Menu
Reply
  • 48
  • 0
  • 2
yonder
Tuning in
949 Views
Message 1 of 27
Flag for a moderator

How much can new 2nd party router improve superhub wireless?

I was stunned to find that my 200mbs line only produces a 65mbs wireless signal - that's right in front of it, as tested by Netgear analytic app on my smartphone.    The speed of the line on the computer in internet broadband checks was 122 mbs (this was at 6pm - it can register up to 200mbs at other times). I haven't got more than the 65mbs on wireless at other times,  though I need to do more tests,

So I'm wondering how much of an improvement in wireless a top router can provide.  And which router people can recommend.

I reckon if you can, say, double the wireless signal or more, then it's well worth getting up to a £200 + router. But can you?

Reading the reviews for different routers on Amazon is a depressing experience, because there seem to be always both odd people saying  they've doubled their signal or more, and others saying their new router made little to no difference.

Thoughts v. welcome.

P.S. Presumably, even if you get a better router, you should still use wifi extenders? (My house is 3 storeys, & I use them and they def. make difference).

 

0 Kudos
Reply

Helpful Answers
  • 9.37K
  • 362
  • 2.31K
Superuser
Superuser
1,653 Views
Message 10 of 27
Flag for a moderator
Helpful Answer

Re: How much can new 2nd party router improve superhub wireless?


yonder wrote:

1) it is a good idea, even if it costs,  to ethernet cable the house from router to AP's on both 1st & 2nd floor. Should I cable direct to extenders or something still better like Netgear Nighthawk?  [I def need to replace EX2700 -  the signal drops from 35mbs to 13mbs or worse one thick wall away from extender]

It's never a good idea to use wifi extenders, no matter how good they are. Usually they give you twice the area coverage but you sacrifice half the speed, by virtue of how they work.

2) It would presumably be still better [or not?] to change the Superhub modem for a powerful beast like Asus RT-AC3200 and get better wifi repeaters?

You can't change the Hub modem for a router. You need both - the cable modem in the hub to give you internet access and the Asus router to do the wifi and additional routing. An Asus router does not have a cable modem inside, so can't connect to Virgin's internet network on its own.

A friend has a 3 storey house and he's just about to have Virgin installed, with the Vivid 200 Gamer package. The setup that I'm going to do for him uses an Asus RT-AC87U situated on the middle of the 2nd floor which is connected by ethernet cable to the Virgin Hub 3 on the ground floor.

https://www.asus.com/uk/Networking/RTAC87U/

Since that model of Asus has high-gain external antenna (the Superhubs only have small internal PCB antenna), beamforming and MU-MIMO and is designed for multi-floor buildings it should be fine without using additional wifi extenders.

Using wifi extenders with such a good router would probably reduce the speed and reliability by more than half from what would be achievable without them. Especially if you don't spec them or configure them properly. Anyway, I have powerlines with wifi in mind if there are any dead zones, which is unlikely.

 

This model of Asus router has many additional features which help to work out what's going on, including a bandwidth monitor that shows the speeds individual devices are achieving.

As someone already said, the speed at close range will be limited by the device you use, it's capabilities, which wifi network you connect to (2.4ghz or 5ghz) and the settings you use on the router.

 

0 Kudos
Reply

All Replies
  • 9.02K
  • 760
  • 1.88K
Superuser
Superuser
934 Views
Message 2 of 27
Flag for a moderator

Re: How much can new 2nd party router improve superhub wireless?

What wireless devices are you using with the hub?

It could be your wireless devices that is the bottleneck. You will need Mulitple stream adapters in your client hardware yo get anywhere near 200Mbps, and be using the 5Ghz band in the vast majority of cases.

The hub2 can ultimately provide a 300Mbps link speed on the 2.4Ghz band, 450Mbps on the 5Ghz band with the SH2AC and hub 3 up to 1.3Gbps. Actual speed will be about 50 - 65% of the link speed, but you need wireless devices with matching capabilities. This is ignoring adverse affects of a poor wireless environment.

BTW, wireless repeaters may give a boost to your wireless signal, but will halve the wireless speed due to the half duplex nature of wireless.

If your wired speed is slowing down from headline speeds during the evening, then it looks like you may have a utlisation problem.

0 Kudos
Reply
  • 79
  • 1
  • 19
rickwookie
Up to speed
926 Views
Message 3 of 27
Flag for a moderator

Re: How much can new 2nd party router improve superhub wireless?

First thing, are you connecting using the 5 GHz WiFi band? While 2.4 GHz 802.11n can combine 2 WiFi channels to give a 300 Mbps link, any Apple device for example will only ever connect to a single 20 MHz channel (ask Apple why in their wisdom they impose this restriction) so that will limit your link to 150 (or 144 depending on what measure you use) Mbps. So then, yes you won't get more than 50% of that in real world data throughput. IME I've never got a speedtest result above 40 Mbps on an IPhone connected to 2.4 GHz.
So then, you want to use 5 Ghz for faster speed, but the problem with 5 GHz is its shorter wavelength means the signal drops much more with distance from the router (or more specifically the wireless AP). This can be overcome by using more APs around the house, but don't expect to get any decent speed using wireless repeaters which IMO are a total waste of time and money. You'll want APs that have a wired Ethernet connection back to the router.

You may on the other hand find that you can tweak the settings on your Superhub to ensure that you're using 5 GHz and that the bandwidth is sufficient (40/80 MHz) for your needs. Since I don't use the Superhub for WiFi, I can't help with how to change its WiFi settings.
  • 9.02K
  • 760
  • 1.88K
Superuser
Superuser
917 Views
Message 4 of 27
Flag for a moderator

Re: How much can new 2nd party router improve superhub wireless?

Apple only allow the use of a one 20Mhz wide channel on the 2.4Ghz band to help reduce congestion on the narrow 2.4Ghz band. The 2.4Ghz band is only 83.5 Mhz wide, so using two channels bonded together will take up over half of the available spectrum (two thirds in practice due to overlapping channels), making it prone to interference.. Initially the WiFi Alliance refused to certify devices that used channel bonding on the 2.4Ghz band, but relented when co-channel co-existence software was developed. IMHO it's the only decent thing Apple have done. A single channel will give you 72Mbps link speed per wireless stream. So, 40Mbps is a decent speed using a single channel on a single wireless stream.

However, Apple does allow channel bonding on the wider 5Ghz band where the channels don't overlap. So you should get a link speed of 150Mbps per wireless stream using two channels bonded together to form a 40Mhz wide channel.  Four bonded channels (80Mhz wide) is only available to wireless AC devices. Both hub and client device need to support AC to use this,

The difference in link v actual speeds is down mainly to the half duplex nature of wireless and the operational overheads it needs to carry, not the number of channels you can use.

You can have the best hub in the world, but if your wireless clients cannot match the specs, then your speed will be governed by the lowest denominator. your wireless client.

  • 48
  • 0
  • 2
yonder
Tuning in
894 Views
Message 5 of 27
Flag for a moderator

Re: How much can new 2nd party router improve superhub wireless?

Hi guys - many thx for comments.  Some more info - I get 65mbs wireless even when the computer d/l wired speed is 200+ mbs.

The devices I use - repeaters - are Netgear EX 2700 on 1st floor [router on ground] & Netgear .EX 3700 on 2nd floor. . On 2nd floor Netgear Analytic app shows 35mbs on 5GHZ band.   [Dunno if relevant but Netgear Analytic shows radically different speeds depending on which router/extender it is connected to!]

I'm happy to spend more if I can get good results. What I'm getting from your comments is:

1) it is a good idea, even if it costs,  to ethernet cable the house from router to AP's on both 1st & 2nd floor. Should I cable direct to extenders or something still better like Netgear Nighthawk?  [I def need to replace EX2700 -  the signal drops from 35mbs to 13mbs or worse one thick wall away from extender]

2) It would presumably be still better [or not?] to change the Superhub modem for a powerful beast like Asus RT-AC3200 and get better wifi repeaters?

Thx again

 

 

0 Kudos
Reply
  • 48
  • 0
  • 2
yonder
Tuning in
893 Views
Message 6 of 27
Flag for a moderator

Re: How much can new 2nd party router improve superhub wireless?

PS Sorry - I meant change the superhub "router" not modem

0 Kudos
Reply
  • 980
  • 59
  • 174
Tudor
Well-informed
872 Views
Message 7 of 27
Flag for a moderator

Re: How much can new 2nd party router improve superhub wireless?

On my Hub3 with latest Apple AirPort Extreme on the 5 band, I can get 220Mbps on my iPad Air 2.


There are 10 types of people: those who understand binary and those who don't
0 Kudos
Reply
  • 48
  • 0
  • 2
yonder
Tuning in
866 Views
Message 8 of 27
Flag for a moderator

Re: How much can new 2nd party router improve superhub wireless?

Wow. At what distance[s]?
0 Kudos
Reply
  • 9.02K
  • 760
  • 1.88K
Superuser
Superuser
855 Views
Message 9 of 27
Flag for a moderator

Re: How much can new 2nd party router improve superhub wireless?

I would bear in mind that the Air 2 has a 2x2 (two spatial streams) wireless AC adapter. The Hub 3 is 3x3 (three spatial stream) AC router.

If Tudor was using a low end laptop with a single stream Wireless N adapter instead of the Air2, he would probably get about 40Mbps on the 2.4Ghz band and around 80Mbps on the 5Ghz band.

This is the point you seem to be missing, speeds will depend on the capabilities of the wireless adapter in your PC..

What wireless devices are you using? (Pc\laptop\tablet etc.)?

Yes, it is a good idea to bypass wireless hurdles like distance, interference, thick walls etc. by using a wired connection back to the router. This can be done using ethernet cable (best) or good quality powerline adapters. As said before above, wireless repeaters are not that good for high speeds as they are susceptible to wireless interference, range and obstacles like thick walls as well as the speed halving due to the wireless signal being relayed.

0 Kudos
Reply
  • 9.37K
  • 362
  • 2.31K
Superuser
Superuser
1,654 Views
Message 10 of 27
Flag for a moderator
Helpful Answer

Re: How much can new 2nd party router improve superhub wireless?


yonder wrote:

1) it is a good idea, even if it costs,  to ethernet cable the house from router to AP's on both 1st & 2nd floor. Should I cable direct to extenders or something still better like Netgear Nighthawk?  [I def need to replace EX2700 -  the signal drops from 35mbs to 13mbs or worse one thick wall away from extender]

It's never a good idea to use wifi extenders, no matter how good they are. Usually they give you twice the area coverage but you sacrifice half the speed, by virtue of how they work.

2) It would presumably be still better [or not?] to change the Superhub modem for a powerful beast like Asus RT-AC3200 and get better wifi repeaters?

You can't change the Hub modem for a router. You need both - the cable modem in the hub to give you internet access and the Asus router to do the wifi and additional routing. An Asus router does not have a cable modem inside, so can't connect to Virgin's internet network on its own.

A friend has a 3 storey house and he's just about to have Virgin installed, with the Vivid 200 Gamer package. The setup that I'm going to do for him uses an Asus RT-AC87U situated on the middle of the 2nd floor which is connected by ethernet cable to the Virgin Hub 3 on the ground floor.

https://www.asus.com/uk/Networking/RTAC87U/

Since that model of Asus has high-gain external antenna (the Superhubs only have small internal PCB antenna), beamforming and MU-MIMO and is designed for multi-floor buildings it should be fine without using additional wifi extenders.

Using wifi extenders with such a good router would probably reduce the speed and reliability by more than half from what would be achievable without them. Especially if you don't spec them or configure them properly. Anyway, I have powerlines with wifi in mind if there are any dead zones, which is unlikely.

 

This model of Asus router has many additional features which help to work out what's going on, including a bandwidth monitor that shows the speeds individual devices are achieving.

As someone already said, the speed at close range will be limited by the device you use, it's capabilities, which wifi network you connect to (2.4ghz or 5ghz) and the settings you use on the router.

 

0 Kudos
Reply