WI FI MESH SYSTEMS

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  • Updated 1 year ago
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I find that using a wireless WI FI system that requires extenders just is unsatisfactory.  The area that I wish to cover, my house and shop is too large for one WI FI access point. 

In addition, I wish to use the WI FI access point only as an Access point and not a router, as my router is located at a remote location.

Any comments? Any recomendations?
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Ken K7YR

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Posted 1 year ago

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Danny K5CG

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UBIQUITY! FULL STOP
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Jim Bryce W5HFS

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I totally agree. Don't waste your time and money with the consumer stuff that requires multiple IDs. Install one or more Ubiquity devices connected by cables. They are what is used in most commercial installations to cover large areas. 
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Adde Tjernberg

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Have three Ubiquity AP's in my house. Seamless handovers. Works UFB!
73 es GL!
Adde, SM0SHG
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Jim Gilliam

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I successfully use an Amped wireless extender. However, it did not work with the little vertical antennas on the unit. Out of frustration, I bought a small paabolic dish and connected it to one port of the extender and pointed it at the router. I was able to get enough throughput to use the Flex anywhere in the house or the outside premises. The extender also has 4 switching ports that can be used to connect wired devices.


Jim, K6QE

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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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  1. NEAFI-HD (UBIQUITI AMPLIFI HIGH DENSITY WIFI SYSTEM)
  2. NEAFI-LR (UBIQUITI AMPLIFI LONG RANGE WIFI SYSTEM)
  3. NEAFI-R (UBIQUITI AMPLIFI HIGH DENSITY ROUTER)
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Carmine Iannace, W1EQX

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Ubiquity is absolutely the way to go. Suggest you look at the UniFi line. They have mesh and multi-access point (non-repeater) solutions as well. Rock solid. I have an outdoor wireless system around the farm. Typical range is about 600 ft.

https://unifi-mesh.ubnt.com/#products
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KF4HR

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I haven't had much luck with WiFi extenders either.  I ended up using two ASUS AC-RT3200 Routers, one configured as a Router and the other configured as an Access Point (easy to configure via the ASUS software).  I'm covering well over 5,000 sf with no problems now. 
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spopiela

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I use an Netgear R7000 router as my main router connected to the internet modem. I had an older DLINK router which was still a fast router and connected it as a remote  access point in my house on the LAN to the R7000 to cover a low signal area. The DLINK router is connected over ethernet cable to the R7000. Each router has its own wifi connection channels and names. Easy to use .
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Carmine Iannace, W1EQX

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Access points that share the same Ethernet network can all have the same network name (SSID) as long as the channels don't overlap.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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If you can't afford Aruba, Ubiquiti is the way to go. However I use Engenius at home...

Ria
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Carmine Iannace, W1EQX

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Engenius is good and low cost. I have used them in the past. I had issues with the Outdoor AP's locking up unexpeditedly and with long term support of the firmware.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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You need to stay on top of the firmware for sure. I run the latest fw and no lockups. 
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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+1 for Aruba
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Our whole building is Aruba. Works really well. Employee cafe wifi is regularly 200-300Mbps even with other users on it. 
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Doug Hall

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Another vote for Ubiquiti Long Range Access points.

73 de K4DSP
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David Merchant

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Check out eero.com.  They make a WiFi Mesh system for home that works very well.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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That looks pretty nice. I may have to pick up one for travel purposes. 
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W9YU

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I have been using Eero for a few months now and seems to work great.
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Joe - KC2TN

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Been using Ubiquiti LR's for several years now! Worked great with my Maestro and iOS SSDR IPAD. I could walk throughout my house and back deck freely without losing the connection. I used 3 AP's spaced out around the house. Made my wife happy that she didn't lose connections on her iPhone when walking from one end of the house to the others. Gotta make those points with new radios coming out!
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Mike va3mw

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I have installed and pulled Wifi extenders from many homes even after ensuring there was limited channel overlap.  This would be in crowded urban areas with homes near to each other and each AP hearing over 10 other APs, all of which have to provide bandwidth to each other.  

I just didn't find them reliable and certainly didn't improve the overall bandwidth.  In none ham environments, built a Mesh of Power  Line devices with amazing success.  Your mileage may very depending on many things, but they 'just worked' and I ones I test at my QTH, I was not able to hear them on any ham bands.  It was almost as good as pulling Cat 5.  I have been using the ones from TP-Link.
 
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L.Kubis

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I've been using these power line Ethernet links in my house for a while, Mike and find mine very RF noisy in the VHF bands. Which ones are you using?

Lloyd
VE3ERQ
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Bill W2PKY

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I have a problem with 6M if running Ethernet signals over wire in the attic. Anyone know how to mitigate this interference?
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Varistor

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I use Ubiquity at my VE3 location and love it. However, I absolutely would not recommend it to anyone unless they know what they are doing. This is further complicated by the fact that you need a computer/controller to manage the network.

My #1 recommendation is Open Mesh. They invented the concept of mesh WiFi before even Ubiquity put it on the product roadmap and have been selling their products since 2005. This is a well matured product compared to the other mesh vendors. The current version of the firmware is at v6! See https://help.cloudtrax.com/hc/en-us/articles/206490603-AP-Firmware-4xx-5xx-6xx

The management interface is cloud based and you can manage your network from anywhere. The management platform is multi-user capable so that you can have different users with different levels of access. For example, I have an account for my vacation property manager who can only issue WiFi temporary vouchers to our guests; he cannot do anything else with the devices.

Open Mesh makes commercial grade equipment without the complicated management or high prices. All of their access points are PoE for ease of installation.

I have 4 networks in 3 countries, total of 9 access points, all working flawlessly for years and requiring zero ongoing maintenance. Having used Aruba, Ubiquity, and Meraki in the past I see no reason to use anything but Open Mesh.

Note also that virtually all of the newly minted consumer access points use wifi to connect the units to each other. That is, there is no option to hard wire them to the edge router or switch that powers the network. For many people this is likely to be OK, but the optimum solution is to hardware them when possible. Thus the significance of PoE.

Open Mesh is ONLY an access point and requires you have a router in front of it if you want to take advantage of VLANs and other more complex network setup. OM supports up to 5 SSIDs per network. Roaming across devices is 100% seamless and the access points support 802.11r for fast handoff between APs.

One final note- Open Mesh allows you to turn off the annoying status lights. This is very useful when the AP is in a bedroom or another area you want to keep free from light pollution.
(Edited)
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John

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Absolutely agree.  Using OM2P devices in a difficult environment.  Somehow they communicate with each other (not on the wifi channels) to build a solid network.
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Andy - KU7T

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Did some research, but have not found the low level details as most vendors do not show these in their nice one-page sales pitch. Does anyone of you know about mesh systems that can do these:

- appropriate speed and reliability to use for SmartSDR and SmartLink (over wifi, not wired)
- cloud based history page (to see traffic from computers/IPs)
- enable/disable individual computers from the network temporarily or by schedule with an easy interface (possibly even from smart phone app)
- VPN capable
- add additional mesh points later to expand network (not wired to base).

Thanks
Andy
KU7T