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I have a general question about what I should do at my house.

In my house I have:

  • 1 PC wired directly to the router.
  • 2 Laptops on Wifi
  • 2 Apple TV's on Wifi
  • Xbox on Wifi
  • Wii on Wifi
  • 1 TV on Wifi
  • 2 DVD Players on Wifi
  • 1 iPad
  • 1 iPod
  • 2 iPhones
  • 3 Dropcams

The dropcams are always on. The phones are usually in use. Either the iPad or iPod is likely to be in use by my son. I might be on the Xbox and my wife is usually on her laptop. The rest of the things connected are used sporadically.

Up until this morning I had a Linksys E? (fairly new one) hooked up to a cable modem. Our internet was unusable.

I don't have a lot of time to play around during the week, but this morning I had enough time to plug a second router into the first router. The first router is set to channel 11. The second router is set to channel 1. I left the dropcams connected to router #1 and started switching the iphones and laptops over to router #2. The speed difference between router #1 and router #2 is significant.

router #2 this morning

I am wondering if I should put a switch in front of the routers? I suppose I should at least turn off DCHP on the second router and just make it an access point? It would be nice if I could get all of my devices onto 1 wifi network to be a good citizen. I live in a condo complex and at any given time I can see 12+ wifi networks already. Would a commercial router / access point be able to handle the dropcams and everything else?

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Was the first speedtest from a WiFi or a wired connection? – Darth Android Apr 3 '14 at 14:37
both were from an iphone. A speed test from the PC wired directly to the router is incredibly fast. At this point a wired connection is incredibly fast. router #1 is exceptionally slow speed. router #2 is decent speed. – Brad Apr 3 '14 at 14:44
What do you believe the switch will do exactly to help the situation? – Ramhound Apr 3 '14 at 14:45
Getting the traffic from router 2 to not go through router 1 at all. Although it might not matter. I am not sure. – Brad Apr 3 '14 at 14:47
Whether connected to router 1 or router 2, ALL of your internet traffic is going through the same uplink to your ISP, so putting the cameras (or anything else) on a different router (or switch) isn't going to change that fact. As you saw when putting router 2 in place, your speedtest improved, even though the dropcams would have still been using the same ISP uplink like they were before (dropcam>router1>router2>internet). It looks to me like router 1 is the problem, not any of your devices. My suggestion would be to get rid of router 1 altogether. – joeqwerty Apr 3 '14 at 17:21

Your issue here (as you probably suspected) is the 3 dropcams that you have running. They are each constantly uploading at about 0.5 Mbps constantly. That being said, your uplink to your network provider should be able to handle the 1.5 Mbps plus ordinary usage on your other devices.

What cannot handle that sort of constant load is the wifi network because of the constant traffic being sent around your apartment building. The solution that you had by separating the cameras from the other devices by using two access points on non-overlapping channels is the best solution (short of switching to hard-wired cameras).

Placing a switch behind the routers won't really make any difference. As you also alluded to, you could turn off DHCP on the second router and just use it as an access point, but that too is not really necessary unless you need the cameras to be able to talk to the other devices on your network.

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