Coverage in 3000 sqf ranch with router in basement.


  • Hi,

    I'll be purchasing a new ranch, and looks like the internet is delivered in the basement (see ISP solid block in graphic).
    Looking at the Amplifi Alien Mesh Kit for coverage.

    1. Is there any concern on connection quality if have the router located in the basement, when majority of usage will be in the red circles on the floor plan?
    2. Any better suggestion for location of the Mesh Point? I'd rather not plunk it in the family room, but don't see any other option than the pantry.

    Use Cases:
    4K streaming Family Room, Master Bedroom
    Office - WFH most days, VDI desktop on wireless (only 5-10 Mbps requirement, but high reliability need)
    Gaming in Family room
    Security system with 4 cameras.
    Gaming via Wireless LAN Basement Room or office. For basement room, if needed I can just cable a switch if needed, so not a major concern.
    Wireless coverage to backyard/deck area for mobile devices.

    0_1609937047278_3b7a1d55-6c78-41fb-ad80-fb062c15435c-image.png


  • @lostgraduation can you run an Ethernet cable from the ISP entry point in the basement up the wall and through the floor (or, if your basement is unfinished, up the wall, then along the floor joists to wherever you prefer, then through the floor?

    If you plan to have devices in your basement, you could place one Alien there and do Ethernet backhaul from it to a second Alien on your main floor. The second Alien could then be configured either as a "Router as Mesh Unit" (RAMP), or n Bridge Mode.

    If the house is under construction, of course, the ideal solution would be to have star topology Ethernet runs from the ISP service entry point to each room in the home where you plan to have devices.


  • @jsrnephdoc Completely agree, if at all possible have cabling installed. By off loading as many devices as possible to a hard wired network, you free up bandwidth for those devices that either don't have an ethernet port or can't be reached by a hard wired connection.

    We have a 2,600 sq ft two story home. MPOE is in the garage, home is hard wired with ethernet and coax and telco. Wireless is an Amplifi HD with a pair of wireless mesh points. We have coverage everywhere, including both front and back yards. Where possible we use hard wired connections (desktop computers, printers, DVR, BD player, Apple TV) and the wireless supports the phones and tablets.


  • Thank you both for your replies.

    can you run an Ethernet cable from the ISP entry point in the basement up the wall and through the floor (or, if your basement is unfinished, up the wall, then along the floor joists to wherever you prefer, then through the floor?

    Based on what the previous owner's setup looked like, I think Comcast will be plugging a cable line into my modem. I could probably run cat6 from the modem upstairs if that's the best option. Only the part labeled "Room" in the basement is finished. Since a lot is unfinished, if the solution is going to involve substantial cabling, I'm thinking it might be easier to keep router in the basement since I'd then be running up through unfished ceilings.

    If you plan to have devices in your basement, you could place one Alien there and do Ethernet backhaul from it to a second Alien on your main floor. The second Alien could then be configured either as a "Router as Mesh Unit" (RAMP), or n Bridge Mode.

    Eventually I'll be building out the basement as gaming/bar area but this is probably a few years down the road.
    My main concern is whether having the router down there is going to still give me great coverage in the portions of the house on the first floor that it would be covering.

    We have coverage everywhere, including both front and back yards. Where possible we use hard wired connections (desktop computers, printers, DVR, BD player, Apple TV) and the wireless supports the phones and tablets.

    This is basically the setup I have now in my smaller apartment, where cabling can reasonably just be traced along the walls. I think my takeaway here is may not need the Alien model for WiFi6 in the first place, since I'm not going to consume those speeds on a phone or tablet.


  • @lostgraduation said in Coverage in 3000 sqf ranch with router in basement.:

    I think my takeaway here is may not need the Alien model for WiFi6 in the first place, since I'm not going to consume those speeds on a phone or tablet.

    That prompts a few more thoughts. Apologies in advance for their length. Apparently the home is not new construction, but you still have an opportunity to run Ethernet Cabling and you have plans that would likely benefit from good coverage both in the basement and on the main floor.

    At the moment, I have only one Alien. My original plans were to create a MESH network in the home we'll be moving into win the spring, but first I wanted to test how well a single Alien would cover two levels in my rented house, BEFORE I moved into my larger but single level home this coming spring. What I've learned thus far is that I get good signal over a considerably broader distance from the Alien as compared with the Apple Time Capsule 802.11ac it replaced (both of them using the default setup that doesn't separate the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands onto separately named SSIDs). However, each time I use the Alien instead of the Apple router, my WAN connection becomes more fragile; this has been true now for 3 decimal releases of the Alien firmware. Because yet another release is due (3.5), I plan to try running my LAN from the Alien one more time once I can load the release 3.5 firmware on to it. If that does NOT make it more reliable, I'll then have three choices: either invest in a non-Arris, non Intel Puma6 chipset cable modem with fingers crossed, or just return my Alien, or give AmpliFi support another chance to make it work.

    As for WiFi 6, this may be its breakout year. If you're Apple ecosystem and possibly considering Mac purchases, the new "Apple Silicon" Macs are wowing the reviewers with their literally amazingly better performance, heat management, memory management, and battery performance. It remains to be seen how well that will scale to their "Pro" laptops and impossibly expensive Pro workstations; i.e., will they come with more powerful shared memory architecture chipsets, but it's noteworthy that the new chipsets in the Macs (and in their current iPhones include WiFi 6 (and of course 5G cellular in the iOS mobile devices).

    Remembering that switched Ethernet gives multiple devices their individual max bandwidths as opposed to shared bandwidth on WiFi, AND more security, I would ALWAYS lay cable while the option was inexpensive and the results free of feng shui penalties.

    I have a techie son, a social media intensive daughter-law, and two gamer grandsons. They live in a gorgeous new house with a partly finished full basement. The mid teen prodigy has convinced his dad to run ethernet cable from one end of the main floor level of the house to the other, over and under carpet, spiraling around handrails down to the basement, and then again across the basement floor to his ever-enlarging electronics cluster in his gaming hideaway, and I expect his dad will be forced to replicate much of that for the younger son still in grade school. The cable is well disguised through much of its meandering, and I've never asked him, but I'll bet my son now regrets not outfitting the entire home with hidden star-topology cat6 cable and RJ45 wall outlets before the drywall was placed!

    Finally, configuring the Alien ecosystem is a bit of a non-binary choice. If you purchase a MESH kit, what you get is two routers that are bonded to each other logically (and, apparently, permanently). If you just purchase one router, you can CREATE a Mesh network by adding a second, but you'll pay more than if you'd bought the kit, AND, as I understand it, if you buy the kit but later would like to use the one sold as the MESH second unit, you cannot use it in a different MESH network.

    Bottom Line, unless I knew I would not be adding new devices, I'd not reject the notion of paying more to get WiFi 6. Of course, you'll read grumbling here about the fact that a firmware upgrade won't enable WiFi 6e, but my understanding of that evolution is aimed more at networks with a HUGE number of clients (the same son, an architect, designed a 3 story financial institution's headquarters building with EVERY switch, every light fixture, every a/c outlet possessing its own reprogrammable IPv6 address, every workspace perimeter defined by moveable sound insulated wall panels so that changing from 10 individual offices to one large conference area can be accomplished in just a few hours. WiFi 6e will be a big deal for that and larger scale footprints, but not, as I understand it, for individual homes.

    Hoping you'll get other opinions as well.


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