Author Topic: Mesh Wifi  (Read 3958 times)

Mesh Wifi
« on: October 18, 2020, 11:59:15 am »
I need to do something about the crappy WiFi here. A largish bungalow with the VDSL connection in one corner (that's furthest away from the living room) isn't ideal for WiFi.
I have been using TP-Link Ethernet over power adaptors with built in APs for years but they are starting to drive me potty with drop outs in Teams meetings etc.

So some kind of mesh WiFi is on the cards I think. If I had the budget for the enterprise grade stuff I work with then it would be easy but I don't.

So anyone got any experience with things like TP-lInk Deco M9 or similar ?
Dont have too may requirements other than a solid signal everywhere and roaming support plus a t least two SSIDs (family and guest) and the ability to still be able to punch a VPN in from outside so some kind of DDNS support if the mesh system has to become the primary router for the network rather than my current Archer 2800.

Ta
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: Mesh Wifi
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2020, 12:03:06 pm »
I have the TP-Link M5, it's great, just make sure you use it as a basic mesh not the TP-Link managed mode as it can slow stuff down, it also puts the WLAN into a different subnet.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Mesh Wifi
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2020, 12:12:45 pm »
What's the budget? Have you looked at Ubiquiti Unifi? Probably closer to enterprise stuff than most.
Could get a couple of Unifi AP-AC-Lite for about £150, would be enough for most houses. Plenty of options to set it up how you want. Some of the advanced stuff needs the controller software running on a server. Or you can just set up most of it with the app, if you want a quicker/easier option.

Re: Mesh Wifi
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2020, 06:05:31 pm »
Thanks I look at the Ubiquiti stuff. Just had a quick look and the controller can run on Raspberry Pi which is nice (and low power).

The annoying thing is everyone but me in my team seems to have managed to get their hands on free Meraki kit as part of a training course which I have been too busy to do.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Morat

  • I tried to HTFU but something went ping :(
Re: Mesh Wifi
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2020, 06:15:49 pm »
Another vote for Unifi Ubiquiti. Their mesh gear is all designed for outdoor use but the smaller units are nice and compact. They also use proper PoE unlike some of the other Unifi gear. The ubiquiti controller software runs on a local machine or they have a cloud option, you don't need it running all the time unless you're collecting logs. If you're feeling bored, here's a project: https://pimylifeup.com/rasberry-pi-unifi/
Unifi doesn't give you the fancy Enterprise tools but it's a fraction of the price - I'd use it at home if I needed something more.

Sorry - crossposted.

Yes, I was offered that course too - same problem :( If it makes you feel better, it's only free kit until the license expires so it's a bit of teaser!
Tandem Stoker, CX bike abuser (slicks and tarmac) and owner of a sadly neglected MTB.

tonycollinet

  • No Longer a western province of Númenor
Re: Mesh Wifi
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2020, 11:35:43 pm »
Ahem...

What would you like to know - other than, it just works.


tonycollinet

  • No Longer a western province of Númenor
Re: Mesh Wifi
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2020, 11:37:43 pm »
This is on wifi - admittedly one of the M9s is within a metre of my mac...


Re: Mesh Wifi
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2020, 07:38:44 am »
If you do go down the Ubiquiti path, you may wish to consider that, when installing the software the "country" location field determines the maximum output based on the locale regulations. Taiwan (for eg) allows max power output as compared to, say, the UK or USA. Not sure what, if any, impact there is on 802.11a, but 802.11b there is, as you might expect.

Re: Mesh Wifi
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2020, 08:05:02 am »
I need to do something about the crappy WiFi here. A largish bungalow with the VDSL connection in one corner (that's furthest away from the living room) isn't ideal for WiFi.
Run an ethernet cable thought the loft and put a wireless access point in the living room. Actually, in the loft above the living room will probably be fine, if you can get power there.

I'm in a house that is mainly bungalow, and I've got the VSDL at one corner, with an ethernet cable to the wireless access point in the living room. The living room wireless access point is a repurposed router, and it's also the hub to connect ethernet to the TV etc. The WiFi in the bedroom above the living room is fine, as it's only the floor in the way.
Quote from: Kim
Paging Diver300.  Diver300 to the GSM Trimphone, please...

Re: Mesh Wifi
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2020, 08:09:56 am »
Ahem...

What would you like to know - other than, it just works.



OT:  ...unlike your images which for some reason don't show on my Win10 laptop on Chrome.

They do on Edge though...   :-\

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: Mesh Wifi
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2020, 08:49:42 am »
Images also not loading on Chrome for me

MikeFromLFE

  • Previously known as Millimole
Re: Mesh Wifi
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2020, 09:08:55 am »
I've got a bargain basement Tenda mesh. It works fine across my three bedroom semi, the garage and down the garden.
Hardware feels flimsy. App is simple (maybe too much so for some).
Too many angry people - breathe & relax.

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Mesh Wifi
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2020, 09:38:52 am »
I have a TP-Linked Deco M5 with three nodes in my modestly large four bed detached house that seems to be built out of things that are impervious to all known forms of wifi. It solved all my wifi issues in one pass. It's set up in AP mode, attached to powerline ethernet to the old BT hub (which has the wifi off, but handles DHCP etc.). I get the full internet speed in every room now with no dropouts. It really is very good. Tech that is simple and does what is supposed to do.

Settings are basic via an app (only, I don't think there's a web interface), so if you're a fiddler, they may disappoint, but it covers all the basic home use cases (setting IPs etc.). But as said, it just works and it's cheaper than many of the other mesh solutions. Each node has two ethernet ports if you need to wire anything.
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Re: Mesh Wifi
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2020, 10:31:32 am »
Deco users if you set it in AP mode doe sit still do roaming properly ? One of my current issues with the power line APs is that mobile phones and tablets tend to hang onto the connection to one and not reconnect to the nearest one when you move to another room (proper APs with some kind of mesh should force reconnection to the nearest AP).
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Mesh Wifi
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2020, 10:48:17 am »
Deco users if you set it in AP mode doe sit still do roaming properly ? One of my current issues with the power line APs is that mobile phones and tablets tend to hang onto the connection to one and not reconnect to the nearest one when you move to another room (proper APs with some kind of mesh should force reconnection to the nearest AP).

Yes, it supports fast roaming. Seems to work, my phone hops between APs seamlessly.
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Re: Mesh Wifi
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2020, 11:27:40 am »
I’ve got ASUS Zen WiFi AX - expensive but works well

Re: Mesh Wifi
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2020, 04:14:46 pm »
I went for Mikrotik

I got the router / firewall and the access points for a lot less than a ubiquiti router and single access point.

It's not as user friendly as ubiquiti but then it's a lot cheaper.
Somewhat of a professional tea drinker.


tonycollinet

  • No Longer a western province of Númenor
Re: Mesh Wifi
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2020, 11:49:13 pm »
Ahem...

What would you like to know - other than, it just works.



OT:  ...unlike your images which for some reason don't show on my Win10 laptop on Chrome.

They do on Edge though...   :-\

Interesting - doesn't work on chrome for mac either... Checks...ah, expired certificate on my web boxy thing. Need to get that fixed.

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Mesh Wifi
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2020, 09:44:45 am »
I did, if it's of interest (as I'm sure I mentioned it somewhere), finally get around to getting the Sonos onto the Deco mesh (they used to be on a Boost, but it was always a bit flaky). Works peachy.
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Re: Mesh Wifi
« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2020, 04:43:53 pm »
I think I am going to go with Ubiquiti. The Deco stuff seems like it would work but it would probably annoy the hell out of me as it's very home user centric and just works without exposing all the options to you. The Ubiquiti stuff is just like the Cisco stuff I used to work with. It will make my network engineer brain happy having all that flexibility, control and reporting.
Probably get 3 APs and chuck them in the loft (I already have a cable to a switch up there so just need to swap for a PoE one) and see how that goes. If I dont have mount the APs on the ceiling it would make Mrs Pcolbeck very happy.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: Mesh Wifi
« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2020, 01:43:33 pm »
The deed is done. Just ordered two Ubiquiti UniFi NanoHD access points, one of their PoE switches and a second non PoE Ubiquiti managed switch. I'll use a Raspberry PI as the WLAN controller.
Total house network upgrade at the weekend as now I'll be able to have VLANs and hive off all the IOT stuff to its own 2.4ghz network and then wired VLAN.
Going to try chucking the APs in the attic under the insulation first rather than ceiling mount them. Can't see a plasterboard ceiling cutting out much of the signal but lets see.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: Mesh Wifi
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2020, 03:30:30 pm »
Thanks to all who suggested Ubiquiti Unifi.

Two PoE APs installed in the attic just shoved under the insulation and resting on the plaster board of the ceiling.
-45 Db signal strength all over the house now on both the 2.4 and 5Ghz channels. Rock solid WiFi.

Was a bit spendy but I really should have done it ages ago.

Next job is to sort out a proper firewall/router instead of the Broadband one. Cant decide to go Unifi for that as well or PfSense. Then I can start dividing things up by VLAN and banish the IoT stuff to network of their own.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Mesh Wifi
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2020, 04:05:06 pm »
Two PoE APs installed in the attic just shoved under the insulation and resting on the plaster board of the ceiling.

Doesn't that make them a little warm?


Quote
-45 Db signal strength all over the house now on both the 2.4 and 5Ghz channels. Rock solid WiFi.

Nice.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Mesh Wifi
« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2020, 05:03:43 pm »
Two PoE APs installed in the attic just shoved under the insulation and resting on the plaster board of the ceiling.

Doesn't that make them a little warm?

Maybe. Probably not as warm as just in the attic and not buried in insulation in a house in Arizona in summer. I'll check tommorow to see how hot they are. Mrs Pcolbeck would prefer not to have them visible. Me I dont care I like to see the status LEDs.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Morat

  • I tried to HTFU but something went ping :(
Re: Mesh Wifi
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2020, 01:09:30 pm »
You set the LEDS on/off in the controller if you like...although you've probably already spotted that.
Tandem Stoker, CX bike abuser (slicks and tarmac) and owner of a sadly neglected MTB.