Wireless Router Network

#1

My story. I used to be a FIOS customer. They got purchased by Frontier. (Service and quality both deteriorated) My wireless router is a part of the ACTIONTEC modem/router combo.

I live in a multi level four bedroom and I’m looking to upgrade the wireless coverage. My wife, son and I all have laptops, ipads, iphones, Amazon firesticks, raspberry pis and a smattering of older computers connected to the network. The number of devices on the network is surprising for a home network. Almost everything is wireless, too.
I have a repeater downstairs, but it, too has several years of use on it.

I want to 1) take advantage of the latest network speeds but support older protocols 2) have the best quality connectivity 3) add wireless security systems and home automation to the network.

I’ve looked at mesh networks, multiple wireless networks and bridging and various other solutions. The options are somewhat bewildering.

I know there was a previous thread talking about setting up two routers together, but that was several years ago. So…

I wanted to ask about people’s experiences with

  1. Google’s router equipment such as their Google - developed OnHub Wi - Fi Router, Home Security/Smart Appliances/Movie Streaming/etc., for Uniform Management of Your Household Wireless Environment

  2. Linksys Velop Tri-Band Home Mesh WiFi System - WiFi Router/WiFi Extender for Whole-Home Mesh Network (3-pack, White)

  3. any other network setup recommendations.

I’m leaning towards RING security systems, too, which I know are integrated with Alexa. Any thoughts on this are appreciated.

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#2

Take it from me - if you don’t absolutely need the Actiontec router (i.e. MoCA connectivity, video features), stop using it - they’re obsolete. In the case of MoCA, you can always ask Frontier to change your ONT to Ethernet, provided you’ve got a cat5 wire run.

My theory on stationary devices is that you should run a cable to them since they need power. However, the market absolutely loves all things wireless so that’s not always an option. As such, I’d consider deploying wi-fi access points across your house that operate as a common SSID. I’ve heard excellent things about Ubiquiti - they’re going to cost more than some of their competition, but their management software is supposedly very good. Same with their IP cameras.

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#3

Earlier this year NETGEAR provided a firmware update that left 5 GHz unusable. It took about two months for them to fix the problem. The only way that could have happened is if they failed to perform even a rudimentary test before release. Were I in your shoes I would avoid them.

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#4

+1 to Ubiquiti.

you could go with the mesh stuff, but in all honesty there is little reason to unless it is impossible to get cables to Access Points.

Even if they won’t replace your router/modem combo, more than likely it has what’s known as “IP Passthrough” mode where it will disable all routing and firewall stuff, and you can use your own router.

Cheers,
-Jim

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#5

Mercifully, FIOS uses a router with no base-level services (data, voice, video) directly dependent upon it - the ONTs have data (ethernet/MoCA), voice, video ports that provide those services. MoCA 1.1 was commonly used for early installs for the data uplink since the cabling was already installed, but that’s tapered off since it doesn’t reliably manage > 75Mb and deployment of MoCA 2.0 good to ~500Mb kind of never happened. Aftermarket routers don’t have a MoCA port of course, but you can use the old FIOS router as a quasi-bridge - with the WiFi disabled and on a different LAN subnet - if you want to keep the cable boxes working mostly properly (caller ID on TV for landline service probably won’t work and you’ll be at the mercy of the other router for IPTV QoS).

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#6

So I have no other needs of the Frontier connection other than high speed internet connectivity. I do have a landline phone but never use it to dial out except as a fax line. My TV service is with DirectTV.

I think what makes sense for me is to connect a new wifi, like the
Ubiquiti UAP-AC-LR-US Unifi AP-AC Long Range - Wireless Access Point (2-Pack) Bundle, to the Actiontec via Ethernet cabling. I’m probably going to order it from Amazon and give it a try.

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#7

I’d recommend the Unifi cloud key as well. You won’t have to worry about the controller running on a random computer.

You don’t have to connect it to a cloud account, and it can instead just operate as a little stick with the java controller app on the local network.

-Jim

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#8

As Jim said, there’s nothing to not like about Ubiquiti’s products.

This video shows the various AP’s

This video shows a ubuquiti mesh around a guys residence, and the
speeds of wired vs wireless. It is worth the time to watch.

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#9

I ordered the LR version from Amazon about an hour ago. - Thanks everyone for the help. This is absolutely the best of DMS. Willingness to help each other without expecting anything in return. I love that you can ask about almost any subject and find an expert at DMS.

When I was growing up my father, a journeyman electrician, would wire a house or put in an air conditioner (he was an AC man, too) and take payment in barter. Sometimes it would be side of beef, sometimes a 100lbs of shrimp, or sometimes in plumbing services or one time he wired a dojo and traded for Karate classes for his two boys. One time he wired an old woman’s home, albeit a smaller one, for a special dinner for the family or red snapper and all the trimmings. His “day job” as he called it was working as an electrician for Dow Chemical Company for 35 years, but he had many other friends he did work for.

One year we took on adding a second story to our duplex home which we owned. It took several years of work, because only my father, myself and my brother did any work on the place, but we got it done. My brother and I learned invaluable lessons during the process. We did everything from electrical to pluming to carpentry and roofing. Many of the materials dad bartered for.

I promise you I asked him a million times why he didn’t ask his gazillion friends for help. He always said the same thing, “Then how would you and your brother learn anything?” I am incredibly grateful for the education.

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#10

Hey, I expect to hear how the install went and how it works out for you. :sweat_smile:

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#11

Will do. It should arrive later this week. I hope to complete installation this weekend.

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#12

Hi, 1 year of residential internet support with Verizon. Identical equipement. You might have to call Frontier when you plug in the router to enable Ethernet. That’s if your current router is running MOCA (coaxial plug). I took this call a lot. Some internet providers provide an app designed to “troubleshoot” your internet but you can also switch on/ off ethernet port from that app.

HOWEVER! Be careful because sometimes the ONT (the beige box in your laundry room /basement/ outdoors) do not support ethernet. this is increasingly rare but I did get those calls. Peep the ONT to double check if there is an ethernet port.
(Fun fact: Often Frontier onts will still have verizon stickers on them because they didn’t get to every house when they switched over)

My strongest recommendation is anything that you want to reduce the latency on that is stationary (smart tvs, gaming consoles /pcs / printers!) connect them Ethernet to the router. It will reduce the overall load on the wireless by moving the commonly larger bandwidth consumers (netflix tvs.) off your wireless activity.
Especially gaming consoles! latency can be cut almost immediately by switching to ethernet and gaming tends to be very dependent on not connection “speed” mind you but the latency which cannot be bought for any amount of money, only installed via ethernet cable.
If you have wireless printers, go ahead and move them next to the router and use hard wired connections. Anything you can get off of wifi and onto ethernet is going to help in the long run.

Wireless signal strength generally goes out in an egg shape. Shorter in the vertical but wide. A repeater PER floor is usually your best bet. I got a lot of customers that insisted they were standing directly above the router room-wise and not getting service.

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#13

Almost 15 years supporting the FIOS network in one way or another now and it’s the other way around. With the exception of the MDU (Multiple-Dwelling Unit, i.e. apartment buildings) VDSL ONTs for apartments, Tellabs 610, Tellabs 611, and Motorola 1000V (nonexistent in TX), all SFU (Single Family Unit, i.e. standalone houses) ONTs within the Frontier footprint have an ethernet port and a MoCA port. No idea what direction Verizon went post-selloff (start of Q2 2016) so perhaps they deployed MoCA 2.0 and avoided the dreaded wire wrap Cat5 install for >75M² installs and have models that omitted the ethernet port.

Relative to MoCA, ethernet transceivers/chips are dirt cheap, drop-dead simple to implement, more capable, and interoperate with far more flavors of equipment. Their sole advantage is that most houses have coax wiring for cable TV thus save time on installation (provided that the wiring isn’t messed up).

Existing customer premises equipment hasn’t been re-labelled and almost certainly won’t be, much like how there are still GTE cross-connect boxes in the field going on 20 years since Verizon bought them out. I had my ONT swapped last year and the refurb replacement had a Verizon sticker on it and the old Verizon toll-free number.

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#14

Ubiquiti. Ubiquiti. Ubiquiti. The UniFi AP AC LR or Pro models are amazing. I never thought wireless could be so good. If the PoE doesn’t work try a different network cable.

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#15

I bought the LR version of Ubiquiti. I’m looking forward to trying it out . Thanks for the recommendation. Thanks to all for your help, advice and information.

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#16

I had the same setup. The ActionTec router was total junk. i had Frontier change my connection from coax to Ethernet (as was suggested above). I use the Frontier router for just the set-top boxes (the guide requires this) but I turned off the built-in wireless and daisy-chained a Nighthawk router. Our wireless coverage is now much, MUCH better through the entire house and in the back yard by the pool. We use the standard 2.4 GHz channel for the older devices and raspberry pis, google assistants, and wireless cameras. We use one of the 5 GHz channels for the most used modern devices (desktops and laptops) and use the second 5 GHz channel for streaming and gaming. Overall we have hundreds of devices and this works out very well for us.

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#17

thank you for that info! one of my favorite hobbies was to get linesmen a beer and listen to them talk about work. a friend of mine’s dad was Verizon for like 30 years (??) back during Bell Atlantic days. All kinds of nonsense crazy stories.

one of my favorite anecdotes was burning out the buried copper telephone wire with a high charge (car battery) and using a metal detector to sense the EMF given off to locate a buried line without waiting an extra couple weeks for the city to respond with utility mapping.

I mostly did north east. Keep in mind I was in the call center end of things so my job was when things went VERY wrong and my memory mostly collected all the outlier data sets rather than routine calls.

I even saw houses that had a NID! Crazy stuff

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#18

A former co-worker was once working with a very tired field tech late at night trying to get dialtone to work on a Tellabs 610 ONT circa 2005. After successfully provisioning the unit they told the tech they were going to perform a line test (BORSCHT), got acknowledgement then let it fly. Simultaneous with the system acknowledging the kickoff of the test the technician started screaming - they were apparently in electrical contact with the copper and got some of that ~86V ringing voltage. I gather the field tech was much more alert for the duration of the call…

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#19

This is an excellent thread.

What are your recommendations on Cloud Key? I have an old laptop running Linux 24/7 collecting surveillance camera data so I would not need to add hardware.

The video was excellent but I question one point. The speaker seemed to think the LR unit would need the laptop (or whatever) to require a stronger transmit. I would think a reputable manufacturer, like Ubiquiti, would improve receive sensitivity to match transmit range.

I am likely to order an LR when @coloneldan receives his unit and posts a review here if he likes it.

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#20

I’m in the process of updating my entire home network this week. I’m migrating off of some Cisco Meraki hardware (my three year license expires in July). The new final solution will be Ubiquiti Unifi USG router on Frontier FIOS, three 8-port Unifi switches, 4 Unifi AC Lite APs and Motorola MOCA 2.0 for connectivity to a couple parts of the house where pulling Ethernet would be a pain (and where there just happened to be unused RG6 coax already in the walls.)

For now, I am continuing to run the Unifi Controller software as a Docker container on my Synology NAS. I’ve run it there for a couple years now with two Unifi AC Lite APs supplementing the Meraki AP, but I will eventually purchase the Cloud Key Gen 2 Pro and some cameras. The patching/update process on the docker image is not as automated as I would like and I’ve reached a point in my life/career where buying an IT solution is usually better than building it… I’ll save my “making” for other things, otherwise I would just continue to run it on my Synology.

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