Full Fibre: How to connect to router upstairs?

CaptainRock Forumite Posts: 24
Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
edited 18 June at 9:38AM in Broadband & internet access
I'm no expert when it comes to wifi and routers etc. but I'm thinking of changing to full fibre.

I currently have a cable running up the stairs from the master socket which connects to the router that's in a bedroom.

If I have full fibre coming into the house, I'm guessing that the current master socket will be removed and a new socket for full fibre will be installed?
I then have to have a cable (what type of cable will I need?) to run up the stairs to the router without losing any speed, unless there is another way of doing this?



  • HaroldWhistler
    HaroldWhistler Forumite Posts: 70
    10 Posts Name Dropper

    Firstly, definitely go for Full Fibre. It makes a big difference. The installation process will involve a new Optical Network Terminal (ONT) on the inside of the house. The broadband provider will arrange for the wholesale provider (e.g. Openreach, CityFibre, B4RN etc) to bring the full fibre wire to a small box on the outside wall of the property from the nearest node (for example on the nearby telephone/electricity pole). They will then feed this in to the property and connect that to the ONT (think of this as your new master socket which you interact with). 

    The ONT is usually a small thin square shaped box on the inside wall. About 20cm by 20cm. It will have a power cable that will be plugged into a regular power socket. And the Fibre optic cable that was drilled into the house will input into the ONT. It replaces the old Master socket. The ONT will then have a connection point for your Router.

    Your router will connect to this new ONT using an Ethernet cable. You can either have your Router situated right next to the ONT, or run your own long Ethernet cable from the ONT directly to your Router elsewhere in the house. 

    The best way to not lose any speed would be a wired connection. There are a few options. First, it is important as to what the incoming internet speed is into the house. Think of the internet speed like the water pressure into the home. You can then pick a suitable cable to deliver said speed over the distance. There are some countries where they run plastic optical fibre within a home (which require a power supply for the conversion point), though in most cases, an Ethernet Cable will do just fine. "Cat 7" ethernet cables of various colours/designs are available on places like Amazon for varying lengths. These can be run along a skirting board. 

    The best way to get speed around the home is ethernet (or fibre) wiring. But there are certainly very good options that are either wireless, or use the existing home electrical network. Alternative methods that are less direct to "disperse" your fabulous full fibre connection include the following:

    Network devices like Mesh systems or Routers that you can buy usually have more powerful antennas to provide a powerful signal throughout the home. You can build for instance a Wifi 6 network. They do not have to be expensive. Simply check the speed that a product is capable of versus what you get into the house and what you need on average around the house. 

    If the Broadband product speed is anywhere up to around 300Mbps, then you could try one of the following solutions:

    BT Home Mesh Wifi 3 pack (around £129) - You connect the first disc into your main existing router. A second can go somewhere else downstairs, and the third one upstairs. The second and third "satellite" discs simply need to be plugged in to a power socket. You then turn your Wifi off on your main Vodafone router. The discs should then "Mesh" together as a seamless new Wifi network. 

    Powerline system (a 2 pack can be had for usually around £70, and a 3 pack for around the £100 mark, possibly cheaper depending on if there are offers from places like Amazon, Curry's etc). This uses your existing home electrical wiring to spread the internet connection around the home. You simply connect (by ethernet cable) the first Powerline unit into your main existing Router. Then follow the setup instructions to sync those up to your other Powerline nodes. Those nodes merely need to be plugged in to a power socket upstairs. And a Wifi signal will be broadcast from that node upstairs. This will mean you can bypass obstacles like walls. The technology has a slight limitation in that it usually cannot get to speeds above 150Mbps and may slow down to around 60 to 80Mbps if there are many appliances running in the house at the same time (e.g. the oven, microwaves, vacuum cleaner etc). TP Linkseem to be highly rated. Although you can keep the same Wifi name and password and devices will automatically connect, do note there may be a slight delay if you cross between upstairs and downstairs as technically speaking there are two different wireless networks in the house and a device hops off one and onto another.

    Powerline Mesh system (possibly around £150 to £300) - Works the same way as (2), but the wireless signal that comes out of each node meshes together as a single network rather than having two separate wireless networks upstairs and downstairs. In this scenario, some products are such that the first node can also be used as the Router as well and you can simply disconnect your Vodafone router altogether. Or you can keep your Router and just use them as Wifi points around the home (remember to turn your Vodafone router's Wifi off in that case). Products include the TP Link Deco systems. 

    If the speed of the Broadband is over 300Mbps and under 500Mbps, you could try a different type of Mesh system:

    Asus Zen XT8 Wifi 6 Mesh system - a two pack is around £400. This is a great Wifi 6 Mesh system that will work in a similar fashion to (1) though is more powerful. It has a dedicated "backhaul" signal to communicate between the network itself (between the node downstairs and the node upstairs) which should give you higher speeds, less delays etc. The initial downstairs node can either be plugged in to the Vodafone router, or replace it altogether. 

    If the speed of the Broadband is up to 700Mbps:

    5. Asus Zen XT8 (as in 4) Mesh system

    If the speed of the Broadband is close to 900Mbps/Gigabit:

    Asus Zen XT12 Mesh system - works exactly like (4), but slightly more advanced. Well reviewed. A two pack usually costs around £500 to £650 depending on offers. Can be used with the Vodafone router, or completely replace it.

    Netgear Orbi Wifi 6 Mesh system - works similar to (7). Famous for its range, and its crazy price. A 3 pack usually costs around £700. Can be used with the Vodafone router, or completely replace it. 

    For any of the Internet speeds, you could also theoretically buy your own Router which would usually provide a more powerful signal than the typical broadband ISP supplied router. As to whether it fully reaches the whole house wirelessly by itself, will depend on the walls of the house:

    TP Link Wifi 6 AX3000 router - usually costs around £90 - Depending on the size of the house, one router may be enough to rule them all. Can technically speaking create a Mesh network by adding more TP link products to it which creates one network (e.g. a TP Link Deco Powerline node upstairs). 

    Amplifi Alien Router - one of them costs around £400 - Depending on the size of the property, one of these might be enough to cover the whole house wirelessly. It is simple to use with a touchscreen as well. I would say however that it isn't the best value if more units are needed. Can be used as a replacement Router, or connected to your existing Vodafone router. 

    A Netgear Wifi 6 router - different models cost between £200 to £450 depending on offers and what sort of speed you need. If the model you see is faster than your Internet speed, then you wouldn't need to go for a "faster" more expensive one. 

    There are also "Wifi 6E" routers and Mesh systems available, but three things should be noted:

    1. They are rather expensive

    2. The real benefit of the 6Ghz band is only experienced on client devices (computers, phones, tablets etc) that are capable of interacting on that band. Other devices do not benefit. Whereas a Wifi 6 system does have network benefits for the overall network even if client devices are not Wifi 6. 

    3. The new Wifi 7 standard is coming around next year and will improve upon Wifi 6 in terms of overall network performance (which older devices benefit from), will include the new 6Ghz band (for new devices), but importantly have new technology that will benefit every device in terms of range performance of each satellite node. Probably better to save the difference between a Wifi 6 and 6E system today for then. 

  • unforeseen
    unforeseen Forumite Posts: 7,180
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 31 May at 6:52PM
    Just to note that if you are using an ISP that uses Open reach infrastructure then you can normally ask that the fibre enters the property where you wish, within reason.
    Therefore you can have the fibre connection enter the house on the first floor if you have somewhere suitable close to a power socket. 
  • CaptainRock
    CaptainRock Forumite Posts: 24
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Thanks for the replies, especially @HaroldWhistler for yours :)

  • HaroldWhistler
    HaroldWhistler Forumite Posts: 70
    10 Posts Name Dropper
    Thanks for the replies, especially @HaroldWhistler for yours :)

    You're welcome!
  • Peter999_2
    Peter999_2 Forumite Posts: 926
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper
    That's a great and informative post HaroldWhistler.
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