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  #2022146 24-May-2018 22:10
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But usually once the vendor stops supporting the gear, its usefulness is gone anyway, sure, you can load openwrt up on many cheap single band 2.4GHz routers that are 5+ years old, but so what? They have weak CPU, often only single or 2 chain 802.11n support etc.

 

Last I looked, noone had a decent way of having openwrt devices pull configs down from a central place to configure them up, with the ability to automatically do wireless uplink and provision devices that were not physically on the same wired network like the unifi gear does, and you are not going to get anything comparable to the ac lite range for the same price when you actually pay for your time messing about with open source things that dont work as expected because the documentation is out of date etc.

 

If you were putting 100s of things out there then the lower cost hardware might make sense. For a one/two off thing, it doesnt. Plus when you are gone this place will have to find someone else to come along and support it. Setting them up with something custom based on open source is just setting them up with a giant load of hassle in the future.





Richard rich.ms

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  #2022212 25-May-2018 08:09
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You can boost your range by dropping everything down to b only (ie not g/n/a/ac). Speed will drop but then it depends what you are using it for, 5Mbps for a device like a phone might be quite acceptable.


 
 
 
 


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  #2022245 25-May-2018 08:53

Being able to use POE is also a good feature. As you are not tied to locating the APs only in locations near power sockets. And avoids support calls due to someone unplugging an AP, so they could plug something else in. Want to add a UPS later? Easy as with POE, everything is powered from just 1 location.

And consumer grade gear is less likely to be able to run unattended without needing to be restarted. I also have an Edge router lite. And it's uptime is often measured in years. Can your consumer grade router keep on working for 1 year + without needing to be restarted?





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  #2022292 25-May-2018 10:03
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Aredwood:Can your consumer grade router keep on working for 1 year + without needing to be restarted?

 

actually, yes it can. Not every device out there, but many can go a year +
Business grade hardware is not all immune from needing an occasional restart .

 

:-)


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  #2022436 25-May-2018 13:22
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Consumer devices tend to have much simpler configurations and less reliant on external resources (e.g. preshared keys vs WPA2-EAP deployments), no logging etc.

 

Apart from the enterprise software features business gear tends to have better radios (though there are some gear that claims to be enterprise that is using consumer grade chipsets). You will tend to notice the difference in congested areas or where there are lots of clients.


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  #2024664 29-May-2018 12:19
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vulcannz:

 

You can boost your range by dropping everything down to b only (ie not g/n/a/ac). Speed will drop but then it depends what you are using it for, 5Mbps for a device like a phone might be quite acceptable.

 

 

You need to be really, really careful with the implications of this idea.  802.11b (clause 17) data rates use HR-DSSS modulation while 802.11g (clause 19) data rates use OFDM modulation (well ERP-OFDM but everybody shortens it down).  802.11a (clause 18) data rates also use OFDM modulation.

 

Why this is important is that 802.11b devices cannot co-exist with 802.11g devices without the implementation of protection mechanisms, commonly called "mixed mode", that can severely reduce the network throughput.


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  #2024681 29-May-2018 12:29
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vulcannz:

 

Apart from the enterprise software features business gear tends to have better radios (though there are some gear that claims to be enterprise that is using consumer grade chipsets). You will tend to notice the difference in congested areas or where there are lots of clients.

 

 

It is important to separate wireless equipment into home, small business and enterprise.  All the brands you will see recommended in these forums are home and small business.   Brands like Cambium, Grandstream and Ubiquiti are small business grade not enterprise.  The enterprise vendors include HPE (Aruba), Cisco, Extreme Networks, Huawei, ALE, Aerohive, etc.

 

As vulcannz correctly stated enterprise access points are vastly superior to small business access points and the price difference reflects this.  Consumer and small business wireless equipment is made to meet specific price points as they are sold into more "price sensitive" segments of the market.  Enterprise wireless equipment is sold on functionality, performance and business integration ability into a segment of the market who are traditionally more worried about the cost of not having wireless rather than the cost of having it. 


 
 
 
 


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  #2024741 29-May-2018 12:55
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The enterprise vendors include HPE (Aruba), Cisco, Extreme Networks, Huawei, ALE, Aerohive, etc.


Meraki (just another one I've actually heard of).

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  #2024764 29-May-2018 13:19
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I would also point out you can get some very good deals on Enterprise gear on trademe. Especially older 802.11a/b/g/n gear.

 

 

 

IMHO something like an old Ruckus a/b/g/n AP runs rings around a newer home/soho ac AP.


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  #2024818 29-May-2018 13:59
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rhector:

 

Hi all,

 

I'm helping to improve wifi coverage for a local charitable organisation. They currently have a Fritz!Box as their router/AP in the office, but it doesn't cover very far. My plan is to run cable to another part of the building, and install another AP there.

 

Based on what I can get relatively cheaply, and because I prefer the ability to install alternative OS images (eg OpenWRT), I'm suggesting this: https://cdlnz.com/BR-6478ACV2 - is Edimax considered an ok brand? I saw another thread that seemed to be recommending not using a router as an AP, but I didn't see any reasoning - is it just because the routers tend to be too 'consumer grade'? Is it likely to cause me/them problems?

 

I haven't actually done a huge amount of WiFi stuff; I use cable wherever I can and generally get away with a single AP at home. All I need to do to allow roaming is to use the same SSID/password on both, right?

 

Thanks,

 

Richard

 

 

 

 

I have setup a couple of DD-WRT routers running as AP's in our house. Internal roaming works quiet well but its quiet a lot of work setting it up. If you talking about just a second AP, then its sounds pretty similar to my setup.

 

My setup is

 

5GHZ Wireless Channel 49 on main DD-WRT router upstairs.

 

5GHZ Wireless Channel 36 on DD-WRT AP Downsairs.

 

2.4GHz Wireless Channel 6 on DD-WRT AP Downsairs.

 

All running the same SSID/password so most devices just happily roam between AP's. Router and AP's are wired together.

 

You may need to play around with the beacon intervals, and signal strengths etc to get it to work right.

 

Good luck


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  #2025030 29-May-2018 17:41
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Wiggum:

 

You may need to play around with the beacon intervals, and signal strengths etc to get it to work right.

 

 

Leave the beacon rate at 100ms.

 

To "encourage" wireless clients to roam earlier:

 

  • Eliminate the low data rates.
  • Reduce the radio transmit powers.

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  #2025335 30-May-2018 09:14
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Crowdie:

 

Wiggum:

 

You may need to play around with the beacon intervals, and signal strengths etc to get it to work right.

 

 

Leave the beacon rate at 100ms.

 

To "encourage" wireless clients to roam earlier:

 

  • Eliminate the low data rates.
  • Reduce the radio transmit powers.

 

I have found that leaving the beacon rate at 100ms on 2.4GHz is fine, dropping it to 75 on 5GHZ AP's results in many of those dumb devices connecting to 5GHz first. I ramp the power right down on all AP's. Mine is currently set to 10dBm on 5GHz, and a very low 1dBm on 2.4GHz (I only have one 2,4GHz AP).

 

Problem I have found with reducing power levels on 2.4GHz is that no matter how low you set it, most of the time its range is still going to be better than 5GHz anyway, and thats what a dumb device connects to first.

 

Another problem is that most dumb devices will grab the first AP they pickup and only rescan when that signal is lost (In my case this is 2.4GHz when coming up the driveway already and out of range of 5GHz). These devices will never let go of that 2.4GHZ signal and will not switch to 5GHz. Some devices now scan for secondary AP's while still connected and will then switch. 

 

Apple iphones now do a good job of selecting 5GHz as preferred network first and even switching between the two.  From my testing switching times are <50ms when switching between 2.4GHz and 5GHz.  My iphone rarely select 2.4GHz anymore. Now and again it will switch to 2.4GHz when I am out on the garden and out of 5Ghz range.

 

What works for me though may be totally different to somebody else. It all comes down to the distance between your AP's and the type of wireless devices you have on your network. If we had no dumb devices in our home I would not be playing around with beacon interval.


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  #2025472 30-May-2018 11:06
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Wiggum:

 

I have found that leaving the beacon rate at 100ms on 2.4GHz is fine, dropping it to 75 on 5GHZ AP's results in many of those dumb devices connecting to 5GHz first. I ramp the power right down on all AP's. Mine is currently set to 10dBm on 5GHz, and a very low 1dBm on 2.4GHz (I only have one 2,4GHz AP).

 

Problem I have found with reducing power levels on 2.4GHz is that no matter how low you set it, most of the time its range is still going to be better than 5GHz anyway, and thats what a dumb device connects to first.

 

 

Have you utilised band steering to have the 5 GHz compliant devices connect to the 5 GHz radios and only have 2.4 GHz only devices connected to the 2.4 GHz radios?

 

By dropping the 2.4 GHz radio to 1 dBm you will adversely affect the performance of the 2.4 GHz only devices.  I can imagine the 2.4 GHz errors and retries will be high.

 

Wiggum:

 

Another problem is that most dumb devices will grab the first AP they pickup and only rescan when that signal is lost (In my case this is 2.4GHz when coming up the driveway already and out of range of 5GHz). These devices will never let go of that 2.4GHZ signal and will not switch to 5GHz. Some devices now scan for secondary AP's while still connected and will then switch.

 

 

What you are describing is loosely called "inter-radio roaming" and this is not part of the 802.11 standard.  Once a client initially connects to a radio (either 2.4 or 5 GHz) it will roam to another radio of the same type.  Therefore, in your scenario, if a client initially connects to the 2.4 GHz radio on the ground floor it will not "roam" to a 5 GHz radio on the upper floor.  If the client initially connected to a 5 GHz radio on the ground floor it may roam to the 5 GHz radio on the upper floor when the device moves to the upper floor. 


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  #2025522 30-May-2018 11:25
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Crowdie:

 

Have you utilised band steering to have the 5 GHz compliant devices connect to the 5 GHz radios and only have 2.4 GHz only devices connected to the 2.4 GHz radios?

 

By dropping the 2.4 GHz radio to 1 dBm you will adversely affect the performance of the 2.4 GHz only devices.  I can imagine the 2.4 GHz errors and retries will be high.

 

Yes using band steering, it works well with most modern day cellphones but does not work very well with dumb devices. iphone seems to work very well with this feature enabled and like stated never stay for long on 2.4ghz.

 

Band steering wont work if you are only in 2.4GHZ range (ie walking up our long driveway). In this case a dumb device will grab the 2.4 and never let it go. Even when 5GHz becomes available (further up the driveway). This is why I have dropped the power of 2.4 to try and and decrease the range of 2.4ghz. It seems to be working in my scenario and probably won't work for everyone.I am experiencing no errors and retries on 2.4ghz with my low power setting. Though to be honest, we only have very few devices now that work on 2.4Ghz only.

 

 

 

 


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  #2025647 30-May-2018 12:59
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I love tweaking as much as the next geekzoner, but with the time you'll spend fiddling with output power and band steering, trying to take into account various clients, you could have downloaded the whole internet over 2.4GHz by now! :)

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