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Network Infrastructure - WAP and Router vs Wifi Router
Old 07-03-2020, 01:13 PM   #1
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Network Infrastructure - WAP and Router vs Wifi Router

In the corporate world we had wireless access points (WAP) at central locations and a router in the tech closet. Does anyone have this model at home? Or do you have a wifi router or mesh kind of product?

I am thinking about the WAP model because I believe I could upgrade my network considerably by purchasing a great WAP to handle much of the wireless traffic. This upgrade would be easier and cheaper than replacing my router. And I think I want a pricier WAP instead of the $11 one I currently have.
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Old 07-03-2020, 02:00 PM   #2
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We have a ranch style house and the router is at one end of the house, with the family room at the other end. I use a WAP in the family room, going in to a powerline network adapter, with another powerline adapter at the router. The WAP provides coverage in the family room and the area around it, well out of range for the router's wifi signal. I've had this set up for over 10 years as it was simple, inexpensive, and effective, and there wasn't any mesh or more advanced wifi and networking alternatives at the time. Performance has been fine with no necessity to upgrade - the network is much faster than our internet connection, even with all the old technology strapped together.
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Old 07-03-2020, 03:00 PM   #3
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WAP may need wired connection for maximum signal. Sometimes the WAP costs more than the router. Makes more sense to have two wired routers, one in bridge mode.

Or use mesh network. Newer tech usually outruns the old device.
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Old 07-03-2020, 03:25 PM   #4
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Modern routers are more than capable of handling the wireless traffic on a typical home network. Are you doing something less common, like a ton of streaming to your wireless devices from your own media server, or running some kind of gaming server or video recording system? If not, and most off the data that would go through the AP will end up on the Internet anyway, you're probably better off upgrading your router.

If you're trying to solve a signal strength or distance problem, then mesh networks like Orbi are a good alternative to APs. I installed one in my MIL's place, which had lousy wifi because it's in a high rise with lots steel beams and concrete and there's an elevator shaft between the cable modem and half the rooms, and we've been very happy with it.

In our own home, we do have an AP and a wireless bridge that I set up back in the day when some off the stuff in the entertainment center needed a wired connection and the router was too far away. It works great, but I could probably get rid of it today since all the equipment it was supporting has been upgraded. At the time, I looked at MoCA and powerline, both of which would have worked too, but I was able to get a line of sight connection between the bridge unit in the entertainment center and the AP that's within wire distance of the router, so that was good enough.
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Old 07-03-2020, 03:26 PM   #5
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I just switched our city house to Comcast cable internet @ 100MBS. I installed aNetgear cable modem and this Linksys WAP/Router: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07L9282JK I am using it stand-alone and not using the mesh capabilities at least for the time being. The configuration is pretty close to default.

Measured signal strength is about 10db more than the old CenturyLink PK5000 DSL modem/WAP/Router that I ditched. I can also get the full 100MBs from my surface tablet using a Wifi Connection.

Much of our house is wired Cat5, so there are two 8-port switches plugged into the new box.

At our lake home we have fiber to the house and 50MBs service. With the somewhat elderly Cisco/Linksys router we have there, I can only get 17MBs via WiFi using the Surface tablet. I have to be hard-wired to see the 50MBs.

So, breaking news, newer more expensive tech is better.
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Old 07-03-2020, 11:19 PM   #6
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I ran cat cables the length of the house, so I could have wired network speeds where I need them. (tv streaming, computers)
I use the wireless from the router for the house in genera when I don't care about speed and perfer mobility (tablet, phone)
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Old 07-04-2020, 12:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z3Dreamer View Post
In the corporate world we had wireless access points (WAP) at central locations and a router in the tech closet. Does anyone have this model at home? Or do you have a wifi router or mesh kind of product?

I am thinking about the WAP model because I believe I could upgrade my network considerably by purchasing a great WAP to handle much of the wireless traffic. This upgrade would be easier and cheaper than replacing my router. And I think I want a pricier WAP instead of the $11 one I currently have.
I have wired ethernet throughout the house for devices that are always connected (computers, TV, etc.).

I used to have a wireless access point setup in our attic room to get coverage to all parts of the house. Unfortunately, some of our older devices didn't switch between my main router and the access point very well. So we frequently had to go into settings and choose the strongest wifi source.

I tried a mesh wireless system, but didn't have very good results. The wifi signal was fairly weak and transfer speeds were slow.

The option I went with was to replace the old access point in the attic with a newer Wifi router. I disabled the wifi portion of my main router so we only have a single wifi source in our house. This has worked much better. I get a strong signal anywhere in the house with full network speed in any room. I can even get a good signal outside on the back patio, or most anywhere around the yard.
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