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Topic   Home networking - Coaxfi or AP?

MrBean
GameTZ Gold Subscriber 250 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally Has Written 1 Review
* 1-Aug-2017(#1)
Hey all,

Hoping to snag someone's attention that's pretty savvy with all things wireless.

I get a decent WiFi signal across the board, but I have a couple areas in particular that I'd like to strengthen. Two story home, central termination in basement. I ran ethernet and dual coax to every single room. The secondary coax line is no longer in use (DirecTV used to required two).

I'm in debate at this time between three options:
1) Coaxfi (wifi over coax)
2) UniFi AP
3) Secondary router as an AP

#1 Is cheap and leverages existing unused cables, but not yet sure I understand my router/results (below). Using the antennas in the areas in question (living room, upstairs bedrooms) the signal absolutely does strengthen, no doubt about it, it works.

#2 I've tinkered with already, results were good, but not great. Used the Long Range and was expecting better results. Walls are not friendly to this AP as my Router appears to have better penetration in some scenario's. I like this idea, but the lack of hand-off between Router and AP, was a bit of a bummer. My router as-is can swap connections between its bands, but the AP doesn't appear to be able to do this on its own, or with my router. The AP showed 'heavy' load when all of my ... ~20 wireless devices were connected, this is worrisome as I don't do a lot over WiFi being that my whole house is wired. I'd assume to "optimally" use any UniFi gear, I'd need to further invest into their setup. While a stand-alone AP is super easy, just removes the single source of maintenance and management. More testing required here.

#3 I just ordered a cheap AC66u to test with, will have results within the next couple days. If the results are good, this would be nice as putting a secondary Asus router in AP mode still maintains a pretty easy to manage setup.

In diving further into to #1. My biggest dilemma now is really understanding the router and which antennas I'd replace and if it's the right move. I have four rooms in which I'd like to put one of these Coaxfi antennas.

I did some testing with the 8 antennas on this router and could use some help here validating the data and understanding of this router.

Looking at the router right side up (ASUS is shown the proper way), the antenna numbering starts in the upper left at #1, ending at #8 on the side upper left.

Antenna #2 is a must, only way to have a broadcast happen. In each of the following tests, #2 was used in conjunction to each of the numbered antennas individually. Router is in the basement, and I walked roughly 20 feet away to conduct each test at the same location every time. Summary of what appears to be each antenna purpose + Test runs below.

5.1 vs 5.2 is each of the two 5ghz channels that this router broadcasts.

Three questions come from this data.
1) Being that the data seems quite odd for a couple antennas (primarily #3), is it safe to assume that the antennas are made to be paired with one another in some fashion?

2) Given the nature of this crazy router, 8 antennas, all serving different purposes with three different broadcasts ... is Coaxfi a smart solution?

3) If #2 is a YES, how do I know which antennas to convert and why? In theory, using these new antennas, won't I hurt my range somehow in regards to #1 potentially?

Again, thanks for all your help and sorry for all the pestering. You've helped me to understand more than I did before. I hope that ultimately I pick your solution, but as of now, I'm simply uncertain.

Thanks!

My interpretation of the data below:
#1 = 5.2
#3 = No clue, this is odd
#4 = 2.4 + 5.2
#5 = All
#6 = All
#7 = 5.1
#8 = 5.2

Tests:
#2 (stand-alone)
2.4 = 63-70
5.1 = 82-84
5.2 = 64-67

#1
2.4 = 61-67
5.1 = 83-85
5.2 = 54-57

#3
2.4 = 63-68
5.1 = 83-85
5.2 = 63-66

#4
2.4 = 49-53
5.1 = 83-85
5.2 = 56-57

#5
2.4 = 58-62
5.1 = 67-69
5.2 = 64-65

#6
2.4 = 50-54
5.1 = 69-75
5.2 = 60-62

#7
2.4 = 70-71
5.1 = 62-64
5.2 = 62-64

#8
2.4 = 67-70
5.1 = 81-82
5.2 = 57-58
sinnie
GameTZ Subscriber 550 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally This user is on the site NOW (9 minutes ago)
1-Aug-2017(#2)
We are using a box that uses the power lines as ethernet. I think it's called Ethernet over Power or something. Works great, just like having everything wired. Was pretty cheap and easy.

John
GameTZ Gold Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 400 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (13)
2-Aug-2017(#3)
If it were me, I'd go simple: I'd run one physical wire of Cat5E from the existing wireless router to a second one to use as an AP.

If running wire was not possible, then I'd likely just put in the second router as a bridged WiFi extender/AP.

Also, double-check your channels. You want to use 1, 6, or 11 only (for 2.4ghz). See what your neighbors are using and see if you can adjust.

Topic   Home networking - Coaxfi or AP?