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Recommendations for Mesh Wifi please, wired backhaul preferred



 
 
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  #1  
Old April 6th 20, 10:44 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Chris Green
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 286
Default Recommendations for Mesh Wifi please, wired backhaul preferred

Now that Mesh WiFi is becoming cheaper (and also probably better
debugged etc.) I'm thinking of getting a system for our house.

It's a big straggling house, currently we have three WiFi 'access
points' which comprise the Draytek 2860n VDSL router, and two other
old routers configured as access points. These provide reasonably
satisfactory cover but not transparent 'roaming'.

So the Draytek 2860n will continue as the VDSL router with the new
Mesh boxes providing WiFi. As I have wired connections already it
makes sense to get a Mesh system which can use wired backhaul. I'd
also prefer web configuration rather than by Android/IoS.

Price is quite a major consideration, I don't want to spend silly
money, I think my absolute maximum is around 200 for a three pack and
I'd like to spend significantly less if I can.

So, does anyone have any specific recommendations (or the opposite)
please?

--
Chris Green

  #2  
Old April 6th 20, 10:54 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Andy Burns[_5_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 546
Default Recommendations for Mesh Wifi please, wired backhaul preferred

Chris Green wrote:

Now that Mesh WiFi is becoming cheaper (and also probably better
debugged etc.) I'm thinking of getting a system for our house.

Price is quite a major consideration, I don't want to spend silly
money, I think my absolute maximum is around 200 for a three pack and
I'd like to spend significantly less if I can.


If you have wired connection to the extra APs is it really a mesh
network anyway? At low price (i.e. not a controller-based system) I
think you need to be looking for APs which support newer protocols to
make roaming more likely, rather than clients clinging like grim death
to a barely working signal from a distant AP

i.e. look out for 802.11k, 802.11r and 802.11v support.
  #3  
Old April 6th 20, 12:24 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Chris Green
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 286
Default Recommendations for Mesh Wifi please, wired backhaul preferred

By the way while thinking about/researching this I found:-

https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/basi...-wi-fi-roaming

It provides a pretty good (IMHO) explanation of what WiFi roaming is
all about (I've found the smallnetbuilder site useful on previous
occasions too).

Fundamentally it confirms what I *thought* before but was beginning to
doubt, WiFi roaming mostly depends on the client device, the access
points can only help a bit by 'hinting' as it were.

--
Chris Green

  #4  
Old April 6th 20, 01:14 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Tim+[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 172
Default Recommendations for Mesh Wifi please, wired backhaul preferred

Chris Green wrote:
Now that Mesh WiFi is becoming cheaper (and also probably better
debugged etc.) I'm thinking of getting a system for our house.

It's a big straggling house, currently we have three WiFi 'access
points' which comprise the Draytek 2860n VDSL router, and two other
old routers configured as access points. These provide reasonably
satisfactory cover but not transparent 'roaming'.

So the Draytek 2860n will continue as the VDSL router with the new
Mesh boxes providing WiFi. As I have wired connections already it
makes sense to get a Mesh system which can use wired backhaul. I'd
also prefer web configuration rather than by Android/IoS.

Price is quite a major consideration, I don't want to spend silly
money, I think my absolute maximum is around 200 for a three pack and
I'd like to spend significantly less if I can.

So, does anyone have any specific recommendations (or the opposite)
please?


Can't comment on any alternatives but we've been very happy since we
installed our BT Mesh system with three node. Great seamless coverage.

Tim

--
Please don't feed the trolls
  #5  
Old April 6th 20, 01:20 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
NY[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 91
Default Recommendations for Mesh Wifi please, wired backhaul preferred

"Chris Green" wrote in message
...
Now that Mesh WiFi is becoming cheaper (and also probably better
debugged etc.) I'm thinking of getting a system for our house.

It's a big straggling house, currently we have three WiFi 'access
points' which comprise the Draytek 2860n VDSL router, and two other
old routers configured as access points. These provide reasonably
satisfactory cover but not transparent 'roaming'.

So the Draytek 2860n will continue as the VDSL router with the new
Mesh boxes providing WiFi. As I have wired connections already it
makes sense to get a Mesh system which can use wired backhaul. I'd
also prefer web configuration rather than by Android/IoS.

Price is quite a major consideration, I don't want to spend silly
money, I think my absolute maximum is around 200 for a three pack and
I'd like to spend significantly less if I can.

So, does anyone have any specific recommendations (or the opposite)
please?


We use Linksys Velop - our house is L-shaped and the phone socket for the
router is at one end of the L. We have 6 Velops to cover the whole house,
because part of the house is very old and has thick walls. The nodes can
communicate in a daisy chain, but there's also chance of a weaker signal
from the end of one arm of the L to the sides and end of the other, across a
patio - thus giving hopefully more than one route for any node back to the
parent.

The Velop system suffers a bit from not giving any feedback on signal
strength from one node to the next (ie the backhaul connection) apart from a
crude "yes/no" when you first add nodes. The problem is that Velop uses 5
GHz for backhaul which has a shorter range than 2.4 GHz, but I need to have
2.4 turned on for some older devices (eg laptop, security cameras) which
can't speak 5 GHz. This means that siting of nodes is critical, to get them
close enough for backhaul to work, but as far away as possible so their 2.4
networks don't clash on channels. I've got them so 5 GHz can just
communicate node-to-node but even with this, the order of turning on can be
critical to avoid some nodes failing to start because all the 2.4 GHz
channels that it might usse are still within range (either strong or
marginal).

In hindsight I ought to have had two nodes covering the two arms of the L,
centrally placed within each arm, and connected them by Ethernet - but that
would have meant drilling holes in the ceiling, running cable "invisibly" up
the wall into the loft, and then scrabbling in the loft (very limited
headroom in places) to run the cable.

The Velops now work about 90% of the time (some nodes occasionally drop out
and have to try to reconnect).



The problem with mesh is that it assumes a "cubic" house with all the child
nodes placed fairly close laterally or vertically to a central parent node
so every node has line of sight of the parent, with no daisy-chaining
needed. A long thin house with the parent at one end causes problems - the
support guy I spoke to on the phone said this.

I wanted to keep the router in its present position so I can run short
Ethernet cable from it to my study - and most of the intensive traffic is
between "server" PC in the study and TV next to router. Devices in other
locations are mainly handheld and are used for browsing with a little bit of
video streaming.


The ideal solution is Ethernet everywhere. Anything else is a compromise to
some extent of reliability and speed versus convenience of portable devices.
I've yet to find a wifi device which communicates at anywhere *near* the
expected speed for LAN comms. For WAN (internet) comms, the internet
connection is the rate-limiting step so the reduced speed of wifi is not
important.

  #6  
Old April 6th 20, 02:28 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Graham J[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 334
Default Recommendations for Mesh Wifi please, wired backhaul preferred

NY wrote:




The ideal solution is Ethernet everywhere.


As I've been saying here for years !!!!!!!!

Anything else is a compromise
to some extent of reliability and speed versus convenience of portable
devices. I've yet to find a wifi device which communicates at anywhere
*near* the expected speed for LAN comms. For WAN (internet) comms, the
internet connection is the rate-limiting step so the reduced speed of
wifi is not important.



--
Graham J
  #7  
Old April 6th 20, 02:32 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Roger
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 90
Default Recommendations for Mesh Wifi please, wired backhaul preferred

On 06/04/2020 10:44, Chris Green wrote:
Now that Mesh WiFi is becoming cheaper (and also probably better
debugged etc.) I'm thinking of getting a system for our house.

It's a big straggling house, currently we have three WiFi 'access
points' which comprise the Draytek 2860n VDSL router, and two other
old routers configured as access points. These provide reasonably
satisfactory cover but not transparent 'roaming'.

So the Draytek 2860n will continue as the VDSL router with the new
Mesh boxes providing WiFi. As I have wired connections already it
makes sense to get a Mesh system which can use wired backhaul. I'd
also prefer web configuration rather than by Android/IoS.

Price is quite a major consideration, I don't want to spend silly
money, I think my absolute maximum is around 200 for a three pack and
I'd like to spend significantly less if I can.

So, does anyone have any specific recommendations (or the opposite)
please?

If you have sky Q be aware that a number of mesh systems 5gHz client
band only uses the non-DFS channels i.e,. the same ones that Sky-Q uses
for its mesh so you may get interference if you use one of these. I have
a TP-link deco system and this is one of my issues with it - now
occaisinally get picture break-upon one of my minis which IO never got
before.
  #8  
Old April 6th 20, 03:13 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
NY[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 91
Default Recommendations for Mesh Wifi please, wired backhaul preferred

"Graham J" wrote in message
...
NY wrote:




The ideal solution is Ethernet everywhere.


As I've been saying here for years !!!!!!!!

Anything else is a compromise to some extent of reliability and speed
versus convenience of portable devices. I've yet to find a wifi device
which communicates at anywhere *near* the expected speed for LAN comms.
For WAN (internet) comms, the internet connection is the rate-limiting
step so the reduced speed of wifi is not important.


Yes, I would never use wifi if I had the option of Ethernet - PC kept in one
place, with easy routing of cable from router to PC (or to network switch in
PC room, if there are several PCs).

Wifi is great for portable devices where you want to move them around the
house.


Incidentally, I forgot to say in my earlier review of Velop that I've had HD
streaming (eg using Youtube) working absolutely flawlessly over wifi (either
2,4 or 5 GHz) as I roam around the house, going out of range of one node and
into the range of another node. If I copy a large (multi-GB) video file from
WindowsPC to Android phone using AndSMB, and run the Windows Task Manager to
look at transfer rate, I can see a very small glitch and maybe change of
transfer rate as I move the Android phone around the house, but a small
enough glitch that at normal streaming speed it's covered by the buffering.

When wifi works, its brilliant, but the operated work is "when". I've not
found it to be 100% reliable, which is needed if I want to access a PC (eg
via RealVNC) when away from home; any glitch that requires the PC or its
wifi connection to be restarted is a show-stopper if you are miles away ;-)
When a wifi file copy between computers (eg Windows) takes 5 times as long
over wifi as over Ethernet, even with devices that are close to the router
and with no other networks interfering with the channel, then you know that
Ethernet is still king. And that's for the case where only one of the
computers uses wifi, so there isn't the problem of two computers not being
able to speak at the same time.

  #9  
Old April 6th 20, 07:24 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
R. Mark Clayton[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 692
Default Recommendations for Mesh Wifi please, wired backhaul preferred

On Monday, 6 April 2020 11:19:53 UTC+1, Graham J wrote:
Andy Burns wrote:
Chris Green wrote:

Now that Mesh WiFi is becoming cheaper (and also probably better
debugged etc.) I'm thinking of getting a system for our house.

Price is quite a major consideration, I don't want to spend silly
money, I think my absolute maximum is around 200 for a three pack and
I'd like to spend significantly less if I can.


If you have wired connection to the extra APs is it really a mesh
network anyway?


Probably not, because not all clients will roam seamlessly from one AP
to another.


Indeed, normally they will only look if the current connection drops - this isn't cellular telephony, where hand off is expected by base stations and handsets.


At low price (i.e. not a controller-based system) I
think you need to be looking for APs which support newer protocols to
make roaming more likely, rather than clients clinging like grim death
to a barely working signal from a distant AP

i.e. look out for 802.11k, 802.11r and 802.11v support.


It may be that the Draytek AP-810 see:

https://shop.seg.co.uk/wireless-access-points/ap-810.html

... can be mannaged from your Draytek 2860n so you don't need another
cotroller, and the PoE could be convenient.

But I suspect for seamless roaming a system with a controller is essential.


--
Graham J


  #10  
Old April 7th 20, 09:13 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Mark Carver
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 469
Default Recommendations for Mesh Wifi please, wired backhaul preferred

On 06/04/2020 10:44, Chris Green wrote:
So, does anyone have any specific recommendations (or the opposite)
please?

I use Ubiquiti Lite APs with a controller. You can get away without the
controller, and install the program
on your PC. However each item is 75 quid, so probably over budget for you

https://www.ui.com/unifi/unifi-ap/


 




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