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Options to extend WiFi coverage from Hub2

P195T
Hooked
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎09-05-2022

Options to extend WiFi coverage from Hub2

Hello,

 

I have recently received the Hub2 router in the post which is connected at second floor level in a converted loft in a typical 1930's 3-bed semi. I'd like to extend the coverage of the WiFi to get better signal around the house and hopefully into the rear garden. I'm considering running some cat6 cables from the Hub2 in the loft to the front and back of the ground floor to connect to some access points / nodes.

I have two existing Hub1 routers and I recently bought the TP-Link AC1200 Deco S4 (x3) whole home mesh (two minds on whether to keep these or not at the moment) Deco S4 link 

I don't really want to have to connect to different networks depending on my location in the house, and I'd like to future proof the installation now so I can get fast speeds over WiFi when FTTP comes to my area soon.

I will also add that I'm not that clued up on network stuff generally so this may be a factor!

 

So my question is, based on the considerations above, and to get the best price vs performance WiFi, should I:

1. Use these existing Hub1 routers (wired connection from Hub2) configured as access points and return the Deco kit.

2. Use the Deco mesh nodes and connect them as access points (wired connection from Hub2)

3. Use the Deco mesh nodes and connect them as router and use Hub2 in bridge mode as a modem only (wired connection from Hub2)

4. Something else ?

 

I would be grateful for any advice or opinions on what the best choice would be for my circumstances, and if there are any other considerations that I may have overlooked.

 

Many Thanks,

P195T

 

13 REPLIES 13
Dan_the_Van
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Re: Options to extend WiFi coverage from Hub2

Hi @P195T welcome to the forum

I would go for option 3, you can then use all the functions the Deco devices can offer.

Dan.

bmc
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Re: Options to extend WiFi coverage from Hub2

@P195T 

First thing to consider above all else is where will the FTTP fibre come into the house. Whether it's OpenReach or one of the Alternatives an Opitcal Network Terminator (ONT) will be fitted inside your property. From this the router can be placed anywhere is it's connected via ethernet cable.

 

Consider running Cat 5e cable (good quality - not cheap stuff) rather that Cat 6. The latter is more inflexible when trying to go round corners. You can see pictures of each online if you so surfing. Whichever you choose, make sure it's "Solid Copper Core".

 

Brian

Baldrick1
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Re: Options to extend WiFi coverage from Hub2

@P195T 

Go for option 3 but also fit CAT5e Ethernet cable and use them to provide the best possible backhaul. See the top-link web site for more info.

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P195T
Hooked
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎09-05-2022

Re: Options to extend WiFi coverage from Hub2

Thanks guys,

If I were to use the Deco kit, as far as I understand the benefits are:

- Unified network - devices automatically switch. If I were to use the Hub1's configured as access points then I wouldn't be able to do this? I would have to manually connect to each place when I arrive there (loft/hub1-1/hub1-2) ?

- "Fast and stable connections with speeds of up to 1167 Mbp (867Mb on 5ghz and 300Mb on 2.4ghz)". I read that the ethernet ports were limited to 10/100 Mb and there is THIS video, but box says (867Mb on 5ghz and 300Mb on 2.4ghz). ?? What would be the max speeds possible when using the Hub1's ?

- Parental controls. Don't know how these compare to standard PN ones?

- An app to control.

- Integration with Alexa. For what purposes would I want to control Deco with Alexa ?

In your opinion, would you say these benefits are worth the £100 for the kit? I'm just trying to weigh up if I can use the Hub1's rather than them being redundant vs the benefits of the mesh system.

 

Good question on where the fibre would enter the property, I assume at ground level, don't know if I would get a choice as to where, ideally it would come in at the same place as where I intend to route my cables from the loft to the front of the house (down the front of the house at the adjoining boundary and in through the wall. As they are going outside I assumed cat6 would be better choice but not for any logical reason! - they would at least need UV protection and be waterproof, and have solid cores.

One other question was about using powerline extenders, would this be an option considering that my ground floor sockets are on a separate MCB to the first and second floor sockets?

 

Cheers all,

P195T

 

Baldrick1
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Re: Options to extend WiFi coverage from Hub2

@P195T 

I wouldn’t advise it, see https://community.plus.net/t5/Tech-Help-Software-Hardware-etc/Powerline-Unit-Performance/m-p/1607450...

Mesh with Ethernet backhaul is the way to do it. It’s a bit of a pain to install Ethernet cabling but you only have to install it once and you know that you have the best solution. I would also connect as many devices as you can over Ethernet. Tp-link do cheap low energy Ethernet Switches, should you need them in remote parts of your property.

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bmc
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Re: Options to extend WiFi coverage from Hub2

@P195T 

First question is is it OpenReach installing FTTP or someone else? Second question is, if OR, are you fed on an overhead or underground line?

 

If overhead then the current copper line will be replace with a fibre one - presumably to the same point that your current cable is attached to the property. The fibre can be brought in at the same point as your phone line enters but with a good engineer you could get it in elsewhere on the same wall (they won't go round corners). If UG, then the fibre will appear at the same point as your current cable - though once again you might be able to get it run accross the wall before entering.

 

Cat 5e & 6 have the same speed rating. The difference is Cat 6 is better shielded so can handle higher densities of traffic. For house use I suspect Cat 6 would be overkill. You get outdoor certified cable.

 

If you're looking to run cable outdoors think about wall ethernet sockets (indoors) for the outdoor part of the cable run. This ensures you're not limited in future by the length of the fibre run.

 

If running outdoor cable you could run from one floor to the next and then use powerline on each power circuit with a solid starting point (a wired connection).

 

Last suggestion is unless your desperate to sort things now wait until you get FTTP and then see what your starting point is - both for running cable and WiFi.

 

Brian

P195T
Hooked
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎09-05-2022

Re: Options to extend WiFi coverage from Hub2

The FTTP in my area is being installed by CityFibre although I don't know how long until they will install in my street. My current OR cable is overhead from the pole. My thinking is that if they are likely to supply the new fibre cable from the pole to the same position then there would be no harm in running ethernet cables to the nodes at this stage as I will be able to use those later as well.

Can you recommend any good places to buy cat5e cable at good prices?

Cheers,

P195T

bmc
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Re: Options to extend WiFi coverage from Hub2

@P195T 

CityFibre and OpenReach are two separate things. As far as I know they don't use OR infrastructure for the "final mile" so to speak. They'll probably run a trench along your pavement and then bring the fibre into your house accross your front garden.

 

Given there's probably only one or two places they can come in you'd probably have a good idea where it'll happen.

 

Brian

bmc
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Re: Options to extend WiFi coverage from Hub2

@P195T 

OK, so it appears I got it wrong in my previous post. CityFibre might use OR poles. They also wholesale their network so you have a choice of providers.

 

You need to look through the CF website to see what it says about installation and who their partners are.

 

Brian

P195T
Hooked
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Registered: ‎09-05-2022

Re: Options to extend WiFi coverage from Hub2

Fair enough, in that case as you suggested, I'll wait until FTTP is available to me and then revisit it at that stage.

I think I'll probably return the Deco kit as well for now as I bought it as it seemed a sensible price and thought that using it wirelessly might improve the coverage, but from what I've seen so far it hasn't made a huge difference.

If you were buying a mesh system for (wired) use with FTTP what would you opt for? (considering price vs performance)

I appreciate your support!

Cheers,

P195T

 

Baldrick1
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Re: Options to extend WiFi coverage from Hub2

@P195T 

What I don’t understand is this hang up about FTTP. Don’t you want to maximise the performance of your current FTTC service? 
Personally I would not bother about the future location of FTTP hardware. If in the future you need to extend your Ethernet cabling then so be it.

As for the best hardware, all that you can do is read specs, read reviews and make up your own mind regarding cost v performance.

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P195T
Hooked
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Registered: ‎09-05-2022

Re: Options to extend WiFi coverage from Hub2

Ideally yes, I was considering it, but I'm not sure it's a good idea to run ethernet cables now that may not be useful in X months time because the router position changes due to FTTP becoming available to me in the near(?) future. 

bmc
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Re: Options to extend WiFi coverage from Hub2

@P195T 

If you have useable WiFi then you have the option of delaying any internal upgrades until FTTP arrives if it's expected in the reasonable near future. Each and everyone has their own priorities.

 

However, you can do research to see what's coming to plan what's needed. I spoke before about looking through the CityFibre website. In FAQ's they have a video on Installation. Then use their checker to see what it says about your property. You never know, it might be more informative than OpenReach tend it be. If it's not, try phoning them to see if you can get a general idea of when.

 

I would suspect there's only a few locations where the ONT could / can be located. If they use the OR pole then you'll know which wall will take the incoming cable and hence where the ONT might go. You could check with them if they install their own mouning bracket for the cable and if they would consider running the cable round the outside of the house if required.

 

If the access point is from the street to you property then I suspect there will only be one or two useable routes - once again you would have a reasonable idea of the ONT location. Given the router is connected by Ethernet cable it can go anywhere you want / are happy to run cable.

 

Finally have a look at the ISP's who use CityFibre. I only recognised a couple but one of them is Zen. Not the cheapest but they have a good reputation. More to the point perhaps is they use a highly regarded FritzBox router. The FritzBox "family" has Mesh units if I recall correctly.

 

Brian