I have a Telus Smart Hub (model ZTE MC8010CA) set to "Long Range" in the WI-FI settings.
Why did my old DSL modem have a longer range?
I'm on 2.5 acres and my old modem used to reach almost the entire property.
This 5G one, seems to go only about 200 feet or so.
Normal or is there a hardware issue?
The DSL modem likely had a much larger and stronger antenna than the cellular smart hub does. The cellular hub also supports fewer devices than the DSL modems. The number of antennae can also be a factor as would the frequency being used.
Wifi was never really designed to cover 2.5acres on standard residential gear so it's surprising the DSL modem you had mostly could cover that distance from indoors. Standard wifi has a range of maybe 20m / 66ft for average indoor access points, or less depending on environmental factors. Which DSL modem did you have? For me I have the T3200M and there's no way the wifi from that would cover 2.5 acres. I wouldn't get signal at even 100ft also unless I was direct line of sight to the modem. My non-Telus router with external antennae is no better.
T3200M, WI-FI would work down to my barn, the smart hub doesn't. Granted, I had it in my corner window of my house, same as the smart hub now. So yes, I can see my barn from my window, line of site. Would an extender help? We also have a trailer that sometimes when we have guests, they could connect to wi-fi - but can't now (it's closer than the barn).
Do you still have the T3200? If yes, you can connect the smart hub's LAN port to the WAN / Internet port on the T3200. Should work as long as the smart hub isn't using 192.168.1.x as the default IP range.