I thought I would post most recent experience here at trying to achieve a really good wifi network around the house, and what has worked. In a nutshell - by stopping my pursuit of chasing the ultimate speed, I have ended up with a rock solid stable network - albeit one that has cost me quite a bit - of time and money.

 

None of what I am about to say will come as any surprise to members here who design networks for their living, I suspect.

 

Our house is 1920's lathe and plaster internal walls and a nightmare trying to get good wifi signal distributed. We used to have a network of 2 Airport Extreme's and 2 Airport Expresses, all transmitting single SSID across 2.4/5 Ghz network (20 Mhz 1/6/11 and 80 Mhz on either 36 or 149). it became increasingly unreliable, and I embraced the new Smart modem/Smart Mesh system from Spark, running 3 LAN wired Mesh units with the Smart Modem (single SSID , running on channel 1 at 20 Mhz, and 149 at 80 Mhz). Because it was a MESH system, even though I was using the MESH units as wired APs, they all had to transmit on the same channels.

 

It alternated between working really well, and then randomly and on some occasions repeatedly dropping client connections for no discernible reason. Sometimes it did roaming really well, and other times dropped. I played around with transmit power, put my old ER-X back into service, and ran the MESH units standalone from  the Smart Modem. Nothing worked.

 

Finally, in frustration, I went all in on a Unifi network of 4 wired Wifi 6 APs, initially routed by the ER-X, but now the Smart Modem has been pressed back into service as a router as it has better speeds and processing than the ER-X. Initially I continued to have problems with disconnects as well, despite playing around with transmit power, but the final change nailed it. I dropped bandwidth on the 5 Ghz channels to 40 Mhz, and created 4 completely non-overlapping 5 Ghz channels, without touching the DFS channels. 5Ghz transmit power is set to 21 Dbm, and 2.4 Ghz power to 14 Dbm. The two APs that transmit on the same 2.4 Ghz channels are most distant from each other.

 

While my raw download speeds on roaming devices have now dropped, I am still achieving reliable 200 - 300 mb/s up/down most places in the house. 

 

More importantly, the disconnects have completely stopped, and roaming seems excellent. I have kept band steering activated, but haven't activated any of the fast roaming or BSS transition options. 

 

Some of you might question whether I really need 4 APs - all I can say is that my walls are really good at blocking wifi!However it would appear not so good that some interference was still occurring with the use of 80 Mhz channels.

 

I am now a happy camper with a "slower" but much more stable network.