Home network restructuring during Lockdown

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Hi everyone the lockdown imposed by COVID-19 left me some free time to restructure the home network and solve a performance issue that I had encountered in the first days of home working.

I noticed that from the position of my room the Wi-Fi signal was really bad due to 4 walls that were between my desk and the main router, the laptop continued to disconnect from the network, the speed was only 2/3 Mb/s (instead of the 30 Mb/s of my connection) and it was not possible to make a video call due to the performance of the network. So after the first week of limping I decided to take the situation in hand and solve it once and for all.

So I resurrected an old router that I had in the cellar, a TP-Link Archer C20i AC750, looking for some solution on the net to make it still useful. Incredibly I discovered that it was supported by the OpenWrt Project, an Open Source community that develops a Linux operating system targeting embedded devices. First of all I installed the OEM firmware (Build 140709) from here due to compatibility issue with the OEM GUI, after that I installed the OpenWrt firmware of my router. The installation went smoothly without problems and after that I was able to follow this two guides to use the router as a wireless extender:

So I managed to configure the router as a "bridge" to bring the signal to my room too. Unfortunately, in my opinion due to hardware limitations of the router, I was not able to use it exactly as a wireless extender and expand the WiFi signal, but I was able to configure it so that I can connect with a network cable to the router with OpenWrt and take full advantage of the speed of my home connection. I therefore use the power of the antennas of the two routers to bring full speed to a point in the house where the laptop could not get a strong enough signal.

This is currently my home network scheme

schemaRete.jpg

In the figure the dotted links represent a wireless connection while the continuous ones represent a network cable, and the bridge is the dotted link between the Fritz!Box router and the Tp-Link router. This change led me to have a speed of connections from the laptop of 30 Mb/s via a wireless connection ... the same as I would have if the computer was directly connected to the main router.

These are the results of the speed test before and after the change

pre.jpg

post.jpg

Pretty awesome, right? Bye Alberto

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