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AdamtheKiwi
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Home network setup and diagnosis

Hi folks,

Forgive me if this ends up being a long and rambling question - I'll try to keep it as tight as I can.

We have a Virgin SuperHub 3.0 - it sits where the cable comes in to the property (floor-level corner in the kitchen). We have a single cat5 line running to one of the upstairs bedrooms (currently using as a makeshift office for home working) and another to the lounge. Both have a 5-port gigabit switch on the end at the moment. There is also a Sonos bridge attached to the SuperHub. We have just repurposed a different room as a dedicated office, and as part of that I'm about to move the home fileserver (FreeNAS running zfs) and the main PC (an old gaming rig) to that room - our work computers will also be connected there. I've run 2 cat6 cables to the new office from the SuperHub. New office will have a dedicated gigabit switch.

Wireless coverage is currently not stellar - poor location of the SuperHub and thick masonry walls downstairs. I'd like to set up additional wireless repeaters, to give us top speed wifi coverage throughout the house. We've also had problems streaming music through the Sonos from the fileserver - however, with this change of network and location for the fileserver pending, I've not spent much time investigating yet.

We've started saving movies to the fileserver, and would like to be able to stream these. I will probably be adding a media PC to the lounge as well. The network should be capable of transferring large files to and from the fileserver from anywhere in the house as fast as possible.

Any advice on how to set this network up would be appreciated.

  • Should I use the SuperHub in modem-only mode and get a dedicated router? If so, any recommendations?
  • How should I do the wireless repeating (I know next to nothing about this)?
  • What are good tools to diagnose network performance and issues?

I've got a pretty good basic knowledge of setting up ethernet and wireless networks, but I'm no network engineer. No budgetary constraints (within reason).

Thanks - Adam…

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Superuser
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Re: Home network setup and diagnosis

hiya @AdamtheKiwi thanks for posting all the details, if your current setup is working fine with the hub and just want to increase the range i would advise using access points attached to the switches something like -> https://www.amazon.co.uk/ASUS-RT-AC1200G-Dual-Band-Gigabit-Wireless/dp/B01F4WOFD6/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF... since using repeater can half the wifi speed or worse..

i possible would be having a gigabyte switch connecting the switches together rather than looping it via the hub, or better still buying a 3rd party router and putting the hub into modem mode, a few of my fellow superusers advise using something like -> https://www.amazon.co.uk/ASUS-RT-AC88U-AiProtection-Accelerator-Aggregation-x/dp/B019MKO43M/ref=sr_1... or its cheaper brother https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Wireless-Access-Points/ASUS-AC1900-Gigabit-Router-Server-Dongle-Support/B...

as for network monitoring this can a whole can of worms it depends on what you want to monitor myself i use solarwinds there is free tools out there via -> http://www.solarwinds.com/free-tools 

hope this helps

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Superuser
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Re: Home network setup and diagnosis

hiya @AdamtheKiwi yeah a repeater just takes the wifi signal and repeats it back out evil things, as for the wifi network yeah if you have the SSID and passphrase the same should be able to move around the property seamless and not notice a drop in connection.

as for using a 3rd party router, much more features than the hub has, since most of the features on the hub are bugged, you could leave the hub in router mode and should work fine with all the switching.
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Superuser
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Message 2 of 6
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Re: Home network setup and diagnosis

hiya @AdamtheKiwi thanks for posting all the details, if your current setup is working fine with the hub and just want to increase the range i would advise using access points attached to the switches something like -> https://www.amazon.co.uk/ASUS-RT-AC1200G-Dual-Band-Gigabit-Wireless/dp/B01F4WOFD6/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF... since using repeater can half the wifi speed or worse..

i possible would be having a gigabyte switch connecting the switches together rather than looping it via the hub, or better still buying a 3rd party router and putting the hub into modem mode, a few of my fellow superusers advise using something like -> https://www.amazon.co.uk/ASUS-RT-AC88U-AiProtection-Accelerator-Aggregation-x/dp/B019MKO43M/ref=sr_1... or its cheaper brother https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Wireless-Access-Points/ASUS-AC1900-Gigabit-Router-Server-Dongle-Support/B...

as for network monitoring this can a whole can of worms it depends on what you want to monitor myself i use solarwinds there is free tools out there via -> http://www.solarwinds.com/free-tools 

hope this helps

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AdamtheKiwi
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Re: Home network setup and diagnosis

Thanks @paultechy.

Sorry, I think this is my faulty terminology - a repeater picks up a wireless signal and passes it on, right? If so, yes, I think I want access points in each room that has a hard line to the network. Do I just use the same SSID and password so that devices can pass from one access point to another, or do I set up several independent networks? If so, is it possible to ensure that devices automatically pick up the strongest signal?

Out of interest, why a 3rd party wifi router and the SuperHub in modem mode rather than just adding a small (5 port) switch between the router and the rest of the network? I was thinking:
- router connects to:
  - 5-port switch, connects to:
    - cat5 to upstairs, wifi access point;
    - cat5 to lounge, 5-port switch -> wifi access point;
    - cat6 to office, 8-port switch in office,
  - cat6 to office, 8-port switch in office -> wifi access point;

 

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Superuser
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Re: Home network setup and diagnosis

hiya @AdamtheKiwi yeah a repeater just takes the wifi signal and repeats it back out evil things, as for the wifi network yeah if you have the SSID and passphrase the same should be able to move around the property seamless and not notice a drop in connection.

as for using a 3rd party router, much more features than the hub has, since most of the features on the hub are bugged, you could leave the hub in router mode and should work fine with all the switching.
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pyrotenax
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Re: Home network setup and diagnosis

Personally I would put Hub 3.0 in modem mode and get your own dedicated router ( I use the ASUS RT-AC88U) Try and locate the router in as a relatively central location as possible of the building (if you can)



Running ASUS RT-AC88U with Asuswrt-Merlin firmware
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AdamtheKiwi
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Re: Home network setup and diagnosis

So, for what it's worth, I've ordered 3 Ubiquiti AC Lite APs and their security gateway - no more expensive than a decent consumer-grade router. I'll post the results...
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