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Gunni

join:2005-12-06
Bethesda, MD

[Networking] Adding a WiFi modem to Actiontec M1424WR router

We have an Actiontec M1424WR Rev e modem/router.

We have the Verizon Double Play bundle, Internet and Phone only, no TV, and with the iMac connected to the Actiontec via Ethernet cable, our speeds are excellent. E.g., On a Saturday morning, the iMac gets d/l speeds of 58Mbpa, u/l speeds of 34Mbps

The internet signal comes into the Actiontec via Coax cable.

The Actiontec is located on the third floor of a three-floor townhouse.

The WiFi signal to the AppleTV three floors away can be _dismal_ at prime time in the evenings. A recent Ookla speedtest returned 1.47 d/l, 3.58 u/l, 66 ping.

I have seen posts indicating that the Actiontec M1424WR gets poor ratings for WiFi signal strength and have seen posts claiming that you can turn off the WiFi on the Actiontec and add a WiFi capable modem with a good reputation for wireless strength. Specifically, I see a lot of recommendations for ASUS routers.

Can any of you network gurus confirm this?

Would this be a good plan for achieving better WiFi signals at the AppleTV?

Is there another way which does not involve pulling ethernet cable throughout the house?

Many thanks.



bluepoint

join:2001-03-24

1 recommendation

[Networking] Re: Adding a WiFi modem to Actiontec M1424WR router

I am not a network guru but I'll try to suggest. It looks like you have 50Mbps service? If that is the case, see if you can upgrade to the latest rev. I router first for free from Verizon then try if the wireless is strong enough for your TV. Wirelessly the rev. I is range limited but since it will be placed two floors above the TV, it might be adequate, it could be better if you can put the wireless router in the middle floor. If it doesn't work to your liking at least the ports in the rev. I are 1G.
If you are looking for longer range WIFI router, ASUS is good I personally use an older model one(RT-N66) as an AP. It's a Dual band(2.4/5GHz) router. There are newer AC rated models now if you want to future proof your investment. Take note it's not a guaranty that my asus experience will be the same as yours but I can say the Asus router I had has a stronger range than the Actiontec's.
I'm not familiar with the ASUS single band routers but here are the dual band models, they are pricey so you know but if you are Linux knowledgeable you'll like these routers.

Dual Band(2.4/5GHz)
1. N Model ---> RT-N66U
2. AC Model --> RT-AC66U or RT-AC66R

Latest AC Models but firmware is not mature yet.
1. RT-AC56U or RT-AC56R(they are the same)
2. RT-AC68U or RT-AC68R(they are the same)

There you go, choose your poison.


Gunni

join:2005-12-06
Bethesda, MD

I tried to cage a free 802.11n router from them today and failed. :-(

On another networking site, I found this, and it appealed to me, an Apple user:

"I currently have the Actiontec set up as the DHCP server and an Apple Airport Extreme serving as the wireless plus an Airport Express upstairs to extend the network. Only two things I cannot do:
Running DD-WRT on my router (won't run on either the Actiontec or the Apple).
Using Apple's Guest network feature so guests don't have to use my home network."

I have seen reviews claiming that the Apple Airport Extreme has excellent WiFi capabilities and, even though it's going to cost more, thought I might try that solution.

Any opinion on that one???

Many thanks,



bluepoint

join:2001-03-24

1 recommendation

said by Gunni:

I tried to cage a free 802.11n router from them today and failed. :-(

Keep on trying you'll find one, law of averages you know.

said by Gunni:

On another networking site, I found this, and it appealed to me, an Apple user:

I have seen reviews claiming that the Apple Airport Extreme has excellent WiFi capabilities and, even though it's going to cost more, thought I might try that solution.

Any opinion on that one???

I don't know I have not used one to have an opinion but you can surely try just make sure there is a return policy that is favorable for you if it doesn't work.

criggs

join:2000-07-14
New York, NY
Reviews:
·Millenicom

1 recommendation

reply to Gunni

said by Gunni:

I tried to cage a free 802.11n router from them today and failed. :-(

It's really not right that they're so arbitrary about this.

I got my 50/25 installed two days ago. As they were setting it up I asked them what the difference was between the 50/25 speeds through the ethernet and the wireless speeds, since my laptops weren't close enough to use the ethernet. The engineers IMMEDIATELY said "Oh, you won't get that with this router. Here, let me swap that out for you with the red one," and that was that! No hassle, no argument. The thing is, I didn't even know from different routers two days ago since I was a FIOS newbie. I wouldn't have known the difference if the engineers hadn't told me. And here are my wireless speeds now:




Beginner's luck, I suppose!

By the way, the speeds above did take one massage from me, since they started out in the high 30s/low 40s. I changed the router settings from Automatic to a specific channel, as recommended by several folks here. First I tried 1; no improvement. Then I tried 6, and the rest is history.

Gunni

join:2005-12-06
Bethesda, MD

There's something about the wifi speed I just don't get.
Saturday night, 8:42, and I do a speed test on my ethernet-connected iMac and get download speeds of almost 60Mbps.

I put my iPad down right next to the iMac, about 3 feet from the wifi antenna and get a measly 1.01Mbps down, 4.45Mbps up, and a Ping of 66.

Earlier today, at 9:32 in the morning, with the iPad in the same spot, I was getting 22.59 down, 15.2 up, and a Ping of 17.

My Actiontec is set to Channel 6, and iStumbler tells me I am the only router in the neighborhood on that channel

Why does the wifi d/l speed drop from 22Mbps d/l all the way to 1.01Mbps download in the evening? It baffles me.



bluepoint

join:2001-03-24

Possible answer, at 8:42PM(primetime) there were more interferences/noise than in the morning when you tested. You might be the only one in the channel but there might be a neighbor using channels(@40MHz) that is overlapping to the channel you use. Next time test different channels when there is a slow down.


Gunni

join:2005-12-06
Bethesda, MD

Sorry. Forgot to mention that I also reset the Actiontec to channel 1 and channel 11 as I did that evening test, and the results were just as dismal. No significant change whatsoever. I thought I read somewhere only to use Channels 1, 6, and 11. Was that info wrong? Should I try the other channels too? Thanks.



bluepoint

join:2001-03-24

Yes, try other channels too. The router is a G wireless, correct? What is it using, WEP or WPA/WPA2?



Robotek

join:2008-06-06
Brooklyn, NY

1 recommendation

reply to Gunni

Your Actiontec Mi424wr is a router not a modem/router. Rev e means its a wireless G. the only way to offically get a Rev I (wireless N) router from Verizon is to upgrade to 75/35. If running Cat5 wiring is not an option, consider purchasing a wireless extender for the 2nd floor. or get a ECB (Ethernet over coax bridge) from verizon if there is a verizon STB near the Apple TV. (Some call this a NIM) it hooks up to verizon coax and has an ethernet port to provide internet, you can also add a generic wireless N router at that point to extend your wifi network.



Robotek

join:2008-06-06
Brooklyn, NY
reply to Gunni

download free android app "wifi analyzer" and SEE every signal available. you should only need to change channels if there are too many other signals competing for the same bandwith


Gunni

join:2005-12-06
Bethesda, MD
reply to bluepoint

The Actiontec is a G wireless and the security is listed as WPA Personal.

I had assumed that the drop in wifi d/l speeds at night was due to increasing numbers of people on the net, many of whom are streaming movies.

Were that the case, however, would not the speed results of the _wired_ iMac also drop? But of course, mine don’t.

Mine is a case of where the d/l speeds to the iMac, via ethernet cable to the Actiontec router, are pretty much constant throughout the day. It is only the WiFi speeds which slow to a crawl in the evenings.

I had thought of putting the Actiontec in bridge mode, purchasing and introducing an Apple Extreme Base Station into the mix and possibly even installing an Apple Airport Express in the basement, next to the AppleTV to boost the signal.

However, if the wifi speeds two feet away from the Actiontec are 1.5Mbps, no matter what I do, that’s all I am going to receive at the AppleTV, no? It would be like coupling a firehose onto a garden hose in the expectation that you will get more water out of the firehose. Ain’t gonna happen.


Gunni

join:2005-12-06
Bethesda, MD
reply to Robotek

The more I think about this the more I think that there is something going on here that completely baffles me.

Mine is a case of where the d/l speeds to the iMac, via ethernet cable to the Actiontec router, are pretty much constant throughout the day. It is only the WiFi speeds which slow to a crawl in the evenings.

I had thought of putting the Actiontec in bridge mode, purchasing and introducing an Apple Extreme Base Station into the mix and possibly even installing an Apple Airport Express in the basement, next to the AppleTV to boost the signal.

However, if the wifi speeds two feet away from the Actiontec are 1.5Mbps, no matter what I do, that's all I am going to receive at the AppleTV, no? It would be like coupling a firehose onto a garden hose in the expectation that you will get more water out of the firehose. Ain't gonna happen.

So, unless N routers are know for pumping out a stronger wifi signal, getting an N router is probably not going to do me any good. I need to somehow dope out why that wifi signal gets throttled so drastically in the evenings.

Do you have any idea what would cause that dramatic drop???



More Fiber
Premium,MVM
join:2005-09-26
West Chester, PA
kudos:30
reply to bluepoint

said by bluepoint:

Yes, try other channels too.

Using a channel other than 1, 6 or 11 won't help. Channels are only 5Mhz wide, therefore a 20Mhz signal overlaps 5 channels (desired channel, 2 above and 2 below). If for example you choose channel 4, you're going to be subject to interference from users on both channel 1 and 6.

There's a good explanation here:
»Wireless Networking Forum FAQ »What channel should I choose for my wireless network?
--
There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary and those who don't.


bluepoint

join:2001-03-24

1 edit

said by More Fiber:

Using a channel other than 1, 6 or 11 won't help. Channels are only 5Mhz wide, therefore a 20Mhz signal overlaps 5 channels (desired channel, 2 above and 2 below). If for example you choose channel 4, you're going to be subject to interference from users on both channel 1 and 6.

In theory what you're saying is true in an environment ideal for WIFI(2.4GHz) but in reality WIFI signals noise is unpredictable when all kinds of interferences are present. I'd live in a place underneath a hill that is common to see 58 stations(SSID) around me. In that place I can not use channels 1,6,11 cause everyone seems to use those channels. Using a channel that your neighbor uses is even worse. Being in that situation overlapping and tremendous noise, my wireless router settled and was happy with channel 8. I was surprise it even worked but yes the channel let me have the full speed I'm suppose to get from my ISP. It's probably the exception but it works.


bluepoint

join:2001-03-24

1 edit
reply to Gunni

said by Gunni:

I had assumed that the drop in wifi d/l speeds at night was due to increasing numbers of people on the net, many of whom are streaming movies.

Were that the case, however, would not the speed results of the _wired_ iMac also drop? But of course, mine don’t.

In that case it's true but what I'm trying to say is during primetime you have a neighbor or more that uses wireless channels that is/are interfering with the channel frequency you are using that's why your wireless signal is degraded at night. It's the nature of wireless, you want the cleanest signal as much as possible. So to answer your question, your wired(Ethernet) connection will not be affected by the router's radio that's why you are still getting the desired speeds.
There are many factors that influence your wireless @2.4GHz frequency. It's a very busy band. So every factor counts. The newer N or above routers are a little bit better than what you have not only its faster but it's better in deflecting noises. They have options not to hear "a", "b", "G" signals by setting the router to "N" mode only but requires that all your hardwares be N capable. Newer wireless router also uses WPA2-AES encryption which uses hardware acceleration others uses software.

said by Gunni:

I had thought of putting the Actiontec in bridge mode, purchasing and introducing an Apple Extreme Base Station into the mix and possibly even installing an Apple Airport Express in the basement, next to the AppleTV to boost the signal.

It's pretty hard to predict if a wireless will produce an excellent result to your situation until you try it. A better solution for you for the TV is to connect it wired not through wireless because of the distance. Your TV needs a constant download speed therefore wired is the answer. There are those wired solutions that connects through your electrical outlets which eludes me now how it's called but from what I read the speed it comes out with is equal to the Ethernet. Another solution is through a MOCA bridge if there is a coax cable close to the TV. How the MOCA is setup, I'm not sure but readings around here makes me think it's a good solution that you should consider.

Gunni

join:2005-12-06
Bethesda, MD

Since I have no Coax cable close to the AppleTV, a MoCA bridge is out.

I can't dope out how Ethernet over Household Wires works if you WiFi is on one circuit breaker and your AppleTV is on another how does the signal "jump the gap"? Not possible, right


dfwguy

join:2013-10-24
reply to Gunni

Edit: too slow

Do you have coax on the first floor? MoCA adapter there feeding a 5GHz AP, assuming your stuff in the basement is 5GHz compatible.


Gunni

join:2005-12-06
Bethesda, MD

As I mentioned above, no cable outlet in the basement.

Three nearby neighbors have FiOS. Both of their signals are very weak when I check them, -87 and -88, whereas mine is -26.

I don't know how to paste a graphic in a post here, so here is a Dropbox link to a screen shot of my NetSpot results:

»goo.gl/VLPVWF

Do the 5GHz routers indeed have a reputation for poor signal strength? My 2.4GHz provides quite a strong signal to my AppleTV all day long and then takes a terrible nosedive at prime time.

I share a common wall with only one neighbor who has Comcast and she shows up on the NetSpot results as "nowires" on Channel 11,-1 and with a pretty weak signal to boot.



bluepoint

join:2001-03-24
reply to Gunni

said by Gunni:

Since I have no Coax cable close to the AppleTV, a MoCA bridge is out.

I can't dope out how Ethernet over Household Wires works if you WiFi is on one circuit breaker and your AppleTV is on another how does the signal "jump the gap"? Not possible, right

The technology uses your electrical wire to send the internet signal. I think the way it works is, you plug a hardware to one of your outlet that is connected to the router's LAN port then at the other end where the TV is, you connect another hardware to the closes outlet then you connect an Ethernet cable from there to the TV LAN port.

Gunni

join:2005-12-06
Bethesda, MD

said by bluepoint:

The technology uses your electrical wire to send the internet signal. I think the way it works is, you plug a hardware to one of your outlet that is connected to the router's LAN port then at the other end where the TV is, you connect another hardware to the closes outlet then you connect an Ethernet cable from there to the TV LAN port.

But...how can that possibly work??? I am on the third floor, on one circuit breaker. There is a panel in the basement with about two dozen circuits and the AppleTv simply must be on another circuit breaker no? The signal can't possibly jump to another circuit can it?


bluepoint

join:2001-03-24

Do you live in a building or on its own townhouse? I think it's better that you ask your question in another forum specific to these devices I myself have not used the technology or just try it, if it doesn't work, return it.


Gunni

join:2005-12-06
Bethesda, MD

If you'd be kind enough to tell me what forum that is, I will do so. Should I then, in that new forum, post a URL connecting to this thread so folks can see what's transpired to date?

Thanks



bluepoint

join:2001-03-24

I'll try to look around but in the meantime bingle it also, you never know you might find it first. As far as linking this thread its up to you but there is really no reason if you tell them what you're trying to do.


Gunni

join:2005-12-06
Bethesda, MD

I just went through the page listing all the Forums here and thought I was posting in the right place; I can't see anything obvious that I missed, but perhaps I have?



bluepoint

join:2001-03-24

There might not be any in dslreports but in another site that's why I suggested to do a search. If I have time later I'll check around. You haven't answered if you live in a building or townhouse on it's own?


dfwguy

join:2013-10-24
reply to Gunni

Re: [Networking] Adding a WiFi modem to Actiontec M1424WR router

5GHz networks have better performance than 2.4GHz because there's a lot more spectrum available, and a lot less stuff using it. However, because the wavelength at 5GHz is less than half what it is at 2.4GHz, it doesn't penetrate walls as well, and floors are usually even worse because they're more substantial than interior walls. If you have a cable outlet on the first floor (but not in the basement), you might consider MoCA to the first floor, then wireless into the basement. 5GHz will do OK through a single floor, but probably not 3, unless your house is built out of tissue paper.

Powerline is an option because all of those circuits tie together at the main breaker for the home, but depending on the quality of the wiring, may or may not be any better than wireless.


Gunni

join:2005-12-06
Bethesda, MD

said by dfwguy:

Powerline is an option because all of those circuits tie together at the main breaker for the home, but depending on the quality of the wiring, may or may not be any better than wireless.

Aha! So there's the answer. I looked into the technology briefly and found out there are two different systems and the latest one, PowerPacket technology, claims speeds of 14Mbps. I'll have to read further into this possible solution.

said by dfwguy:

If you have a cable outlet on the first floor (but not in the basement), you might consider MoCA to the first floor, then wireless into the basement. 5GHz will do OK through a single floor, but probably not 3, unless your house is built out of tissue paper.

The previous tenant had cable TV; we do not. His line came in through the house wall directly into the basement. When Verizon installed FiOS, they pulled the Coax cable from the ONT, which is outside the basement wall, to our attic and then down into the 3rd Floor room which we use as an office.

A third possibility exits. As I mentioned previously, I saw a post that said this.

I currently have the Actiontec set up as the DHCP server and an Apple Airport Extreme serving as the wireless plus an Airport Express upstairs to extend the network.

Only two things I cannot do:
Running DD-WRT on my router (won't run on either the Actiontec or the Apple).
Using Apple's Guest network feature so guests don't have to use my home network."

The Apple Airport Extreme Base Station and the Airport Express use 5GHz. Since the Express receives and boosts the signal of the Base Station, perhaps this too is worth investigating further.


bluepoint

join:2001-03-24

said by Gunni:

Aha! So there's the answer. I looked into the technology briefly and found out there are two different systems and the latest one, PowerPacket technology, claims speeds of 14Mbps. I'll have to read further into this possible solution

Now that your question is answered, powerline is not limited to 14Mbps. According to smallnet builder, there is a 200Mbps model that you might want to check out.
»www.smallnetbuilder.com/lanwan/l···rk-speed


bluepoint

join:2001-03-24
reply to Gunni

said by Gunni:

The Apple Airport Extreme Base Station and the Airport Express use 5GHz. Since the Express receives and boosts the signal of the Base Station, perhaps this too is worth investigating further.

I'm not familiar with apple routers but if it is wireless bridge/extender the speed will be cut in half.