I live in a small two bedroom 1 bath Condo. Total square footage is around 1000 square feet. Max dimensions are about 30’ wide by 40’ long cut up into the various rooms and hallways.
Easily covered by a single router. In fact I pick up my WiFi 60’ away in the parking lot well enough to watch Netflix in HD on my tablet. I have a lot of devices and they were all working ‘flawlessly’ on my 3 year old Netgear 5300 Router running in Bridge mode. I saw a few issues with my Ring Video doorbell, and once in awhile I had to power cycle a Wyze camera and bridge. And Hulu, and only Hulu would occasionally get laggy and have audio sync issues.
But heck I am an IT professional and I know my stuff so I was confident my gear was setup correctly and a recent site survey said I was getting rocking signal all over.
I have a newer Linksys router that my ‘work’ stuff connects to, and it was rock solid and so was everything connected to it. But it got me thinking. That lead to a quick trip to Office Depot and I came home with a new Linksys Max Stream router with the latest in beam forming tech etc.
Shut down the 3 year old Netgear router plug the same SSID and password info into the new router, update the firmware, set it into Bridge access point mode and voila everything in the iot world connects to the new Router.
WOWSA! What a difference, no more Hulu issues, Cameras connect immediately, Ring Doorbell has zero delay now. Signal strength and site survey yield almost exactly the same metrics but something changed!
Lesson learned, even when everything looks fine, it may not be. 3 years is a lifetime in technology and the software and hardware in routers today is head and shoulders better than 3 years ago.
@rbruceporter, my OCD is acting up and I am itching for specifics.
Please, the exact model of your Linksys Nighthawk Router?
Personally, I have not found a current/recent router brand/model that easily and consistently connects to any 2.4 GHz smart home type technology (Wyze, Ring, Zmodo, YI). Currently, I use WiFi extenders (Netgear EX2700) connected to my Netgear Orbi RBK50 for anything that is 2.4 GHz only.
New WiFi technology is rapidly leaving old 2.4 GHz technology in the dust with the unfortunate side effect that all the past and current smart home technology requires too much tinkering for the common home user. It is too bad that the across the board problems with 2.4 GHz technology seems to be being ignored by the router industry.
Just to clarify there are currently 38 2.4Ghz devices and 7 5Ghz devices on the new Linksys router. They all connected just fine when I swapped and so far they are fine. I have a mix of devices, Ring, Wyze, Linksys, Hue, and HP, lots of Alexa devices in the 2.4Ghz range.
Apple iPhones and iPads and Apple 4K TV’s and Samsung and Vizio TV’s plus Soundbars etc.
Even before the switch everything worked, I had some glitchy connections but they did connect.
Looking at the Asus AX routers for my “work” network. But AX does not really do much for the 2.4Ghz iot stuff. But it is supposed to really remove some of the roadblocks in the current hardware. So I am going to land one soon. Kind of waiting to see who is adopting the standard.
Why not survey formally a limited group of tech-savvy customers as to all their pertinent particulars - home environment, devices connected, network gear, etc, culminating in a 5-star satisfaction rating…
…so a dimwit like me could query the database by MY pertinent particulars and receive an informed recommendation of several networking gear setups likely to match my needs?
Teasing out the best performing basic setups (ISP routers) would be interesting, too…
Is there some reason NOT doing it systematically like this would be better?
I do pick up my neighbors WiFi and that does cause some congestion. The worst issue turned out to be a 30 year old AC compressor next door. When it finally died and was replaced we ALL ended up with better signal strength.
But most consumer routers have had auto channel hopping tech for years. Although that only helps a little anyway.
When I started driving in 1976 the interstates were mostly 2 lanes each way and were never crowded. By 1986 the interstates in Hartford Ct which were I-91 and I-84 were 4 to 6 lanes wide each way and especially during the morning and evening commutes they were bumper to bumper stop and roll. Took an hour to travel 4 miles.
Same thing is happening to WiFi, there used to be hardly anything competing for the bandwidth now those airwaves are jam packed. And not everything plays nice or shares access as it’s supposed to.
Wifi 6 (802.11ax) is supposed to open the 6Ghz band to devices. Provided the various governments allow it. This should help with congestion a little.
It is a shame that the 802.11ad (802.11aj in China) never caught on. I guess the range was an issue for many. It would have worked well for IOT devices. Maybe 802.11ay will fill the gap. If it makes it to the consumer.
I am (not) holding my breath for congestion to go away or get better. Each new standard brings more room but each month brings literally dozens of new devices. It’s a constant battle for available bandwidth. There are no winners just consumers getting squeezed. By consumers I mean devices using the bandwidth not just us.