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Author Topic: upgrade to wireless ac  (Read 537 times)

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Offline cfx795

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upgrade to wireless ac
« on: April 18, 2019, 10:41:19 am »
I'm thinking of upgrading my wireless network. Right now I've got this Motorola SBG6580 - combo modem/router. It's not that bad. Wired I generally get in excess of 200Mbps, downstream. Upstream, meh... 10? Today it was 11. My desktop's hard-wired into an ethernet cable. My Latitude laptop sits over there across the room with its older WiFi card, and it gets... well ok, today it's getting 24 (downstream) and 7 (up). That's the wireless I'm getting from a few feet away from the Motorola unit. I've gotten as high as 40 downstream. (yesterday I tested it, it was around 40)

I'm thinking of upgrading to a wireless ac router. I have this Cisco DPC3008 modem that the cable company gave me, that I'm not currently using. I looked at the specs, it'll handle speed of up to 340Mbps. So what I'm thinking is that I'd be using this modem with a new wireless ac router. Not that I want to throw a lot of money at this thing. First of all, these speeds aren't that bad, as is. I mean, it's functional, especially inside my apartment. There's no one else besides me in this household, maximum 2 or 3 devices going at once. And not even actively going, just connected. (Maybe/sometimes) My phone, the Dell laptop, the Chromebook. That's absolute maximum. I don't give my WiFi password out to anyone else. Just me. The desktop is (and will continue to be) wired.

Really more to the point might be range. Sometimes I pull up to the curb, I live downtown Madison, WI, and then I'm about 25 or 30ft from the modem/router. But the signal out there is actually pretty weak. So there's that - improving the range.

I think I can get the wireless ac card for the e-series laptop for... maybe what? $20 or $25, Amazon or eBay.

I'm thinking this Motorola modem/router sort the bottleneck in both range and speed. The other day I pulled up in the cab to the performing arts center, downtown. Just or the hell of it, I decided to test the WiFi that I was getting there, and was very surprised that it was like 100Mbps down and... I don't remember what it was upstream, but a lot faster than what I have at home. 40 or 60. Something. And I was getting this with my Chromebook. Wireless N, I think. I guess I'm just used to getting sort of sad, slow connections in public places, but maybe that's getting better as technology marches forward...

This is the modem I'm looking at: https://www.tp-link.com/us/home-networking/wifi-router/archer-c1200/ from the manufacturer's website. It's about $50 on Amazon.

Any thoughts?





Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: upgrade to wireless ac
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2019, 11:45:53 am »
Archers have always had a pretty good reputation (hence why I have one), but range is VERY specific to surroundings, so it'd be impossible for anyone to guarantee anything without testing the hardware in that specific location first.
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Offline cfx795

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Re: upgrade to wireless ac
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2019, 11:57:11 am »
Well I suppose a lot of these things are sort of trial and error. Probably no one can guarantee you any certain speed, either. Mine varies from my IP anywhere from like 100 to over 200Mbps. The speed isn't going to be any faster than whatever you're getting from your internet provider. This router is supposed to have "beamforming" which supposedly helps with range...
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 12:24:24 pm by cfx795 »

Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: upgrade to wireless ac
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2019, 12:24:21 pm »
Supposedly...

In one room of my house I get a better signal and hence faster speeds on the 2.4Ghz band .. most other places (including rooms further away from the router) the signal/range/speed is better on the 5Ghz ac band (probably because of beamforming) .. go figure  :-\

Mesh is probably the way forward, but i don't really need it .. the room with the crap signal is the bathroom, kinda fitting :))
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 12:26:08 pm by PCNetSpec »
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Offline cfx795

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Re: upgrade to wireless ac
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2019, 01:42:25 pm »
I ordered that wireless router, and the Intel wireless ac card you showed me in the other thread. I realize now that my Chromebook actually has wireless ac. I looked up the specs. I probably should have looked to make sure that it's a wireless N card in that Dell laptop, but I'm (almost) sure it is. I wasn't going to add more RAM, but I was looking at Sysinfo, and I'm actually using more of that 4GB than I originally thought...

update: yes, here under "Network Controller" in Sysinfo it says Intel Corporation Centrino Advanced-N 6205 [Taylor Peak](rev 34)
« Last Edit: April 19, 2019, 01:54:43 pm by cfx795 »

Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: upgrade to wireless ac
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2019, 02:43:20 pm »
Cool, let us know how you get on with them :)
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Offline cfx795

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Re: upgrade to wireless ac
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2019, 04:00:49 pm »
It's cool that the parts for these laptops are cheap and easily available. Especially on eBay. I got the WLAN for $20 and another 4GB of the identical (Micron) RAM for $15. I always try to order from North America. Those "from China" shipments are the worst! Weeks! The slow boat from China!

So there are two slots for the RAM, right? So if you wanted 16GB (I don't) of RAM you'd use 2x8GB? I think that's right. I was sort of squinting at it. My eyesight ain't what it once was.

I have no use for the CD/DVD drive. There's a caddy for that where I could put a second SSD, right? Maybe I'll do that. I don't really need a second drive, but I suppose I need it more than a dvd-rom.

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Re: upgrade to wireless ac
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2019, 04:06:38 pm »
This router is supposed to have "beamforming" which supposedly helps with range...

Supposedly...

In one room of my house I get a better signal and hence faster speeds on the 2.4Ghz band .. most other places (including rooms further away from the router) the signal/range/speed is better on the 5Ghz ac band (probably because of beamforming) .. go figure  :-\

I was reading an article today, and immediately thought about this Peppermint thread.

Here's the article: Millimeter-wave 5G will never scale beyond dense urban areas, T-Mobile says

I might also mention, I'm a licensed HAM operator, and know a bit about radio wave lengths. So, I was glad to see the article above. It confirms what I *thought*, and answers the question as to why Intel is backing out of 5G.

BI Article: Intel dropped a bombshell and said it's giving up on the 5G smartphone business: 'There is no clear path to profitability and positive returns'

Let's just leave it at that. Gotta run. BBL