Posts Tagged ‘Networking’

All of us are working from home. All family members, including children, need wireless internet access throughout the day. This has put heavy load on our home wireless routers and the network.

In this post, I am sharing two wifi setups which will help you get best wifi experience in your house. For both these options, you may need to buy new routers and/or access points.

BACKGROUND

Wireless routers given by your ISP or the ones that we usually buy from market (that cost Rs. 5k or less) do several tasks:

  1. Routing of traffic
  2. IP assignment to different devices
  3. Wifi
  4. Firewall

The home wifi routers, that we normally have, do all the functions above, but to average levels. Most (that cost less than 5k) do not excel in any one of the functions above.

WHAT TO DO

You will have to invest in better hardware (routers and access points) if you wish to Improve the wifi at home.

Sharing two scenarios below:

Scenario 1: You have LAN cabling in all the rooms in your house.

Scenario 2: You don’t have LAN cables going to different rooms

Scenario 1

You have LAN cabling in all the rooms in you house.

This is the best scenario. You can create a very powerful wifi experience throughout the house. In this scenario I recommend a setup consisting of devices from a company called Ubiquiti. Here is what you need to do:

NOTE: This solution will also work if you don’t have wired ethernet connections in every room.

  1. Buy a good wired router. I recommend Edgerouter X by Ubiquiti (approx Rs. 6k) or Edgerouter Lite (around 15k)
  2. Buy good quality Access Points (one for every room but if rooms are smaller one AP may be good for two rooms also). I recommend Unifi Lite AP (approx Rs. 8.5k) or UAP-AC-PRO (approx Rs. 15k)
  3. If you have more than 4 rooms then you will need one switch also. I recommend TP Link TL-SG108E (around 2.6k)
  4. Optional – Unifi Cloud key hardware (around 9k). You can work without this device by installing the Unifi cloud key software on your laptop.

All APs will be connected with the wired router via LAN cables.

Setup cost for a 4 room house will be around 70k (YMMV depending on the size and design of your house). I have the same setup at my house and I love it.

You can get cheaper hardware from TP Link or Linksys as well but I found Ubiquiti products – unifi and Edgerouter to be the best. Such a setup shall work well with regular routers or access points as well.

Also, this setup will offer you enterprise class wifi, routing and security (very good firewall).

Scenario 2

You don’t have LAN cables going to different rooms

In this scenario, solution given in Scenario 1 above will also work well as Unifi Acs have mesh networking mode. But, there are some standalone MESH wireless systems also which you can use. A MESH wireless system usually has 2 or more devices, which wirelessly talk to each other, to increase the range of your wifi. This can replace your existing router or connect to your existing router (basis your preference).

Number of mesh devices required will depend on your house size. A three device mesh system usually covers 3,000 sq ft.

  1. If budget is not a consideration at all, then buy the google nest mesh wifi system, (price around 50k for a set of 3 devices)
  2. Other options are:
    1. TP Link M9plus (Rs. 29k for a set of 3 devices)
    2. TP Link M5 (19k for a set of 3 devices)
    3. Linksys velop (approx 15k for a set of 2) (Velop had different models that offer different speeds and are more expensive)

Good luck improving your wifi experience. I hope the above helps. Questions are welcome.

P.S. I have not had good experience with wireless repeaters and have therefore not recommended the same here. Also, I am sure there will be many more successful solutions for the wifi issues. I have shared the ones that I liked.
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