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Wireless adaptors vs router as wireless bridge? (and recommendations for both!)

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by GeorgeStorm, 11 Feb 2024.

  1. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    Hi all,
    Having upgraded our internet I've realised our current homeplugs setup is severely limiting the speeds we can get for our PCs which are all wired.
    I was thinking of options and leaning towards having to get 3 wireless adaptors for the PCs, but wondered if I could buy a router and use it as a bridge(?) and then run wired into that type thing.

    If not then recommendations for wireless adaptors would be great, prices seem to vary a lot!

    Cheers
     
  2. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    Intel. Had nothing but grief with the others.


    I use the Gigabyte m.2 carrier cards such as this one - https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GC-WBAX210-rev-10#kf
    But some boards have the m.2 e key slot for the standalone m.2 modules.

    If USB dongles are your only option then ¯\_(ツ)_/¯... last time i looked they were all some shade of terrible.
     
  3. hughwi

    hughwi Minimodder

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    what is your house made out of? and what is the layout like? if signal strength is generally good (you have stud walls rather than solid ones) - it might be worth you thinking about getting a mesh router setup, so replace your existing router with the first node, and then grab a few extra nodes (however many you need to get good coverage or one per PC), with network ports, and use those wired up to each PC to create the equivalent of your homeplug setup, but just with a wireless backhaul between the nodes (as long as you get a model that supports network ports on the extra nodes).

    Mesh networks are great, can be slightly expensive hardware wise to get setup if you need quote a few nodes, but has the added benefit of also giving you solid wifi for all other non-hardwired devices. - Also avoids you having to faff around with crappy wifi cards. I second RedFlames - ive only ever managed to get Intel based chipsets working properly.
     
    Last edited: 12 Feb 2024
  4. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    Yeah that was my feeling hence I wasn't sure what best to do.

    The rooms where the current wired connections are just above the current router and in the same room (but opposite corner and don't want cables going across doorways etc). That sounds like the kind of thing I was aiming for, both wired PCs upstairs are in the same room and I currently use a small switch to wire them both from the powerline adaptor so potentially I would need 3 routers? The initial, the one for the media PC and then for the upstairs PCs. The router I've got is an eero something or other provided by the company (youfibre), would be nice if I could just use that as would save me buying another as wireless signal is fine in the house/garage from it as it's not a big house.

    Any recommendations for mesh setups/products to look at?
     
  5. Sentinel-R1

    Sentinel-R1 Chaircrew

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    If you own the property, consider running ethernet externally and then back into the rooms you need it. I've done just that in my last 3 homes, including the one we bought and moved into last week. Considerably cheaper than running internally, plus far less patching up to do and no more hassle than drilling a sky/internet cable through the exterior wall.

    I had 30m of exterior grade Cat6 and 3x wall sockets with 6 modules installed for £250. Not a bad price when weighed up against the alternatives as I'm getting the full connection speed to all outlets. Plus it's entirely DIY'able if you have the long drill bits, an SDS drill and can terminate ethernet, which I still don't/can't.
     
  6. sandys

    sandys Multimodder

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    Wired is best, try and do that, will cover you for up to 10Gb with very little issue under 30m, so once done you are future proofed, that said I'm half wired half wireless out of convenience.

    How fast is your internet, how much speed do you want from wireless? I link between floors with cheap wifi 6 routers and get a 940Mbps link, wiring devices into routers.
     
  7. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    Hadn't considered it as one of the PCs causing the issue is the same room as the router just opposite corner and so going externally wouldn't help there, upstairs would as it's just above the router but still not something I'd considered.

    We've just gone to a 500Mbps package and so ideally would get most of that, don't do much/any internal transfers/streaming anymore so don't need anything more really.
    Yeah I was wondering if I could just get one or two routers and use them as wireless switches type thing to have wired connections to each pc. What routers have you gone for? Can you mix and match?
     
  8. sandys

    sandys Multimodder

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    There are some standards that interoperate but generally best to stick to devices from same manufacturer,

    Pretty much what I do for linking second and third floor I just use a couple of Huawei AX3, they were something like £80-100 for a pair, don't recall, generally really poor devices on the whole if it was to be your main router if you cared about features and security but for a fast wireless link they were good and to be honest for what is needed upstairs we could get by with much less speed, its just a printer and the missus doing all day teams calls.

    Pretty much anything with mesh ability would probably make life easy for you and 500Mb should be able to be handled by most devices.

    I believe most eero are mesh capable so you may just be able to buy another and add it to your setup.

    I really would recommend hard wiring first though.
     

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