I recently moved house, and this meant that I had to set up my home network from scratch again. My old house had a fairly solid four Eero setup with three wired Eeros (and one wireless in the garage), so could I beat this in my new house?
Actually… yes, sort of. I did have a few issues along the way, but after solving those, I now have a solid Wi-Fi connection throughout my whole property – inside and out. I get over 500 Mbps on all my ethernet devices (like my study PC), and I get as much as 420 Mbps on my mobile phone – which is pretty awesome.
This video shows off how I got my home network set up from scratch again, along with discussing the problems I faced which includes unlabelled RJ45 (CAT6) points, my Wi-Fi randomly going haywire and dropping all connected devices, and my garage being too far away to receive Wi-Fi.
If you prefer text over video, please read on for the guide/transcript version of this video.
Video Guide And Transcript
Hey everyone! I recently bought a new construction home and it has all the normal BORING things like doors, windows and a roof. But before moving in, I was actually most excited about two things I saw on the plans: firstly, that there were two ISP connections (from OpenReach and Hyperoptic), and secondly that there were CAT6 points in various rooms – something which is quite rare in new homes here in the UK.
So, having two ISPs means that I could get two separate internet connections (a main and a backup) and then use a dual WAN router as an entry point, meaning that I could still get stable internet throughout my house, even if one ISP has an outage.
That’s a pretty awesome option. I haven’t actually done this yet – I’m just sticking to 1 ISP for now – but it’s good to have this option in the future if needed.
In today’s video I’ll instead show how I got my home network setup from scratch in this new house – and show the various issues I experienced along the way (such as the fact that none of the RJ45 ports were labelled, my Wi-Fi going haywire and dropping all connected devices, and my garage being too far away to get Wi-Fi) .
I’ll discuss the garage problem more at the end of this video, but for now I wanted to show how I labelled the CAT6 points and then move onto the problems I had with Eero. Having unlabelled network points might not sound like a problem, but I couldn’t really setup my four Eero Pro routers without knowing which RJ45 port goes where. Plus there were five CAT6 points in various rooms – meaning that there were a total of ten unlabelled RJ45 ports when you include the understairs cupboard.
Getting these labelled involved a lot of trial and error – basically, plugging different cables in, running up and downstairs, and seeing if I then had the internet or not. I also kept an eye on the LED lights on my Netgear switches – when they started flashing, I knew that I had a ‘live’ connection, so to speak. I also took my old laptop around with me because this has an Ethernet port, so I could plug this into various RJ45 points until I got internet access. Sometimes the Windows interface can be a bit buggy and say that you have network access but no internet. When this happens, opening command prompt and doing a ping to Google.com will show for sure whether the internet is working well or not.
After a while, I was able to determine which ports under my stairs related to my living room and study ports, and I quickly labelled these up. Success!
I could then move on to setting up my four Eero Pro routers again. While Eero aren’t the BEST make out there, I have always had solid results with them – they strike a good balance between reliable whole home Wi-Fi and price, in my opinion.
I started off by getting my Eero Pro 6 setup in the living room, and this worked fine – as expected. I mean, I had already labelled the right ports here AND ensured that they delivered stable internet. So naturally the Eero here worked fine, and I had very fast connection speeds from my phone. Noice.
Since this worked fine, I moved onto the Eero in the study. This was CLEARLY going to work fine too, right? So I hooked up the Ethernet port for the study and I set up the new Eero point within the app as normal.
Success, or so I thought. Even though this got added fine in the Eero app, I immediately started having issues with my Wi-Fi. Sometimes my phone would show a really weak signal – and complain that I had no internet – even though I was standing next to the Eero point. It just wouldn’t work reliably
Also, even though the living room router originally said it was “wired”, it was now reporting as wireless – so something was clearly wrong with my Eero setup. After some debugging and Googling, I realised that I had accidentally set up my Eero routers in a ‘star’ pattern essentially:
My ISP’s router connected to my Netgear switch, then that connected to my living room and study Eeros (essentially). And THAT was the problem. Eero require you to have a main gateway router, and then everything else must be downstream from that.
As a result, I introduced a new Eero router within my understairs cupboard. This was arguably a waste of an Eero router because I could have rejigged the Ethernet cable layout and made this work, but this seemed the cleanest solution to me. Essentially I plugged my ISP’s router into my new understairs cupboard Eero, and then THIS Eero connected to my network switch:
This then meant that any other Eero points (such as my living room and study ones) were now downstream, because they came off the switch. This worked really well, thankfully, and all three Eeros started appearing as “wired” in the app – and all those weird, unreliable Wi-Fi issues I experienced went away.
And that pretty much brings an end to the home networking setup INSIDE my house. We have no Wi-Fi deadspots or lag anywhere INSIDE the house. Unfortunately OUTSIDE my house was a different story. I have a detached garage which is decently far away from my house, and there’s a neighbour’s building in the way too. This meant that I had no WiFi in my garage. I did try to add my fourth Eero point in my garage, but it kept complaining of poor placement and just refused to be added.
Luckily though, new build backyards have lots of mud… and not much else – so I started digging a trench and I ran Etherent and fibre optic cables into my garage. This will be too much to discuss in this video, but I’m due to publish another video soon where I’ll show off all of this. It was a pretty fun – albeit messy – project! And long story short, I now have gigabit wired networking in my garage too. Winner winner chicken dinner!
The results are pretty good – with the full 500 Mbps internet speeds received from my wired devices (in other words, my PC and laptop which is connected via Ethernet). On my phone, I then get around 400 Mbps inside my house, although this naturally drops to just over 200 Mbps in my backyard. When I’m in my car and parked on the edge of the Wi-Fi signal area, I get just under 100 Mbps. All in all, this is pretty good results – it’s a lot better than you’d have with a single router somewhere in the middle of your home.
So that just about wraps up today’s video. It was fun to set-up my home network from scratch again, and I’m really lucky that various rooms have CAT6 points in them. This means that I have a solid, wired backhaul for my mesh Wi-Fi system – leading to fast, stable Wi-Fi around all parts of my property, inside and out.
I hope you enjoyed this video. If you did, please click the thumbs up button. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know down in the comments. Please also subscribe to this channel if you haven’t already. Thank you!