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# 142987 31-Mar-2014 10:05
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I have an Engenius EAP350 at home and have been playing with the idea of AC wireless, but reviews for the AC based Engenius stuff seems to indicate poor range, which is why I went Engenius in the first place as we have a 250m2 house and it reaches most everywhere. 

Anyone have experience with Wireless AC Access points who can recommend one which is fast and has excellent range?


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  # 1015882 31-Mar-2014 11:00
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Well that AP you specified only works in the 2.4ghz spectrum while 802.11ac only works in the 5ghz spectrum.

The big difference between the two spectrums is the range and throughput. Basically 2.4ghz has long range but low to medium throughout while 5ghz is short range but medium to high throughput.

Also a big thing in some cases is that 2.4ghz is over saturated since everyone uses it for wifi and hence 5ghz is favourable since its usually unused or usually the neighbors signal doesn't have enough reach to interfere with your signal. It all depends on the wireless networks around you.

In short, 802.11ac will never have the range of 802.11n because it only works on 5ghz while 802.11n can work on 2.4ghz.

Now for recommendations.
I have an Asus RT-AC66U with DD-WRT firmware flashed on it and my 5ghz range is roughly 15 to 20 metres.

With 802.11ac you might want to rethink the placement of the AP as you'll want to have it in a centralised location so you have the best possible radius. But even I find that the outer edges of my house need to be served with 2.5ghz as 5ghz just won't reach such a long distance through all those old walls.

I hope I haven't overwhelmed you with information. :-)




Regards
Stefan Andres Charsley



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  # 1015885 31-Mar-2014 11:02
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charsleysa: Well that AP you specified only works in the 2.4ghz spectrum while 802.11ac only works in the 5ghz spectrum.

The big difference between the two spectrums is the range and throughput. Basically 2.4ghz has long range but low to medium throughout while 5ghz is short range but medium to high throughput.

Also a big thing in some cases is that 2.4ghz is over saturated since everyone uses it for wifi and hence 5ghz is favourable since its usually unused or usually the neighbors signal doesn't have enough reach to interfere with your signal. It all depends on the wireless networks around you.

In short, 802.11ac will never have the range of 802.11n because it only works on 5ghz while 802.11n can work on 2.4ghz.

Now for recommendations.
I have an Asus RT-AC66U with DD-WRT firmware flashed on it and my 5ghz range is roughly 15 to 20 metres.

With 802.11ac you might want to rethink the placement of the AP as you'll want to have it in a centralised location so you have the best possible radius. But even I find that the outer edges of my house need to be served with 2.5ghz as 5ghz just won't reach such a long distance through all those old walls.

I hope I haven't overwhelmed you with information. :-)


Most of the AC stuff I had seen is dual band? Are you saying AC is 5ghz only, but the routers they are attached to have a second radio serving N only at 2.4?


 
 
 
 


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  # 1015887 31-Mar-2014 11:06
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I have yet to see a 802.11ac AP device that isn't dual band.
Usually the configuration is that it's setup as 802.11n mixed mode on 2.4ghz and 802.11ac mixed mode on 5ghz.

Mixdd mode means they are backwards compatible with prior standards, so 2.4ghz can do n, g, b, and a, while 5 GHz can do AC, n, and a.




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Stefan Andres Charsley

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  # 1015902 31-Mar-2014 11:35
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networkn:

Most of the AC stuff I had seen is dual band? Are you saying AC is 5ghz only, but the routers they are attached to have a second radio serving N only at 2.4?



Correct.

Without knowing the exact build of you're house it's impossible to give a definitive answer, but I wouldn't expect a typical 5Ghz radio to cover a house that size, especially if it's having to travel through 3+ walls.





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  # 1015905 31-Mar-2014 11:37
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It's amazing to me that they have created a new standard with LESS range than the old standard. Isn't stuff supposed to get better each generation ?


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  # 1015907 31-Mar-2014 11:39
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networkn: It's amazing to me that they have created a new standard with LESS range than the old standard. Isn't stuff supposed to get better each generation ?



Umm things are getting better. The whole point of 5Ghz is to reduce range, not increase it. The reason 2.4Ghz is a total lost cause is because it travels too far.

60Ghz WiFi which will be here in the next year or so will limit coverage to a single room. With this we'll finally see usable WiFi again and get to see decent throughput because there won't be interference from the whole neighbourhood.




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  # 1015908 31-Mar-2014 11:41
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sbiddle:
networkn: It's amazing to me that they have created a new standard with LESS range than the old standard. Isn't stuff supposed to get better each generation ?



Umm things are getting better. The whole point of 5Ghz is to reduce range, not increase it. The reason 2.4Ghz is a total lost cause is because it travels too far.

60Ghz WiFi which will be here in the next year or so will limit coverage to a single room. With this we'll finally see usable WiFi again and get to see decent throughput because there won't be interference from the whole neighbourhood.



So is the intention, that if you want to cover a 250m2 square house, you will need 10 Access points? Seems strange.

 
 
 
 


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  # 1015921 31-Mar-2014 11:47
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networkn:
sbiddle:
networkn: It's amazing to me that they have created a new standard with LESS range than the old standard. Isn't stuff supposed to get better each generation ?



Umm things are getting better. The whole point of 5Ghz is to reduce range, not increase it. The reason 2.4Ghz is a total lost cause is because it travels too far.

60Ghz WiFi which will be here in the next year or so will limit coverage to a single room. With this we'll finally see usable WiFi again and get to see decent throughput because there won't be interference from the whole neighbourhood.



So is the intention, that if you want to cover a 250m2 square house, you will need 10 Access points? Seems strange.


If you're wanting 802.11ad? Yes. Maybe not 10 APs, but you will need several.

Nothing strange about it - basic physics tells us higher frequencies travel shorter distance. If you want to get several Gbps throughput over WiFi (which 802.11ad will deliver) you need large blocks of uncongested spectrum, and moving to 60Ghz is the best way to get this.

Right now WiFi is a complimentary solution to cabled Ethernet, it is not a replacement. In many areas 2.4Ghz is totally unusable so it dosn't even feature as a complimentary solution. 802.11ad will deliver us the closest thing to a replacement that we've seen.


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  # 1015922 31-Mar-2014 11:49
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networkn:
sbiddle:
networkn: It's amazing to me that they have created a new standard with LESS range than the old standard. Isn't stuff supposed to get better each generation ?



Umm things are getting better. The whole point of 5Ghz is to reduce range, not increase it. The reason 2.4Ghz is a total lost cause is because it travels too far.

60Ghz WiFi which will be here in the next year or so will limit coverage to a single room. With this we'll finally see usable WiFi again and get to see decent throughput because there won't be interference from the whole neighbourhood.



So is the intention, that if you want to cover a 250m2 square house, you will need 10 Access points? Seems strange.


I know what you're thinking, it sounds like a bad thing and for most people that don't have the infrastructure for a setup like that, it probably will be. But we're moving into the age where houses are now wired with star wiring which means RJ45 ports with Cat cabling are available in every room.

With a setup like that it means that every room can have a 60ghz AP and it will be a simple device that just plugs into one of those ports and it will be powered off the same port using Power over Ethernet technology.

A lot of schools and businesses already have the infrastructure in place so it's only a matter of time before most houses have the infrastructure as well.




Regards
Stefan Andres Charsley



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  # 1015924 31-Mar-2014 11:51
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My understanding is that 802.11ac is lower latency than N, is this correct?

I am not as worried personally about total throughput, but am concerned about range. I'd ideally like 30-50Mbps in terms of speed. For streaming video, I have tried everything, but essentially it's not reliable enough even in short range with N, so I cabled. 

I do understand that wireless is complimentary to cabled solution and not a replacement, but since you can't really cable a smart phone or tablet, and I still want to be able to use it....




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  # 1015925 31-Mar-2014 11:52
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charsleysa:
networkn:
sbiddle:
networkn: It's amazing to me that they have created a new standard with LESS range than the old standard. Isn't stuff supposed to get better each generation ?



Umm things are getting better. The whole point of 5Ghz is to reduce range, not increase it. The reason 2.4Ghz is a total lost cause is because it travels too far.

60Ghz WiFi which will be here in the next year or so will limit coverage to a single room. With this we'll finally see usable WiFi again and get to see decent throughput because there won't be interference from the whole neighbourhood.



So is the intention, that if you want to cover a 250m2 square house, you will need 10 Access points? Seems strange.


I know what you're thinking, it sounds like a bad thing and for most people that don't have the infrastructure for a setup like that, it probably will be. But we're moving into the age where houses are now wired with star wiring which means RJ45 ports with Cat cabling are available in every room.

With a setup like that it means that every room can have a 60ghz AP and it will be a simple device that just plugs into one of those ports and it will be powered off the same port using Power over Ethernet technology.

A lot of schools and businesses already have the infrastructure in place so it's only a matter of time before most houses have the infrastructure as well.


How much are these devices each? Hard to believe your average NZ home would spent $100 per room for WiFi.

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  # 1015926 31-Mar-2014 11:56
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networkn: My understanding is that 802.11ac is lower latency than N, is this correct?

I am not as worried personally about total throughput, but am concerned about range. I'd ideally like 30-50Mbps in terms of speed. For streaming video, I have tried everything, but essentially it's not reliable enough even in short range with N, so I cabled. 

I do understand that wireless is complimentary to cabled solution and not a replacement, but since you can't really cable a smart phone or tablet, and I still want to be able to use it....



The problem you're getting with throughput is due to the fact that the 2.4ghz is overused and there are probably some of your devices with aren't using N mode.

This causes issues as it slows everything down. With 2.4ghz you can theoretically get up to 450Mbps.

As for the 802.11ad devices in each room, we are still early in the era of star wiring and 60ghz wifi, $100 per room is quite cheap considering there's hardly a demand at the moment but as soon as consumer demand rises, the cost will fall.




Regards
Stefan Andres Charsley



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  # 1015960 31-Mar-2014 12:37
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Apparently these aren't bad, but wowsers look at that price, and I understand they would likely still have less range than the 2.4Ghz stuff. 

http://www.gowifi.co.nz/access-points-802.11/outdoor-wireless-access-points/ubiquiti-unifi-uap-ac-high-speed-managed-wireless-access-point.html?keyword=uap-ac

How can you tell if your smartphone (Android) is on 2.4 or 5Ghz?


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  # 1015977 31-Mar-2014 12:57
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You will find UBNT's pricing to be the lowest for AC gear. Expect to pay in excess of $1000 for the other big players gear.

The only thing you can't do with Unifi is force devices on to the 5GHz radio. I find the only full proof way to do it is simply have a different SSID for the 5GHz radio (As in have 'Wireless' and then Wireless_5'). That way you will always know your device is connected on 5GHz.
I believe Ruckus has some sort of band management that will make devices pick 5GHz over 2.4GHz - don't know, never used it. Unifi gear is pretty dam good.

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  # 1015980 31-Mar-2014 13:04
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I buy all my personal and commercial networking gear from eurodk. Prices are really good.

http://www.eurodk.com/en/products/base-stations




Do whatever you want to do man.

  

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