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Networks WFH WiFi Solution Required

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Arboreal, 16 Jun 2020.

  1. Arboreal

    Arboreal Keeper of the Electric Currants

    21 Jan 2011
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    Following on from these 2 threads (Cookie and Dynamis), I have a similar but different requirement at home.

    We're currently running a basic Virgin Hub 3 which seems to be somewhat variable on Wifi even with the booster running upstairs.

    Most devices are on WiFi, other than the Tivo, booster box on powerline and a powerline to the spare room which connects my 2 main PCs.

    My wife who works for a major financial institution (Building Society), is now WFH and is dependent on the WiFi, which is OK most of the time.

    She's running Win 10 on a laptop and also a second instance of Win 10 on a Hyper V VM, which apparently allows her access to software that her standard build won't allow.

    The problem is that the VM cannot connect to her work VPN like the standard build. It seems to be a Virgin / Win 10 problem, as her colleagues on Win 7 VMs are fine, but at least 2 on Win 10 and Virgin are not connecting.

    Tech support have helped her isolate the problem by using her phone as a hotspot, and there both will connect.

    At the moment, we are not sure about the ethernet connection (via USB C hub), and will be testing it on my powerline today, as it didn't seem to like a hub port.

    The thought is to do the same as her line manager and a load of other people, and switch the hum to modem mode and buy a wireless router.

    I see what to do in principle and how to avoid some basic pitfalls, but am not sure what to buy.

    @Fingers66 has listed a couple of good options in his post on Cookie's thread, others have suggested the Microtik hAP ac, and the work colleague has suggested this Asus on Amazon, which he is using.

    That's stage 1, stage 2 is then deciding how to extend WFH networking for SWMBO to the forthcoming garden office, as she has been told to expect to WFH for at least a year.
    The kitchen table is proving a poor solution in the medium term, and we have no easily convertible space in the house for a private office.

    If she needs WiFi out there, what do I need to add? The current signal peters out about 5m away from the location at the bottom of the garden that the office is going to be built on.

    I can see powerline to wireless making sense, but with powerline already in the system, am I going to wreck the bandwidth?

    For security, I'd like to use a directional WiFi connection, rather than flooding half the street with our wireless bubble.

    If the ethernet works (and I'd always prefer it myself...), we could chuck a couple of cat 6 cables in with the electric cable, and that's another solution to have alongside.

    Over to you...
  2. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

    30 Apr 2010
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    Is ruuning CAT6 an option in your house? In one flat I ran a few CAT6 cables in the ceiling to connect, amongst other things, the router to a switch in another room, in another flat I ran the VM coax under the floorboards from the front of the house to the modem in the lounge. I've even run CAT6 through a wall, up the outside of the house and back through the wall into a loft - long ladder required.

    This would allow you to place wireless AP's in strategic locations to maximise signal strength and spread, whilst utilising wired backhaul.

    It would also allow running an armoured cable to your new garden office.

    Wireless is good and all that for gadgets but I prefer wired for "real" stuff.

    Someone correct me if I am wrong but can you only use one powerline "connection" per mains ring circuit?
    Last edited: 16 Jun 2020
  3. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

    16 Dec 2008
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    First thought I had was why wireless vs wired?
    Unless there's a specific reason surely looking into wired solutions would be better, especially if you use powerline adapters already.
  4. sandys

    sandys Well-Known Member

    26 Mar 2006
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    I use powerline out to my garage which is detached from house and ~30m from my router line of sight (no idea how wiring gets there) works well I get about 100Mb connection in garage, actually maybe more because I forget my connection is limited, I don't recall now, perhaps it is even 300Mb from router to NAS in garage, powerline is dependant on wiring though, my office is 3m from router (wireless will not go through the walls :( ) and I get 100Mb performance but upstairs in my daughters room she gets ~500Mb over powerline :oldconfused:

    Later AV2 powerline gear is MIMO so you won't wreck bandwidth if that is what you have unless you are all hammering connection, but that is the same for any network.

    On wireless neither of us can maintain a stable VPN even if you are in same room as wifi router, but through powerline zero drop out. It is a wired connection though to the powerline device which may not be desirable but ours are wifi extenders also which the ipads etc use.

    Strangely VPN works better on the powerline wifi AP than the router (latest Sky thing) wifi but still not as reliable as wire on powerline.
    Last edited: 16 Jun 2020

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