Excellent, thanks scheidel21 for the response. I really just needed to get my foot in the door on some of the jargon.
There are two separate internet connections.
I am looking at the setup now to get a better idea of what they have going currently and then I'll be making my changes.
I'll post when specifics surface or questions slow me.
NyteOwl, so to begin I have reset all of the routers, gateways, and access points to factory default and left the connections on both access points as Open. This seems to have solved the problem of the consistent crashes so I am thinking it had something to do with the previous configuration. As I work through it I will establish appropriate connection security and hopefully an optimal configuration. My knowledge of the limits of a configuration is limited.
What part of the performance do I really have control of?
As for the hardware, we are privately owned so I'd say sort of an inbetween on quality. Somewhere between nuclear silo and my grandfather's apartment.
What is now
i) 2 Comcast Business IP Gateways :: SMC8014
... the upper one is connected to a switch, and the lower is connected directly to the AP...
ii) 2 EliteConnect
™ Universal Wireless Access Point Universal 2.4GHz/5GHz Wireless Access Point :: SMC2555W-AG2
iii) Buffalo Air Station NFiniti High Power Giga :: WZR-HP-G300NH
...upgrades are an option but I want to work with what I have
...unless there is some kind of really cool game changer
iv) TrendNET POE Switch :: TPE-S44
...with 8 slots:
There are so many wires coming off of this thing and only two are obvious. I will be filling these in as they reveal themselves to me.
One more treasure is there are three SSIDs that mimic our naming and security scheme that seem to be separate from our internal setup. They may be personal routers of resident guests or may be fake connections? Again, more to look into.