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Looking for input for wifi extenders that actually work. Large 2 story home with modem and wireless router on main level, looking to boost signal strength on second level as well as outside patio (lakefront with dock) for streaming audio and video to portable devices.

Home theater and majority of house is hard wired with cat 5e. Currently using a "n" compatible router.

This is for a friends home and he is looking for the best long term solution.

Thanks in advance.

Glenn
 

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You have some challenges.

First, an extender will essentially cut the speed in half when you are connected to the extender side.

Second, you need to decide on bands. 2.4 is usually crowded. You can determine the situation by using a wifi analyzer. It may be that simply changing bands on the existing AP will fix the problem. But if you plan on going 5ghz, then you have issues with range, especially when trying to go through obstructions like walls.

He would be better off going with a second AP. Since I have the same issues as he probably has, I have three APs around my house. My outside area is covered with a Ubiquiti AP that is served up with Power over Ethernet, so I didn't need electrical. Just running a CAT5e cable over to where I wanted it was all I had to do. Most PoE APs come with an injector, so you don't need a PoE switch.
 

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Looking for input for wifi extenders that actually work. Large 2 story home with modem and wireless router on main level, looking to boost signal strength on second level as well as outside patio (lakefront with dock) for streaming audio and video to portable devices.

Home theater and majority of house is hard wired with cat 5e. Currently using a "n" compatible router.

This is for a friends home and he is looking for the best long term solution.

Thanks in advance.

Glenn
what modern router?

I agree with TornadoTJ on the recommended solution

Here's a little elaboration on what I think the best solution would be

1) Modem (surfboard)
2) A robust ddwrt, tomato, or asus router (turn SSID off so it's only doing routing
3) Switch
4) Wired APs at appropriate places (probably upstairs, downstairs, and outside)

I'd be willing to guess they already have 1, 2, and 3 or at least 2 and 3 based on what you described in the OP. A robust router doesn't have to be all that expensive

If their modern router is an Asus or Linksys it would probably be better off as a strategically placed AP. You could probably get away with one AP upstairs and one in the downstairs corner nearest the intended outside range area. Give each AP different names, so it will be easier for them to identify the better signal strength network (and of course in their android devices you can select "avoid poor wifi connections")

Other than Asus and Linksys I've also seen some Belkin routers with AP mode built in. Buffalo probably has this as well, but I'm not totally sure as I've never used them but heard great things. Asus gets my money everytime. In fact I have a couple extra Asus AC66u routers I'll be posting to the classifieds soon if you are interested you can message me
 

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I use an ASUS wireless router as a repeater for my upstairs media room currently. My iPad was dropping signal upstairs, so I added the ASUS and set it up to work with my main AP. Works great. I do have it connected via hardline cat5e.
 

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+1 on the wired AP option. I'm using a Netgear N3400 that I connect via Moca, as my house isn't wired with ethernet. No noticeable speed drop, very stable, entirely transparent and it gives me exactly the additional coverage that I needed.
 

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First, an extender will essentially cut the speed in half when you are connected to the extender side.
I also have a similar setup. A two story house where I have the modem and a router downstairs. I have a Cat5 cable going to the upstairs to a second router. (wan port to wan port) I use the second router for both wifi and hard wiring. Is there a better way to do this?
 

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Well, no difference. The actual "router" isn't really too important. After that only one cable to a switch and all local traffic goes through the switch. The nicest/newest components need to be the APs. The only exception may be if the router only has fast Ethernet instead of gigabit and the downstream rate from their ISP is actually greater than 100Mbps. In that case the router can bottleneck speeds a little, but how many people really have more than 100 down from an ISP? In the future replacing that one single piece (router) if/when our US ISPs ever offer speeds above that threshold is a simple drop in replacement
 

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Verizon provides me a FiOS modem/router/AP. I have the AP turned off on it.

I'm considering selling all my APs and going with all Ubiquiti. I'm tired of jacking around with even the best of the consumer stuff.
 

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What fraction of the devices support 802.11AC? In my experience (and others' on this forum), switching to AC provided a massive boost to connection quality and reliability.

I'm using Netgear EX6100 for extenders.
 

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We use ubiquiti at work and one of our main client's offices (where I work from on Mondays) uses Aruba networks.

I really don't have issues with my Asus. Even if the op didn't need AC, the Asus AC66 and 68 are still the best N routers I have ever used. For APs the 66 is in a good sweet spot on price. For all out bragging rights there is the AC87u :D but a couple of those would probably be more than double two 66s plus you don't want them overlapping anyway
 
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