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Google Router
January 3, 2016
6:09 pm
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Hans Schmid
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I have been frustrated by the weak WiFi signal I am getting. All videos or music are stop and go (buffering). My Comcast modem/router is in the basement, I am using my iPhone and iPad mostly upstairs. I am thinking about asking Comcast to relocate the modem/router upstairs. 

I understand you just installed a new Google router and are very happy with it. I have been hesitant to buy my own router because if something goes wrong Comcast will always blame it on my equipment. Will the Google router replace the Comcast modem/router or can it be added after the Comcast router? Any other suggestions to improve my WiFi reception?

January 4, 2016
9:40 am
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MrGeek
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WiFi is notorious for weak signal. It works best with unobstructed line of sight and close proximity. Remember, it is basically a two-way radio between your Comcast box and your devices. The iPad especially is not particularly strong. Routers have never done well in multi-story environments due to the orientation of the antennas. The Comcast modem/router hybrid probably does not have a very strong WiFi radio.

If you get good connectivity when near the router in the basement, relocating the box might be enough. Try some speed tests and compare results. If you get good speeds close to the router and don’t want to relocate it, you may be able to get a WiFi Booster to extend coverage in your home. These boosters need to be configured to rebroadcast the WiFi signal and would be placed nearer to where you use your devices upstairs.

The Google router does not replace your Comcast modem/router, just the WiFi part. It plugs into an ethernet port on the Comcast device for Internet connectivity.

The Google router has a strong radio and multiple antennas to increase performance in any environment. They recommend placement in a central location and out in the open. Configuration is a breeze using an app on your iPhone or iPad. They are fairly expensive at around $200. For me, it is worth it. I was having connectivity problems with a couple other routers. Those problems went away with the Google OnHub router.

I know about the finger pointing that happens when there is a problem. I have been through it all before. 

Bottom line is to try the easiest, least expensive fixes first. That is probably relocating the Comcast box.

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January 22, 2016
10:47 am
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keith cooper
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Its too bad manufacturers don’t provide more complete specification sheets that include transmit power, receiver sensitivity, antenna (gain, range, and radiation patterns). It would be alot easier to determine whether a specific device actually meets your needs or where you need to place it. The only way i know to get the transmit power on a wifi device when it is not provided by the manufacturer is to use the FCC ID. Every wifi device is required to have an FCC ID clearly marked. Use that information  at FCC ID search (https://www.fcc.gov/general/fc…..earch-page) and look at the associated test results to identify average and peak transmit power.

Google OnHub router is a pretty interesting wifi device with 12  120 degree directional antenna’s . Six for 2.4 GHz (3 transmit & 3 receive) and six for 5 GHz 

January 22, 2016
3:55 pm
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MrGeek
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Good point, Keith. You can usually get good info on reviews online. I would never rely on just one, though.

I like the OnHub router. There are actually two manufacturers and they have slightly different characteristics. I did my research and found the TP-Link better than the ASUS for me in my location. One of the antennas is dedicated to finding conflicting channels from other routers in the area and switching to optimize signal.

It is very easy to set up.

Helping Travelers to Plan, Preserve, and Share their Travels

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