bad wifi signal strength. Bandwidth not good.

Dennis Miller
Dennis Miller used Ask the Experts™
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I have a user that athome and on a farm, uses Comcast as the Wifi company. She bought and extender because she was having issues with NetFlix. The extender was a NetGear. This helped some but did not make life fun. What would be the best route to getting her Wi-Fi so she would be able to see NetFlix the way it should be seen?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Commented:
Most range extenders cut the signal strength in half (half the signal looking back, half looking forward). That is likely what happened here.

You can put a Ubiquiti Access point at the end of an Ethernet run (if you can run Ethernet) or use Ethernet over the power line.

Ubiquiti hooked in this way will provide full wireless strength. I do this here.

Author

Commented:
So what your saying is to put a Ubiquiti ( which by the way I do not know what that is) I assume it is the extender at the point it comes into the house?

Author

Commented:
I just looked this up. Is this another company?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Commented:
Ubiquiti comes with (in the package or as an accessory) a POE device.  One side hooks into the main wireless router, the other side into the Ubiquiti unit which is in the location you want either by Ethernet or Ethernet over power line.

Author

Commented:
I am not a pro at wifi? Will he have to lose comcast and go with another com0any?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Commented:
Ubiquiti is another manufacturer, yes.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Commented:
I am not a pro at wifi? Will he have to lose comcast and go with another com0any?

No, Ubiquiti is an access point you hook up to the existing system. I did this to service my upstairs and nothing in the main system changed.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Commented:
See if this helps below

Ubiquiti
Robert OrnelasVP Operations at Cook's Computer

Commented:
Ubiquiti has a brand new product that may work better for your situation as it s for home use and is expandable. Also the cost is comparable to an access point. You would want the instant mesh system. The connection is the same as John's diagram.
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David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
First you must have a fairly speedy connection for Netflix to work well, without them downgrading video quality to maintain frame rate.

Then for local long haul connections, consider Powerline Ethernet, which runs 1G (cheap) to 2G (expensive) speeds.

Ethernet packets are routed over AC wiring at max speed (of Powerline Ethernet devices you select).

If you have to run WiFi over long distances between farm buildings, say from a house to many barns, then you can use directional dish antennas, which can maintain almost 100% of speed, so long as you have good line of site... and clear weather...
I am concerned by your description from the beginning.
As far as I know, Comcast is *not* a *WiFi Company* as such.  They may offer modem/routers that provide Wifi but that's just a convenient add-on and there's no necessity to use it at all.  But, I guess I should ask that you confirm that the Comcast connection is by *cable*.

Assuming this is all settled then you can connect any access point or wireless router as a switch and access point to get WiFi capabilities that might be better-suited to the needs.  For longer-haul radio connections, ANTENNAS are paramount.  So, you will want to use routers that have external antenna connectors in those locations.

There are a number of ways to get "extension".
a) One is with a WiFi extender as you have mentioned.
b) One is with WDS protocol using routers - which really amounts to the same thing but you may well be able to use better antennas with them.
c) One is with power-line extenders - a different beast altogether and worth considering.  How does power get to the barn?
d) One is with buried (or not buried) Ethernet cable.  Best performance with this. Limited to 300 feet.

Either of the radio frequency extender options (a) or (b) for the uninitiated need a bit of understanding.  
The overall objective would be to locate the extender *half way* between the source and the intended recipient.  Is that what was done?  Maybe that's all that's needed here.
Sometimes people think that the extender is like a booster that's needed out at the intended recipient.  But that's not the case.  The idea is to more or less equalize the signals at the extender and, thus, locate it in the middle.  Then the signals coming from each end are more or less "equal".  Anything else and one of those signals is going to be lower than it needs to be.  This isn't like broadcast radio because it's always a 2-way communication not just 1-way.

Netflix requires 5Mbps for full HD.  They have a table that tells you these things.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Commented:
It does not matter who the ISP is so long as the download speed is good. Using a Full Strength Access Point will keep that full speed.

Author

Commented:
Gentleman. all of this is great. I had to run out. I will check with the user top see if  a cable is runni9ng to the house. If so, I will have him hook the extender in the middle. I will also suggest he use the Ubiquity extender instead. The mapping from John was excellent. That really showed me the path to which I need to connect all. Thanks and as soon as I find out, I should have all my answers here. Excellent help. I will be getting back to you 3 as soon as I get more truthful information from him on how he is connected.
Cable from the ISP to the house?  That's what I was asking.
Or cable from the house to the barn?  That's what I see in John's diagram.
The extender being in the middle is really only for radio extenders.

What is the distance from house to barn?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
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Commented:
For Ubiquiti (not range extenders), put one Ubiquiti Access Point at each location desired (so it is an end point, not middle) and connect all back to the main router / wireless router.
Top Expert 2016
Commented:
@John
Most range extenders cut the signal strength in half (half the signal looking back, half looking forward). That is likely what happened here.
NO, it cuts the throughput in half, not the range. Not so good for Netflix to have the throughput cut in half. WikWikipedia Extenders are relatively cheap

Comcast is not the wireless company but the Internet Service Provider. They generally use cable modems that can include a router with a wireless access point in the same box as the cable modem.

The amplify line from ubiquiti uses a mesh approach and this is different than a repeater. Sometimes they will in a mesh use the 2Ghz Modem for mesh 2 mesh communication and 5Ghz for the clients (your laptop, or other wireless device)

You may just need an access point closer to the desired area of coverage, Ubiquiti sells a range of Access Points. Including some long range AP's these require an ethernet cable from the isp's modem/router and a source of power (this can be power over ethernet.  If your router doesn't support POE then you add an injector inline with the ethernet cable.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
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Commented:
NO, it cuts the throughput in half, not the range.   <-- Thanks. I misspoke. I did not mean range.
To summarize:
We still don't know the distance from the house to the barn OR from the cable (?) modem's extended *wired* reach and the barn.  
If it's less than 300 ft then Ethernet cable would be the best-performing solution.  Direct burial ethernet cable can be purchased already terminated in a variety of lengths.  And, done properly, it may not even have to be buried (it's just more secure that way).

As long as the devices used for extension cannot transmit and receive at the same time, there will be an average bandwidth reduction due to time sharing between transmit and receive.
I doubt that the bandwidth reduction mentioned is going to be important for Netflix if modern WiFi equipment is being used.  

We also don't know if there is line of sight between the house and the barn.  Can one shine a flashlight between them?  Are there lots of trees and bushes in between? etc.
This affects any approach using radios (i.e. wireless).

If we could please get answers regarding the physical realities then our suggestions will be more reliable.
Good advice above, but will add one small piece.

As requested, if you could specify distances between buildings, that would be very helpful.

What device is being used to watch Netflix?  If it is a TV, it likely has a wired Ethernet jack on it.  If you can get a wired connection between it and the modem/router, you'll have better reliability and performance than a wireless connection.

Author

Commented:
Good advice. I am passing it on. My son who the issue is with is down in Va. A good distance from me, but I am working with him to get all the answers.
It's not the distance from you that we were asking about..... :-)

Author

Commented:
Gentleman, you answers were all very good and I would recommend anyone with Wi-Fi issues to read all these answers. It seems it was a Comcast cable and they arte coming out to run another cable from the house to the barn where he is living. This makes me happy as now I do not have to go down there, which is a distance and deal with this. I did however truly enjoy the knowledge. Thanks for all the help. I now know way more than I once did. This proves your never too old to learn. Thanks guys. Great answers.

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