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302 posts

Ultimate Geek

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# 214311 5-May-2017 22:35
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Just because Google don't sell them here, doesn't mean I'm going to wait.


Is sexy WiFi a thing? I think it might be!

Via eBay, YouShop & with a slight delay courtesy NZ Customs, my first Google WiFi kit arrived yesterday.

Pre-destined for a client with a 5-person household, every last one of them fully equipped with bandwidth-draining devices - iPhone 6S & 7's, Galaxy S7's, PS4, XBox One, Nintendo thing, Surface 4, HP Folio, iMac, Galaxy Tab, smart TV's, Arlo video security & more. Their existing kit was a mess - Vodafone router & WiFi with $330 Netgear extender that, when loaded up with aforementioned data gobblers, would often & regularly crash the signal.

To make matters worse, the house is split over 3 levels, the single phone jack is on the middle floor, bless the Chorus installer who did this.

After struggling through various attempted solutions - oversize modems that look too much like an oversized angular cockroach with stupid expensive extenders & various configurations all of which returned very similar results, it was decided - "Stuff this, Megabyte, you sort it. I'll pay, you sort it & hurry up"

So I did the eBay thing & waited impatiently - til yesterday. Installation was a breeze, the Google WiFi app knows what it's up to. 15-20 minutes in total, all done. It's been in place for 26 hours now, delivering smooth, rich connectivity for all.

How do I know? First up - not one call. If there was an issue, I'd be told about it. & also, the app gives me remote admin control - I can check in & out silently, making sure everything is sweet - & it is. Highest attached device count so far - 12.

Mesh networking had to come to domestic installs, the bandwidth requirement of high/average households brings traditional WiFi hardware to it's knees. And any system is only ever as good as the weakest part.

Google are, according to Forbes Magazine, our second most-trusted brand. Google WiFi is a product that's going to substantiate that high ranking. It's early days yet but not one aspect of the entire process has been anything less than excellent.

I'm going to try Ubiquiti's Amplifi mesh product too, but Google has set a high bar.




Megabyte - so geek it megahertz


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  # 1776680 5-May-2017 22:48
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Did you buy the US or the UK version? US will be crippled in the bands it can use. 

 

 

 

Personally I don't buy into the whole mesh wifi thing. Wired APs are always going to be better.


Mr Snotty
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  # 1776691 5-May-2017 23:56
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I've got an Amplifi kit arriving from Ubiquiti to play around with - will be writing a review :)





 
 
 
 


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  # 1776790 6-May-2017 10:07
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Mesh is and always be an inferior solution unless the laws of physics are rewritten. IMHO Google home is one of the poorer solutions on the market right now because the remote AP's can't be cabled back via Ethernet unless they're daisy chained which is impossible in most setups.

 

Wired AP's are, and always will be the best solution. The cost of doing this in many homes would be less than the cost of many of these mesh solutions.

 

Mixing WiFi devices such as TV's that are normally only single stream devices can also brings a network to it's knees so TV's should always be cabled. If they can't be cabled and you're running 2x2 or 3x3 AP's you should invest in a 2x2 or 3x3 bridge to run the TV off to deliver the best possible network performance.

 

 

 

 


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  # 1776830 6-May-2017 12:08
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lxsw20:

 

Did you buy the US or the UK version? US will be crippled in the bands it can use. 

 

 

 

Personally I don't buy into the whole mesh wifi thing. Wired APs are always going to be better.

 

 

I have wired AP's, and the issue I have is that the client devices will often lock onto the weakest signal.   So, I've given each ap a different ssid and you need to manually choose the strongest. 

 

You can install a mesh network with wired backhaul right? That would seem the best solution to me. Rather than using wifi for backhaul. 

 

So would a mesh with wired backhaul offer better 'roaming' within the house? ie, your device will jump to the fastest signal..... As opposed to 'island' style access points dotted around the house?

 

 


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  # 1776838 6-May-2017 12:24
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I would still go with AP's which are wired in with ethernet rather than relying on a full blown wireless mesh. The more devices including AP's compounds the problem. 

 

Also with a wireless mesh the overlap needs more xmit power. You want to make the network quieter using lower xmitting power rather than blasting it. Thats not to say the product is no good. I have not tested it. But unless each of these are cabled back to a switch, then its really only going to increase range a bit at the cost of throughput.

 

 

 

 


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  # 1776843 6-May-2017 12:40
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Whether you have wireless mesh or cabled APs makes no difference to roaming.

To have devices roam you need both access points and WiFi capable devices that support 802.11 k/r/v standards.

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  # 1776864 6-May-2017 14:34
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sbiddle: Whether you have wireless mesh or cabled APs makes no difference to roaming.

To have devices roam you need both access points and WiFi capable devices that support 802.11 k/r/v standards.

 

That is not correct.  The majority of SME wireless solutions don't support voice enterprise but you can roam between the access points.  The issue is that the 802.11 standard specifies what a roam is from a wireless point of view but not how the distribution system should handle it.  For this reason roaming between different wireless vendors commonly doesn't work.

 

For people who don't know what 802.11k/r/v are:

 

  • 802.11k (Radio Resource Measurement of Wireless LANs)
  • 802.11r (Fast BSS Transition)
  • 802.11v (IEEE 802.11 Wireless Network Management)

The issue is that clients who don't support voice enterprise commonly cannot associate to a WLAN with it enabled.


 
 
 
 


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  # 1776871 6-May-2017 15:29
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If they are wired back, then it is not a mesh. The mesh is the connection between AP's back to wired network. Most of these things dont really do a mesh anyway, they use one channel for connecting to another AP, and then use the other radio to serve clients on.

 

The problem is consumer wifi APs will never kick devices off, no matter how crap the signal from them is. If they have a minimum speed or RSSI on them then silly cheap people would complain that they get disconnected all the time when at the other end of the house and that the router is junk and the other one that never does it is a better router.





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  # 1776936 6-May-2017 18:57
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Seems apt:

 


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  # 1776940 6-May-2017 19:35
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Crowdie:

 

sbiddle: Whether you have wireless mesh or cabled APs makes no difference to roaming.

To have devices roam you need both access points and WiFi capable devices that support 802.11 k/r/v standards.

 

That is not correct.  The majority of SME wireless solutions don't support voice enterprise but you can roam between the access points.  The issue is that the 802.11 standard specifies what a roam is from a wireless point of view but not how the distribution system should handle it.  For this reason roaming between different wireless vendors commonly doesn't work.

 

For people who don't know what 802.11k/r/v are:

 

  • 802.11k (Radio Resource Measurement of Wireless LANs)
  • 802.11r (Fast BSS Transition)
  • 802.11v (IEEE 802.11 Wireless Network Management)

The issue is that clients who don't support voice enterprise commonly cannot associate to a WLAN with it enabled.

 

 

I meant to roam correctly you need 802.11 k/r/v support. Without that it's best effort roaming.

 

If people are going to go for cheap AP's at least you can now set minRSSI with UniFi which if you have power levels set correctly will allow better roaming as clients can be booted when signal strengths to stop the issue of sticky clients that refuse to roam.

 

I know a few people who have had Google WiFi and thought it was a terrible product - but these have been people who know about WiFi than it's target market of people who know nothing. I also know Rod Drury grabbed one when it first came out and tweeted his initial experiences, followed by his ffrustrations with the product. He ripped it out after a few days as it was a terrible solution compared to the Airport setup he already had.

 

 

 

 


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  # 1784179 18-May-2017 12:50
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In 2014 Jon Foster released a fantastic whitepaper entitled "The Bad Science of WLAN Design".  It covers how consumer and SME wireless vendors attempt to confuse people and make their products look much, much better than they are.  It is well worth a read and is available at http://weaponsgradewifi.com/wifi/the-bad-science-of-wireless-lan-design/the-bad-science-of-wlan-design-nov-2014/.


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  # 1784187 18-May-2017 13:03
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sbiddle:at least you can now set minRSSI with UniFi

 

 

Where is this setting? I am running v5.4.15 but can't find it anywhere.


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  # 1784206 18-May-2017 13:18
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SumnerBoy:

 

sbiddle:at least you can now set minRSSI with UniFi

 

 

Where is this setting? I am running v5.4.15 but can't find it anywhere.

 

 

Enable advanced settings for the site and you'll then find the Minimum RSSI and Airtime Fairness settings under the AP configuration.

 

 


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  # 1784207 18-May-2017 13:20
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Bingo - thanks for that.


mdf

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  # 1784267 18-May-2017 14:20
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Crowdie:

 

In 2014 Jon Foster released a fantastic whitepaper entitled "The Bad Science of WLAN Design".  It covers how consumer and SME wireless vendors attempt to confuse people and make their products look much, much better than they are.  It is well worth a read and is available at http://weaponsgradewifi.com/wifi/the-bad-science-of-wireless-lan-design/the-bad-science-of-wlan-design-nov-2014/.

 

 

Great article! I particularly liked the description of marketing-speak "When we try and analyse what this means we find it is quite a mix up of real features of the 802.11 standard - Clear Channel Assessment, and a mashup of technical sounding terms the meaning of which is impossible to determine. "


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