Question Suggestions for router setup

airmark

Active Member
I need to rethink my home network setup. Apologies in advance for the long post.
At the moment I am with BT VDSL (50/10), and the master socket is in the living room which is one end of the house, and I am looking at the best way to have fast reliable connection in the entire house. The problem is that it's a large lateral space with lots of thick walls inbetween, and I can't run ethernet cable from one end to the other. In the past I have coped with a powerline with a wifi extender in the middle of the bedrooms area. That worked, albeit with a drop of speed but nothing terrible (still getting around 30Mbps which was fine, except for the annoying thing of having to switch network when moving from one part of the house to the other.
Then I bought a Synology RT2600ac router that has just enough power to provide coverage to the entire house if placed in the middle (although at the more distant corners (including the living room) the speed is only around 20mpbs, but at least you don't have to change network. And in the living room, the BT Hub wifi is also available if more speed is needed, and my Media Center PC is connected via ethernet to the BT Hub, so it has fast connection. The Synology is in Access Point operation mode connected to the BT Hub via a powerline that provides a sync speed that fluctuates from 40 to 80mbps. This is fine for internet access as my speed is not faster than that anyway (until FTTP becomes available in my area).
Where it's not fine is if I want to transfer files in my local network. I just got a Synology DS220+ NAS and file transfer speed is limited by the powerline speed. This causes Plex streaming buffering issues making some material unwatchable. (I could place the NAS on the BT Hub ethernet but I don't want its noise near the TV).
I got and tried a TP-Link Deco M4 mesh system. I chose that system because of the gigabit ethernet ports on all the mesh points. But the coverage from 3 units combined was weaker than the single Synology router so I'm returning it.
Is there another mesh system that you would recommend?
At the moment my setup is working fine at a speed of 20-50mbps which is enough for internet access everywhere in the house. What I want is to have a much faster connection (300mbps+) for large file transfer locally and for a future where I have FTTP.
 
D

Deleted member 24354

Guest
Sadly the laws of physics dont change by changing the brand name on the WiFi device. You will most likely find that one mesh system is very much comparable to another. They all operate on the same frequencies and mostly at similar power and only their antenna configurations change, which changes their propagation patterns slightly. Unless you buy more mesh access points to provide a stronger signal between units OR provide cabled back-hauls between your router and your access points then I doubt that you will see any improvement.

COVID has demonstrated that good quality wifi is now an essential part of every day life. Much like if you want an extra plug socket installing you would expect an electrician to make some mess and charge you for 2 or 3 hours work, similarly people should treat wifi similarly and expect HA engineers / installers / integrators to have to do the same and charge similar OR do it yourself. Mesh systems are glorified and expensive workarounds for not investing in home network infrastructure. Cat X cable is cheap to buy and relatively easy to install although some mess is to be expected.

Sorry for the rant but the sooner people realise that WiFi, which we now depend upon, is no different to electrical cable installation the sooner people will be happier and not looking for fixes and workarounds and getting on with wirelessly connecting to the internet.
 

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