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Best way to boost signal?

Best way to boost signal?

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Contributor Qoklo
Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎04-03-2019
Message 1 of 3
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Okay, so I have an old brick house. Wifi fades pretty quickly from room to room.  What's the best way to  boost the signal? I have the  standard "Fios Quantum Gateway Router".  I do not have ethernet or cable outlets anywhere so...

 

1) Can I get an antenna that boost the signal on this thing?

2) Should  I  get a whole new router that's stronger?

3) Can  I  get a  bunch of repeaters that  will help or do they only work  if  phycially plugged  into the ethernet or cable?

 

Thanks!

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Gold Contributor VII
Gold Contributor VII
Posts: 4,602
Registered: ‎10-18-2016
Message 2 of 3
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In situations like you mentioned it would be first to get a router with external antennas for better broadcast abilities. If you return the Quantum Gateway Router you save $12 a month in rental fees ($144 a year or $288 for two years if in contract)

 

the other question is “are you internet only “? If so you can use your own router as stated above. But you can get the plug in extenters that work through your house wiring. This may come a little expensive. I use a netgear AC router but i also use the netgear extenders. The extenders are easy to pair with the router, and they have the ability to be connected via wifi or even via direct eathernet connection from your computer to the extender if needed.

 

 

Platinum Contributor III Platinum Contributor III
Platinum Contributor III
Posts: 7,348
Registered: ‎12-15-2010
Message 3 of 3
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If each room has Coax, you can set up a FiOS Network Extender off of one of the Coax outlets, provided the outlet is connected to the same Coax network as your G1100 router. These extenders will use the Coax for uplink, which helps to keep the connection consistent as well as fast compared to a traditional repeater or Wi-Fi Extender. Important for a service like FiOS. Typically, if your router is at one end of the house (assuming a rectangle here), you'll want to place the extender somewhere not at the other end of the house, but between end and center to ensure it is covering where it needs to.

 

Now with repeaters and wireless (non-Coax/Ethernet connected) extenders, these do work and are easy to set up, but they do come with a major catch - they work in the sense of "garbage in, garbage out." If they're placed in a room with terrible signal, they'll broadcast a stronger signal that your devices can see, but the performance will be abysmal and possibly unreliable. So these have to be spaced in a place where singal is still strong and fast enough to be usable, but not weak enough to where a phone for example might start to have trouble connecting. The other half of a Repeater/Extender setup is that, with the vast majority of the products out on the market, they will cut the incoming/repeated signal speed in half, and this is due to the lack of a dedicated repeater radio. So if you have the repeater in an area that can get 40Mbps wirelessly, expect no more than 20Mbps out of it. If you get more than that, you may be lucky. Expect this to get worse the more you repeat off of a repeater. Slow speeds and drops will cascade from the point of entry through to the rest of the system.

 

The other alternative is if you don't have FiOS TV, you can replace the Quantum Gateway with your own solution. This might be ideal if you're renting the Quantum Gateway. The only thing you'll need to do, besides buying your own router, is getting your ONT's WAN connection moved from Coax to Ethernet. This might involve running some CAT5e through your home from your ONT to where the router currently lives (you may already have this if you subscribe to 100Mbps or faster, or if your install is new). A lot of people today like to get Mesh systems like Eero, Google Wi-Fi, Velop, or Amplifi. The only thing to keep in mind with Mesh systems is that they are effectively glorified repeaters, but better designed and better built. They'll perform better than a traditional repeater, but they still have the same problems with gabage in, garbage out. They don't always have the same problem that repeaters have with lacking a dedicated uplink radio - for example, Eero has a dedicated 5Ghz radio it uses for meshing to other nodes which helps keep performance high. Others will stick to a more traditional Linksys/ASUS/Netgear/Belkin/etc setup, where a router with high powered radios and external antennas will be just enough to accomplish the job. This usually works too, but keep in mind that Wi-Fi is both ways. A high powered router might mean your device with a crappy Wi-FI radio can hear it, but the router can't hear your device. This will cause a connection failure.

 

There are some other solutions you can use too. Some repeaters for example allow wired uplink, which allows them to run as a wireless access point. You can also purchase dedicated access points and mount them in key locations in your home. Some of these solutions will involve pulling cable through your house, but this will provide the absolute best perofrmance. Another option is using your power lines with power line network adapters. These can be, however, very dodgy depending on how your home is wired, and they often fail if your power line adapter ends up having to hit the power company's transformer to reach the other side of your panel where a power line adapter may live.

 

Now, something else to consider before getting too involved with researching a solution. If the router is situated in a basement, it's best to move it to the first floor, or at least into a room where it will cover the vast majority of your devices. Basements due to foundation and other general construction elements, as well as due to the router's inability to hear neighbor networks as well, tend to greatly reduce the Wi-Fi performance and even usable range as a result.

 

My personal preference in every situation is to pull Ethernet to key locations and mount access points if I know relocating the router or swapping it for a higher powered one won't help. The second preference would me to use the coax in my house and create a MoCa network to connect up access points (or the FiOS Range Extenders). After that, wireless mesh systems and repeaters basically become the "last resort" for me.

 

Hope this helps. 

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