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Ellicott City, MD

Strategy help in my home networking - Verizon FIOS


This is my first post. I am blown away by the quality of the information on this site, for example the excellent instructions on how to setup a secondary router with the Actiontec. I was headed in that direction but realize now I need some strategic advice. So here goes.

My Verizon-provided G router is currently on the main floor of our home, inside a cabinet. My home theater is in the basement, one floor down. The Verizon ONT is placed on the outside basement wall about 12' from the HT setup.

Right now, my desktop is wired to the router, all else in the home is wireless.

On the main floor at peak times there are 2 laptops, a wireless printer, or an iPad going wirelessly and also streaming into the home theater.

Streaming to the basement HT is Logitech Squeezebox, or Xbox 360 via a Pelican wireless “connector”. I am thinking of a Roku box (Verizon's movie catalog is weak imo). The Roku is what is pushing me to upgrade the network, I anticipate just too much competition. Right now I periodically see bandwidth issues (re-buffering on the Squeezebox).

I have the Verizon FIOS 25/25 package. From the desktop using Pitstop (» ··· t/bw.asp) I am getting wired speeds of 30Mbps down and 22.5 up (really good!). In the HT wirelessly on a laptop I get 23 down and 13 up.

Lastly, before I get to my question(s), I read the Roku box has iffy handling of the “n” protocol, I think it did not work in dual band or something similar, which would limit my access to bandwidth for the other devices.

So, what is the best device strategy here? Some options I have thought of:

1) Move my Actiontec router to the basement HT, possibly connect it via Ethernet (if that is a benefit). Wire my streaming devices (Squeezebox, Xbox, Roku) and then connect a secondary router with great range, n speed, etc. for the other devices on the main floor and 2nd floor.

2) Keep the Actiontec where it is on the main floor, add a new device in the basement (is that a bridge, an access-point?) to which I wire the streaming devices (my idea is this may bypass the wireless issues I read about Roku with n speed.

3) Add an n speed router on the main floor as secondary, and configure it (somehow) to provide improved bandwidth isolation (QOS?) to the streaming systems in the basement, and have the general pc traffic fight over the rest.

4) There may be other (better) options too.
If you have read this far, you are a good sport and I hope interested in helping a novice networker with his upgrade choices.

Thanks for this site, and your advice.



Long Beach, CA
·Verizon FiOS

2 edits
I would move the router to the basement. I don't think video streaming over WiFi is all that reliable versus using a hard wire connection, and it may be the source of the problems with your streaming. If necessary I would then add a WiFi range extender (like the Netgear WN3000RP, which I use at the two ends of my house) for the first floor -- although this MAY not be necessary given you seem to be able to get somewhat reliable WiFi service in the basement, depending on the device. The extender simply connects to the primary router (wirelessly in my case) and then acts as another WiFi network for devices near it. My Android tablet will change from the primary router to the extender as I walk around the house depending on the relative signal strengths of the two WiFi hot spots. There is also a wired version of the extender.

But you might first try setting a different WiFi channel for the router, one that may give better performance. I get interference on mine sometimes from the neighborhood, so I scanned the network (with the Android device) to see relative strengths of the channels, and picked one for the Actiontec router to always use.

P.S. This is probably a Verizon Fiber Optics topic, and maybe not a Verizon FiOS TV topic, so it may get moved by a mod to the other forum.

EDIT ADD: it was moved.