Poor WIFI - Telus Boost & T3200M

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Resident

Hello there, new in this forum, but long time Telus customer. I recently moved to my new apartment and WIFI is very poor in my bedrooms. Telus tech couldn't find a wired port (ethernet/coax) in the bedrooms to hook up the WIFI extender nor the second PVR. He left the PVR in wireless mode, but it disconnects all the time, it's unusable. I don't care that much about the TV service, but mentioning it as context. My goal is to have a solid WIFI solution for tablets and laptops, and TV would be a bonus.

 

I read a few posts in this forum about Telus Boost, Google Wifi Mesh, and others and I'm wondering if that's what I should use. However, my situation may be slightly different so that I couldn't get my answer directly from previous posts. Some new-ish questions then, hopefully someone can help me with this:

 

  • Like I said, and this is the key issue, no wired access points in the bedrooms, so I need the mesh-based solution to rely exclusively on the wireless connectivity to extend my WIFI network. Some other posts assumed the boosters were wired to the T3200M
  • Would Telus Boost work for me? I'm wondering if it would actually make a difference considering that I cannot have these units connected via ethernet to the router. 
  • Would something like Google WIFI or Google Nest WIFI, or similar solutions from other brands work better than Telus Boost in my case?
  • I know that if I use Google's I'd be creating a second SSID (assuming I shouldn't bridge the T3200M because of the wireless pvr), and that's not an issue..  so the question is, if I use Telus Boost, would the PVR benefit from one of the booster located in the same room? I know I couldn't do that with Google WIFI (I think)
  • Did I read correctly that the extenders in the Telus Boost package connect to the same T3200M? Even wirelessly? 
  • Finally, I see Telus Boost being significantly less expensive than other solutions (Google). Is this mainly because I'm not buying a new router after all or because it's a lesser solution? And kind of related to that, I see a couple of posts in Craigslists for a used Telus Boost package, would that work right away for me or do they need to be activated somehow so they work with my T3200M? 

OK, I'll stop here. Thank you for reading if you made it this far. And thank you in advance for any advice.

 

E

 


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Community Power User
Community Power User
  • The first Boost device will need to be hardwired to the T3200M. Further ones can be either wired or wireless.
  • The Boost solution is better than the Google solution in my opinion, as Boost extends your existing network, while Google devices create a new separate one.
  • Would something like Google WIFI or Google Nest WIFI, or similar solutions from other brands work better than Telus Boost in my case?
  • The PVR will not work on either the Boost or Google Network. PVR need to connect to the T3200M either wirelessly or by ethernet / coax.
  • The extenders in the Telus Boost package connect to the  T3200M as described previously - one by ethernet, the rests wirelessly to the first Boost.
  • Boost do not need to be activated by Telus. If they are complete, you should be able to add them yourself.

 

NFtoBC
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Rockstar

@Esto  I just now googled how to hook up telus boost. There is a lot info on that telus site . Maybe it will help you.

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Community Power User
Community Power User
  • The first Boost device will need to be hardwired to the T3200M. Further ones can be either wired or wireless.
  • The Boost solution is better than the Google solution in my opinion, as Boost extends your existing network, while Google devices create a new separate one.
  • Would something like Google WIFI or Google Nest WIFI, or similar solutions from other brands work better than Telus Boost in my case?
  • The PVR will not work on either the Boost or Google Network. PVR need to connect to the T3200M either wirelessly or by ethernet / coax.
  • The extenders in the Telus Boost package connect to the  T3200M as described previously - one by ethernet, the rests wirelessly to the first Boost.
  • Boost do not need to be activated by Telus. If they are complete, you should be able to add them yourself.

 

NFtoBC
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There are two considerations I’d add. As I’ve mentioned on other posts, I’ve had issues with the T3200 Wi-Fi on two different units and ended up not using its wifi at all. If you follow this approach it renders @NFtoBC’s point moot re: Google Wi-Fi.

The second issue is the Boost only comes with two units, whereas the Google Wi-Fi can be 3. Though more expensive, it might make for a stronger signal if there are a lot of walls between the T3200 and the TV. More walls will impede signal strength.

There are also other alternatives that you might catch a sale on, especially as Amazon Prime Days is on October 15th and Black Friday is coming up. The Linksys Velop is now compatible with Apple HomeKit, so you can limit the access of certain devices to your network.

There Eero (by Amazon) is now Wi-Fi 6 compatible which could be good if you have newer devices.

That said, if you are looking for simple, the Boost and Google Wi-Fi are among the best.
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What I find a bit strange about your situation is that you are in an apartment and you may be having WiFi range issues. We live in a 1700 sq. ft. house with 5 levels, and I don't think we have any range issues. Our main set top PVR is hard wired for Optik TV, but we have another set that is wireless and it works fine. I'm wondering if you are more having congestion issues than range issues? As another contributor mentioned in another thread here, are your closet door metal? If so that may be limiting strength and range. 

 

If the issue is congestion then here is a copy of a earlier post on how to address that potential problem. The T3200M uses SmartSteering which is supposed to analyze your situation and pick the best frequency to use. I have actually disabled the SmartSteering and established two SSIDs, one for 2.4G and one for 5G.

 

"It is probably worthwhile to look at what your neighbours are using for channels and potentially contributing to interference. This link is good at determining what the issue is. If you split your 2.4G and 5G SSID's you can see where most of the activity is and avoid the more popular channels. 2.4G has more range but very limited channels to choose from to avoid interference (1, 6, 11). 5G channels are more isolated but is more limited in range. I downloaded this simple exe, WiFiInfoView, that shows you what it going on when you install it on a laptop that has wifi. The default screen shows you all channels in range, and of interest. However, if you click on Options, Summary View, it can give you a simpler view of which channels are more heavily loaded. In general it is best to avoid channel 6 on 2.4G as it is the default. There are more choices on 5G. Just avoid ones used by your neighbours."

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Resident

Thank you all for your comments. I marked NFtoBC's post as the solution because it applied to my case the most, although a few other comments were also on point.

 

I ended up buying the second hand Telus Boost and I'm happy to report that my devices in the farthest bedroom are now connecting at 180Mbps (150 plan), whereas before this, wirelessly connected devices would achieve 5 to 20 Mbps at best. I managed to connect a switch to the Telus Boost AP in the bedroom and then computers, NAS, and printer to it. $80 well spent and the solution is good enough for now (internet access was my main concern)

 

I haven't tried connecting the wireless PVR again, it's in the other room. At some point will do and will report back though I have low expectations. It's unfortunate what NFtoBC reports that the PVR will not connect to the Boot devices, but only to the T3200M. When we tried this with the Telus tech placing the PVR at the back of the room (where it's expected to be) it wouldn't even connect. Then as a test, the tech person placed the PVR next to the bedroom's doorway and at that point it was able to connect, but barely. I don't remember the details, but one parameter he was monitoring was the fail rate of something that shouldn't exceed -70 if I remember correctly, and at the back of the room it was in the -80s and by the bedroom's door it was in the -50s. Now that I think about it it's a bit frustrating the tech person declared victory with this test and announced the installation as complete: the PVR was technically connecting, but in a ridiculous location. Again, TV service in the room wasn't that important so I let it fly.

 

But yeah RonAKA, I also find it strange. This same hardware worked perfectly in my previous 2K sqf apartment. I have the same sqf-age in this new place, only that the layout is different, with the bathroom, laundry room, and kitchen in the way (before the two bedrooms had direct line of sight to the router location going thru drywall.) I guess the walls material and the appliances are blocking the signal? I'll report again when I test it.

 

Before posting my question I had found the post talking about congested channels. I downloaded a WIFI scanner and configured the router to use the channels recommended by the app as less busy. It did have a tiny impact, but not significant (although I didn't try with the PVR). I did leave the SmartSteering on, but I adjusted the channel for both frequencies. I have another question about this, but will post it separately to not get confused with all this.

 

Again, thank you all for your time helping me. I have a working solution for the most part, so I'm happy to mark this question as resolved. Cheers!