Help me get internet (again!)

CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
So, I recently moved to a new house and am very excited that I'm less likely to die in an electrical fire.

Except, of course, I've ended up in the one bedroom that gets ZERO wifi reception! Because even though this place is supposed to be wired for cable and there is a coax outlet in front of my bed taunting me with its uselessness, there are a grand total of TWO working coaxial cables here that get signal. One in the family room for the cable box, and one in the basement hanging from the ceiling rafters. The ones in the bedrooms don't work. (Apparently the house was hit by lightning, blew out the aound system and did $11k worth of damage according to the previous owners' insurance claim. Yes, I am literally cursed.) I looked at the cables in the basement and it's a mess of random splitters, cables that end without being connected to anything, and cables that go through the ductwork so you can't tell where anything comes out from the upstairs or try to run the working internet cable to the cabinet where the TV cable is.

Obviously, a basement router's wifi signal won't reach a second story bedroom over the garage on the other side of the house. I get literally zero internet and am typing this from my phone. (Once again, sorry for spelling errors. I'm dyslexic and doing my best.)

My mom is insisting we use a router Comcast sent her (insert incoherent screaming) so I ordered Xfinity's mesh system since this new house is maybe 20 years old, and lacks the cloth wiring that turns your living space into a fire hazard. But I can't use the xfy pods because they're totally dependent on the xfy app, which won't let me log into it because it thinks I'm not an xfinity user even though we absolutely are. According to Comcast I just need to wait until they fix some vague problem with user emails.

I've decided to fuck all that, return the pods, and do literally anything else because that seems better than depending on Comcast to fix anything ever. I'm pretty sure I'll never get those pods set up.

(I don't have the wifi repeater I was using because that's at the old house and I'm trying to avoid my dad right now for mental health reasons.)

So, my options are:
  • Get a different mesh system that's not made by Comcast or dependant on an app. (recommendations are welcome.)
  • Move the router as close to the basement door as the coaxial cable will let me, duct tape it to a rafter, run an ethernet cable from it to an outlet, and basically daisy chain ethernet cables and power over ethernet adapters together until I reach my room. (Not optimal because my mom thinks that's ugly and may resist my efforts to set this up.)
  • Move the router nearer to the door, run an ethernet cable to an outlet with a power over ethernet repeater, run an ethernet cable up to another outlet on the first floor, and plug my old router from grad school into it to use as a wifi repeater.
  • Get another repeater (not super excited about that because it won't fix the issue of my sister hogging bandwidth and I'm not sure I'm angry enough to risk our tentative peace to give my computer priority over everyone else's devices.)
  • Split the TV cable, snake a coaxial cable up behind the TV cabinet, and hook the router up to that. (I'm afraid to do thia due to the splitting situation in the basement.)
  • Get a cable guy to look at the mess of splitters and random wires and hope he fixes something to let me hook a modem up in an upstairs bedroom. (Suboptimal because of Covid (although I work in a library filled with patrons who can't seem to wear a face mask correctly so is there even a point in being careful beyond just not exposing myself to other people who can safely shelter in place?- queue more screaming) and the fact that previous cable men were COMPLETELY unhelpful with stuff at the old house.)

So yeah, any advice, sympathy, whatever is very, very welcome. And apologies for the angry sarcastic tone, I've spent the last two days on the phone with Comcast trying to sort this out (and had the pleasure of learning they billed me for internet in 2018 even though I canceled the service, called them after they billed me anyway, and got them to say they'd taken if off my account. It's been a bad night.)

How do I fix this?

Posts

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    edited September 2
    Two things really determine all of this:
    1. Are you renting or do you own the property?
    2. What is your budget?

    I'm assuming Comcast is your only ISP, but if you have options in your area that would also be helpful to know.

    Enc on
    CreaganShadowfire
  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    edited September 2
    We own it.

    I don't know, cheaper is obviously better, but I could probably manage $250—$500 if I had to shell out for something usable.

    I think At&t is available out here but I really doubt Mom's willing to use them since she already has a contract with Comcast. There appears to be a box/battery made by At&t in the basement though.

    Thank you!

    (Also the app still isn't working so I am even more sure I want to return the pods.)

    Creagan on
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    AT&T will run new coaxial cable as part of setting up a service package (at least, they did for me twice in my moving history). This means they will pull out all the random mess and, through your ceiling, run new cable to rooms that need it and cut/frame new outlets. Depending on your current service package and what is available in your area will determine which ISP is better. Where I am, AT&T or Century Link are the options and AT&T is a clear winner on uptime and support in my current area, but back when I lived in NC they were consistently the worst option. You'll have to do some shopping.

    If fiber is available, you should go for it. The cost is barely higher a month than a coaxial package and you get far more out of it, though you might have to work with your mom to figure out streaming services as alternatives to a cable line.

    Creagan
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Fuck repeaters. Get a mesh system and call it a day. I always recommend Eero and the three pack of them is regularly on sale for $200.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
    Creagan
  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    @Enc we've already got Netflix and Amazon Prime and almost never actually use cable. So I don't even know why we have a cable box besides my mom saying that was somehow cheaper for the first year? (Yes, this sounds hugely wrong to me. Just like needing to rent / possibly buy the Comcast router to get this deal seems HUGELY wrong to me. If it was me I'd have bought a new router with actual antenna on it.)

    I'll do (as much as I can on a phone) some comparison shopping to see what's better. But a positive of switching is that they'd rip all the old wiring out so we wouldn't need to convince a Comcast guy to do that for us or sort out the mess of split cables. (Apparently they've been resistant to doing so?) When I get off work I'll take photos so you can see why I'm so afraid to just split the cable and call it a day.

    If nobody'll go for fixing the wiring I'll look into a mesh system (which is what I was going for with the stupid useless xfi pods) and the Eero.

    Thank you guys for your help. I've been (pretty clearly) losing my mind over this.

  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Creagan wrote: »
    Enc we've already got Netflix and Amazon Prime and almost never actually use cable. So I don't even know why we have a cable box besides my mom saying that was somehow cheaper for the first year? (Yes, this sounds hugely wrong to me. Just like needing to rent / possibly buy the Comcast router to get this deal seems HUGELY wrong to me. If it was me I'd have bought a new router with actual antenna on it.)

    I'll do (as much as I can on a phone) some comparison shopping to see what's better. But a positive of switching is that they'd rip all the old wiring out so we wouldn't need to convince a Comcast guy to do that for us or sort out the mess of split cables. (Apparently they've been resistant to doing so?) When I get off work I'll take photos so you can see why I'm so afraid to just split the cable and call it a day.

    If nobody'll go for fixing the wiring I'll look into a mesh system (which is what I was going for with the stupid useless xfi pods) and the Eero.

    Thank you guys for your help. I've been (pretty clearly) losing my mind over this.

    Those Comcast gateways have a pretty similar level of signal strength to most of the routers you see with external antennas. They're not awful, and they're probably the best ISP gateways out there, but they're still ISP gateways. The XFi pods also are pretty decent since they're just Comcast branded Plume pods. Plume have always been considered pretty good and affordable. The downside to the Xfi ones is that you can't use them on any other service, and they're a little bit lower performing than other mesh systems. So for the price, buying your own mesh system just makes sense.

    The ISP installers won't fix your wiring for you. They'll run a new line, but what's there is on you to deal with. Generally you call an electrician (if you can find one who wants to deal with low voltage) or handyman to rip it out and straighten it up. I do it for work sometimes, but while we offer custom wire runs, generally ripping out old wiring isn't something we do. I just like to me thorough.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    have you tried a powerline setup yet? demands use of an outlet but saves the hassle of running new wiring

    NREqxl5.jpg
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    edited September 3
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Creagan wrote: »
    Enc we've already got Netflix and Amazon Prime and almost never actually use cable. So I don't even know why we have a cable box besides my mom saying that was somehow cheaper for the first year? (Yes, this sounds hugely wrong to me. Just like needing to rent / possibly buy the Comcast router to get this deal seems HUGELY wrong to me. If it was me I'd have bought a new router with actual antenna on it.)

    I'll do (as much as I can on a phone) some comparison shopping to see what's better. But a positive of switching is that they'd rip all the old wiring out so we wouldn't need to convince a Comcast guy to do that for us or sort out the mess of split cables. (Apparently they've been resistant to doing so?) When I get off work I'll take photos so you can see why I'm so afraid to just split the cable and call it a day.

    If nobody'll go for fixing the wiring I'll look into a mesh system (which is what I was going for with the stupid useless xfi pods) and the Eero.

    Thank you guys for your help. I've been (pretty clearly) losing my mind over this.

    Those Comcast gateways have a pretty similar level of signal strength to most of the routers you see with external antennas. They're not awful, and they're probably the best ISP gateways out there, but they're still ISP gateways. The XFi pods also are pretty decent since they're just Comcast branded Plume pods. Plume have always been considered pretty good and affordable. The downside to the Xfi ones is that you can't use them on any other service, and they're a little bit lower performing than other mesh systems. So for the price, buying your own mesh system just makes sense.

    The ISP installers won't fix your wiring for you. They'll run a new line, but what's there is on you to deal with. Generally you call an electrician (if you can find one who wants to deal with low voltage) or handyman to rip it out and straighten it up. I do it for work sometimes, but while we offer custom wire runs, generally ripping out old wiring isn't something we do. I just like to me thorough.

    Again, maybe this is a regional thing, but down here in FL at my current house, and two previous places I've lived, they have pulled out and replaced problematic Coaxial cable. My current house was a mess as the previous owners had done a ton of DIY splitting and we only had one working coaxial cable outlet. They pulled it all out and ran new ones, including running line to two rooms that never had it, over an afternoon at no cost aside from a 1-year plan.

    Enc on
  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    If you have a few coax that work, you can use MoCA adapters to at least get wired Ethernet to a few strategic places and then run your wifi from there. The adapters are on the expensive side (~$100-$150 for a pair) but I have yet to hear bad things about them.

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