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Standard User oldskool
(member) Sat 11-Jan-20 19:36:13
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Cat6 vs wifi6


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Iíve been thinking of getting someone in to run cat6 for me.

Itís a 3 storey house and despite an open stairwell with the router being on the middle landing we struggle with WiFi signal especially in the corners.

5ghz is preferred as there is a lot of 2.4 traffic and noise

So. Cat6 is a bit of a pain. It may have to be several external runs which I would ideally like to avoid.

Today I read about wifi6 which would backhaul at pretty decent speeds, maybe around the 2-4Gbps mark.

Would Wi-Fi 6 be a good replacement for the cat6 route which Iím sure is 5x faster right? But even still WiFi 6 is the only option to get anywhere close to that speed.

So just wondering what the pros and cons are for this cabling of each floor?
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Sat 11-Jan-20 19:54:01
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Re: Cat6 vs wifi6


[re: oldskool] [link to this post]
 
How does 802.11ac perform today? WiFi 6 is not going to lots of speed to you if 802.11ac is not working at all.

Ethernet cabling always beats wi-fi.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User oldskool
(member) Sat 11-Jan-20 20:10:07
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Re: Cat6 vs wifi6


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
WiFi at the moment wonít maintain 5ghz especially in the corners which includes several key locations

2.4ghz is there, just, in some cases but itís terribly noisy with plenty of jitter and inconsistent speeds due to interference.

5ghz close is good, 200-350Mbps. I would ideally like 200Mbps+ minimum and no interference or latency increases.

So maybe a mesh point on each floor, linked by wifi6 was my thinking.

I do stream some media over the network but itís going to be mainly by WiFi so I wasnít sure if cat6 at 10Gbps really gave me any advantage?


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Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sat 11-Jan-20 20:31:11
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Re: Cat6 vs wifi6


[re: oldskool] [link to this post]
 
Iíd get an AC mesh system with two out points and one attached to original router.

If your broadband is faster than 200 Mbps. consider those that use a second 5GHz channel for the link between nodes. These are more expensive.

The majority of AX routers do not yet actually use the new AX features such as OFDMA. The ASUS AX88U only just has a software release that promises

Have a look at the tests on small net builder site for real throughput tests in lab conditions.

VirginMedia 200/20 (22 Nov 19). Was FTTC for 7 years (55/12 to 46/5)
20 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM
Standard User PhilipD
(experienced) Sun 12-Jan-20 10:34:51
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Re: Cat6 vs wifi6


[re: oldskool] [link to this post]
 
Hi

Ethernet is always going to be better in numerous ways than Wi-Fi, and Wi-Fi 6 is using the same frequencies (or higher on a yet to be released incremental version so donít buy yet) so no improvement in physical range, although at the edges you might see faster speeds perhaps. Also to get the real benefit of Wi-Fi 6 you need to replace your devices for new ones that also support Wi-Fi 6.

Mesh networks only really compound the issues for everyone, the more mesh networks your neighbours add, the more interference you see, so the more you add. The ISPs and hardware manufacturers love it of course, they are following the marketing of the washing powders with "Our best ever yet" mantras, and just keep selling more of the same.

My recommendation, given how important the Internet is to us in this day and age is to get Ethernet cabling installed in rooms mostly likely to benefit from a fixed Ethernet connection. Then get it run into the loft (if practical in your property) and install a ceiling mounted access point, which likely will cover the entire house given a high central location. Power isnít needed in the loft as you power it over the Ethernet wire simplifying installation. Once the wire is there you can always upgrade just the access point later yourself. We did this after moving into a new house (new to us), once a ceiling mounted access point was installed on the landing, not only is 2.4GHz available in all rooms where it wasn't before, 5GHz was usable as well everwhere in the house. It is for a good reason antenna and transmitters are always mounted high up, typically less obstacles to go through.

Regards

Phil
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 12-Jan-20 12:23:08
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Re: Cat6 vs wifi6


[re: PhilipD] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by PhilipD:
Mesh networks only really compound the issues for everyone, the more mesh networks your neighbours add, the more interference you see, so the more you add. The ISPs and hardware manufacturers love it of course, they are following the marketing of the washing powders with "Our best ever yet" mantras, and just keep selling more of the same.

I'm not sure this is correct. Mesh networks are access points (AP) that share the client table between them, so that instead of the decision to connect being primarily that of that station (STA), in a mesh the AP has a chance to say "don't talk to me, talk to my colleague instead". Even in an isolated farmhouse a mesh network solves the problems of radio transmission from a single point.

If you have a traditional UK house (wooden floorboards) then an AP in the loft pointing downwards is likely to have the best coverage. In some US homes (typically north east) with basements, there is a similar recommendation, pointing up. However most US homes have wooden walls, rather than block, and are more RF transparent.

However UK homes are often a problem for coverage, even 2.4 GHz.

VirginMedia 200/20 (22 Nov 19). Was FTTC for 7 years (55/12 to 46/5)
20 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM
Standard User PhilipD
(experienced) Sun 12-Jan-20 13:23:51
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Re: Cat6 vs wifi6


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
Hi

In reply to a post by jchamier:
I'm not sure this is correct. Mesh networks are access points (AP) that share the client table between them, so that instead of the decision to connect being primarily that of that station (STA), in a mesh the AP has a chance to say "don't talk to me, talk to my colleague instead". Even in an isolated farmhouse a mesh network solves the problems of radio transmission from a single point.


The more transmitting devices the more RF is leaking out causing interference with neighbouring devices. As soon as a next door neighbour peppers their own home with more access points, it leaves anyone suffering interference from those new access points no option but to up their game as well.

Just because the AP has a list of clients in a table doesn't stop the radio waves from going where they shouldn't. 2.4GHz band for Wi-Fi only allows for 3 non-overlapping channels, it is a very congestion space https://www.metageek.com/training/resources/why-chan...

Rather than trying to fix the problem of poor Wi-Fi by relocating the transmitter somewhere more appropriate and central to the area it needs to serve, people are being encourage to make the situation worse by just trying to shout louder. Once everyone is shouting at the same level, they are back where they started.

Regards

Phil

Edited by PhilipD (Sun 12-Jan-20 13:24:56)

Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 12-Jan-20 13:58:30
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Re: Cat6 vs wifi6


[re: PhilipD] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by PhilipD:
Rather than trying to fix the problem of poor Wi-Fi by relocating the transmitter somewhere more appropriate and central to the area it needs to serve, people are being encourage to make the situation worse by just trying to shout louder. Once everyone is shouting at the same level, they are back where they started.

Not everyone can relocate, given the costs Openreach charge for relocating the socket. I also thought that stations reduced power the closer they were to the AP?

VirginMedia 200/20 (22 Nov 19). Was FTTC for 7 years (55/12 to 46/5)
20 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM
Standard User candlerb
(experienced) Mon 13-Jan-20 08:22:48
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Re: Cat6 vs wifi6


[re: oldskool] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by oldskool:
I do stream some media over the network but itís going to be mainly by WiFi so I wasnít sure if cat6 at 10Gbps really gave me any advantage?


APs connected over a wired backbone will give you a much more stable and reliable network than APs connected by wireless backhaul.

A wired link gives you fixed, guaranteed speeds, and it works in both directions simultaneously. With wifi, every device takes it in turns to transmit, and they can accidentally stomp on each other (as can interfering devices). The wired backhaul reduces wireless issues to just the main client to AP link, which is easier to debug.

Note that cat6 won't run at 10Gbps unless the equipment at both ends is 10GBASE-T: and today, very little is.

For 1Gbps, technically you only need cat5e, which will do 1Gbps up to 100m. Cat6 is a bit more rigid and a little harder to terminate, but is "future proofed" in the sense that it can do 10Gbps over 27m (if you later upgrade your equipment). For longer distances you would need Cat6A, which works up to 100m for 10Gbps.

Therefore, if you can get cat6 at roughly the same price as cat5e, you might as well take the cat6; but don't pay a huge premium.

The best way to design this is a "star" topology: each floor has its own separate Cat5e/Cat6 cable to a central area, and you put a switch there. This means that each floor's access point has a direct connection to the switch, not going through multiple hops (aka "daisy chain"). Daisy chain networks are less reliable and harder to debug. Also, if you put a PoE switch at the centre, you can directly power all your APs from it, avoiding the need for power bricks on each floor.

I found Netgear GS110TP works very well - 8 ports of PoE, although not PoE+ which some APs require. They have some other models with PoE+ but more expensive.

Edited by candlerb (Mon 13-Jan-20 08:24:44)

Standard User alexatkin
(member) Tue 14-Jan-20 04:59:48
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Re: Cat6 vs wifi6


[re: oldskool] [link to this post]
 
WiFi 6 is primarily designed around increasing efficiency across multiple clients, not speed. You have to eat a significant amount of WiFi spectrum to get 1Gbit short-range, its absolutely not going to maintain that at a distance, and 2-4Gbit is pure fantasy, you'd need the ENTIRE 5Ghz spectrum!

Using WiFi for backhaul just reduces the channels you have available for the main WiFi, its best avoided unless there is absolutely no other option.
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