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Camera out of router range-- router recs?

edited November 23 in General

I'm still chugging along on a cheap Asus router that must be 10 years old (Asus RT-12) .... current problem is that my IP cameras that are in the back porch and out in the yard can't reliably connect.... just had to install a new one on the front of the garage and the only way the signal makes it all the way is if I run a router antenna on an extension from the router into the bathroom, through the tub and out the window.

So wondering if a more current router is likely to solve this problem and if there's anything I should look out for. Would probably just go for this unless there's a good reason not to:

https://www.amazon.com/ASUS-AC1750-WiFi-Router-RT-AC65/dp/B091D71M6P/ref=asc_df_B091D71M6P/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=507831081029&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=9086548625249509982&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9021713&hvtargid=pla-1292226546431&th=1

For a little more context-- my entire property is only 50x70, but it's brick with plaster walls and the router is on the second floor and the opposite side of the home from the outdoor cameras.

Comments

  • A mesh system might work for you.

    Several mesh routers in the right places will carry the signals from router to router, around obstacles.

    You might need several of them to get around all your brick and plaster walls.

    Some of the older models are still very good, and still well supported, yet not as expensive as the newer ones.

    The ones I've been using run around $40 each, used, on eBay and are really easy to set up and maintain.

    Eero Pro, 2nd generation. Single unit is B010001, 3-pack is B010301.

    I have 4 different networks here, with a total of 15 active routers.

    The network with the cameras has 7 routers now, covering a 2 acre property with several buildings.

    All the routers were purchased used from eBay, and all of them work fine.

  • edited November 24

    Thanks for the detailed response! I've been wading through routers and somehow I missed the whole "mesh router" thing until now but they seem to be everywhere. Is there an advantage to a mesh router over using range extenders? I had to go to target tonight and picked up one of these to try: https://www.target.com/p/tp-link-ac750-wi-fi-range-extender-black-re205/-/A-53300569 It didn't help the camera in question when placed in aforementioned bathroom, but I put it elsewhere and now my back porch camera connects reliably instead of sporadically.

  • Good advice from @Sawmill. Range extenders can work fine for covering a dead spot, but they are a bit more limited and simple than mesh systems. True mesh systems can use multiple nodes to cover a large area, with each node communicating with all others, to transfer data across the network in an optimum way. If the extender has solved the problem for you then that's great, but if not, then perhaps you could go for a 3-node mesh system, which is usually sufficient to cover a large brick house. Eero is good, as is TP-Link Deco and Netgear Orbi.

  • Thanks Ben, will just try a newer router first I think- the current one hit the shelves in 2009. Other question-- in poking through the router's controls, I noticed the speed was set to 145 mbps and I changed it to 300 mbps. Now, one of my cameras, which is out in the back porch and is not connected more than it is connected, typically, is cycling through fps numbers in the security spy window ranging from 1 fps to like 200 something and 2 thousand something. Is this related to the router setting, do you think, and/or does in mean anything at all? None of the other cameras exceed 15 fps.

  • This kind of variability in frame rate is usually caused by an intermittent network. If the camera can't send frames over the network for a few seconds, they will build up in the camera's network buffer. Subsequently, when a connection is re-established, lots of frames will be sent in one go, resulting in a burst of frames with a high frame rate. This should be clear when looking at the camera's live video feed, which would contain pauses and then periods of accelerated movement - is this what you see?

  • Yup, that certainly describes the situation, thanks.

  • Router seems to be up and running, all cameras communicating well; also picked up a cheap TPlink range extender, got the "far" cameras using it. Total expenditure between router and extender = $45. Thanks again for all your help!

  • Another way to get signal past obstacles is to use a different antenna on the camera.

    I've used this type

    https://www.amazon.com/Bingfu-Magnetic-Rosewill-Gigabyte-Wireless/dp/B07PFLXV2L/

    on a camera that has a metal roof or wall between it and the nearest WiFi base.

    The antenna coax can go through a tiny hole from the other side of the obstruction and get the signal through it where it couldn't get through otherwise.

    The fittings on the few different types of cameras I've used have the same size/thread scheme as these antennas.

  • Yes, good advice. I have one of those, several oversized wifi antennae, and also recently bought a entender cable and was experimenting with various placements but it wasn't enough to get things working well. I haven't given a very complete picture of my setup but in order to extend the camera's antenna reasonably closer to the router I'd have to string an extension cable from the garage across the yard up to a second story window... and the nature of the windowframe makes it impossible to close the window if there's a cable in the way. The first thing I did though was swap the camera's stock antenna for an oversized one I have.


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