Wifi and plaster walls

moglia

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
127
Asheville NC
I've moved into a new house recently, ~2,000 square feet across two floors. Getting a strong wifi signal to all areas has been surprisingly difficult, and there are also a number of dead zones. I have AT&T fiber and am using their router and range extender on the main floor (opposite ends of the house), and a TP-Link range extender in the basement.

Recently I found info that the metal mesh used in plaster walls contributes to a poor wifi signal, and this seems to be the likely culprit. Has anyone dealt with this issue and come up with a working solution? Powerline adapters wifi adapters look like a possible solution but the implementation reviews I'm seeing are all over the place.
 

nattysez

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 30, 2010
4,475
My experience is that the new Nest WiFi devices -- one router and one mesh node -- create a mesh network that mostly overcomes the same problem in my ~1500 sq ft. house. I don't know if "range extenders" create a mesh network, but I've had much better luck with the Nest devices than I did with a router + range extender.
 

begranter

Couldn't get into a real school
SoSH Member
Jul 9, 2007
2,066
I've moved into a new house recently, ~2,000 square feet across two floors. Getting a strong wifi signal to all areas has been surprisingly difficult, and there are also a number of dead zones. I have AT&T fiber and am using their router and range extender on the main floor (opposite ends of the house), and a TP-Link range extender in the basement.

Recently I found info that the metal mesh used in plaster walls contributes to a poor wifi signal, and this seems to be the likely culprit. Has anyone dealt with this issue and come up with a working solution? Powerline adapters wifi adapters look like a possible solution but the implementation reviews I'm seeing are all over the place.
My experience has been that the best thing you can do is hardwire any access points you're setting up rather than having extenders. I've found range extenders are unreliable at best, completely useless at worst. I'm no technical expert but I theorize this is because they have to 1) both capture and then push back out data transmission 2) using the same channel space. If you can also hardwire any higher bandwidth devices (video streaming, gaming etc.) that should help your other devices using the wireless.

Note 2.4 GHZ has a lower total bandwidth, but travels through objects much more effectively than 5 GHZ.
 

Batman Likes The Sox

Not postscient
SoSH Member
Dec 28, 2003
1,585
Madison, CT
Had similar issues when I moved into a roughly 3,000 sq ft old house over two floors, was using a slightly older router and range extender.

I've installed the Google Nest router and 3 Google Nest Wifi points, and now have good service in every room, particularly important because we also have poor cellular network coverage here.

I tried it with just the 2 additional points, but couldn't hit everywhere. A bit of trial and error.
 

RGREELEY33

Potty Mouth
SoSH Member
Nov 28, 2005
4,031
Orange County, CA
I just installed Spectrum 5G and still had issues with dead spots in my 3000 sq foot house with Google Wifi and the 3 points. I ultimately just got 3 more wifi points, now have 6, and am not having any issues. The walls and shape of my house were causing issues I guess. I've got the most wifi cover per sq foot in America and likely will die of brain cancer, but shit, my SoSH surfing can be done from any nook or cranny in Chateau RG33!
 

moglia

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
127
Asheville NC
Thanks all for the responses, looks like Nest is the way to go. I'll gladly take the long term brain cancer risk if it means my kids' goddamn devices work while I get my work done.
 
Mar 26, 2014
45
I live in an old house, ~2000 sq ft over two floors, with plaster walls. I've dealt with decent wifi (using a Verizon router) for years but trying to stream from a corner room had become a problem. I recently bought a new router and the difference is immense.

I was looking into Nest and various mesh systems, and my friend who has done a much better job of keeping up on tech than I have told me to not bother with mesh for a relatively small house and instead buy an Asus RT-AX88U. It's pricey but he told me it was worth it, and I've been very happy since.

He also advised me that, if I needed to, in lieu of an extender (which he said don't do much to help) you can use your electrical outlets to add an access point. But I never looked into that because the new router fixed the problem so well.