Can someone recommend a wifi solution?

So, despite binning off my Virgin SuperHub in favour of an old Buffalo Nfiniti Wireless-N High Power Gigabit Cable Router / Access Point that I still had from way back, I’m still having wifi range problems at home.

I suspect the main cause is an old insulated exterior cavity wall that divides my house, effectively blocking wifi signals. I have tried range extenders, but the signal effectively drops to zero, so they have nothing to latch onto.

Does anyone have any recommendations for either a decent powerline ethernet with wifi combo (ideally has a cabled socket as well as wifi) or a more powerful wifi router that will punch through more walls just with wifi.

Updating my wifi has been on my todo list so I’ve got some items on my wishlist that you might want to try:

2 of these:

with Zero Handoff enabled:

If you aren’t in the mood to run ethernet through that troublesome wall, then powerline ethernet would still be involved naturally.

I’ve never used power-line kit, however here are my comments with regards consumer WiFi kit;
I’d certainly recommend moving to an 802.11ac router especially now that most new devices are .ac compatible.
I’ve put my Superhub into modem mode and use an Asus RT-AC66U which can be flashed with dd-wrt or Asus-merlin if you are that way inclined. Coverage & throughput on the AC66U is very good and the I would hope that the newer models are better, though I understand that the TP-Link Archer C7 (very little difference between the v1 or v2) is cheaper has slightly better overall WiFi performance.
If your budget is bigger, then I’d suggest trying out the latest consumer mesh hardware which utilise a dedicated 5GHz backhaul and advertise the SSID(s) on separate 2.4 & 5 GHz channels. The reviews of these point to the Netgear’s Orbi @ around £375 as one of the best. However note that though coverage will be improved, overall speeds will be significantly slower than a dedicated WiFi router like the Archer C7 or AC66U.

As an aside, one point of note is that any 802.11b device will severely impact performance on the 2.4GHz band so if you have any of these devices, then either have a dedicated SSID & network ip address space for them or upgrade their adaptors to something newer.

I have used Devolo power line adapters for yonks (probably more than 10 years) at home and also in a variety of client situations. Not the cheapest and very unpopular with people who are concerned about radio interference, but they work in the kind of situation that you describe. However, I am slowly putting Cat5 into every room as part of a refurbishment that we are undertaking.

Thanks all. I think £300+ is a little out of the budget, so I might go with a combination of a new WiFi router for the main part of the house, and then a couple of powerline APs to extend the range into the bits of the house that are currently just out of range. Heard good things about the Devolo ones too.

I am tempted by the Asus RT-AC3200 if that means I stop getting it in the ear for weak wifi :slight_smile:

And then if that can’t punch through whatever milspec radio-jamming system the previous owners left in my walls, I’ll get a couple of these to bridge the gap:

Breaking out the Cat6 is a job for the summer. Pretty sure I don’t fancy mucking about on ladders outside at this time of year.

Hi Mark,

I know I’m a little late to the discussion, but I’ve had pretty much the same problem.
I tried the Linksys WRT3200ACM, but I’m mainly writing this as a DO NOT CHOOSE THIS message. It was truely awful. It wouldn’t connect to anything, and repeatedly lost the connections it did have, forcing me to go back to my virgin superhub wi-fi :frowning: .
I’m now using a TP-Link 300Mbps range extender, with passthrough mains and Ethernet port, and it’s helping (but the superhub is still randomly dropping either 2.4 or 5G depending on how it feels).

I’ve heard good things from ASUS recently, so would be keen to know if you went down this route.


1 Like

If you still have the Linksys WRT3200ACM, I’d suggest checking that it has the latest firmware because there were 3 updates after the initial version dated 6 Sept 2016.

One recommendation I’d make to everyone is to create differant SSID’s for each frequency (2.4 and 5 GHz) because some client devices tend to ‘hunt’ between frequencies if the same SSID is used and this can result in poor performance and lost connections. Also using different SSID names means that you can force specific devices to use specific frequencies to separate the lower spec clients (set to the 2.4 GHz SSID) from the higher spec client devices (set to 5GHz SSID).