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John Dirk

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The idea I've had kicking around in my head for about three years now is to get a 3-pack mesh system. Main / 1st unit would be in the basement homerun replaceing the current AEBS. 2nd unit would be in bonus room where AX is. 3rd unit would in theater or in master bedroom (if in MB, then 2nd unit might get moved back into spare room to better serve that space. I could possibly add a fourth unit to be: Homerun, Theater, Guest Bed, Master.
The thing to keep in mind regarding Mesh networks is that, if you can hardwire them then they aren't really necessary. Mesh is a wireless only consideration as it is primarily just "intelligent" routing between multiple wireless AP's. Sounds like the two units you already have are already wired. If you can wire the proposed third location that would be great. If not then maybe Mesh can help. Given your current hardware tops out at 802.11N, I'm betting you'll be pleased with just about any decent 802.11AC.


If you decide to go the Ruckus route [I would if I were starting from scratch] then @Dave Upton has already given you better direction than I could.
 

DaveF

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Yes, I would hardwire the AP’s. I should have mentioned that straight off. :)

I can’t do ceiling mount, unfortunately. But I could approximate @Dave Upton plan locations in those rooms.
 

DaveF

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For the base router, do you get a wifi router? Or is there a non-WiFi router that you use and the AP’s do all the wifi?


Just checking Wirecutter, this is their recommended router.
Amazon product

Or do I keep my 10 year old AEBS as router? Do I turn off its wifi?
 

John Dirk

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For the base router, do you get a wifi router? Or is there a non-WiFi router that you use and the AP’s do all the wifi?


Just checking Wirecutter, this is their recommended router.
Amazon product

Or do I keep my 10 year old AEBS as router? Do I turn off its wifi?

I would replace the current router as any modern one should perform much better and likely offer better management options. Most of the consumer level stuff assumes you want an all-in-one solution so they tend to bake in WiFi. Would you be buying TP Link AP's as well? I ask because I know you value simplicity and a common management platform is a big part of that.
 

DaveF

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I would replace the current router as any modern one should perform much better and likely offer better management options. Most of the consumer level stuff assumes you want an all-in-one solution so they tend to bake in WiFi. Would you be buying TP Link AP's as well? I ask because I know you value simplicity and a common management platform is a big part of that.
I would consider TP-Link APs. I’ve seen these recommended elsewhere.
Amazon product

And there’s a newer version, a little faster, a little $-er.
Amazon product
 

Dave Upton

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I've never used the TP link APs myself - but I would definitely recommend adding more APs if you go with their products, as you'll benefit from the extra coverage.
 

John Dirk

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Should I care that I wouldn't be buying "WiFi 6" in 2021?
Absolutely not. Wifi 5 is already capable of [theoretical] speeds of up to 3.5 Gbps, far more than any home network or consumer level Wifi clients can make use of.
 

Dave Upton

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Absolutely not. Wifi 5 is already capable of [theoretical] speeds of up to 3.5 Gbps, far more than any home network or consumer level Wifi clients can make use of.
To add on to @John Dirk's explanation - WiFi iterations prior to WiFi5 were progressively faster as well, but they had a more linear increase in speed as they improved use of airtime/radio and you didn't need to be quite as close to benefit from the speed as 2.4GHz had better penetrating power. Starting with 802.11ac, 5GHz became the standard, which brought some challenges - namely you needed to be closer to the AP to get speed. This is similar to 5G that uses a smaller wavelength - thus requiring more tower density.

Starting with 802.11ac Wave 2, you need dramatically higher AP density to get even close to those theoretical speeds.

As an example, with WiFi5 or 6, to get max speed you have to be within ~20 feet of the AP in clear line of sight.

Remember, most of the time these APs are connecting back to a gigabit network, so even then you're never going to go faster than that limit.

In the enterprise environment, I've been able to connect a WiFi6 AP to a 10G switch and see about 2.5Gbps throughput - but even then that's a corner case and not remotely noticeable in daily use.
 

JohnRice

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Just a random rant.

There sure is a reason people HATE companies like Comcast. I got a new modem and simply wanted to activate it. Of course, the guy was intent on selling me a bunch of other stuff.

"No I don't want to move my mobile."

"I haven't had cable for 15 years. I'm perfectly fine without it."

"I already have VoIP. I don't want to move it."

"600 Mb/s is more than enough. I do NOT need 1.2 Gb/s."

I mean, seriously, there is a reason I buy all my networking hardware. So, this isn't the first time I've had a new modem activated, and they always made sure it was working. This time, the process was missing a step or two, and then the guy was really anxious to move on. Of course, he did not actually, properly activate the modem, so I was in for an hour of troubleshooting, followed by another call to Comcast to get it done right. Activating a new modem should take ten minutes. Not three hours.
 

JohnRice

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OK, now I have a new modem with 2.5Gb/s capacity, currently with 600Mb/s service, so I should be set with any modem needs for quite some time.

I have the last model AirPort Extreme, which provides 250Mb/s in the main living part of the house. It looks like 250 is the maximum WiFi that router is capable of. Everything in the HT is wired, but it also has that WiFi speed as well as in the living room, which doesn't have anything wired. So, all that should be sufficient for a long time, or until the Apple router dies.

In the bedrooms, the WiFi is only about 25Mb/s. My office is directly below those rooms, and it has ethernet for the computer in there. So, a wired AP in there, on a high shelf near the ceiling, should get the bedrooms up to a good speed.

So, what I take from this thread is that I can connect a wired AP in my office with the same network name and password as the AirPort, then my iPad and MacBook will just connect to which ever one is strongest at the time?

What's a recommended AP that will be reliable and last a long time?
 

Dave Upton

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I'm going to recommend this one at the moment. While I prefer Ruckus, they are currently all backordered.

 

JohnRice

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I'm going to recommend this one at the moment. While I prefer Ruckus, they are currently all backordered.

Thanks Dave. I'm sure I'm asking you to repeat things you already said, so... sorry.

What do you prefer about the Ruckus? Do you know if those are a long backorder? Also, I suppose an alternative is to get two of these and just replace the AirPort. I would then need to add a router after the modem? Do you have any recs for routers? Thinking down the road, with this modem being capable of up to 2.5Gb/s, are there routers that could distribute that potential speed between two regular Gb ethernet lines that I have now? Basically that would take greater than Gb in and distribute it to two or more Gb pipelines down from there?
 

Dave Upton

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Thanks Dave. I'm sure I'm asking you to repeat things you already said, so... sorry.

What do you prefer about the Ruckus? Do you know if those are a long backorder? Also, I suppose an alternative is to get two of these and just replace the AirPort. I would then need to add a router after the modem? Do you have any recs for routers? Thinking down the road, with this modem being capable of up to 2.5Gb/s, are there routers that could distribute that potential speed between two regular Gb ethernet lines that I have now? Basically that would take greater than Gb in and distribute it to two or more Gb pipelines down from there?
The Ruckus devices use an enterprise grade radio and chip internally, so they're just more robust in terms of handling interference and large numbers of devices concurrently (think lots of smart home devices). It's not a large enough difference here to matter in your use case - but it's less likely to require reboots or any occasional maintenance.

You'll want to run your modem in bridge mode, and then have a router to act as your "brain/firewall" for your network. That router will have 5 or so ethernet ports (1GB) that you will connect the two APs to. Diagram below:

1637255923029.png
 

Scott Merryfield

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Just a random rant.

There sure is a reason people HATE companies like Comcast. I got a new modem and simply wanted to activate it. Of course, the guy was intent on selling me a bunch of other stuff.

"No I don't want to move my mobile."

"I haven't had cable for 15 years. I'm perfectly fine without it."

"I already have VoIP. I don't want to move it."

"600 Mb/s is more than enough. I do NOT need 1.2 Gb/s."

I mean, seriously, there is a reason I buy all my networking hardware. So, this isn't the first time I've had a new modem activated, and they always made sure it was working. This time, the process was missing a step or two, and then the guy was really anxious to move on. Of course, he did not actually, properly activate the modem, so I was in for an hour of troubleshooting, followed by another call to Comcast to get it done right. Activating a new modem should take ten minutes. Not three hours.
Yes, the large cable or communication companies can be a royal pain in the butt to deal with. My personal nemesis is AT&T, as I had to deal with them professionally for over a quarter of a century in their various pre/post merger forms. I refuse to buy anything from them in my personal life.

I did have an incredibly good experience with the local cable company in South Carolina, though. It's a small co-op called HTC. I called them to setup Internet access for our condo and ended up talking with a very pleasant and helpful local person -- not someone from overseas whose native language isn't English and can just read from a prepared script. He was able to bundle my Internet service with the cable TV service that is included with our HOA dues, saving me $20 per month. A 200Mbps connection, including cable modem and router with WiFi, cost me just under $45 per month. The installer who showed up actually called that morning and asked if he could come early (his other appointment had canceled), and he was very knowledgeable. Once I told him that I had managed data and voice networks before retiring, we had a nice chat about where HTC was going with their network. I never would have received that kind of service from Comcast.
 

JohnRice

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The Ruckus devices use an enterprise grade radio and chip internally, so they're just more robust in terms of handling interference and large numbers of devices concurrently (think lots of smart home devices). It's not a large enough difference here to matter in your use case - but it's less likely to require reboots or any occasional maintenance.

You'll want to run your modem in bridge mode, and then have a router to act as your "brain/firewall" for your network. That router will have 5 or so ethernet ports (1GB) that you will connect the two APs to. Diagram below:

View attachment 119149

Thanks Dave.

I'm just a pitiful losner, so the number of devices is pretty limited, and only used one at a time, for the most part. So the ultimate, bulletproof WiFi probably isn't needed.

I'm using a cable modem, so it has no routing, and so no bridge mode needed to set.

Do you have any routers you recommend that have a 2.5 Gb/s or greater input, and multiple 1Gb/s outputs?

I like how the AP you suggested can be easily wall/ceiling mounted. Will it perform better in either orientation? I guess I need a POE adapter for each one. Any regular 30w model will work?

I think I'll just make it simple by adding the AP you recommended and leave it at that.
 
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JohnRice

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Yes, the large cable or communication companies can be a royal pain in the butt to deal with. My personal nemesis is AT&T, as I had to deal with them professionally for over a quarter of a century in their various pre/post merger forms. I refuse to buy anything from them in my personal life.

I did have an incredibly good experience with the local cable company in South Carolina, though. It's a small co-op called HTC. I called them to setup Internet access for our condo and ended up talking with a very pleasant and helpful local person -- not someone from overseas whose native language isn't English and can just read from a prepared script. He was able to bundle my Internet service with the cable TV service that is included with our HOA dues, saving me $20 per month. A 200Mbps connection, including cable modem and router with WiFi, cost me just under $45 per month. The installer who showed up actually called that morning and asked if he could come early (his other appointment had canceled), and he was very knowledgeable. Once I told him that I had managed data and voice networks before retiring, we had a nice chat about where HTC was going with their network. I never would have received that kind of service from Comcast.
There's a reason we voted for municipal internet/cable/phone a while back. They're installing their own network throughout town, which is taking a while. No doubt delayed due to COVID. However, they have been in my neighborhood. It's radiating out from the center of town, and I live toward the outskirts, so I get to wait. Hopefully once the 12 month agreement I just made with Comcast is up it'll be ready for me.
 

Dave Upton

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Thanks Dave.

I'm just a pitiful losner, so the number of devices is pretty limited, and only used one at a time, for the most part. So the ultimate, bulletproof WiFi probably isn't needed.

I'm using a cable modem, so it has no routing, and so no bridge mode needed to set.

Do you have any routers you recommend that have a 2.5 Gb/s or greater input, and multiple 1Gb/s outputs?

I like how the AP you suggested can be easily wall/ceiling mounted. Will it perform better in either orientation? I guess I need a POE adapter for each one. Any regular 30w model will work?

I think I'll just make it simple by adding the AP you recommended and leave it at that.
Just a comment on the input speed of your router. There's really no value in going above 1Gb - since you are only sending that down the wires inside. If you really want a router that can handle that, you'll have to spend loads of money. I can point you in the right direction, but prepare for sticker shock.

I'd go with this one

You can get a cheap PoE switch that will also power your APs. Something like this
 

JohnRice

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Just a comment on the input speed of your router. There's really no value in going above 1Gb - since you are only sending that down the wires inside. If you really want a router that can handle that, you'll have to spend loads of money. I can point you in the right direction, but prepare for sticker shock.

I'd go with this one

You can get a cheap PoE switch that will also power your APs. Something like this
Thanks again Dave.

Really, the possibility of greater than Gb is just speculating about the future. I doubt I'd ever want, and certainly never need it.

Do those PoE switches sense power need? Meaning, can I connect a PoE port to a non-powered peripheral?

I need more than 5 ports, so I figured THIS ONE.
 

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