troubleshooting Question

Slow wireless issues

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sasllcFlag for United States of America asked on
Wireless NetworkingLaptops Notebooks
3 Comments2 Solutions89 ViewsLast Modified:
This client needs help in a home environment.  They only have one hard-wired PC, which is a modern I-5 tower, and when I run speedtest I get speeds I've never seen before of more than 160mpbs download.  But every other device is wireless, and on the laptops I've tested remotely (before I make the long trip there) I'm generally getting only about 4mbps download--and sometimes less.  Clearly I need to come up with something better for them.

Right now they have a Comcast router in the basement, plus a basic Netgear AP upstairs, which is on a different channel, but otherwise configured the same as the router.  Both are configured as 2.4ghz 802.11g.  This is what they are connected to now wirelessly.

I see the router also has 5ghz 802.11 a/n/ac available, and according to the setup screens on the router, it looks like it is active, and the SSID is broadcasting, etc.  I wanted to try this to see if it will help with the slow speeds, yet I never see this 5ghz wireless network available to any of the laptops.  I don't understand why it does not appear on the list of wireless networks.

I only have one chance to "do this right" as I travel to the site, so I need recommendations on what to do, and what equipment to take, based on experiences by experts who have had to do this before.  The cable comes into the house down in the basement and is connected to the router there, but we don't necessarily have to use the wireless radio that is built into the router.  It is a two-story, 2500sf home, so I want good coverage, and I can run APs in various rooms if that is the way to go.

Note that in the past, I tried running three APs spread throughout the house, all on different channels from the router, and that worked great for awhile, but things got so flakey that I had to have them disconnect all three APS, so now they rely solely on the router in the basement.  I never have understood that, either.  Note that signal strength from the basement is always fair-to-good.

Also note that if they connect any of these laptops to a Cat5e cable, they also get speeds of 160mbps running speedtest.  The laptops range from new to 3 years old, and all are running Win7 or 8.1, with I-3, I-5, and I-7 processors.

What can I do and what equipment can I add that will DEFINITELY get them fast wireless speeds throughout the house--since I won't have the options of doing trial-and-error?  TIA
Mal Osborne
Alpha Geek

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