Question about Wireless AC

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Serendipity

New member
Nov 3, 2020
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So, I know all of the theoretically maximums for the different Wi-Fi specifications and such. My question it's what is a *reasonable* expectations of wi-fi speed for a Wireless AC router which I'm going to approximate at 30ft through an interior wall?

Essentially I'm trying to decide based on the speeds that I'm achieving if it's worth undertaking an effort to optimize/improve my wireless infrastructure or if the speeds I'm seeing are reasonable for the distance/spec.

(My wife is getting ready to paint in the living room so any solution that would require running a wire and putting another access point up would be delayed until the completion of that project as I can only imagine her reaction if I added MORE cabling to areas she's already going to have fun working around :p.
 
Wireless strength falls off non-linearly. It's the inverse square law... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverse-square_law This means the strength falls off quite quickly as you move further away. As the distance doubles, the strength falls by 4 (to 1/4 of previous.) And that is straight line, so having a wall in the way is not going to make things better. As for what you should expect, you'd first need to know at what distance the router manufactures give their expectations. I don't honestly know how close they are for their stated expectations. There's a chart here https://www.lifewire.com/how-fast-is-a-wifi-network-816543 that may be interesting. I would expect you to get maybe 75Mbps. (Just an educated guess.)
 
Wireless strength falls off non-linearly. It's the inverse square law... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverse-square_law This means the strength falls off quite quickly as you move further away. As the distance doubles, the strength falls by 4 (to 1/4 of previous.) And that is straight line, so having a wall in the way is not going to make things better. As for what you should expect, you'd first need to know at what distance the router manufactures give their expectations. I don't honestly know how close they are for their stated expectations. There's a chart here https://www.lifewire.com/how-fast-is-a-wifi-network-816543 that may be interesting. I would expect you to get maybe 75Mbps. (Just an educated guess.)

Yeah that's sort of what I was afraid of, I'm seeing speeds around 70 give or take so I think short of going to some sort of mesh configuration I've probably got it around as optimal as I'm going to get it.
 
I know this is a couple months old, but I just finally joined the forums.

There are a lot of factors in WiFi. Generally, residential construction isn't going to have a lot of obstacles. You might have a brick wall, some metal ducting (return vents) or cement foundations. 30' isn't really that far for residential WiFi though. End-devices are going to work very differently too, depending on whether they support Wave 1 or Wave 2 and how many spacial streams are supported (1x1, 2x2, 3x3, 4x4). Personally, I wouldn't get caught up on what the actual speed is, if it's meeting your needs. Unless you have FiOS, you're probably bottlenecked on your street's broadband anyway.

One thing that can be looked at is the placement of your wireless. If at all possible, get the antenna's radiation patterns. For example, MANY residential WiFi antennas are made to radiate out and up. If you have your Router/AP on the 2nd floor, the 1st floor may have poor coverage. You can literally flip the AP upside down to improve signal.

I manage a very large enterprise (university) WiFi network. Mesh residential networks are kind of gimmicky. Unless your house is very large (3,000 sq ft + or a 2,000 sq ft ranch) or you're trying to cover outside more, a single good router/AP (e.g an Asus AC86U) should cover it. I'm a huge proponent of a wired backhaul, if possible, too. The problem with consumer mesh is that they use radio channels as the interconnect. That means you're adding more RF to your house (if your neighbors are close, that could be an issue) and those channels are limited. And that brings up the biggest issue - channels.

I'd highly recommend doing a channel scan. look and see what channels you and your neighbors are on and make sure you don't have significant overlap. And if you're looking at 2.4GHz, ONLY USE channels 1, 6 or 11. DO NOT use other 2.4GHz channels (and if your neighbors are using other channels and you know them, go tell them to move to 1, 6 or 11 because they are f'ing up everyone's wireless). If you do decide to mesh, you're going to need to make sure your AP's are properly channeled. I'd hope the mesh software would do this, but I'd manually check.

FYI, my house is about 3,500 sq ft with an attached garage and room above it, as well as a finished attic. My primary router is in my basement and I have an AP in the attic close to the wall where the garage is. That gives me full coverage/capacity inside and pretty good coverage (2.4GHz) on my property (2.5 acres).