Location of network equipment whole home coverage. need reco's for wiring and finishes

Moisture sensors are typically Zigbee, yes. But there are several Zwave models also.

There are some good multisensors that are Z Wave for temperature, Lux, and movement. Both Fibaro and the Aeotec are pretty popular in the community.

Zigbee sensors tend to be a little smaller and have better battery life than the comparable Zwave, but you can find zwave sensors for most uses. Zwave plus devices can be physically smaller than classic zwave, and have better battery life than the previous generation, but are also usually more expensive.

You can check the official Zwave alliance product site for all certified devices if you’re looking for a particular category.

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I use this moisture sensor. It is Zwave


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So do you just want wifi repeaters? They never work right at the consumer level.

2900 sq ft spread across 3 floors should not require anything significantly over engineered. Is your house wooden framed or metal?

I have ethernet runs in each room so dropping a unifi WAP in the master, main living and basement covered top to bottom and west to east in my house. However, just the one in the center main floor would cover my house (+5k sq ft) heck, I can even get my wifi at my neighbors.

Everything I have networked is home runned to a central wiring closet in the basement under main staircase. I have two rack rooms for AV and servers for central distribution of HDMI sources and networked storage.

POE is just easier, but frankly, just think of them as plug in WAPs that require ethernet. They ship with power injectors anyway. No need for a POE switch, but I love mine.

I messed around with all the consumer netgear, Asus, linksys, d-link crap and custom firmware, etc. Finally jumped into a 1u chassis running pfsense for firewall and unifi WAPs and gigabit ethernet POE switches for all my rooms / devices and haven’t had a single issue.

Of course, you get what you pay for… Doing home networking cheap means having to work out issues and that wastes time. My favorite device is my Wattbox IP based power switch. I can remotely switch on/off any outlet in the rack and reboot the modem, router, av equipment etc. Heck it can even do it smartly, it pings a website, if the ping fails it automatically power cycles the modem. Heals itself.


2900 finished sq ft. 1400 unfinished basement (but I use it daily). Wood framed, with stone facade on the front.

My plan is like yours with the network closet under the stairs, but that was a no-go for wifi distribution limitations. So I utilized existing RG6 from the previous owners DirecTV, to relocate my Charter modem from the basement to the 3rd floor.

I have wired houses before (new construction and remodeling) and stated that I “could” do this but it would be very difficult as there are no walls on the 2nd floor, that align with the walls on the first floor, in order to get from the basement to the top floor. The only option I would have to do this, would be to exit the house from the basement, run behind the siding to the attic, then drop into the walls for the top floor. The first floor would be easy as the basement is unfinished. Or of course use plenum rated cabling and go through the return air vent.

Ideally I would love to switch to all enterprise level devices, but paying 2 house payments 2 car payments and student loans, along with 3 kids in daycare, permits me from dropping that much coin on what my wife deems unnecessary. Im a car guy and also collect things that go pew pew, so yeah…money gets spread thin sometimes.

I do like the unifi WAPs and do see potential for these in my quest for total coverage in a sleek design/hidden. Now I just have to find the “lite” WAPs in stock somewhere. My wheels are turning for hiding the wired switch on the 2nd floor.

The older Pro models are just as good as the lite’s. FYI.

Ebay is also a great place to pick this stuff up really cheap. Lots of businesses turn over their stuff and it ends up there…

I think you are on the right track with wifi distribution, frankly with that type of house, one unifi Pro WAP in the attic would cover the entire house and well into your neighbors with max power setting. 3 in the attic would be over kill, but would only require one ethernet cable from central switch to attic to work. Just need a 4 port POE switch, power and some ethernet cable to place each WAP up there…

If the basement isn’t finished, how much do you care if wifi is weaker down there? You can always add another in the basement to meet in the middle.

I’d just try one older style pro off ebay in the attic or central / highest point and see how well it works. Or try the google onHub as well. That thing is pretty cool. I’ve installed one at a clients house and it doubled the range of the older wifi.

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These are mostly for individual devices, but there are a lot of pictures of different finishing methods for the dashboard mounts that might give you some ideas as well:

If I were to go with these, I’d put one on the main floor and another on the second floor. Not multiple in the attic.

Id really like the dual band so I may look at the pros on eBay. I was at work and they block ebay… Now that I’m mobile, I can search till my heart is content.

@jdroberts ive bookmarked that thread for tablet mounting ideas. Anazing ideas and products in that thread.

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I use net gear internet over cable run from upstairs to 1st floor. Rock solid 270 mbit sustained. Dont know if you can still get them. I have a separate cable run for this as we had direct TV and cable both.

As for the router I cannot stress enough put it in the middle of the house on first floor. I have done two houses and it works well in this location with switches or dinners going outward and on each floor. When I tried it upstairs where the internet comes in I had nothing but problems. I even have a sensor in the mailbox a good 150 feet out. Also have temp sensor in basement freezer with no issues.

So, reading your OP, are you just not happy with your current wifi coverage or how the devices look or both? Are you intending to wipe out your current equipment and start over or ? The initial thought of using the plenum rated cable to link the two routers would be a (somewhat) easy solution to get rid of the repeater mode on the E2500 and just use it in AP mode on both frequencies.

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Exactly. Initially I wanted to hide the equipment as best as possible while providing coverage to all 3 floors.

Now ive been exposed to the ubiqiuti routers, it’s still possible, but with new/additional equipment.

Does the plenum rated cable idea make the most sense/easiest way to do this? Any other ideas to traverse the floors? I still may get the ubi WAPs in the future as theyre pretty slick with software features I like.

I’ve had really good experience with NetGear’s Power over Ethernet devices. So much easier than running cables all through the house.

I wouldn’t use anything but the plenum rated cable option to link the two routers. The powerline adapters do work, but I would not feed a router with one- they’re best suited for individual devices, I would only use them for a router’s main connection if there weren’t any better options.

Where you place the routers does take a little thought, as putting most things on 5Ghz channel will limit your range, but with the two routers you already have, it should still be sufficient. Obviously the 2.4Ghz coverage envelope should be much better, but you’d have to do some wifi scanning to see what the channel usage is where you are, and adjust accordingly.

If the equipment you already have still doesn’t cut it, and you need more coverage, then I’d think about adding another access point on the 1st floor. (whether unify or just another router w/ appropriate firmware) - I assume that your 2nd floor router is in an entertainment center of some sort… does it reallly look out of place or take away from the aesthetics there? --same thought for the rest of your setup in the basement… you have a couple of servers there, too, by your description – does the Linksys router take away from the aesthetics there? I’m all for making things invisible and pretty where they can’t be hidden, but unless I’m missing something in your descriptions, even if you hide your routers, there’s still plenty of other electronics that aren’t hidden anyway.

I tried the repeater setup at my place, and it was constantly failing and disconnecting. I bit the bullet and hard-wired the routers and set them all up as access points (Linksys E3000’s with DD-WRT) and it’s been rock solid -and I can hardwire the heavy usage stuff with the gigabit lines, and wifi coverage is excellent for handheld devices and laptops.

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I agree with this. And since I have to write 20 characters, I really agree.

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Very well written and thank you for the feedback. The second floor router does sit on an entertainment stand adjacent to the modem and gaming devices/video streaming devices (and Uverse WiFi TV STB).

I still have an old 54GS with DD WRT that can only be used as a wireless bridge for wired connections, so theoretically I “can” use this somewhere, but it wouldnt help with wifi coverage.

When I scan the 2.4Ghz range, I pick up about 45 other routers…so its really saturated and thus my choice to utilize the 5Ghz range for the “heavy lifting”. The unfortunate things is, as you said, its range. Therefore in my eyes, 3 things could happen:

  1. get larger antennas
  2. Hardwire 2nd floor to basement to recoop the 5Ghz capability on the E2500 as a AP, leaving the routers in their current place and adding another one on the 1st floor (doesnt really satisfy my aesthetics wants)
  3. relocate the modem and TP-Link back into the basement, install unifi dual band WAPs on each floor and drop a switch on the 2nd floor for wired devices.

After tinkering with the connection capabilities on the E2500, I killed the uplink to my main router last night while trying to change from “Wireless Bridge” to “AP+WDS”. So today Ill be changing it back.

Further investigation (without fishing the return duct) may prove to be quite simple to hard wire the floors together. If I do this, and since the air return vent is on the wall directly behind my entertainment stand and in the middle of the house where the attic is the tallest, I should be able to run the cable to the basement, then put a switch in place of the TP-Link, and get some WAPs.

So, in the assumption of doing option 3, should I move the ST hub to the 2nd floor and plug it into the switch, leave it in the basement on one side of the house, or locate it somewhere on the 1st floor?

… yeah WDS is finicky at best, especially with different hardware.

I would start with leaving the equipment where it is, and linking the 2nd floor router back to the linksys in the basement via hard wire, and getting it set up as an AP on 5Ghz. Once you have that set up, you’ll be better able to assess coverage and if you need any additional access points anywhere. You should be able minimize the investment in new hardware, at least until you are able to identify if you actually need new hardware to improve network coverage or performance. I just wouldn’t see much point in discarding the equipment you have now, in favor of tossing AP’s around the house. Even ‘pretty’ AP’s aren’t invisible.

As for the ST Hub, having it centrally located is ideal, but unless you are having connectivity issues, i’d leave it where it is.

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Agreed but the only real device Im vested in is the newly purchased TP-Link, which I would still use with the Ubiquiti, as the router they connect to. The other routers are old to say it best.

Im wondering, now that I think more about that 54GS, if I should run 2 lines from the 2nd floor. In the event that I will need more APs (Id buy Ubiquiti). If I run 2 to the basement, I could move the E2500 (not as ugly as the 54GS) on the 2nd floor, hardwired to the basement router(54GS), and recooping its wifi capability for the second floor and also using the wired ports. The second line would be for the “future” Ubiquiti, and the 1st line would then be plugged into a switch.

Install the TP-Link on the 1st floor, and wire it to the basement 54GS, which would provide wired speed connections to my servers and NAS.

The only bad thing about all these devices are the different wifi speeds they provide:

Clean is good and good is good for WAF.

Assuming you would want your servers and NAS connected by Gigabit… the 54GS is not a viable option.

I’m just usually of the mindset that unless an AP is the only solution, using a router as an AP also gains me the capability to hardwire some devices in that same location if needed. So if your TP link and the E2500 arent giving good coverage where they are, then adding an additional AP (unify, etc) on the first floor should supplement the coverage pretty well. -but until you hardwire the two existing routers together and set the secondary one up as an AP, not repeater, it will be hard to tell if the additional AP is needed.

True, but they have never been connected at that speed and none of my current devices support Gig speeds except my TP-Link. Putting that in the basement would put me back to the wifi coverage issues.

Take the 54GS out of the picture and throw a gig switch in the basement, accept wifi coverage from TP-Link on first floor?

Bah. I keep forgetting the E2500 isn’t gigabit switch. - if you aren’t using the NAS for video streaming, it’s probably not such a big deal to not go gigabit everywhere.

I’d seriously still see how your coverage is with the linksys and the tp link hardwired together with the linksys as an AP.

Thats the NASs primary function…so Gig would be ideal.

Ill start by wiring everything together to determine coverage of wifi, try to pretty things up and hide the Tp-Link somewhere on the first floor.