Wifi Extender or Switch which would be better? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 15 Old 04-12-2019, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Wifi Extender or Switch which would be better?

Pretty simple situation, I have a router on the opposite side of the house, and get kind of crappy wifi in my bedroom. Well it was fine before but I just got a new Vizio P65, and it's not wanting to pick up the wifi signal like my old Vizio P series did. Had a similar issue with my PS4 so I actually ran a hard line from the router across the house to my bedroom. Now I am thinking of hard wiring the TV as well, but Im not sure if it would be better to get get a wifi extender and use that to boost the wifi in my room or grab a cheap 5 port switch at best buy an a 3 foot Ethernet cable. What do you think? My phone has so so wifi connection in my room as well but its not a huge issue to me, not being able to use netflix amazon prime etc on my new tv is. Hoping to grab something at BestBuy after work today. Any suggestions.
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post #2 of 15 Old 04-12-2019, 10:31 AM
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If you want to boost the Wi-Fi in that area for other devices why not do both?


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post #3 of 15 Old 04-12-2019, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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If you want to boost the Wi-Fi in that area for other devices why not do both?


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Thats true, I am not really worried about the wifi access my phone gets, it works well enough. But are there wifi extenders that also function as a switch? Plus the Switch is cheaper, I can get one for about $30 vs $50+ for an extender.
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post #4 of 15 Old 04-12-2019, 11:25 AM
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There are routers that have a 4-port switch built-in and sometimes they can be put in access point mode so they’re not doing any “routing“ but if you want to keep it really simple just do an ethernet switch.

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post #5 of 15 Old 04-12-2019, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by giomania View Post
There are routers that have a 4-port switch built-in and sometimes they can be put in access point mode so they’re not doing any “routing“ but if you want to keep it really simple just do an ethernet switch.

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That's kind of what I was thinking. Its been a while since I was in on all the networking stuff haha. Im just gonna grab a switch, hopefully plug and play, and pop that behind the tv and run the hard line to it, and one to the Ps4 and one to the TV. For some reason the wifi antenna on the new Vizio isn't as good as the one on my 2014 model.
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post #6 of 15 Old 04-12-2019, 12:35 PM
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A hardline ethernet is ALWAYS better than ANY WIFI. Not even debatable. Especially for streaming tv. There are some that argue, that because some WIFI can do 1300Mbps, and that's faster than 1gb ethernet, that the wifi would be better. 1st: You'll never get that full speed from wifi. 2nd: Streaming live tv like hulu tv, youtube tv, playstation vue, slingtv, etc. and even On-Demand services like hulu, netflix, prime, etc. don't need that much speed. 3rd: You can only go as fast as your slowest link. So, unless you have MORE than a 1GB internet connection, you'll never reach any bandwidth issues with ethernet. WIFI was not designed because it's great or better. It was designed 100% for convenience. And ONLY convenience. No other reason.

What affect streaming; especially LIVE TV (Not netflix, prime, etc. as much) is latency and jitter. Adding wifi increases latency and jitter. A hard line ethernet does not add any additional latency or jitter than you're already getting from your ISP. WIFI adds more. So ALWAYS go with an ethernet hardline whenever possible. Even with a single line and a 4 port switch or similar.
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post #7 of 15 Old 04-12-2019, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
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A hardline ethernet is ALWAYS better than ANY WIFI. Not even debatable. Especially for streaming tv. There are some that argue, that because some WIFI can do 1300Mbps, and that's faster than 1gb ethernet, that the wifi would be better. 1st: You'll never get that full speed from wifi. 2nd: Streaming live tv like hulu tv, youtube tv, playstation vue, slingtv, etc. and even On-Demand services like hulu, netflix, prime, etc. don't need that much speed. 3rd: You can only go as fast as your slowest link. So, unless you have MORE than a 1GB internet connection, you'll never reach any bandwidth issues with ethernet. WIFI was not designed because it's great or better. It was designed 100% for convenience. And ONLY convenience. No other reason.

What affect streaming; especially LIVE TV (Not netflix, prime, etc. as much) is latency and jitter. Adding wifi increases latency and jitter. A hard line ethernet does not add any additional latency or jitter than you're already getting from your ISP. WIFI adds more. So ALWAYS go with an ethernet hardline whenever possible. Even with a single line and a 4 port switch or similar.
Right that's why I ran the hardline form my router across my house for the PS4. I never had streaming issues with my 2014 vizio it was a streaming BEAST over wifi, but this new one can barely connect at all. But supposedly the ethernet port can be sketchy on it as well sometimes. I shall see, worst case I can hard wire the PS4 from the Switch and then get a WAP and connect it to the switch and put it behind the TV. Im just trying to spend as little money as possible to get it going since I just dropped $1300 for the TV, a stand and warranty LOL
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post #8 of 15 Old 04-12-2019, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by liffie420 View Post
Pretty simple situation, I have a router on the opposite side of the house, and get kind of crappy wifi in my bedroom. Well it was fine before but I just got a new Vizio P65, and it's not wanting to pick up the wifi signal like my old Vizio P series did. Had a similar issue with my PS4 so I actually ran a hard line from the router across the house to my bedroom. Now I am thinking of hard wiring the TV as well, but Im not sure if it would be better to get get a wifi extender and use that to boost the wifi in my room or grab a cheap 5 port switch at best buy an a 3 foot Ethernet cable. What do you think? My phone has so so wifi connection in my room as well but its not a huge issue to me, not being able to use netflix amazon prime etc on my new tv is. Hoping to grab something at BestBuy after work today. Any suggestions.
The problem I had with Wifi extenders is that the "extended" network is actually a different network (e.g. if your Wifi network was "home", the extended network was "home_ext", which creates operability problems for devices that have to be on the same network to talk to each other).

The solution for me was to convert to the Linksys Velop mesh routing system -- it's not that cheap, but then you are pretty much done with WiFi issues anywhere in the house. You can buy 2 or 3 node systems, but 2 nodes should be enough for your house if one WiFi router almost works (https://www.amazon.com/Linksys-Tri-b...-1-spons&psc=1). Before the mesh, I kept upgrading to various top-of-the-line Wifi routers with 8 or so antennas and the range still didn't work no matter what router I used. I think the limiting issue is that the FCC limits for power for WiFi routers, so the range of a single router is limited no matter how high quality it might be. The mesh solution fixes that. Mesh WiFi is a bit like a an extender, but it just creates one huge Wifi network instead of having separate networks for the main WiFi and the extended WiFi.

Last edited by pjp; 04-12-2019 at 01:19 PM.
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post #9 of 15 Old 04-12-2019, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pjp View Post
The problem I had with Wifi extenders is that the "extended" network is actually a different network (e.g. if your Wifi network was "home", the extended network was "home_ext", which creates operability problems for devices that have to be on the same network).

The solution for me was to convert to the Linksys Velop mesh routing system -- it's not that cheap, but then you are pretty much done with WiFi issues anywhere in the house. Two nodes should be enough for your house if one WiFi router almost works (https://www.amazon.com/Linksys-Tri-b...-1-spons&psc=1). Before the mesh, I kept upgrading to various top-of-the-line Wifi routers with 8 or so antennas and the range still didn't work no matter what router I used. I think the limiting issue is that the FCC limits for power for WiFi routers, so the range of a single router is limited no matter how high quality it might be. The mesh solution fixes that. Mesh WiFi is a bit like a an extender, but it just creates one huge Wifi network instead of having separate networks for the main WiFi and the extended WiFi.
Yeah thats true, but I don't want to outlay a bunch of money when frankly the wifi works fine more or less everywhere, but the stupid TV has a crappy wifi antenna lol. I would thing about the WAP route, but again its more money than a cheap $30 switch, which should be more or less plug and play. Im pretty computer savy so not worried if I have to do set up but would love a plug it in and poof it works lol
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post #10 of 15 Old 04-12-2019, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by liffie420 View Post
Yeah thats true, but I don't want to outlay a bunch of money when frankly the wifi works fine more or less everywhere, but the stupid TV has a crappy wifi antenna lol. I would thing about the WAP route, but again its more money than a cheap $30 switch, which should be more or less plug and play. Im pretty computer savy so not worried if I have to do set up but would love a plug it in and poof it works lol
How about a powerline Ethernet adaptor to run that length wirelessly? This provides an ethernet through the existing electrical wiring. They work quite well as long as you plug them directly to the outlet (surge protectors screw them up). How well they work can be dependent a bit on individual house wiring, but they seem to work very well in most houses.

https://www.amazon.com/D-Link-PowerL...s%2C138&sr=8-7
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post #11 of 15 Old 04-12-2019, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
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How about a powerline Ethernet adaptor to run that length wirelessly? This provides an ethernet through the existing electrical wiring. They work quite well as long as you plug them directly to the outlet (surge protectors screw them up). How well they work can be dependent a bit on individual house wiring, but they seem to work very well in most houses.

https://www.amazon.com/D-Link-PowerL...s%2C138&sr=8-7
Well that might work but i live in a VERY old house, built in the 30's but has newer wiring, plus I already have a hard line to my room already.
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post #12 of 15 Old 04-12-2019, 02:13 PM
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Well that might work but i live in a VERY old house, built in the 30's but has newer wiring, plus I already have a hard line to my room already.
Sorry -- I misunderstood what you were saying about the hard line in your original post. Between a WiFi extender and a switch, I would definitely get a switch. I don't like extenders because they create a separate network from the main WiFi and a switch is always going to be more reliable and faster than an extender. You've already done the "hard part" of running the long distance wire, so it seems like a no brainer to use a switch instead of an extender if you don't need extended WiFi in that room.

This is what I'm using -- $15 and works great ->https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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post #13 of 15 Old 04-12-2019, 02:28 PM
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I'd treat weak wifi and hardwiring as separate questions. Regardless of how good the wifi is I hardwire everything that can be hardwired. If it has an ethernet port the wifi is disabled and it's plugged in. That leaves more bandwidth headroom for the devices where you don't have this option. If there is an option to hardwire the TV, that's what I would do. Also a cheap switch is something you can pick up from Best Buy on the way home.

Additionally I ensure that my wifi network provides a usable signal at every point in the house. I'm going to want to at least use my laptop or phone at some point in just about any spot I can reach. I use a couple strategically placed Ubiquiti access points for this, but if I were shooting for a more consumer grade option I'd look at replacing your router with one of the various mesh options that's on the market now. An extender may fill a gap but it's an inelegant solution and may end up being more hassle in the long run.
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post #14 of 15 Old 04-13-2019, 07:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry -- I misunderstood what you were saying about the hard line in your original post. Between a WiFi extender and a switch, I would definitely get a switch. I don't like extenders because they create a separate network from the main WiFi and a switch is always going to be more reliable and faster than an extender. You've already done the "hard part" of running the long distance wire, so it seems like a no brainer to use a switch instead of an extender if you don't need extended WiFi in that room.

This is what I'm using -- $15 and works great ->https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
yes and @mattztt I dropped by BestBuy last night after work picked up a little Linksys 5 port switch and its all plug and play and everything is up and running. Thank you all. Finally got to watch The Grand Tour on my new Vizio P65
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post #15 of 15 Old 04-13-2019, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by liffie420 View Post
Thats true, I am not really worried about the wifi access my phone gets, it works well enough. But are there wifi extenders that also function as a switch? Plus the Switch is cheaper, I can get one for about $30 vs $50+ for an extender.
A router will do just that, that's what I used my spare router(R8000) for.

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