Been putting it off. Final installation of Wireless AP router

So not exactly SmartThings, but home tech related… And I should note that the purpose behind this post is to hopefully inspire others to get up off their back pockets and get the projects done, and perhaps spawn a discussion of the infrastructure needed to support our home security / automation projects…

I have had since December a secondary WiFi router, a Trend TEW-812dru set up with DD-WRT and set up in wireless AP mode. Since the initial setup it has been literally on the other side of the wall from where the main router is, so in the living room instead of the master suite where it is supposed to be. You see I have needed to run a fresh cat 5 cable through the attic due to some damage incurred while doing other remodeling projects (I cut the original accidentally while moving things around the attic).

I have found that with all of the added stuff, notably the Zigbee stuff, I am seeing a LOT of WiFi drops to the Fire Edition TV in the master bedroom. I mean at a completely intolerable level… I would start a show on Hulu, and within 30 seconds the Hulu app would crash…

So over the weekend I went into the attic, and pulled a cat 6 from behind the armoire in the master bedroom, over to the punch down panel at the main switch / router.

Now I am movin gthe punch down panel / switch rack in my remodel, and made sure I left enough of a service loop to make the additional space.

Once the new cat 6 was run, I moved the wireless AP router from the living room, to the master suite, and cabled it up. I then ran a cat 6 from the 4 port switch on the router, to the smartTV and configured wired ethernet there, and from the router to my Android TV box and again configured wired ethernet there.

Where the wireless AP router was I dropped a Trend Net TEG-S80g 8 port desktop gigabit switch in the entertainment center, and plugged the living room Android TV box, Wii, and PS3 in…

The results so far…

#1. Wireless performance on the master suite side of the house is now exactly where I expect it to be.
#2. WIth the router connected directly to the smartTV with an ethernet cable. No more connection drops period.
#3. My Ring devices all show significantly improved WiFi connectivity. This was actually a suprise. I am no closer physically to the Ring devices…
#4. Plex server works now. This was a problem. My Plex server is running on WiFi (desktop with a USB WiFi dongle) and it spent most of its most recent days offline… Now it is actually doning something useful. Obscure movies and TV shows to stream again!

Anyway, long story short, if you have something simple to do to make it work, get it done, the results will be well worth it!

So…what is the question?

BTW, I have 1 router in the basement and a PoE switch and I have Ethernet cables to 3 802.11AC Wave 2 APs in my house that get their power from the PoE switch. I use the same SSIDs (3 of them or 3 different VLANs) on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz radios and use band steering to make the 5GHz radio more apt to be used if a device is in range of both radios. I prefer to use a wire where I can and use wireless for mobile devices or devices that do not have Ethernet connections. Zero issues.

No real question, just throwing an idea out there and trying to start a conversation on the network part of Home Automation…

How do you have the SSID for both the 2.4 and 5GHZ bands being shared? I honestly would prefer my WiFi devices grab the 5ghz band if the signal is strong enough. None of my neighbors have 5GHZ…

In my configuration I have, for example HOMEWIFI and HOMEWIFI5G.

So router #1. A TrendNet TEW-824dru, which when I bought it from Amazon, sold for about $70.00. This is configured with dd-wrt and runs all the heavier stuff. DHCP, local DNS, DLNA, and has a 4TB Western Digital USB 3.0 external HDD with my movies and TV shows on it… It presents HOMEWIFI and HOMEWIFI5G.
Router #2. A TrendNet TEW-812dru v2.0 which when bought from Amazon, sold for about $35.00. It is configured in wireless AP mode and simply presents HOMEWIFI and HOMEWIFI5G at 1 channel up from router #1.

I have given serious consideration to grabbing a couple of POE injectors so that I can run just one cable to POE capable IP cameras, aside from that, no real interest on my part for POE…

I have as much cabled as I can and that is constantly growing.

My primary router which is by the cable modem is mounted literally on top of a TrendNet (there is a motif here BTW, I went heavily with TrendNet as I see it used a lot with good results for SOHO environments, and branch offices in enterprises…) 8 port USB KVM. This is of course mounted to a 7u wall mount switch rack. The KVM acts as a shelf to hold the modem, router, and NAS disk attached to the router. The facility switch is a TrendNet 24 port mounted to this same rack, there are 2 16 port TrendNet gigabit switches used for an iSCSI SAN for my virtualization cluster. (I work in IT, I maintain a small training lab in my home office), and a CyberPower 1u power distribution unit. (surge supressor). This is power protected by a CyberPower 1500va UPS.

I was honestly disappointed with my SmartThings ADT Security Hub lacking a real ethernet port. I would have preferred wired connection, but I can make do well enough with WiFi…

Like you said, prefer wired where you can do it. I still have, and use a Wii, and I have a USB ethernet adapter for it, 100 mb but no big deal, not like it needs a ton of bandwidth anyway…
The PS3 needs some repair, but it is a low priority, and it too has an ethernet connection which I believe is 100 mb. I have an Android TV box that runs software my FireEdition TV won’t (yet), most notably PureFlix, and again, it uses an ethernet cable… So all my smart TVs and streaming boxes have cables.

I have 1 desktop that in the master bedroom that is WiFi because, well I don’t want to route a cable to it as it is going to eventually get moved into the office and then get its gig connection…

It all depends on your AP but it is fairly simple. You set the SSID (network name) and password the same on both radios. You may have to check your documentation.

The feature that makes the 5GHz radio be the preferred radio to associate to is called “Band Steering” and it is a very common function on dual-band (soon to be tri-band radios with WiFi-6 or maybe later when they open up that 6GHz frequency band). When your device associates with the access point, it tries both radios. Band steering delays the answer from the 2.4GHz radio slightly. Since the reply from the 5GHz radio is more likely to hit sooner than the 2.4GHz radio, your client device would be more apt to join on 5GHz. But, since the trade-off with 5GHz is 1/2 the distance, if you are out of range on 5GHz, the AP will never receive the request packet from the client and only receive it on the 2.4GHz radio. It will acknowledge it (slightly delayed) and you will connect over 2.4GHz. Depending on your client, it may attempt, again, when you are in closer range on that 5GHz band and then you would connect at that higher speed.

It drives me nuts that ISPs and other basic network guys used two different SSIDs for the two radios to try and force 5GHz. It is not needed with Band Steering. They just need to look up how to do it on the device. It is often too cumbersome for the end user to associate with the device. They get mad they cannot hit the 5GHz band and end up just always using 2.4GHz, or in the case of my mother, the associate their phone to the 5GHz band thinking they are getting the speed, then the go into the family room on the other end of the house, range dies off, and then they end up using cellular data instead of it flipping over to the 2.4GHz band…that was a fun bill for them from their carrier.

Yeah, dd-wrt I don’t believe has implemented band steering yet… Makes perfect sense though. And yes most ISP provided routers etc… don’t use this technology.

It does look like there is a feature request in brain slayers (one of the lead DD-WRT devs) queue… Been there a while…