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Wifi set up for old house


Sasquatch
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Sasquatch

A question for the uber IT geeks on the forum. I have some knowledge but it does hurt my brain quite a bit so go easy with the terminology and please assume I'm a right thicko.

We are restoring our new house and replacing all of the wiring. We've had a chat with our electrician about also installing a hard wired data network. This is because I'm pretty sure that we will not be able to get a decent wifi signal throughout the house. Some of the internal walls are 500mm thick. We are therefore thinking of setting up a switch at the incoming BT broadband position and then wiring from the switch to 4 or 5 data points throughout the house. From each of these points we would then set up a local wifi zone. Back in the mists of time we had a similar set up in a house and used Apple airport express devices. However, I don't think these will work with a BT router? Therefore what would be the best device to plug into each data point? I had assumed we would stick with cat 5 but I'm also aware that we could use cat 6. Not sure if there is much difference in reality? In terms of broadband availability, we  have access to superfast or ultrafast. 

Anything else I need to watch out for?

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12 hours ago, MrPin said:

If you are rewiring anyway, put cables in. Wifi and Homeplug might get interference from neighbours.

Wait. He has neighbours?

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DTMark

This is why the BT (IIRC) adverts make me giggle when they promise to 'guarantee reliable wi-fi in every room of the house'. It's houses like yours where they might come unstuck.

I presume that their solution is to supply homeplug things, as many as are needed, which will work between rooms on the same ring main. It's best to pick locations which aren't near windows.

Bearing in mind the bold promises of the advert I wonder if you should check what the solution is with then. If they will supply half a dozen home plugs for nothing then I'd be going with that :)

The adjectives related to speed don't seem to mean much - superfast is up to 80Meg down, I think so wi-fi is fine, if ultrafast is 1Gbps fibre to the home then wi-fi isn't going to deliver much more than 200Mbps no matter what you do with it.

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onlyme

If laying data cable go with latest spec - the big cost is in laying the cable and putting in outlets.

You also have the option of using the the mains cabling and routing signals through those, that tech has been improving over the years and worked for me in the past. There's a new tech G.hn that has stretched bandwidth even further and supposedly increased reliability.

Could mix and match - you might have some routes that are easy to do those and some that are a swine to do and hence expensive - maybe do what is easy and cheap and look at power line tech for other locations yo happen to need it. 

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Cosmic Apple

If your cabling anyway, get a few Unifi APs and place them in appropriate positions, if you get them from Broadbandbuyer for example you can get them with 'free' cloud controller for 3 years, or you could host your own controller. Disable WiFi on what ever crappy router you get from your provider and let the Unifi APs do all the work with one SSID.

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If you are rewiring anyway, put cables in. Wifi and Homeplug might get interference from neighbours.

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nirvana
On 21/05/2021 at 20:29, MrPin said:

If you are rewiring anyway, put cables in.

this! And don't forget too much WIFI fries your brain.......:S

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Sasquatch

I thank you all for your replies but I still don't think I know what I'm supposed to be doing o.O

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Andersen

The floorplan for place I'm at now is a long line of rooms with thick solid walls that cut the range of the wifi signal. The provider (BT etc) has a router in the 2nd room from one end, a cat5 cable runs from that router to a slave router (is this the right term?) located in the 2nd room from the other end of the building. It all works well, but which room you are in dictates which router will give the strongest signal.

First point would be to get broadband into your place and see where the signal reaches, then look at extending it to the low coverage areas,

If you're still doing building work, now is the ideal time to run cables or buried trunking. To pull cables through in the future, tie a "pompom" onto a string and use a hoover to suck the pompom & string through the trunking - then use that as a pull to get the cable through.

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nirvana
Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Sasquatch said:

I thank you all for your replies but I still don't think I know what I'm supposed to be doing o.O

a lot of it depends on the strength of the wifi signal from your router and how far down the garden you want to go...

My router is from orange.fr......the walls are half a metre thivk but the signal still goes quite a long way, it does make you wonder what it's doing to your head....... @201phas proved that he sleeps better with his router switched off, mind you he hasn't been seen for a while O.o

Draw a plan of all your technology and what you want to achieve! Do you like music? If so you should be looking into multi-room music.....I like picoreplayer, running on raspberry PIs....WITH WIRES :P Actually I do have a wireless portable one for the garden......

Are you going to utilise IoT for anything? the internet of things but also known as IoS....the internet of shite xD

Actually some of it is very good, you can build an Arduino controller and have Home Assistant water your garden for you, monitor security cameras etc

Edited by nirvana
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goldbug9999
Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Sasquatch said:

I thank you all for your replies but I still don't think I know what I'm supposed to be doing o.O

You have one of these fitted where your modem/router is going to be located:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/rhinocables®-Ethernet-Faceplate-Network-Various-CAT6/dp/B00ESDVTLY

Each of the 4 ports is then wired to a single socket version in each room where you need to connect devices.

Where you need multiple connected devices in one room you can use a switch/splitter to "fan out" the single connection for that room the individual device e.g.   https://www.amazon.co.uk/TP-Link-TL-SG105S-Ethernet-Lifetime-Warranty/dp/B07HP5TN4S If you've got more than 4 devices in a room that need a network cable give yourself a slap and get a life (or just get a switch with more ports).

You could also put a wireless access point in the room as well either directly into the socket or into one of the switch port if you wanted to mix wired and wireless in the room. 

Edited by goldbug9999
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spunko

My house is very old, and right in the middle of it is a Faraday Cage (an old brick inglenook that is up to 4ft thick). I had to set up a mesh network which cost about £400 altogether but will probably cost less now. Look for 'Tenda' on Amazon. You will need to effectively boost it around the house.

I had an electrician wire up CAT6 cabling and am partly using that too, it's probably a better solution.

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onlyme
3 hours ago, spunko said:

My house is very old, and right in the middle of it is a Faraday Cage (an old brick inglenook that is up to 4ft thick). I had to set up a mesh network which cost about £400 altogether but will probably cost less now. Look for 'Tenda' on Amazon. You will need to effectively boost it around the house.

I had an electrician wire up CAT6 cabling and am partly using that too, it's probably a better solution.

Hence my suggestion of a mix, old houses in can be a swine to route fixed cabling, so best bang for buck is to route from point to point where you can (including the essential entry point where the route is positioned per @goldbug9999's suggestion, then where necessary revert to other methods. Sods law is that a lot of time the exact location of where you put individual faceplates is not exactly where you want them in the room anyway and patch cables get in the way, the user has a phone or tablet so needs wifi anyway.

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Erewhon888
On 21/05/2021 at 12:34, Sasquatch said:

I had assumed we would stick with cat 5 but I'm also aware that we could use cat 6. Not sure if there is much difference in reality?

For an overview of cabling issues, cable specifications, connections etc check out this video from "ExplainingComputers"

Wiring Ethernet Extensions: How to Fit Sockets & Make Patch Leads

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nirvana
3 hours ago, spunko said:

@The XYY Man what app or program did you use to analyse your GHz bands / interference (posted above)?

methinks probs an android app...quick google, pretty sure that's an app called 'wifi analyzer'

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sarahbell

We hard wired our house whilst they were doing the electrics, Got some fancy switch box thing up here so my computer is hard wired in to the internet. 
 

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Wire the house up with Cat 6 cable while you can and the electrician is in. You don't need to run all the cables from where the BT line comes in, find a central place (cupboard under the stairs even and put a central switch there).

For wifi use one of the mesh systems and that will allow you to keep a consistent name across the house with devices moving from hub to hub as you walk round. 

 

 

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nirvana
Posted (edited)

this is an interesting vid, watch it....he does mention wifi right at the end but it's good for education, nonetheless :)

 

Edited by nirvana
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Harley
Posted (edited)
On 23/05/2021 at 21:48, Sasquatch said:

I thank you all for your replies but I still don't think I know what I'm supposed to be doing o.O

I have an old thick walled house.  I installed CAT5e.  I looked at CAT6 but could not see the cost benefit.  I used external grade cabling externally as easier.  I also used this system internally so have phone and satellite outlets too:

https://www.screwfix.com/p/lap-modular-rj45-ethernet-socket-white/51057

Tip:  Don't skimp on sockets!

I also have wifi and data over the mains.  But fixed wiring is best.  Still have several hundred metres unused because it was cheaper in bulk!

All run off a network hub connected to a router connected to a modem.  All apart (so located where best!) via the cabling with negligible performance loss.  You may want PoE if you will want to connect ethernet based CCTV, etc.

I bought the right tools for connecting the cables - wire stripper's, push downs, and a tester.  Made things far easier, especially the tester!

I used trunking on the vertical cable runs outside, terminating them with rounds where the cables go into the wall.  Looks a lot neater.

Edited by Harley
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