Optimal Home Network with G3100 + Gigabit service
theblanks
Enthusiast - Level 2

Our Triple Play expired and we’re using it as an opportunity to upgrade our internet and ditch Fios TV.  I’ll be installing the G3100 today, connecting via Ethernet to the ONT.  

Our house is @4200 sqft and the ONT is located at one end in the basement.  The plan is to put the G3100 where the Actiontec currently is.  We’ll be streaming TV around the house via AppleTVs so I want to make sure we’re getting the best possible signal and speeds throughout the house.

Currently the Actiontec is connected via CAT5E to an Apple AirPort Extreme (last gen) that is on the main (middle) floor at the opposite end of the house from each other.  It’s also connected to three switches throughout the house via CAT5E in order to have as many devices wired as possible.


We use two additional Airport Extremes (one in basement, one on upper floor) to extend the WiFi network throughout the house and it seems to work well.  They are a bit dated in terms of WiFi standards at this point so I’m wondering if there’s a better way to ensure coverage throughout the house, taking advantage of the G3100’s WiFi 6 ability.  Would putting E3200s in place of the Airport Extremes be the best bet or should I look into a mesh system?

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Cang_Household
Community Leader
Community Leader

That WiFi speed is comparable to WCB3000N (Actiontec built in 2012, <$25) 802.11n, also known as FiOS Network Extender Gen 1.

My G1100 delivers 350Mbps+ on 802.11ac. I heard Aruba AP11 2x2 MIMO delivers 550-600Mbps on this conversation https://www.reddit.com/r/HomeNetworking/comments/hf3gg1/do_i_need_a_new_wireless_ap_and_if_so_any_ot... 

You can buy used G1100 on Ebay for $70 or spent a little more on Aruba AP11. I guess that's worth the price for increasing the speed.

I am waiting for one of the access points to malfunction before buying AP11 myself, or after 7 years of continuous operation, which ever is earlier. They are many retired routers which I am using as access points now. My WCB3000N is technically 8 years old, but only out of the box for 5.5 years.

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Cang_Household
Community Leader
Community Leader

Before answering your questions, I need to make some assumptions. Since you upgraded your subscription to gigabit, you got the G3100 for free, correct? Since you mentioned that you have as many devices as wired possible, you have ethernet drops around the house, correct?

If the above assumptions are true. I would make the following suggestions/comments.

G3100 can create a meshed network with multiple E3200s, but the pricing is not economic. E3200 is convenient for houses with coax wiring only, but your house seems to have ethernet drops everywhere.

E3200 has 802.11ax (so called WiFi 6), which delivers over 1 Gbps in theory. Unless you have 802.11ax capable devices, multigigabit ethernet cards/network infrastructure, and multigigabit broadband subscription, I would not recommend buying multiple of them.

I would recommend you to buy some enterprise-grade access points for a meshed WiFi system. For example, Aruba Instant On AP 11 and AP 12. They have 802.11ac only, but an actual throughput of over 500Mbps+. They give you lots of control over the wireless network and scalability to 25 APs. Each of them is $80 cheaper than an E3200.

theblanks
Enthusiast - Level 2

Thanks for the response!  We have Ethernet run to four rooms, each feeding an unmanaged switch with several devices connected to the switches (but at least one open Ethernet port on each switch).  Could the Aruba devices connect via an open switch port?

Also, no we are paying $15/month for our G3100.

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Edg1
Community Leader
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@theblanks wrote:

Thanks for the response!  We have Ethernet run to four rooms, each feeding an unmanaged switch with several devices connected to the switches (but at least one open Ethernet port on each switch).  Could the Aruba devices connect via an open switch port?

Also, no we are paying $15/month for our G3100.


I would personally get rid of VZ router since you have not TV anymore. You could go with a mesh network and connect the wifi points to the switches where they are needed. 

You could also get any router and connect wireless APs where needed. Yes Aruba APs or any WAPs can connect to a switch. 

theblanks
Enthusiast - Level 2

Is the G3100 bad/poor performing or is it just a case of being able to do better for the money?

if the WAPs are operating on 802.11ac are they going to be any better than the AirPort Extreme models I’m already using?

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Edg1
Community Leader
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@theblanks wrote:

Is the G3100 bad/poor performing or is it just a case of being able to do better for the money?

if the WAPs are operating on 802.11ac are they going to be any better than the AirPort Extreme models I’m already using?


I was just thinking in terms of renting for $15 a month. The only reason to use the Verizon router is if you have TV. The new router an extenders are wifi 6 AX so they would be faster than your current AC equipment. But honestly, AC is fast enough for anything you would be doing. Gaming and streaming only need 25 mbps for 4k. As long as the Airport are hardwired you should be fine with what you have. I personally hardwire anything I can and reserve wifi for non-ethernet devices like tablets, laptops, smartphones, and IoT devices. 

theblanks
Enthusiast - Level 2

We have one hard wired to the Verizon router and it’s in bridge mode to extend the network wirelessly to the other two.

Three of our AppleTVs are hard wired but two aren’t and with the work and school from home situation there’s many times when all four of us are on video calls at the same time.  Our gaming systems are all hardwired as well.  I just want to make sure I’m getting the most out of the Gigabit service.

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Cang_Household
Community Leader
Community Leader

What’s the model number for your Airport Extremes? If you have gen 6 with 802.11ac Wave 2, then it is technically the same as Aruba AP11.

I suggest you to hardwire all Access Points to achieve the best speed. To find out for sure, you can place one device under each AP’s coverage area and run speed test at the same time. The total throughput is the aggregation of all speed tests on all the devices.

theblanks
Enthusiast - Level 2

Not sure but I believe they were the last version.  They state 802.11ac and are running firmware 7.9.1

The one on the upper floor is the only one I can’t hardwire and that also happens to be where the AppleTVs are that aren’t hard wired either.

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Cang_Household
Community Leader
Community Leader

I see. So you have the latest generation of the AirPort Extreme (Gen 6).

Can you run several speed tests simultaneously on different devices to see the actual throughput on your network? You can know whether you are taking advantage of your gigabit subscription for sure.

theblanks
Enthusiast - Level 2

Hard wired connections are getting 900+ Mbps down and 800+ up.  WiFi is ranging from 150-200 up and 100-150 down.

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Cang_Household
Community Leader
Community Leader

That WiFi speed is comparable to WCB3000N (Actiontec built in 2012, <$25) 802.11n, also known as FiOS Network Extender Gen 1.

My G1100 delivers 350Mbps+ on 802.11ac. I heard Aruba AP11 2x2 MIMO delivers 550-600Mbps on this conversation https://www.reddit.com/r/HomeNetworking/comments/hf3gg1/do_i_need_a_new_wireless_ap_and_if_so_any_ot... 

You can buy used G1100 on Ebay for $70 or spent a little more on Aruba AP11. I guess that's worth the price for increasing the speed.

I am waiting for one of the access points to malfunction before buying AP11 myself, or after 7 years of continuous operation, which ever is earlier. They are many retired routers which I am using as access points now. My WCB3000N is technically 8 years old, but only out of the box for 5.5 years.

Cang_Household
Community Leader
Community Leader

@theblanks wrote:

Could the Aruba devices connect via an open switch port?

Also, no we are paying $15/month for our G3100.


Of course, Aruba Instant On is a controller-less access point. It has a RJ-45 port for wired backhaul. Regarding its power supply, Aruba supports both 12V DC jack and PoE. If you don't have a PoE switch or spare 12V (1.0A for AP11, 1.5A for AP12) power supplies at home, you can buy the package with the power supply ($10 more).

If you are renting the G3100 and have no TV service, I would recommend you buy your own wired router with more features. One example would be Cisco RV260 ($150~). Since you are placing the router at a remote location of the house, having a wireless function is kind of a waste. If you are considering other routers, make sure you find a router with a NAT throughput over 800Mbps to avoid bottlenecking your gigabit subscription.