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Old 05-17-2022, 10:59 AM   #1
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Home wifi network

It is time to update my home network system. It has served us well for over a decade, however it needs updated.

My challenge is that I am trying to cover a very large area.

I am trying to cover 3 different buildings. The main internet comes into my shop and I have a Airport Extreme tower that sends signal out.

Roughly 150' away is an Airport Extreme in my house and roughly 150' away in another direction is my parents house with another Airport Extreme.

The speed at the Main unit is more than adequate. Once the signal gets over to the hubs in the houses the speed is cut significantly. Many times it is not a big issue, but at peak use it has a major impact.


I have been doing a lot of reading about mesh networks, however I am not sure they have enough range to accomplish what I need. They are also quite costly. Does anyone have experience with Mesh systems and their speed/range?

My other option, and possibly better options is to hard wire from the main hub out to there other houses. I would burry a 1.5" black polly pipe from the shop to the houses. This would protect the wired and at the same time allow for future upgrades as needed.

Any thoughts, ideas or more information I need to include to make a good question?
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Old 05-17-2022, 11:23 AM   #2
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That’s a lot of area. Have you considered using external antennas with good routers?
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Old 05-17-2022, 11:30 AM   #3
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https://www.amazon.com/CableVantage-...s%2C134&sr=8-5

Bite the bullet and run some cable. That's what I finally did.
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Old 05-17-2022, 11:36 AM   #4
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Ubiquiti point to point wifi bridge works great to connect buildings that have line of sight.
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Old 05-18-2022, 01:41 AM   #5
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Unifi Mesh Pro will do what you're asking in addition to serving the entire area (indoors too) with Wifi. It may be more expensive than what you're looking for but you should only need 3 of them installed outdoors. The AC-M-Pros are what's called a "planar omni" which means they are a 360 antenna but work best around the same height as their connection points. A giant somewhat squashed donut if you will.



https://store.ui.com/collections/uni...ac-mesh-pro-ap


The outdoor range of a AP-M-Pro is immense- easily 400 feet line of sight. Indoors and walls cut that down a lot, but should still saturate an entire 1500sqft building. And if you need better indoor coverage, just add any other current gen Unifi AP and it will mesh with the nearest Pro (I'm fond of In-Wall HDs). But if you can run an Ethernet from the Mesh Pro to your indoor AP, it will be faster.


I've even meshed the IWHDs over shorter outdoor distances (up to 100') with no appreciable loss of performance, but they don't have the massive coverage I think you're wanting.



https://store.ui.com/collections/uni...ifi-in-wall-hd
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Old 05-18-2022, 03:39 AM   #6
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Another vote for Ubiquiti. Itís what we use and have seamless Wi-Fi all over our house and property. Easy to setup and never needs much attention to keep working.
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Old 05-18-2022, 07:21 AM   #7
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Third for Ubiquiti. We have solved more customers WiFi problems using this equipment. One location I am going 300' from inside a attic to inside a attic and the remote building is getting 150MB down and 35 up (35 up is all I can get from SL)
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Old 05-18-2022, 08:14 AM   #8
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Any time you have the option to run cable, it's the best option. For those distances, I'd do that for sure.

For my 4,500SF one-level house, I installed the ASUS ZenWiFi AX XT8 Tri-Band AX6600 with just one satellite node. It gives me adequate coverage, and I like being rid of jumping from router to router around the house.

Unfortuately, I have a number of older web-based security cameras and other smart home devices that can't use 5GHZ WiFi, so I ended up leaving a number of older routers set up as WiFi repeaters on 2.4GHZ to provide access points to the old equipment. The SSIDs are hidden so no one knows they're there but me.
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Old 05-18-2022, 09:30 AM   #9
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Keep the AirPorts and run a hard line to regain system speed. My last home was plaster on lath and I had a difficult time with WIFI connecting multiple AirPorts. The solution was to hardwire between the routers. Worked great and once set never need attention. Solid signal everywhere with full bandwidth and system speed limited only by what I'm willing to pay for from the access provider.

Over the years I've had other non-Apple routers that needed attention and reboots from time to time but not the Apple devices. Solid performance, easy configuration with the AirPort utility. Set and forget.
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Old 05-18-2022, 11:14 AM   #10
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I did some looking at the Ubiquiti and it looks like good stuff.

While I would like to stay wireless it appears it is going to cost at least $600 to accomplish what I want to do. The big question I have is would this system be able to use a single access name and seamlessly transition between hubs like my airport? Right now I have 1 network name and as long as I am in range of any hub it works and I do not have to switch between hubs.

I know the airports are older technology however I do not believe they are are still able to provide speeds as fast as what my incoming speed is. Not that this is all about cost, but to burry wire will only cost me $100-200 for the cost of 2-150' cat 6 cables.

I do not need coverage between the hubs, just cover ~50' radius from each hub, which is what I have now.
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Old 05-18-2022, 12:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nwcid View Post
I did some looking at the Ubiquiti and it looks like good stuff.

While I would like to stay wireless it appears it is going to cost at least $600 to accomplish what I want to do. The big question I have is would this system be able to use a single access name and seamlessly transition between hubs like my airport? Right now I have 1 network name and as long as I am in range of any hub it works and I do not have to switch between hubs.

I know the airports are older technology however I do not believe they are are still able to provide speeds as fast as what my incoming speed is. Not that this is all about cost, but to burry wire will only cost me $100-200 for the cost of 2-150' cat 6 cables.

I do not need coverage between the hubs, just cover ~50' radius from each hub, which is what I have now.

Yes, the basis of Unifi is to be able to use a single SSID across all networks. The "mesh" feature automatically negotiates a private link between each device based on fastest path to the gateway modem. They also support newer features like "fast roaming" which permits hopping from AP to AP as fast as signal permits and Peer to Peer w/ Cross-Connect for more enterprise-y things like devices talking directly to each other.



The installation of the Mesh Pros should be outdoors and with as few solid physical obstructions as possible. While they can work from inside a house, the walls are going to significantly attenuate signal and indirectly maximum link speed.
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Old 05-18-2022, 12:45 PM   #12
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Y
The installation of the Mesh Pros should be outdoors and with as few solid physical obstructions as possible. While they can work from inside a house, the walls are going to significantly attenuate signal and indirectly maximum link speed.
This brings me back to my main concern with wireless.

I do not need outdoor coverage. I need indoor coverage a the 3 locations.
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Old 05-18-2022, 01:31 PM   #13
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This brings me back to my main concern with wireless.

I do not need outdoor coverage. I need indoor coverage a the 3 locations.

Correct, but no wireless inside a building is going to have a good time connecting to a wireless inside another building. Wireless won't work that way. Vast outdoor coverage is just a side effect of having high speed connectivity between the buildings. Getting a wireless solution that can reach up to 150 feet is not the solution you are looking for... any maximum expected range of a wireless device is inherently expected to be at its minimum speed of like 1.2Mbps. As it stands, AP-AC-M-Pros will likely negotiate at 300-400Mbps at 150 feet assuming minimal obstructions and interference. Clear air line of sight they'll link at 700/700 or so. Their maximum attainable speed of 866 is a pipe dream beyond 100 feet.



If you want a wireless link between the buildings, the main part of the antenna needs to be outside. Indoor coverage will happen regardless of being inside or out, what you want is fast indoor coverage that can connect to the remote modem at a high speed. And fast is accomplished by maintaining the highest possible negotiated link speeds between your endpoints. Furthermore, having a slow device can pull down every other device with it- at least with a MIMO access point the slow devices can be shelved onto their own slow radio.


Now, you do have a potential 3rd option here. If you have coax cable for TV run between the buildings, you can use a MoCa adapter to shove data down the wire along with the TV signal. This just needs the adapters and some filter chokes to be installed to keep the network from leaking away onto unwanted wires.
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Old 05-18-2022, 01:43 PM   #14
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Based on your response above, would it be reasonable to say if I used an outdoor antenna like this, https://store.ui.com/collections/uni...nt-wifi-6-mesh on each of the buildings they would have enough speed to connect well and also cover inside the buildings?

No cables between the buildings. It would be a new install which is why I would burry pipe.
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