I currently live in a 1200 sq. ft. apartment, and our wifi sucks. I’m using a couple of older Apple Airport Extremes (the flat ones, not the modern tall ones). One is connected directly to the modem, and the other is connected via powerline, which comes out the back of the first Airport Extreme.
For such a small apartment, it’s crazy how bad the coverage is. I was amazed we even needed to try and boost the signal in the bedroom, but it still isn’t great. I guess some of it will be to do with interference from other apartments underneath and around us, but I have tried my best with the knowledge and equipment I had soon after we first moved in to get it setup as best as I could.
After building a new PC a couple of months back (and unfortunately selling the previous one, so no spare hardware besides maybe a hard drive if it still works), I’ve come to the conclusion that investing in networking would be better than buying cheap and sealed boxes that usually suck when compared to something custom for the same price, or a little more. I’d also be planning on buying a single Ubiquiti Unifi AP AC Pro, and trying to mount it somewhere on the ceiling with double sided sticky tape (note: the apartment is a RENTAL, so no feeding cables through walls or drills or screws etc…)
Now, my main question is this: how often would the average home user, who wants a little more out of their router, need to upgrade said router? If I were to build something custom, is it something that would need additional RAM a couple of years down the line? Would I ever need to upgrade the CPU?
I ask, only because there are some NUC style boxes on Amazon which people have had a lot of success with. Ideally, I would want to custom build something just because I like a project, or at least have it so that all or most parts can be retired/upgraded individually at a later date. Another prebuilt has caught my eye on ebay - it’s a 1U rack with a Xeon E3-1260L (v1, i believe), 4 ethernet ports plus IPMI, and it has space for an additional PCIe card if I ever decide to add more ports, or even a 10gb NIC (my desktop actually uses the ASRock board which has 10gb built in, although it’s unused at the time of writing this).
I’m sure this is overkill, but I’m looking for something low power (the 1U’s CPU is only 45W, as opposed to a Craigslist PC which could be more) and I already have a rack for my audio gear, so I could easily house it.
If I could build a rack from scratch and use a really low power Intel Celeron J or N series, I think that’d be great, but I can’t actually find any of these. Maybe I’m just looking in the wrong place? I could then put it in an ITX or other board that would also have at least 3-4 ethernet ports built in, and then also have the option of adding more later.
Anyway, I feel like i’m rambling now trying to get all of this out. Hopefully it’s readable, if you need anything more just ask me!
Edit: I should also note that our current speeds are about 150 down, 20 up. This unlikely to change when we move to a new apartment at the end of our lease, unless we decide to pay more for a better speed