom. In that open space, the ceiling vaults to the third floor where there is a loft that overlooks the second floor. On the third floor, there is also the master bedroom and bathroom.

    On its own, the router puts very little signal on the second floor and virtually none on the third floor. I use a Wifi repeater (Link) on the second near the stairs (since that area is open). That does improve things on the second and third floors. I can at least generally get a signal, but the speed is greatly reduced. It's still passable (though barely) on the second floor but quite weak on the third floor - tons of buffering if I'm trying to watch Netflix on the third floor.

    So I'm looking for suggestions to improve things on the second and third floors. Should I get a beast of a wireless router? If so, what do you suggest? Should I get a mesh system (like Google Wifi)? Any suggestions are appreciated. I have tried using a powerline system (Link), but it simply didn't do much.

    One limitation - I don't own this home. It's a rental, so I can't run cables or wires in the walls, etc.
  2. Vol Horn 4 Life

    Vol Horn 4 Life 5,000+ Posts

    Google wifi mesh network might fix your problem. It comes with 3 units which all connect and you can add as many points as you want. Put one on the first floor, one on the second and on on the 3rd floor and I suspect it should connect with no problem. I have a very wide house with lots of walls/barriers and I had a hard time getting signal in my bedroom and across the house in my kitchen. I now get full signal where my smoker sits which is about 110 feet away from my original connection point. As long as you get conncection with the first point you get full signal at the second, then the third point on your third floor should easily get connection from the second floor.
  3. nashhorn

    nashhorn 5,000+ Posts

    What VH says should work. Costco sells what to me is an expensive option that will also work, Sonos maybe (or is that just speakers)? Sorry can’t remember name. But do not go with the single plug in ‘extenders’. I used them and worked well for a few months then just died. Never could get them to re-connect.
  4. Dionysus

    Dionysus Admin Admin

    @Mr. Deez — Google WiFi is a good mesh system but I don’t trust Google. They are already trying to track everything we do so I wouldn’t recommend inviting them into your network.

    I recently got the Netgear Orbi mesh system and it’s quite good. I have 325 Mbps coming into the house and I consistently get about 200+ Mbps over WiFi in my office 50 feet away from the router, with one Orbi satellite about 10 feet away from my office. You might want an extra satellite for the 3rd floor, but I would try it with just the router and one satellite first and see if that does the trick.

    Most of these systems generate a 2.4 GHz network and a 5 GHz network. The 2.4 is weaker but travels farther, while the 5 GHz doesn’t travel as far but is stronger near the router/access point.

    In the router admin set the 2.4 GHz network to channel 1, 6, or 11. These channels don’t overlap one another and will usually perform better. The 5 GHz network channel setting can be put on auto, and you can try other channels to see if any of them perform better.

    Is it true that Germans laugh?
  5. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez Beer Prophet

    So I'm a dumbass, so I'm going to ask this. How do mesh satellites pick up the internet signal from the router? Do they get it "through the air," or do they have to be wired?

    Nope. Never. Lol. Maybe when they're drunk, I've been told.
  6. Dionysus

    Dionysus Admin Admin

    There are two devices in the Orbi product I linked to, the router and the satellite. Your internet connection (ethernet cable coming from your ISP’s modem) goes into the router. The router pushes a wireless signal to the satellite. The satellite does not need a cable.

    There is a mobile app you use to do the initial setup. You have the router plugged into the modem and the satellite close by to set them up. Once they are both online you can move the satellite to another location.

    I had to experiment a bit with the satellite placement to get a good signal.
  7. nashhorn

    nashhorn 5,000+ Posts

    Orbi is the one I referenced at Costco. Sorry about the name confusion and I completely agree with Dion about his concern with Googles privacy issues.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez Beer Prophet

    Thank you all for your suggestions. Dion, do you know if the Orbi is dual voltage (100-240V)?
  9. Dionysus

    Dionysus Admin Admin

    Don’t know. I checked the Netgear site and their data sheet didn’t cover that, which is odd. Seems like that should be published.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Statalyzer

    Statalyzer 10,000+ Posts

    Is the repeater approximately halfway between the router and the area you want to extend the wifi signal into?
  11. Dionysus

    Dionysus Admin Admin

    In my case Stat, the satellite is a little closer to my office than it is to the router, I think due to the physical layout of walls. I had to move the satellite around a bit and test it to find the best location/performance combo. But the midway point might be a good rule of thumb to begin with.
  12. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez Beer Prophet

    Yes, and it definitely does help.

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