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I iz your trusted friend
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# 240609 16-Sep-2018 17:40
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Hello.

 

It seems like it may be the time to replace my Apple Airport Extreme/Express that I have in the house. The third AP to this mix (Airport Extreme) has decided to die.

 

So will be needing to replace the hotspots around the house.

 

At the moment the 3 hotspots around the house have ethernet connecting to Mikrotik RB750Gr3.

 

 

 

So questions are:

 

  • would it make sense to have mesh WiFi units to cover the hotspots?
  • if not, what WiFi APs should I get without costing too much?
  • I would prefer to keep using Mikrotik RB750Gr3 as I have it set up sweet - and to use over FibreX, however, if there's any thought that any other WiFi APs (or mesh WiFi like Netgear Orbi that I know support VLAN) then I may give it a consideration.

In the end, I would like to keep the cost low. I would like to have 2 SSIDs, one for 2.4GHz and one for 5GHz across all these hotspots, in another word, auto SSID/hotspot switching.





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  # 2091645 16-Sep-2018 19:08
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Side issue I know, but if it's an Airport Extreme with external power supply, that might be all that's died.

 

Given you already have cabling, keep using it, rather than mesh backhaul.

 

What's the budget?




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  # 2091657 16-Sep-2018 19:26
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Thanks, @RunningMan. It's not the power supply, the unit just doesn't seem to connect upstream via WAN port to my ethernet backhaul anymore. The existing cabling which currently connected to a switch to enable all wired network devices to continue working.

 

 

 

Yeah, may have to/prefer to use the existing cabling for backhauling.

 

 

 

I am looking at Netgear EX7000 which can operate as AP mode. Then it strikes me with another dilemma/problem: with existing Airport Extreme/Express set up, I have Guest mode (VLAN1003) configured on Mikrotik RB750Gr3.

 

I wonder if this can be replicated or achievable with other APs.

 

 

 

Budget is always, as little as possible *lol*

 

 

 

The house coverage is about 300m2, and obviously with walls and what-not to take into consideration.





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  # 2091662 16-Sep-2018 19:33
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An option which is nearly as easy to configure as the Apple stuff is Unifi. Easy to have a guest network on whatever VLAN you want, multiple SSIDs etc. Band steering works OK so you can have the same SSID on 2.4 & 5GHz (if you want), but push clients towards 5GHz.

 

You need to install controller software on a computer to set it up (a Mac is fine), but don't need the controller running all the time.

 

EDIT: You'd get a couple of Unifi AC Lite for the price of the EX7000. As you've already figured (especially with 5GHz) more APs running at lower power usually gives a better result.




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  # 2091669 16-Sep-2018 20:04
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Ah cool. I will keep in mind of Unifi AC Lite.

 

 

 

Another possibility that I hadn't thought up until just then is to bargain hunt TradeMe for A1521 (Airport Extreme 6th Gen) *lol* which at the moment I see one closing tonight at $71 right now, with another one reserve met at $25 and closing in 2 days.





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  # 2091672 16-Sep-2018 20:08
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The Apple APs have always been pretty stable, so if they're still working for you, why not.


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  # 2091693 16-Sep-2018 21:36
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My 2c - the Apple AP's are quite old now and are not supported. My personal recommendation is to spend a little extra and go with a mesh solution. I know you state your budget is quite small however personally I'd recommend the Ubiquiti AmpliFi for a product that "just works". You can either keep using your Mikrotik or set it up as the router (and it is a damn good looking router too!).





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  # 2091716 16-Sep-2018 23:32
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I'm really curious why you'd go for mesh when cable is an option, and especially so when it's already there. Anyone care to explain?


 
 
 
 


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  # 2091722 17-Sep-2018 00:36
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If you are going down the mesh path, but already have wires ran... I'd look to the products that are slightly more up there than the Amplfi, That support Ethernet backhaul aswell.

 

 

 

Use that where possible and then hey, if you need to add a few extras away from data points, it's not really going break anything to have going off the mesh point.

 

Mesh products really has come along way..





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  # 2091734 17-Sep-2018 07:17
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hio77:

 

If you are going down the mesh path, but already have wires ran... I'd look to the products that are slightly more up there than the Amplfi, That support Ethernet backhaul aswell.

 

 

Mesh products are pretty good these days but I fully forgot the fact he had Ethernet as well.

 

He could also grab a few UniFi AC-Lites to replace the Airports - from there, he is using a supported WiFi solution from a software point of view too: https://www.gowifi.co.nz/wireless/uap-ac-lite.html and still keep using the Mikrotik. Both products are nice and work well. 2x UniFi AC-Lites is almost the price of a AmpliFi kit however and personally from a management point of view the AmpliFi is very nice to deal with (secure guest WiFi, bandwidth control etc).





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  # 2091736 17-Sep-2018 07:21
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If the cables are there it would be silly not to use them.

Unifi UAP-AC range would be the go. Either AC-Lite or the AC-LR and just pull the power way down on them.

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  # 2091785 17-Sep-2018 10:17
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Hi, similar setup to my own, Mikrotik plus a pair of AC-Lites, works well, manage either by a local instance, or ask MM or myself if you want it hosted..

 

Cyril

 

 




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  # 2091918 17-Sep-2018 13:11
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Cheers @cyril17, it was @MichaelMurfy that got me on Mikrotik and been working great!

 

I'll add/upgrade/change the WiFi APs over to AC-Lites in near future, for now I'll hunt TradeMe for quick replacement to get the WiFi dead spots going first.

 

I appreciate the suggestions provided, I'm glad I'm not without any solution! YAY!





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