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Networks Router / mesh / ap recomendation

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by stephen0205, 29 May 2022.

  1. stephen0205

    stephen0205 Modder

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    Morning fells,

    So i got the oculus quest and it has the air link feature which should allow me to play games wirelessly from the pc, with decent latency, however even in menus its unusable and needs the cable.

    At current it have
    Virgin HUB 5 wifi 6 router. Oddly enough the range on it and signal strength is supremely shocking.
    So i bought the tp link deco m4 mesh system, its decent, gives me wifi upstairs which was near impossible with the virgin router, so now it gets used in modem mode.

    But its only ac1200. and its one of the mesh aps that is connected to the pc, through ethernet, and its not backhaul either, hence half my issue.

    But thought time to move to something faster, would rather not break the bank but happy to buy up to like 150 maybe more, ill even buy used to save some pennies.

    So should i get like a decent ap, like a unifi or something with long range, or buy a better mesh system with backhall (dont really want to run cables tbh), and a better mesh system with the tri band setup like the oribis.

    Also might need a wifi adapter for the pc as well if i switch it out, suggestions welcome for that too
     
  2. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    Looks like your goal is to maximise wifi coverage AND get smooth Oculus AirLink going.

    For first one, if you don't want to run cables, a tri-band mesh setup is probably best and easiest.
    But for second one, you will want the only wireless connection to be from AP to your Quest. Everything else need to be wired for best experience.

    Where do you play your VR games? How does that relate to location of your PC? If you were to get a tri-band mesh system, is it possible to have PC wired to a mesh node and play VR next to the same mesh node?

    Definitely don't want the PC to be wireless for Airlink.
     
  3. stephen0205

    stephen0205 Modder

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    Apologies for the late reply, been working alooooot of overtime as of late to be able to answer this with any form of detail.

    OK, so the decos i have are dual band, not triband, so explains why there not amazing for throughput, and the wifi card on the pc isnt special either, its a cheap tp link t1u or something, and it maxes at 433mbps and its only 5ghz. The 3 mesh points are spread in the house (I have made you a rather detailed drawing, it won awards), 2 down stairs and 1 upstairs, its a 2 bedroom ok sized house, nothing massive.
    upload_2022-5-31_22-13-41.png
    When i had the rift s i would just lift the pc through, but seeing as the quest 2 is wifi i felt that this is something i should pursue and it wouldnt annoy me as much as having to go under a desk and unwire and rewires stuff.

    Atm i have it wired to one of the TP link nodes (didnt have a wifi adapter previously), and it works pretty well, i transfer back and forth to the nas on the first node in the living room area where the oculus lives, its nothing speedy but it works.

    We recently decorated and im not to great with diy for cables and stuff ( been zapped more than once :) ) , and were probably gonna sell up and move in a year, so just kinda wanted to avoid that if i can, i play in the living room with the oculus.

    Id rather not run a cable, although not impossible, i still have the coving to do so i could probably hide it pretty easy with that i guess.

    But...... large but lol, on my down time at work ive been looking for wireless solutions, and yes a mesh system sounds like a good idea with triband, better with backhaul, i wondered if i could get away with it completely wirelessly with 1 router and 1 wifi card.

    Been looking at routers, mainly netgear, the nighthawk xr500 xr700 and the AX8,

    xr500 =£85
    xr700 =£75
    AX8 = £125

    All solid little routers. I can pobably if moving furniture a little, sit the router at the corner of the room the oculus is in, much closer to the room the pc is in, and then fire a semi decent wifi 6 card on the pc like the asus pce-ax58bt and achieve close to max throughput at a distance of about 10-15 feet.

    Thats my current line of thinking but its then taking me into the ball park of 140 odd quid for a router and a dongle.

    I had looked at ones like the netgear orbis, but i just really dont want to spend £250 on them tbh, they seem fast, well reviewed, but whats the triangle thing people say
    upload_2022-5-31_22-28-2.png


    I had looked at cheaper or similarly priced TP link routers, but i have the deco, software isnt great, i suppose none are, but the main model that peaked me was the ax50, but then read so many posts on them overheating i just scrapped the idea, asus was my next check out, and they were dearer than the netgears so i wrote that off too
     
    Last edited: 31 May 2022
  4. sandys

    sandys Multimodder

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    Run a long cable to the front room, I bought a flat cable and was able to run it around the periphery of rooms and hallway through two doorways and you wouldn't know it is there, cable was 30m to travel about 5m :D but I didn't want to get the drill out.
     
  5. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    Running cables isn't as much trouble as before. You can either buy stick-on trunking to go along the skirting boards, or lay it under the floorboard while you are decorating. Buy pre-made flat ethernet cable, no risk of messing up the wiring. I ran 1 cable from router to my study. Now with FTTP coming in at study, I added 2 more flat CAT6 cables in the same trunking, 1 more than needed for future use.

    If you are going single router, I'd highly recommend see if you can move it to the middle of the house. For example towards top right of the VR room. I have Asus RT-AX86S, it covers whole house with 5Ghz WiFi 6 from middle of my house, I can highly recommend this one and Asus in general. Asus AIMesh also means I can re-use my old AC router to ensure I get max speed in the study, where 5Ghz signal is weakest.

    I would personally choose between these 2 approaches:
    1 - single router approach: run a cable from modem/ONT to top right of your VR room. Place a good router there and run another cable to your PC.
    2 - mesh approach: mesh nodes at your current locations, dual-band system is okay because you'll run a cable from VR node to the PC node for best VR experience. PC wired to the node in the same room. This is cheapest approach if existing mesh system can be configured for wired backhaul.

    Another thing you can try, less ideal, is using powerline adaptor to connect between PC room and VR room nodes. So your PC is wired to the mesh node, the mesh node is wired to VR node via powerline. The mesh system no longer need to interleave VR traffic with backhaul, now only wireless section is between mesh node and your headset.
    I have achieved 150 Mbps on AV1200 powerlines, if you then set Airlink bitrate to 70-80 Mbps, it would work. I have initially played VR games like this during first lockdown at a different house.
     
  6. stephen0205

    stephen0205 Modder

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    Never though of that heard some friends have some horror stories with power line adapters but certianly the cheapest option so I'll borrow some and see how it goes
     
  7. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    You can also try connecting powerline directly into node nearest to VR and other end into your computer. This cuts out having to go through mesh system. Just in case the mesh system is adding latency/stuttering.

    Oculus Quest Airlink only need 50 to 150 Mbps in my experience using it, depend on how much artefact you can stomach. As long as this bitrate is maintained and not contending with other devices (eg. backhaul, other streaming devices) it should work without stuttering. So get the speed you can achieve with powerline adaptors, set Airlink bitrate to something suitably less and see if you get any stuttering.

    Quest UI in wifi page also tells you the connection speed. You'd want it to say something like 866 Mbps (on WiFi 5). If not, make sure you are connected via 5 Ghz and WiFi channel width is set to be 80 MHz.
     
  8. stephen0205

    stephen0205 Modder

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    ok SOOOOO managed to get a hold of a really crappy set of tp link 200mbp homeplugs, but ... it seemed to work mostly, tried it with pistol whip and the valve vr play room thing, and it worked, with only a little jank, where as before it was unplayable even at a menu.

    That was pc to home plug, home plug to main mesh point, oculus to main mesh point. So a decent set might just cut it
     
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  9. kenco_uk

    kenco_uk I unsuccessfully then tried again

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    The best setup for Air Link is to plug a dedicated WAP into a second (or primary if the PC is connected wirelessly to your lan) network port and set it to AP mode and 5Ghz mode only. Connect the headset to the separate ssid of the dedicated WAP and it should run a lot better. It might be possible using your existing kit, but it would mean pushing everything to use the 2.4Ghz band and only allow the headset to use the 5Ghz band all by itself - i.e. what's probably happening is your headset is competing against other 5Ghz devices and not coming off the champion.

    An alternate method (it's the one I chose to do as I had one spare) is to have a usb wifi dongle and share the lan through it, but set it to work in 5Ghz mode only. It's a bit of a bodge but can be done through a couple of bat files on the desktop to switch on/off wifi ap hunting as it can cause huge lag spikes. There's quite a bit of info about this on various resources, and much more depth than I can explain off the top of my head. Hth.
     
  10. stephen0205

    stephen0205 Modder

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    Hmm ill look into that one. Have decided to sell the mesh system, either way this is the first reason where its failed my needs, and as things are getting more advaced i think im gonna outgrown it with some of the projects im planning this year, so might be a wifi 6 router, maybe a mesh system, just keep bidding on ebay and hope to win one for a good price.

    Have to say tho the quest 2 is by far my favorite purchase in a long long time. I had the rift s for a good bit, but i absolutely love this thing, it gets used nearly daily, and time just disappears playing it.
     
  11. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    My experience with a cheap Huawei AX3 was far from good. Not sure if it's bad AP or something else. But it's definitely worth a try if you can wire the AP across your house to your VR location. (or via powerline)
    I never gotten hotspot method to work, but that was pre-Airlink (ALVR and Virtual Desktop) days based on me horsing around rather than following any proven guides.

    I've taken a slightly different approach. Banish all smart-home devices to the ISP provided WiFi 6 router (it's not bad, just config too restricted). On my main Asus router, only Quest, phones and laptops are on 5Ghz. Only thing Quest may need to contend during the time I play is wife's phone on social media. It's totally flawless within line of sight of my main router, or in study now that I've added the old Asus AC router as a wired mesh node in the study.
     
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  12. sandys

    sandys Multimodder

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    I use AX3, have several in use running for what must 2yrs now, they are definately flawed but get great low latency Gigabit wifi, can't see how it couldn't handle a quest?
     
  13. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    Not sure what I've done wrong, it was put into AP mode and directly connected to my computer for Quest only. I get lag spikes seeming at set interval. Thing with Airlink is that signals must have a quick turn-around for the duration you are in VR, the lag spikes isn't noticeable on regular devices because you have buffers or file copy only display averages across 1 second (?)
     
  14. stephen0205

    stephen0205 Modder

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    well the mesh system is gone, so thinking the xr500 as its the cheapest of the fancy routers i liked. Worst case ill need to buy the extender if it dont cut it, and run a wire.
     
  15. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    The XR500 isn't a Wifi 6 router...... Quest 2 is a Wifi 6 capable device. Might be worth going for a Wifi 6 router because you have devices that can take advantage of it?

    I can highly recommend Asus AX86S for Airlink and general use. When you upgrade in the future, you can re-use this one as a mesh node.
     
  16. stephen0205

    stephen0205 Modder

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    Just wanted to give anyone who was interested an update, so i picked up a ubiquity unifi 6 pro access point, grabbed a poe injector to power it, grabbed an intel ax210 card and adapter to be used in my desktop, seems to get between 600-700mbps.

    I can now play the quest 2 wirelessly from the pc, although not perfect, its 100 times better than it was, i played with separation of the wifi and only had the pc and quest 2 on the 5ghz channel and seems to work really well, only getting issues when there's loads of devices used at once on the network.

    So not a big issue, cant really play it with the kid running about. and i just tell the wife to use her data when I'm on it for and hour every day or 2. So overall worked out ok, even though it was an expensive upgrade i feel it was worth it

    was 140 for the access point
    a tenner for the poe
    20 quid on cat 7 cable (i know but just incase i do something more powerful later on)
    and i was 40 quid for the intel card with adapter for the pc.
     
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