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So I have xfinity wifi and internet, it works great and all but the signal doesn't reach everywhere in my house. Range extenders don't really cut it since the speed it halved, will a tri band router increase the range of the internet?

  • What kind of distance are we talking and are there any appliances, like microwave, dryer, refrigerator or the like in between? – El Turner Jul 29 '15 at 20:18
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    The only real solution is to run cables and install multiple WiFi base stations. Also, what exactly is a “tri band router” for you? Please provide an actual device. – Daniel B Jul 29 '15 at 20:22
  • I am with Daniel B, running cables with Wifi base stations would provide much more range. But knowing the range you desire would be helpful here. – El Turner Jul 29 '15 at 20:23
  • @DanielB "Tri band" is an industry term for a wireless router with three separate WNICs: one in 2.4GHz that does 802.11n (possibly with the addition of 256-QAM PHY rates borrowed from 802.11ac), and two in 5GHz doing 802.11ac (typically 3x3:3, 1300Mbps max PHY rate). One of the two 5GHz radios is often locked to the low end of the band (the 80MHz swath including channels 36, 40, 44, and 48) and the other is locked to the high end of the band (the 80MHz-wide swath including channels 149, 153, 157, and 161). These might not be sold in Europe since ETSI doesn't allow channels 149 and above. – Spiff Jul 30 '15 at 7:32
  • @Spiff That’s what I thought, but this tech doesn’t improve range at all, so I was wondering... – Daniel B Jul 30 '15 at 7:37
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Tri-bandedness itself does not increase range, but currently (up to mid-2015, the time of this writing), tri-band 802.11ac routers are top-of-the-line, state-of-the-art, flagship routers from the major players in the consumer wireless router industry, and as such, besting each other at rate-at-range is important for this subcategory of wireless routers, so they usually have great PAs (Power Amplifiers) on their transmit paths, great LNAs (Low-noise amplifiers) on their receive paths, great high-gain omnidirectional antennas, and they make use of beamforming when they can. It's really those things, not the fact that they're tri-band, that makes them have great range.

Whenever you decide to buy a new wireless router, always buy a top-of-the-line model, because those always have the best no-compromise designs. On everything else they cut corners in ways that harm the speed, range, and robustness of the network. The farther you move down the price curve, the worse the corner-cutting becomes.

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It depends on the type of router. If the router supports 802.11ac it should extend the range as it can use more simultaneous bandwidth (in Hz), avoid interference and more effective MIMO reception. Tri band 802.11ac devices should provide the longest possible range without extenders, but your computer/phone/device also needs to support it.

  • Wider channels may increase rate-at-range or usable range for certain bandwidth-sensitive applications, but it doesn't increase absolute range. It also doesn't avoid interference; using an 80MHz-wide channel exposes it to four 20MHz channels' worth of interference instead of one (I'm pretty sure no flavor of 802.11 does adaptive bit loading). No client devices support tri-band per se; clients just join one of the three BSSes created by the tri-band AP. Maybe you were thinking of 3x3:3 (3 spatial streams) instead of tri-band? – Spiff Jul 30 '15 at 7:20

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