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Requesting some assistance with very basic network setup.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I am trying to maximize my Plex experience on my primary TV and was hoping someone could give me some advice on the proposed network setup:

  1. Primary TV is on the second floor of a three-story home. The TV is a Samsung PN64E7000.
  2. Internet is supplied by Comcast (30Mbps) via cable modem. The only coaxial cable coming into the house is on the first floor.
  3. Router is ASUS RT-N66U Dual Band Gigabit (Amazon Link). The router is connected directly to the modem on the first floor. The wireless signal is pretty much great wherever I am in the house, even on the third floor.
  4. However, my TV, which is connected wirelessly to the router struggles with streaming high-quality content (i.e., constantly buffering).
  5. My initial thought was to relocate the modem and router to the second floor (in the TV hutch) so that I can connect the TV directly into the router and centralize the wireless router for better signal throughout the house. But, people have informed me that wiring the coaxial cable to the second floor would be very difficult/expensive. So, I'm considering two options, and I was hoping someone could weigh in on the better option (or offer a better solution altogether):
  6. The first option is to use gigabit powerline adapters (Amazon Link). I would keep the cable modem on the first floor, and hook it directly into one powerline adapter. Then I would place the second adapter at the TV hutch and plug the ASUS router into it. The router would be centrally located and I could hardline the TV, HTPC, and gaming devices directly into the router.
  7. The second option is to keep the modem and router on the first floor, but use the powerline adapters to get a connection to the TV hutch. I would then use a wired router (Amazon Link) at the TV hutch so that I can plug in my various devices at the TV hutch.
  8. The only reason I am considering the second option (despite it being more expensive) is that I have a sneaking suspicion that, with option one, I will be limiting the incoming signal to the router at the outset and degrade my wireless everywhere else. By using the second option, the wireless router will remain directly connected to the cable modem, providing good wireless, while still providing me with a method to bring a hardline up to the TV hutch. Does that make sense? Is this the ideal setup? Is there a better way?
post #2 of 10
If you cannot run CAT6 from the router on the first floor to the TV then I would keep both the router and the modem on the first floor and use the powerline solution with a switch instead of a router on the other end. There are other switches available, I just like Netgear.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmarqueset View Post

If you cannot run CAT6 from the router on the first floor to the TV then I would keep both the router and the modem on the first floor and use the powerline solution with a switch instead of a router on the other end. There are other switches available, I just like Netgear.

Ah ha. I need a switch, not a router. OK. Makes sense.

So, I have kind of a dumb question: What's the best way to check the speed of transfers within your network? I've used speedtest.net in the past, but that only checks how fast my Internet connection is, right? Meaning, how fast I can download something from outside of my network. So, if I want to test how quickly something is transferring from one computer to another or from one computer to the TV, how do I accomplish that? (I'm asking because some people are telling me that powerline can be totally hit or miss depending on what sorts of electrical circuits I'm running in the house.) I don't want to sit around like a dummy thinking that the powerline is doing the job when it's actually hurting my signal.
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidsense View Post

Ah ha. I need a switch, not a router. OK. Makes sense.

So, I have kind of a dumb question: What's the best way to check the speed of transfers within your network? I've used speedtest.net in the past, but that only checks how fast my Internet connection is, right? Meaning, how fast I can download something from outside of my network. So, if I want to test how quickly something is transferring from one computer to another or from one computer to the TV, how do I accomplish that? (I'm asking because some people are telling me that powerline can be totally hit or miss depending on what sorts of electrical circuits I'm running in the house.) I don't want to sit around like a dummy thinking that the powerline is doing the job when it's actually hurting my signal.

There are several applications out there that can do it but I don't know which are expensive versus free. I normally use Ixia ixChariot. It is an expensive program that I received from work but it works very well.

Write-up #1
Write-up #2

You were told right about the powerline speeds. It can vary.
post #5 of 10
Well I use a wireless router on the "other end" in router mode-not Gateway mode. That router is connected wired and acts as an AP "out there". It functions as an AP and a switch.
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidsense View Post

What's the best way to check the speed of transfers within your network? I've used speedtest.net in the past, but that only checks how fast my Internet connection is, right?
Powerline products can be affected by a number of things - http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/lanwan/lanwan-basics/31238-slow-homeplug-five-ways-to-boost-powerline-network-speed.

Some other interesting info on Powerline:
- http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/lanwan/lanwan-basics/31585-smallnetbuilders-powerline-faq
- http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/component/tags/powerline/?task=view

Some Powerline products come with a switch: http://www.amazon.com/Netgear-XAVB5004-100NAS-Universal-Internet-Adapter/dp/B004PA9PBQ

Dmarqueset gave you links for apps to measure network throughput. I have used iperf when I was testing a couple routers for Netgear. I can provide simple instruction on its use if you want. There is also a GUI-based version called jperf that does not require typing the one simple command.
post #7 of 10
Liquid - thanks for asking this question - I am looking at the exact same issue in my house. The only other option I was researching was the Ethernet to Coax adapters......can anyone explain to us which one is better ?

Pros and Cons of each ?
post #8 of 10
Two wireless routers setup in WDS mode, or even ethernet repeater mode or wireless bridge mode, will xfer at high enough bandwidth for video streaming. You can use dual band routers and use their 5ghz channels for their connections and keep clients on the 2.4 ghz channel.

This isn't that difficult folks....

Did that very thing for some time until I had a reason to crawl around in the attic and drop network cables.
post #9 of 10
Note about jperf and iperf>>>They DO NOT stress your network enough to consider them adequate testers. LAN Speed Test is more accurate and at 14 bucks (both client and server are needed) it's pretty good. it does stress the network more then iperf/jperf do.

Note about WDS/Repeater mode>>> Repeaters halve your B/W.
post #10 of 10
Sorry but a second or third wireless router only cuts the bandwidth IF the network is setup in WDS mode.

Even if you set it up in WDS mode with 300/5ghz channels being used to talk to each other you still end up with way more than enough bandwidth to handle media streaming.

Setting the "out there" router as a wireless AP and using its LAN ports to bridge wired devices to the main router does not cut bandwidth. WDS yes.

Right now have back of house that is essentially a two room apartment with an Onkyo 626, Panasonic BDT500, at least two laptops, iPads and iPhones are running through a router in the back that is connected wirelessly to the main router/gateway.

They hammer bandwidth and there are no issues.

Setting up a in home network system using two routers and connecting them wirelessly is not hard. Cost of basic dual band router not high either. You don't need heavy duty muscle for the "out there" router.

I have Asus RTN-66U for main router and a lowly Linksys E3000 for the "out there" router-ap.
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