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Networks Recommend me a wireless solution

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Fingers66, 27 Feb 2019.

  1. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    Hi all, I'm looking for some advice.

    I currently run VM broadband (circa 380Mbps) via a Hub 3.0 (modem mode) > Asus RT-N66U > Netgear 16 port GB switch > hardwired CAT6 & 2 x Asus RP-AC52 AP's all spread over a 3 story house. The router connects to the AP's via 5GHz, the AP's then connect to the clients on 2.4GHz. I also use different SSID's for the 2.4GHz & 5GHz bands.

    All PC's (6), 2 TV's, 2 TIVO boxes, 1 PS4 and 2 Synology's are connected via CAT6, 3 laptops, 1 printer, 1 Sonos speaker (maybe more soon), 1 Wii, 3 tablets and 4 phones are wireless.

    Wired performance is perfectly fine (internet is effin' amazing compared to previous BT Infinity 36Mbps tbh) but wireless performance can be poor. I really notice the wireless performance takes a hit when my daughter is streaming NetFlix and YouTube at the same time.

    Wireless tests show circa 90Mbps via 2.4GHz and 130Mbps via 5Ghz - tested when nothing else was using the bands.

    I know that this is down to the bottlenecking of the 2.4GHz band when multiple clients use it. Allowing the AP clients to connect via the 5GHz band would help but it would still be a bottleneck back to the router wireless.

    My aim is to improve wireless speeds on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands via access points.

    I am thinking of upgrading the Asus router to a tri-band router such as an Asus RT-AC3200 to allow wireless clients to connect using 5GHz but I would have to change to tri-band AP's as well.

    I have also been looking at the Unifi kit (cos I have read it is awesome) but am not sure what to get.

    What options would the good people of bit-tech recommend?

    Suggestions?
     
  2. meandmymouth

    meandmymouth Well-Known Member

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  3. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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  4. saspro

    saspro IT monkey

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    How many wired & wireless clients?
     
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  5. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    13 wired clients currently and 14 wireless clients if all connecting simultaneously.
     
  6. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    Keep the RT-N66U as the router, keep the wired switches, and throw in some Unifi Wireless APs.
    Better coverage (they bond to form a continuous network and transparently hand off between APs as you move about) and MUCH better performance in practice: all-in-one setups like to advertise high peak speeds to a single device but ask them to work in a congested RF environment while connected to 5 bajillion smartphones, tablets, laptops, consoles, etc at once, and they'll fart and let the smoke out. As for kit: I've got a few of the old square-style Unifi AC APs off the 'bay for cheap and they work just fine, but even their current 'lite' APs support 802.11AC now so a couple of those off Amazon would work too.
     
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  7. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    Thanks for the feedback. What about the wireless backhaul to the router from the AP's, surely that is the bottleneck in this case?
     
  8. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    The APs connected to the router via wired networking (they're even power-over-ethernet by default, no discrete power socket), the router's radios play no part in the WiFi network whatsoever and remain disabled.
     
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  9. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    I don't have any CAT6 sockets near the AP locations, my switch isn't a POE switch and don't want to introduce the house wiring as a massive antenna. I need the AP's to connect via wireless back to the router hence why I was suggesting upgrading to tri-band AP's and router - then it can use a dedicated 5GHz band for the backhaul and a 2.4GHz and 5GHz band for the clients.
     
  10. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    The APs come with PoE injectors for non-PoE switches. PoE does not turn wiring into an antenna, it's DC after all.
    With wireless backhaul systems, performance is going to be poor in RF congested environments (and lackluster even in perfect environments, it's a bad idea all round). It's been more than a decade since the 5GHz spectrum was 'free' compared to 2.4GHz (that ship sailed with 802.11g).
     
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  11. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    Power isn't the issue. On the second floor I have a spare LAN port and power socket so I can try my existing RT-AC52 AP but with the backhaul wired to the router via CAT6 to see if that improves things.

    If the signal is good enough on the first floor from the second floor AP then I think my problem may be solved. If the signal isn't good enough then a better AP may be required. Gonna try it tomorrow and see what happens.

    Do Unifi / Ubiquiti do a wall socket powered AP that would be a more powerful wi-fi signal than my RP-AC52's?
     
  12. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    https://www.amazon.co.uk/RBD52G-5HACD2HND-TC-MikroTik-hAP-ac2/dp/B079SD8NVQ/ - one of these as your router

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mikrotik-RBcAPGi-5acD2nD-US-RouterBoard-cAP-AC/dp/B079S7YLKM/ - one or two of these, using the CAPsMAN protocol to slave against the hAP AC and provide an enterprise Wifi solution so your clients will roam, band steer, etc

    Hardwire your access points where you can or if not, https://www.amazon.co.uk/TL-PA7010PKIT-Passthrough-Powerline-Streaming-Configuration/dp/B06VW1WCCD/
     
    Last edited: 28 Feb 2019
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  13. Blogins

    Blogins Panda have Guns

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    If I'm reading this right then this is the weak part of the chain. I had similar issues and tried all sorts until I eventually resorted to TP-Link Powerline Adapters. I got the TL-PA9020P KIT which connects the Broadband Router directly to my Wifi Router upstairs and I never get any problems. The Wifi Router gets the exact same speed as if it were connected directly to the Broadband Router. Of course it all depends on your houses wiring but I think it's worth a shot.
     
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  14. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    I have CAT6 throughout the house but never hardwired the AP's in.

    I have just connected one of the AP's via cable to the switch in my boy's room and am doing some testing. I have switched the AP on the top floor off for now.
     
  15. Blogins

    Blogins Panda have Guns

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    The RP-AC52 is only 100Mbps over Ethernet. Might be upgrade time!
     
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  16. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    Agreed, I'm still testing to see what difference the hard wiring of the AP makes in "real life" but I am still looking at a router and AP upgrade - the router does not do AC wireless and as you say, the AP only connects via cable at 100Mbps.

    I'm still looking for recommendations for a router & AP upgrade - I would prefer to keep them the same make/brand for compatibility unless there is a compellign reason not to.
     
  17. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    Nudges you back up to my earlier post about Mikrotik :) It's a bit more DIY than Ubiquiti's fancy GUI but doesn't require the cloud controller as it does it all in the master router. But it's all gigabit.

    If you wanted more ports in the router, this has 5 GE and 5 FE - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mikrotik-MT-RB2011UiAS-2HnD-IN/dp/B00I4QFQDI/

    Or this has 10 GE for £30 more https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Network-...as-rm-Ethernet-1000Base-T-3-1-Gen/B01EL7TF9E/

    You could also buy multiple of hAP AC and set it into access point mode and it'll work like an access point with a 5 GE switch in. So for example, if you want four ports and an uplink and an AP like in the lounge for consoles etc, that might work better than the cAP AC.
     
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  18. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    I can't find a Mikrotik router with firewall/security on their website, as I am running the VM router in modem mode, I need a firewall - did I miss something on their website?
     
  19. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    Ah.... basically pretty much everything is a router with NAT support and firewalling. I think even their switches run RouterOS L5. Their 'cAP' products don't have many local ports and are optimised to work in the Access Point role but the hAP AC I linked above is a fully featured home router which can be plugged into a VM supermodem in modem only mode. I know, because I have a hAP AC myself, albeit I used it with an ONT NTE for a FTTP service.

    The RB2011 and RB3011 I linked are similarly so.

    Some Wiki pages for how to make rules on the CLI - however they can also be made on the GUI. https://wiki.mikrotik.com/wiki/Tips_and_Tricks_for_Beginners_and_Experienced_Users_of_RouterOS https://wiki.mikrotik.com/wiki/Manual:IP/Firewall/Filter

    In order to use the hAP AC with VM, when you connect to the default IP and web admin interface, you will be presented with a quickstart wizard. Now what they call it depends slightly on software version but broadly you're looking for "Dual AP + Router" and you can set up PPPoE or DHCP as required on the WAN interface.

    This is how to set up the CAPsMAN feature for the enterprise Wifi roaming etc https://wiki.mikrotik.com/wiki/Manual:Simple_CAPsMAN_setup
     
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  20. saspro

    saspro IT monkey

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    Late to the party but here goes.

    If you can wire AP's in then do it, wireless backhaul introduces latency and dramatically cuts down speeds.

    For Unifi I'd leave the VM router in Modem mode, connect a USG or USG-Pro to that on WAN1, connect LAN1 to a switch (idealy POE) then cat5/6 to wired endpoints & wired AP's (UAP-AC-Pro are good but lite/LR's would do it fine). Run the controller wither on hostifi for free or get a cloudkey gen2 plus (gives the options for cameras later.

    I run a similar setup (I'm using nanoHD's) with 50+ devices at home and it's solid.

    Depending on the mounting of the AP, you might get away with 1 AP in the middle of the house
     
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