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      02-19-2017, 08:09 PM   #1
sxyblue
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wifi help

Looking for help since I'm not much of a techie

I have Cox 15mgbs internet and the tech ran a test on my modem and router and said the modem is good to go but the router can't handle the speed. He recommended I upgrade to a dual-band router.

I'm just running ordinary stuff at my house- a few smart TVs, 3 ipads for the kids, two laptops and a few phones. Every now and then online console gaming but nothing hardcore.

A quick search on Bestbuy and I came across Linksys AC3200, currently on sale for $200. Thoughts? Too much? Obviously I'd like to keep cost as low as possible while getting a good product.
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      02-19-2017, 08:42 PM   #2
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id suggest the Linksys Ea6900. i have it and love it and can be bought for about $100. i have tv, game consoles and computer plugged in and multiple phones on wifi seems to work great. had it going on 2.5 years now. also has a very nice app. Another option would be TP-Link Archer C7 which i have and love. not much of a tech person myself and these were very easy to set up
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      02-19-2017, 08:44 PM   #3
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In networking, the performance of the entire network is only as fast as its weakest link. In general this is going to be the WAN or in the case of home users, the Internet. I assume when you say 15mgbps, you mean 15 Mbps. This is going to be your choke point for any of your devices trying to get out on the Internet.

You don't mention what make and model router you are currently using. But chances are the router you're using is more than adequate to perform faster than the 15 Mbps speed you have with Cox. So it's a bit dubious for the tech to say your performance is going to improve with upgrading your wireless.
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      02-19-2017, 09:51 PM   #4
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Just checked and turns out I have the 50Mbps. I'll post my modem/router model when I get a chance but I know I bought them at least 4-5 years ago. Just moved and upgraded our service and while he was doing the install I asked him to check our system to make to it can run the higher speed. He left a note saying the modem can handle the speed but my speed will suffer until I upgrade the router.
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      02-20-2017, 03:10 AM   #5
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Even at 50 Mbps, I'm not so sure the router is going to be your bottleneck. Here's a quick and dirty way to check. To rule out the wireless component, connect a PC directly to one of the LAN ports and then run a speed test. Make sure you don't have anything else running on that PC which may influence the results. Many people go to this site to test their Internet circuit: www.speedtest.net .
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      02-20-2017, 03:40 AM   #6
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The router is at least 100Mbps , if you have wired some devices router not going to be a problem. But if everything is wireless ... I have my tv wired anjd my docking station wired. Also have long wire for one laptop cuz so many wireless routers/ devices around me the channels are saturated . If you are in apartment complex that is the problem, too many monkeys
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      02-20-2017, 07:15 AM   #7
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Not necessarily. I've had many discussions about this on other forums where there's a misconception about how a particular network device performs. Just because a particular network device has a particular physical port such as 100 Mbps or even 1 GigE, doesn't mean that device is going to be able to perform at those speeds.

For firewalls, there's a ton of processing happening in the background many people don't even think about. There's a routing component; although for a SOHO router there's not much to the routing table. But nonetheless, there's some processing involved. Then there's the NAT function or more specifically the NAT overload which the router/firewall has to keep track of. And then finally, there's the actual firewall function. For SOHO routers, the firewall function is only stateful packet inspection. While SPI is not as intensive in regards to processing as deep packet inspection found in next gen firewalls, it does consume processing power.

An example of this is the firewall I use on my home network. It's a Sonicwall TZ400W. This firewall has 1GigE ports on it. The manufacturer specs for the firewall for SPI is 1.3 Gbps. But when DPI is turned on, the performance drops to 300 Mbps. So the point is, you won't know what the actual performance of a given firewall/router is unless the manufacturer provides those specs or there is a review with actual load testing.

And on the topic of wireless interference from neighboring wireless networks, yes, this will impact wireless performance. Typically looking for a different non-overlapping channel will fix this. If you're operating on the 2.4 GHz frequency, moving to 5 GHz will also help as 5 GHz has more non overlapping channels available. But your wireless devices have to be able to support 5 GHz before this is going to be a solution.
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      02-20-2017, 08:53 AM   #8
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OR...you can "borrow" one of them spanking new routers, hook it up and see if it makes a difference. I do that maybe once every year when some new thingy comes along, i.e., dual band, QoS, etc. But I also do update the firmware on my old router (3 years old now) if there's a new one.
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      02-20-2017, 09:28 PM   #9
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I have a house and have it in the room in the middle, except its on one side of the house not in the center. Never had a problem with connection up to 30ft so no problem there. The modem is a Cisco DPC3010 and the router is Cisco Linksys EA3500. Its not wired to anything and at anytime there are probably 2-6 devices connected if the kids are on their iPads and I'm watching Netflix and phone/laptop. I'll probably stop by Bestbuy and see if they can do a performance test if I bring both in and if they offer trial periods for new modem/router in their store.
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      02-21-2017, 03:59 AM   #10
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So are you having connection problems with your wireless devices? You seem to imply that with your last reply.

You don't need to take the router to Best Buy. Did you even bother to go to the speed test site I linked above? It takes all of a few seconds to do the test.

I looked up the specs on your router and the Cox guy is full of crap. The router you have is a dual band router. While it doesn't have the latest wireless tech which is 802.11ac, it does support 802.11n. Still plenty fast for most home users.

Until you do an actual speed test to find out what you're getting through the Cox circuit, you're seriously going to spend money needlessly buying a new router.
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      02-21-2017, 04:58 AM   #11
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I replaced an ancient Wifi router about 2 years ago. The new one is dual band and has multiple antennas, which really improved the signal quality in the remote corners of the house. It also completely eliminated the microwave's ability to wipe out wifi connectivity. If your wifi router is more than, say, 4 years old, get a new one. It *will* work better.
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      02-21-2017, 05:19 AM   #12
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Microwaves can cause issues with some wireless networks because the RF emissions from those devices are in the 2.4 GHz space that many wireless networks operate on. This is why newer wireless APs/routers are using band steering to push wireless clients that can operate on 5 GHz to use that instead of 2.4. Other devices out there which operate on 2.4 are baby monitors and cordless phones.

This is why 802.11ac is 5 GHz only among other technical reasons.

The multiple antennas are for the two radios in the router. External antennas are nice as it allows you to change the RF distribution pattern of the signal coming off of the router. Remember the antennas used in these devices are omnidirectional. This means the radiation pattern is shaped like a donut. The gain of the antenna dictates how much squish there is on the Z axis which affects the amount of coverage on the X and Y axis.
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      02-23-2017, 07:53 PM   #13
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So are you having connection problems with your wireless devices? You seem to imply that with your last reply.

You don't need to take the router to Best Buy. Did you even bother to go to the speed test site I linked above? It takes all of a few seconds to do the test.

I looked up the specs on your router and the Cox guy is full of crap. The router you have is a dual band router. While it doesn't have the latest wireless tech which is 802.11ac, it does support 802.11n. Still plenty fast for most home users.

Until you do an actual speed test to find out what you're getting through the Cox circuit, you're seriously going to spend money needlessly buying a new router.
Just ran the test, first directly connected to modem and second with wifi about 15 feet away.
Directly connected Ping-14ms, download 59.5mbps, upload 2.43mbps.
With wifi ping-31ms, download-60.38mbps, upload-0.99mbps.
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      02-24-2017, 06:46 AM   #14
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Those numbers look pretty good. I'm a little curious about the big change in upload between the wired and wireless tests. I'd run it again to see if they line up better.

But overall, the speed test you ran proves there's absolutely nothing wrong with your current wireless router. If you want to upgrade, you're doing it for the sake of upgrading and not because you're addressing a problem.
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