A naïve wifi question

I have Google Fiber in my house. It comes in from the wall in the bottom north part of the house. So the upper floor South end of the house has weak wifi. Most of my stuff is wired, so I never really bothered looking into Wifi stuff, so I apologize for asking such a naïve question.

If I wanted to extend the range of my wifi network, would I buy a Nest Router, or a Nest Point? On their website they say Nest Points don’t work without Nest Routers. But then they also say you can only have one wifi network in the house. So does that mean I’m looking for something else besides routers and points to extend the range of the wifi network I currently already have?

What do I need to buy and put on the second floor bedroom where I have decent wifi coverage, to extend good coverage to the South end of the house?

What does your fiber connection look like?



A and B. A is how it comes into the house. B is the device that wires my Xbox, PS4, etc, plus goes into the MOCA 2.0 setup that then connects to the cable plug. Then upstairs, the other half of the MOCA 2.0 thing connects through a long wire to a switch, which then connects to a bunch of my devices upstairs.

Plus B is also the wifi router, of course. Currently.

Is it possible to move your network box B) to a more central place in the house, since it’s the source of wifi?

The last friend I helped with this, used their own router in place of B) and then plugged in the provided Google puck wifi extender to ethernet on the other end of the house. This was a new 1G fiber install, and they got A) plus the puck wifi:

Is your network box the GFRG200 or GFRG210? You can get a Google “Wifi point” extender, but it’s not going to be as fast as a whole home Nest mesh system. If you get a Nest router+satellite(s) you can turn off the wifi on your network box and use the Nest wifi only. But I don’t think you can use just a nest satellite with your existing system.

I can’t really move B to a more central place, no. It’s at the end of the living room, after that is the kitchen, there’s no real aesthetically pleasing way of putting it there or the hallway after that. It has to stay where it is.

I’m not sure of the network box model, I can check that tonight when I get home.

Instead of a Nest setup, is there another Wifi extender that I could hook up to the Switch I have upstairs through the MOCA 2? If the Nest can only replace my wifi, is there something I can buy that’s not a replacement but just an extender?

You could definitely just buy a wireless access point.

If your MOCA setup upstairs has ethernet switch outputs, you can probably just plug in any extender up there which supports wired backhaul. This could be a branded Google wifi point, or something simpler depending on how much speed and capacity you need to extend.

If google wifi supports mesh with a wired backhaul, I would certainly buy their stuff as it’ll be super easy. Otherwise I’d buy a wifi AP (or a cheap consumer router in bridge mode, really) and plug it in upstairs.

Hey nice. Knowing this name helps me find a bunch of things. Googling wifi extender was mostly giving me articles on the stupid Nest.

I’m thinking this thing will probably do the trick:

TP Link Wireless Gigabit Access Point.

Only issue is that I use a long wire to go from the MOCA 2 device to the Switch in my computer room, which is closer to the north end of the house again. But maybe just having it be upstairs a little bit South will be enough that I can reach the South end of the house just fine.

That one is also PoE powered, so you can literally install it anywhere you can run the ethernet, even not near a power plug.

Power Over Ethernet? Wow, that’s really cool. I’ve never heard of that before.

You can use a network switch at your nintendo switch’s location to handle that no problem. This stuff is all super-cheap consumer tech.

I used Google Nest as a mesh with a wired backhaul for a couple of years with no problem. Had to passthrough the ISP moden/router

Sure it’ll work as the primary, question was whether google sold little mesh nodes that integrate with it.

I was thinking of switching to the 2Gb/s Google Fiber option at some point in the future. But to take advantage of it, I’ll need to get this MoCA 2.5 Network adapter to replace my current MoCA 2.0 ones (currently $170). And I’ll have to replace each switch I use with a multi-gigabit switch, which is currently around $117 each. So I actually was thinking I need to keep the number of switches I use around the house down so that if/when I make the switch to 2Gb/s, it won’t cost an arm and a leg.

Of course, “Do I really need 2Gb/s” is a separate question, and I think the answer is no, so I haven’t done it yet.

AFAIK all of the nest units can be either primary or mesh node. I had 3 of them

Anyone tried nest units as satellites with non-nest Google wifi routers?

Your network switch would have to be PoE capable to supply power via the ethernet port. Not all switches provide PoE (and I have no idea whether that feature is common for consumer switches?). If not, you can still use a PoE injector (adapter) for power, though that is admittedly not as sexy. It looks like that TP Link you mentioned comes with an adapter if you need it. That one or a similar WAP is probably your cheapest solution, unless you have a spare WIFI router collecting dust that you may be able to configure in WAP mode.

One caveat would be that YMMV on how well your mobile devices handle roaming from one wireless point to the other if you just add a WAP to your existing setup vs. doing a full out of the box mesh setup from Google, Orbi, eero, etc.


Some people like to setup a separate SSID for the extender, so they can manually control which devices connect where.

But if you have mobile devices that roam around the house, it can be good to use the same SSID for all the APs, but on different channels. If you can, turn DOWN the power level of the extender to limit the amount of area where the signals overlap. And when you roam around, the device should connect to the strongest signal if it loses connection, or you can turn the device wifi off and on to make it re-home to the stronger AP wherever you are.

If the seamless handoff works with a mesh setup (it doesn’t always), it can be a convenience, as well as being easier setup, but at higher cost.

So it arrived, I set it up. It seems the mode I want is Range Extender Mode. I followed the instructions, set everything up, setup my network in the thing, call the extended network, for example, network_ext. And it said it would restart the device and then told me to connect to it and then click finish. I connected to it, but it said it didn’t have internet access. So connecting to it won’t let me finish, and now the darn thing doesn’t work.

Tomorrow I’ll hit the reset pin in the back and start over. And if that doesn’t work, I guess maybe Range Extender mode won’t work after all, maybe Access point mode is what I should use (though it says to use that if I only have wired internet and want the WAP to provide all the wireless in the house).