Life In The Fast Lane


So, I’ve been debugging my home WiFi for some time, trying to figure out how best to set it up. Living in a 2-story home is the main part of the problem I was dealing with. My old WiFi router was a very long-range dual frequency unit made by ASUS that I really liked, but it sucked in this 2-story house.

So, I took and bought a new unit that I thought would solve the problem since it had more antennas, and similar range power builtin. Didn’t help. Then, I read and studied some more and found about about WiFi extenders. Extenders work, but you gotta do some study on them to figure out how to set them up properly. Initially, I setup the extender and got spotty (at best) increases in performance on the floor (downstairs) where we didn’t have the main WiFi Router plugged into the cable modem.

Then, I learned that there’s a technology called “Fastlane” that increases the performance of your extender by basically only extending one of the two of your dual frequencies (2.4Ghz and 5Ghz). You extend one or the other, and then make that available to devices on that unit, but communicate with your main router over the OTHER frequency. That way you’re using both channels at the same time, but working TOGETHER to extend just one.

When I set it up that way, and tuned my signals (by relocating devices so they had a pretty much direct line of sight to one another) I achieved about 80% of the bandwidth that’s available on the extended device, where before, when trying to extend both networks, I was only getting 10-15% of the bandwidth, and crashing the device quite often. Now, it’s been up for a week (almost) and is still performing quite well and the rest of the network is performing with top notch speeds!

Speeds on our old AT&T Uverse topped out at 20Mbps down, and 1Mbps up (you can get higher speeds for more $$$, that was the “Silver level”, the basic level is 5/1 supposedly). Going back to Spectrum (cable, instead of phone lines) we now get (shared bandwidth, unfortunately) up to 110Mbps down and usually 12Mbps or more up! That’s great for watching HD video on our main entertainment system downstairs that is only using WiFi for comm now!

With respect to the upload speeds, I don’t send a lot of pics or videos to FB or such, but occasionally… I shot video yesterday at the “Beatles” tribute concert at Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach, for a friend in the hospital and wanted to post that today. It may actually work!

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