PDA

View Full Version : Need Home Network Upgrade Help



EXCellR8
01-20-2013, 02:03 PM
So, my home network sucks some serious wang, and I'd like some suggestions on how to correct this. I think the whole problem is I just have components that are too outdated and wayy too many wireless devices. Connectivity is unreliable and slow at times and overall it's just not a good setup. I feel that things need to be power-cycled too often and it's starting to piss me off. I'm basically just trying to price out an upgrade that will alleviate some of the headaches. Here's what I got now:

shitty Comcast cable modem (will call for upgrade)
Linksys WRT54GL router, no DHCP
basic megabit 8-port switch
2x Cisco 1130AG access points (one for each end of the house)
countless wireless adapters for computers
several wireless laptops

I have three floors that basically need internet access and not a whole lot of options for LAN connectivity. Powerline is out because one, I don't have too many free outlets and two, electrical in my house is already pretty taxed. The router, modem and switch are in the basement along with a few of the only hard-wired machines. The access points definitely help with the laptops since there is one at either end of the house. I have a few switches but have nothing gigabit at the moment. We only have a few wireless-N devices so I've been lazy about upgrading everything.

So, can anyone maybe suggest or provide some insight on what a good solution; what to buy, what not to buy (brands)? I don't mind spending a little money but there's just too much shit out there and browsing gets me aggravated. Networking really isn't my thing but I know a little bit and can probably do whatever as far as configuration goes. I'd also like to figure out how to use the existing router as a bridge or something so that my computers upstairs have better connectivity. The whole thing just sucks right now so I'd really appreciate any input. We're doing an equipment swap at work next week so maybe I can grab some free gear...

zedron
01-20-2013, 03:26 PM
Drop the wireless for desktops and try to wire the house for the non-mobile devices. It can be done just have to get an attic rat who does it all of the time to check out your situation.

civcmatt
01-21-2013, 12:01 AM
Ya try to run as much ethernet as you can.

Motorola surfboard just came out with a new modem that's supposed to be tits.
But a decent router that has gig and wireless n and he'll with your access points maybe even a.

Just run one like to each room and then put a cheap drink gig switch in the room with multiple devices. And laptops wireless... Done

Stealth
01-21-2013, 08:40 AM
Ditch wireless.

Go wired.


Only thing I keep wireless in my hosue are phones, ipads and laptops. Otherwise everything is wired if i can manager to get a wire to it.

zedron
01-21-2013, 09:49 AM
Ditch wireless.

Go wired.


Only thing I keep wireless in my hosue are phones, ipads and laptops. Otherwise everything is wired if i can manager to get a wire to it.

Same.

itdiestoday
01-21-2013, 09:54 AM
Although everything is going to be inherently slower because youre own wifi for the majority of the house, I feel that you will see a significant difference in speed just by upgrading your modem to a DOCSIS 3 modem.

How are your LAN file transfer speeds from one workstation to another versus going out to the web?

itdiestoday
01-21-2013, 09:57 AM
Ditch wireless.

Go wired.


Only thing I keep wireless in my hosue are phones, ipads and laptops. Otherwise everything is wired if i can manager to get a wire to it.

This. Anything that isn't mobile in my house is wired.

civcmatt
01-21-2013, 10:44 AM
Ditch wireless.

Go wired.


Only thing I keep wireless in my hosue are phones, ipads and laptops. Otherwise everything is wired if i can manager to get a wire to it.

Im the same as well. i was using a powerline adapter for my downstairs cuz i was too lazy to run a line...but got fed up with it and wired that bitch up. have my computer room with my modem and router and a line going to the other side of the room with a Gigswitch and one to wall that goes to my closet and has another gigswitch in it. one line running to every room powering and in my living room is a 10/100 switch since GoogleTV is just 10/100 and the other things on there are only connected to the internet and it wont surpass 100mbps anyway.

able to stream HD to all GoogleTVs and Xbox from server. and ive never felt the internet was slow over wifi even when my wife and i have all 4 laptops connected doing things for work. :shrug:



wiring takes time and it can be a pain in the ass but it is way worth it.

and check Monoprice.com for cabling and wall plugs and what not. they are pretty freaking cheap. (sometimes amazon has Cat6 for a lot cheaper though)

EXCellR8
01-21-2013, 02:16 PM
I don't really need to be able to stream shit i just want reliable connectivity that doesn't crap out every 20 min. I was up in our attic recently and, among the vast amounts of useless junk that needs to be thrown away, there's a few cables that run who knows where. I feel like I'm in an episode of hoarders when I'm up there; think I might try to start tossing shit out without anyone knowing lol. I can run and make cables all day but if I'm gonna do that i might as well put ethernet ports in all the walls :/

Shopping for routers sucks because every single one has mixed reviews, except for the good 'ol WRT54GL. Maybe I'll just flash the one I got to Tomato or something, boost the signal, and try to get as many non-mobile systems to ethernet as possible. The laptops are fine using the access points and I can have the modem replaced. I think I might try to use my machines with an older router with DD-WRT and configure it as a client bridge or something. If that works fine with the main router's signal boosted maybe I'll hold off on wiring until warmer days...

civcmatt
01-21-2013, 02:24 PM
ya gotta run the ports in the walls...it is easy as hell just get a existing wall box or wall mounting system for like 1-2 bucks a pop and then a plate. dont cheap out on it...makes it looks GHETTO

EXCellR8
01-21-2013, 03:36 PM
ya i mean if i'm gonna go thru the trouble of wiring the place up i'm not gonna take shortcuts, and i might even have ethernet plates lying around somewhere. cable isn't an issue either... got 2 brand new boxes cat5e that i pulled out of a dumpster (yup, people will throw that shit away like it's not worth dick). plenty of patch cables lying around too...

I'm gonna try the new router config tonight when i get home and see how that goes. if i can at least get a few machines working on a decent/reliable wireless bridge i'll at least feel better for now; then it's just maintenance. New modem should be arriving later this week.

civcmatt
01-21-2013, 06:41 PM
what router and modem did you get?

zedron
01-21-2013, 07:09 PM
Dont forget to use existing cables like coax lines to make your life easier as a pull through.

civcmatt
01-22-2013, 11:59 AM
Dont forget to use existing cables like coax lines to make your life easier as a pull through.
touche...and double plate that shit too. Coax/Ethernet plate. itll look cleaner and what not. also another tip try to use the same drop if you are putting lines in the same wall....

example: my computer room is next to (now my daughters room) i dropped 2 lines in the same drop and put the two plates on the same sharing wall for each room. one drop offset boxes good to go.

zedron
01-22-2013, 01:33 PM
badda bing

EXCellR8
01-22-2013, 10:55 PM
what router and modem did you get?

Comcast recommended a Motorola surfboard modem so that's what I ended up going with. As for the router I didn't buy a new one, but I got my existing one flashed to open source. I like the feature set and the signal seems to be stronger. Now I just gotta find the time to convert my older router... probably will have to wait until this weekend though. Modem should be here tomorrow, we'll see how that goes too.

civcmatt
01-23-2013, 10:55 AM
is it the new surfboard??? im tempted to buy one i heard they are steller

EXCellR8
01-23-2013, 04:54 PM
It's not the newest surfboard no... but I heard the same. We don't have any wireless-N devices, save for maybe 1 laptop, so I didn't spend the extra for it. I believe I got the first or second version which will be an upgrade from the cheap comcast one. Plus I wont have to lease with them anymore.

civcmatt
01-24-2013, 11:35 AM
It's not the newest surfboard no... but I heard the same. We don't have any wireless-N devices, save for maybe 1 laptop, so I didn't spend the extra for it. I believe I got the first or second version which will be an upgrade from the cheap comcast one. Plus I wont have to lease with them anymore.

should have posted about it....lol i have 2 or 3 extra ones haha woulda gave it to ya cheap lol

i didnt even think about it when you said new modem that i had some though haha

EXCellR8
01-24-2013, 01:19 PM
ah yea that would've been good, thx anyway tho.

got a couple of desktops off the wireless last night, which is some progress anyway. had to run some cables but not too bad. used one face plate and the other one is just ghetto but it's in the garage so fuck it. router with the open source fw is better too, signal was never an issue but integrity of the connection seemed to fluctuate from time to time. seems a lot better now but i'll keep monitoring it... now that i can!

almost done i think... if i can get a couple more systems hard-wired i'll be much happier. only going to be better once i get that modem...

civcmatt
01-24-2013, 05:54 PM
I had looked into flashing my router with that Tomato program you did it with...apparently you can set up a VPN into your router with that software and i was reading about it and how you can change a TON of shit in it to boost signal and get it to work perfect for whatever you need.

Let me know how you like that ish.

EXCellR8
01-24-2013, 11:11 PM
So far I like the Tomato fw a lot... tons of additional features and tweaks to optimize performance. I didn't go through all of them yet but I did find some nice adjustments. It was super easy to set up took like 1-2min to flash and I had no issues whatsoever after. Flash it just like you would a regular .bin upgrade etc.

I can't use it with my older router but I can get the regular DD-WRT on there so I can use it as a bridge. If I end up screwing it up I wouldn't have a problem buying another GL... even a preowned one. Tomato was so easy to set up on there it's pretty much impossible to not recommend. I'll be using it from now on granted I don't encounter any problems. Good stuff so far, no complaints...

Reaper
01-25-2013, 09:37 AM
I just have a linksys on the floor with the computers hard wired :lol:

civcmatt
01-25-2013, 02:00 PM
ya i was kinda curious about it since they have one for my router....my router has so many features like dual SSID for guest and what not A and N and USB for NAS (which i dont use anymore) but i just have it set as the N and turned everything off cuz the dual SSID seemed to slow it down. im sure the Tomato would help resolve that...but i dont care much about it really.

im glad you like it id be curious to how it runs for ya after a bit though and if you still love it that much.

EXCellR8
01-25-2013, 02:21 PM
Yea it's too early to tell if I'll stick with it, but I plan to if I don't experience any problems. I don't really need all sorts of fancy features one a router but I'm all for optimized performance... even if that means I need to tweak a little bit. I'm anxious to see how my old router handles the standard software and how it works as a bridge. Flashing that one requires a few extra steps and some specialized files but I should be able to get it on there. I brought it with me to work today so if I have a few extra minutes I'll give it a shot.

If the bridge doesn't work well I'll be running more cable. Since I basically want to use the old router as a wireless adapter and switch I'm a little afraid that it won't be able to handle the traffic, but we'll see. It won't be acting as a router anymore so the Tomato one will hopefully pass credentials right through it if I need to assign MAC filtering and/or IP and Port forwarding etc. With DD-WRT I should be able to simply "join" the SSID that is currently on the Tomato unit once it's on the old router. That's the plan anyway...

EXCellR8
01-25-2013, 08:25 PM
Alright so flashing on the old router went perfect... was a few more steps and involved some patience but it worked fine. Only issue I had, and this was more of me being an idiot, was after DD-WRT was on the old router I didn't change the device's IP... so basically both routers were 192.168.1.1. I did however change it over to Client Bridge mode, which caused me to not be able to access the DD-WRT because when I put that IP in my browser it would pass right through and go to the Tomato one lol. At first I thought my login got fucked up but it became obvious what was happening. No fault of the firmware I just needed to change the DD-WRT router (now a bridge) IP. All is good now and the wireless devices are connecting to the correct unit.

Overall I'm quite happy with the improvements. I got a few systems hard wired and the old router and new are getting along fine so far. The old router works pretty damn good as a wireless bridge and I can connect multiple computers if I have to. The open source firmware rocks, whether it be base DD-WRT or Tomato; I highly recommend either. Connection integrity is much improved though time will tell if that remains. Definitely better than where I was at two weeks ago. Only thing left is getting the new modem implemented. I got the unit today so I should be good to go.

civcmatt
01-28-2013, 10:03 AM
oh nice so your current setup is with your new router and a wireless device and the old router as a bridge to get a boosted signal in the house??? or am i reading it wrong?

EXCellR8
01-28-2013, 10:55 AM
Yea pretty much... plus the added benfit of having some of the desktops off wi-fi. i didn't get a new router i just flashed it (linksys WRT54GL) to get a more robust feature set and yea I was able to boost the signal. I flashed the old router (WRT54G) with dd-wrt and that's being used as a bridge/switch for the systems on 3rd floor. So far I haven't had ANY disconnects or drops but still crossing my fingers. Most people with similar setups claim they have been fine with the f/w, devices and settings so that takes a little worry away.

new modem is online now too... good stuff so far. if we end up getting more 802.11n/gigabit stuff i might upgrade but right now it's fine.

civcmatt
01-28-2013, 12:54 PM
ya if you do they say the next best router to put that stuff on is the router i have the E3000

EXCellR8
01-28-2013, 01:37 PM
I'd be hesitant to buy anything with internal antenna design, which i'm pretty sure is adopted by most if not all newer linksys routers. I need to be able to transmit up at least 2 floors at the moment; boosting the signal can only do so much if the antennas aren't good enough. I feel like those enclosed designs are good for single floor to two-story coverage but would be even better if they just kept the old style or had external antennas. Plus you can't stack 'em! :D

civcmatt
01-28-2013, 02:47 PM
haha ya i miss my Linksys cable modem stacked on my linksys router!

honestly they are pretty good for internal. mine is on the second floor and can get t everywhere in the house, in the garage...hell even sitting in my work truck on the opp side of my house. :shrug: i woudlnt e too scared of em.

EXCellR8
01-28-2013, 03:28 PM
coverage hasn't really been too much an issue, just performance/reliability. with the new modem and more robust features of the open source fw on the routers I have a more optimized setup for wireless. i still have the access points set up too so the main wireless "bridge" is basically just for my desktops. pretty sure i can be selfish and reserve it just for my machines; force the laptops over to either AP.

i think i have another router around here somewhere... possibly matching one of the models that are currently deployed, so i'm going to try to find it. if i can flash that one as well i will try to make it a repeater and set it up as close to the dead center of the house as possible. not sure how 3 routers will work that way but it'll be interesting to find out. haha so much 2.4Ghz in this place it's retarded... prob should back off this band soon.

zedron
01-28-2013, 04:17 PM
Yeah you need to jump over to 5ghz. It's 2013 for gods sake.