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Old 15.11.2017, 11:43
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Wifi in Swiss houses

As all the old threads on this subject are a bit out of date, I thought I'd start a new one.

Wifi (and other RF): There are thousands of pages on the web with wifi comparisions and reviews but they're all U.S. centric which doesn't really help in Switzerland as a high percentage of U.S. houses are made of wood and brick compared with the less-wifi signal friendly concrete and steel of Swiss houses and apartments.

So, I'm looking for a new setup. My place is not only concrete/brick but also has steel ceiling panels (I know, don't ask why....)

Although I try to limit RF transmissions using cabling, I've ended up with an abundance of devices operating with either Wifi or 866Hz.
(Home automation, monitoring, Philips Hue etc).

At the moment I've got a Netgear R6250 which, to put it bluntly, is a piece of junk as it keeps dropping out and needs frequent power-cycles.

People keep telling me, because of the size of my place and the steel ceilings, I need a more powerful wifi router.
But, thinking about it, they're wrong - wifi is mainly two-way communication and you could have the most powerful router in the world but if the device it is communicating with is not at all powerful then it's not going to work.

I like the idea of the new mesh units but I don't think they're going to work too well with me either as even though they're powerful, they need to communicate well with each other and they won't do that at my place.
Repeaters also fall into the same sort of category (who wants to re-transmit a crappy signal?)
I think you can connect the Google Mesh units by ethernet.


So, that leaves me with APs and/or a new router. One upstairs, one in the basement and the router on the ground floor. I can run ethernet to all these places.

So, what experiences have other people got here and what do they like, and not like?
I'd like a router that is a bit more reliable too.
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Old 15.11.2017, 12:17
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Re: Wifi in Swiss houses

Have you looked into powerline communication?
https://www.devolo.ch/
They have a kit for CHF150 if I recall correctly.
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Old 15.11.2017, 12:20
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Re: Wifi in Swiss houses

Can you be flexible in the positioning of the routers?

Sometimes it's like the old fashioned rabbit-ear TV ariels where you just had to budge them slightly to get a massive improvement in signal quality. All to do with the way signals reflect and are absorbed. Have you tried some alternative locations for the routers? Also orientations (horizontal, vertical, rotated etc).

Personally I don't reaally believe there are massive differences between routers. If your house is the size of an airport maybe you also need an airport-quality router. But the bog standard cheap stuff has an acceptable signal quality for bog-standard home usage.

But I think you might be able to do a lot with locating them better.If the ceilings are metal, you should watch the distance to the ceiling (not too close).
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Old 15.11.2017, 12:37
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Re: Wifi in Swiss houses

You can use two routers, one of them acting as "master/router", the other acting as "slave/AP/repeater".
You can connect them via ethernet or powerline: basically the signal is transmitted from the master to the AP using the normal power wires already installed in your house.

I have this configuration in my place in Rome, which has two floors, because of the same issues of yours - poor connection in the upper floor - and it works just fine now.

side note: you don't necessarily need a second router to act as an AP, you can directly use a simple AP, I purchased a second router only because I wanted to have more flexibility in the settings/configuration.

Hope this helps.
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Old 15.11.2017, 12:39
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Re: Wifi in Swiss houses

If reliability and consisteny are important to you, use Ethernet, not Powerline, especially if the house is older and you're not really sure what the power cables are doing.
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Old 15.11.2017, 12:39
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Re: Wifi in Swiss houses

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Can you be flexible in the positioning of the routers?

Sometimes it's like the old fashioned rabbit-ear TV ariels where you just had to budge them slightly to get a massive improvement in signal quality. All to do with the way signals reflect and are absorbed. Have you tried some alternative locations for the routers? Also orientations (horizontal, vertical, rotated etc).

Personally I don't reaally believe there are massive differences between routers. If your house is the size of an airport maybe you also need an airport-quality router. But the bog standard cheap stuff has an acceptable signal quality for bog-standard home usage.

But I think you might be able to do a lot with locating them better.If the ceilings are metal, you should watch the distance to the ceiling (not too close).
Cheap boxes all use the same chipsets generally with generic config+drivers etc.
This is why we have things like the OpenWrt project to improve them.

More expensive ones offer extra features that may or not be useful, and better kit (I use a Draytek which has been solid compared to previous generic white boxes)
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Old 15.11.2017, 12:48
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Re: Wifi in Swiss houses

If possible, I would rely on ethernet cabling
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Old 15.11.2017, 12:51
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Re: Wifi in Swiss houses

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Have you looked into powerline communication?
https://www.devolo.ch/
They have a kit for CHF150 if I recall correctly.
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If reliability and consisteny are important to you, use Ethernet, not Powerline, especially if the house is older and you're not really sure what the power cables are doing.
Powerline doesn't work - I've tried it - far too many different cables and fuse units as the house was extended a few years ago.
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Old 15.11.2017, 12:53
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Re: Wifi in Swiss houses

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If possible, I would rely on ethernet cabling
But in the end, you need some wifi - for smart phones/tablets/laptops and remote sensors where cabling is not possible.

But I am in the process of running some ethernet where possible
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Old 15.11.2017, 13:05
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Re: Wifi in Swiss houses

I have a similar problem with WiFi coverage from our Swisscom router.

My son has regular WiFi rage spells when his PS4 disconnects or runs slower than usual and I have noticed that the iPad doesn't get a signal in several places.

I was of the opinion that adding a couple of repeaters in our house would improve the coverage, something like the Netgear EX3700 or similar or am I deluded?

Has anyone an experience / recommendations here?

Thanks!
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Old 15.11.2017, 13:17
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Re: Wifi in Swiss houses

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I have a similar problem with WiFi coverage from our Swisscom router.

My son has regular WiFi rage spells when his PS4 disconnects or runs slower than usual and I have noticed that the iPad doesn't get a signal in several places.

I was of the opinion that adding a couple of repeaters in our house would improve the coverage, something like the Netgear EX3700 or similar or am I deluded?

Has anyone an experience / recommendations here?

Thanks!
I'm generally not a fan of repeaters unless they are wired (cable) into the main router. You'll have ping issues (important for gaming), and can get channel interference.

I'd look at a PowerLine solution over a repeater
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Old 15.11.2017, 13:24
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Re: Wifi in Swiss houses

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At the moment I've got a Netgear R6250 which, to put it bluntly, is a piece of junk as it keeps dropping out and needs frequent power-cycles.

.
You did flash latest FW?
Did you do a factory reset?
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Old 15.11.2017, 13:25
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Re: Wifi in Swiss houses

I'm using a fritzbox repeater and are very happy with

Ground floor "normal" WLAN Router
Top floor fritzbox repeater
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Old 15.11.2017, 13:39
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Re: Wifi in Swiss houses

A general thought

2.4GHz Wifi has 11 channels and most routers go to 1, 6, or 11 for maximum bandwidth. The problem is, you can get massive interference from your neighbours.

There are tools for your phone (I use Wifi Analyzer which may let you pick a better channel.

If you enable the 40MHz option, then channel 3 or 9 may work better.

Different opinions: https://superuser.com/a/776786/7351 and https://superuser.com/questions/4431...r-unused-3-4-8

With any luck, all your neighbours are on channel 1 so you can use 6

And make sure your 5GHz band is enabled
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Old 15.11.2017, 13:41
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Re: Wifi in Swiss houses

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I have a similar problem with WiFi coverage from our Swisscom router.

My son has regular WiFi rage spells when his PS4 disconnects or runs slower than usual and I have noticed that the iPad doesn't get a signal in several places.

I was of the opinion that adding a couple of repeaters in our house would improve the coverage, something like the Netgear EX3700 or similar or am I deluded?

Has anyone an experience / recommendations here?

Thanks!
If your son plays FPS online, cable is the only satisfying solution. Almost every lagger I run into keeps saying the same thing "but I have to be on Wifi since I cannot pull a cable." I do not know the lay-out of your house, but If you make a cable to your sons room you could either in his room or along the route place a wired repeater to improve coverage in the rest of the house (or at least a part of it)
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Old 15.11.2017, 13:45
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Re: Wifi in Swiss houses

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But, thinking about it, they're wrong - wifi is mainly two-way communication and you could have the most powerful router in the world but if the device it is communicating with is not at all powerful then it's not going to work.
Better/more expensive routers tend to have more sensitive antenna's which in theory will improve receiving signals from weak senders.

But a steel ceiling will remain a problem.
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Old 15.11.2017, 13:50
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Re: Wifi in Swiss houses

....also, by default my wifi router didn't use his full sending power and i was able to increase it in the configuration settings....
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Old 15.11.2017, 14:03
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Re: Wifi in Swiss houses

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I'm using a fritzbox repeater and are very happy with

Ground floor "normal" WLAN Router
Top floor fritzbox repeater
Which model do you have?
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Old 15.11.2017, 14:05
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Re: Wifi in Swiss houses

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You did flash latest FW?
Did you do a factory reset?
Latest FW.
Reset to factory settings many times.

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A general thought

2.4GHz Wifi has 11 channels and most routers go to 1, 6, or 11 for maximum bandwidth. The problem is, you can get massive interference from your neighbours.

There are tools for your phone (I use Wifi Analyzer which may let you pick a better channel.

If you enable the 40MHz option, then channel 3 or 9 may work better.

Different opinions: https://superuser.com/a/776786/7351 and https://superuser.com/questions/4431...r-unused-3-4-8

With any luck, all your neighbours are on channel 1 so you can use 6
I routinely check this. I;m on channel 6 because of the traffic on channel 1.
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Old 15.11.2017, 14:11
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Re: Wifi in Swiss houses

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Which model do you have?
https://siroop.ch/computer-elektroni...E&gclsrc=aw.ds
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