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By SafetyThird
#1810079
I live in an old stone farmhouse, the walls are 60cm thick solid stone, wifi signals don't travel through that well. I have three unifi access points in the loft above the three sections of the house, perfect 5ghz signal all through the place and you move from section to section without dropping signals or calls.

When I renovated the house, I ran ethernet to every room, with several in our office space and a couple to behind where the tv goes. I have a small gigabit switch for all the AV gear under the tv and a larger gigabit switch in the network rack in the office which connects all the various wired ports.

I ran three ethernet cables up into the loft spaces where the unifi access points live.

Can't fault the unifi stuff but definitely run ethernet cable if you're renovating, even if you don't need it now, it future proofs you.
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By rikur_
#1810080
Buzzc150 wrote:So, would I be right in saying that if the fastest speeds I get from my fibre cable are around 26mbps there would be no point spending a lot of cash on a mesh system that can do 800mbps (as I’ll never get faster than what comes out of the cable) ?

Even a weak wifi signal is usually capable of 26mbps.
In most normal houses, you'll be able to cover the whole house from one wireless access point in a location such as the landing, and mesh is just adding unnecessary complexity.
If your house is particularly large, or got significant walls in it (e.g. due to an extension), then you may need more than one wireless access point.
Simple (non-mesh) systems leave it up to your device (e.g. phone, laptop, etc) to device which access point to connect to. In my experience, most modern devices are pretty good at this - but you can have problems if you move around the house with devices clinging onto the 'wrong' access point, resulting in a poor connection.
A proper mesh system allows the 'mesh' to also nudge devices to the optimal access point, with various versions of the standard such as 802.11k, 802.11r and 802.11v. The mesh monitors the signal strength between the device and the available wireless access points, and send instructions to the device about which access point to connect to. This often does a combination of both (a) ensuring each device is connected to a strong enough signal; (b) load balancing across multiple access points (for example it might be preferable to have some devices on a slightly weaker signal, if the strongest signal is congested). To add more complexity, not all devices support these instructions from the mesh.

If you can find a location that covers the whole house with one access point, that's the simplest solution.
By avtur3
#1810104
rikur_ wrote: .... I'll be controversial - avoid mesh if you can. IMHO the best domestic option is a single wireless access point well located. I've got a ceiling mount at the top of the stairs in the middle of the house, which is hardwired via cat5e back to the router. In my case a TPlink EAP225, but any good quality dual band should do the job. ....


I'm having problems with wifi and your comment above 'top of the stairs in the middle of the house' got me thinking. I have previously sung the praises of Devolo MagicLan products, but for reasons that are a mystery that system (powerline based providing wired and wireless service from the remote units) has become totally unreliable, to the point, I'm giving up on it.

The problem is my router sits at one side of the house, it has to because of the location of my office, and I've got equipment on wired connections to the router, also where the router sits there is a 6ft by 4ft chimney (within the house and running the full height of the house) and the router is on the wrong side of the chimney, if that makes sense? In another thread, you mentioned the idea of turning off the wifi from the router and putting a wireless access point on a wired connection to the router instead. I think I can see a way of doing that and getting cable from the router to feed a wireless access point at the top of the stairs.

The router is the standard offering from Plusnet for their fibre broadband service. I'm sure I've seen suggestions here that the Draytek VigorAP 903 is a good wireless access point, would that but a suitable candidate to feed from the Plusnet router? or open to any other suggestions. The floor plan of the house is 40ft wide 35ft deep, the staircase is set just slightly off-centre of the 40ft dimension and is centre of the 35ft deminsion.

Any thoughts most welcome.
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By rikur_
#1810135
@avtur3 I can only speak for the products I've used. I found the TP-Link AC1350 (aka EAP225) a good compromise. It's ceiling mountable; can be powered off an ethernet injector; works fine standalone, or if needed in future can become part of a mesh.
Draytek are generally a good choice too and have finally started investing some effort in their WAP range. The 903 is a bit higher spec than the TP-link option, but not really a ceiling mount option, so depends where you plan to locate it.
By avtur3
#1810143
rikur_ wrote:@avtur3 I can only speak for the products I've used. I found the TP-Link AC1350 (aka EAP225) a good compromise. It's ceiling mountable; can be powered off an ethernet injector; works fine standalone, or if needed in future can become part of a mesh.
Draytek are generally a good choice too and have finally started investing some effort in their WAP range. The 903 is a bit higher spec than the TP-link option, but not really a ceiling mount option, so depends where you plan to locate it.


Thanks rikur, I appreciate your reply. I'm on a huge learning curve here. Since posting my previous message I've become aware of P-o-E which I had no idea about previously. Installing a device that uses P-o-E technology will certainly be easier, and I can see that is not possible with the 903. The appearance and wall/ceiling mounting options of the EAP225 will also make installation easier from the point of view of domestic harmony! Given the house dimensions, I quoted would there be any benefit in going further up the EAP range, for the sake of a few extra pounds I'd like this to be the last time I have to deal with this. On a regular basis, there may be 7-8 wireless connected devices and 3 wired connected devices on the router.

TIA ...
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By rikur_
#1810168
@avtur3 we've typically got 30 - 35 devices connected to ours, which at times includes two adults video conferencing and two kids gaming ... your internet connection will max out before the wireless access point.
The bit that I can't be certain on is that it will get a signal to every last corner of the house, as it depends on construction. For the size you give, I'd expect a modern house with blockwork downstairs walls and studwork upstairs to be no problem. But invariably people have a home office in a converted garage outside a cavity wall with the hot water tank and central heating boiler in the way. But, it's in a completely different league to the cheap router that Plusnet provide, so if it just about works with the Plusnet thing, it should be fine with this.

One minor point to note with the AC1350 is make sure you use screws with small heads to fix the backing plate, as the unit fits snug to the backing plate, and if you use larger screwheads it won't slot into place (he says from experience!)
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By stevelup
#1810179
If you're having building work done, then make sure you get cat 5 cabling installed from each part of the new build to somewhere near your primary router location.

You can then install decent commercial kit such as UniFi instead of relying on consumer wireless mesh systems / extenders / other voodoo which is often flaky.
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By wonko the sane
#1810196
Buzzc150 wrote:So, would I be right in saying that if the fastest speeds I get from my fibre cable are around 26mbps there would be no point spending a lot of cash on a mesh system that can do 800mbps (as I’ll never get faster than what comes out of the cable) ?


If the only purpose of the WiFi is to get Internet access to your devices, then yes. But if you also use WiFi networking for other reasons, e.g. if you've got a NAS somewhere that is used by your various devices, then no.

riverrock wrote:Some I believe mesh ( BT discs)


The BT Whole Home discs are, indeed, a mesh. I opted for those when I moved to this temporary property, as it's a rental and so I couldn't install cables. I would have preferred to have used powerline, but after some experimentation I found they just didn't work (that's because of the house, not the technology - I know people who swear by Powerline).

For the price, the BT Whole Home stuff is okay. I had a lot of problems at first, but since an early firmware update they now work just fine. About once every two months they have a hiccup and the network collapses, but it rebuilds itself in a matter of minutes - you couldn't use it commercially, but for home and home office it's okay. I think, if I was starting again, I'd possibly choose something else but would need to spend quite a bit more to do so.

That said, I should be completing on a house purchase next week, and the first thing we're going to do is wire it up with Cat5e - at least, most of it. But that's going to be quite the job - it's not a small house, and I still haven't worked the logistics out.
By avtur3
#1810407
rikur_ wrote: .... One minor point to note with the AC1350 is make sure you use screws with small heads to fix the backing plate, as the unit fits snug to the backing plate, and if you use larger screwheads it won't slot into place (he says from experience!) ...


Thanks for the heads up ....


Image

This evening's project is to see how quickly I can prove this statement wrong :lol:
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By profchrisreed
#1810417
avtur3 wrote:.The router is the standard offering from Plusnet for their fibre broadband service.


I'd start by replacing that. I had months of problems with Plusnet fibre, low speeds and devices dropping out. Two replacement routers were as bad.

But £30 or so on a TP-LINK router from Argos and I have decent signal, even through multiple walls. For my office in the garden, about 20 metres and three walls away from the router, I plug a WiFi aerial (TP-LINK also) into my MacBook and get video streaming speeds. Other good quality brands would do the same.

This might be all you need, and you can try it tomorrow.
By avtur3
#1810428
profchrisreed wrote:
avtur3 wrote:.The router is the standard offering from Plusnet for their fibre broadband service.


I'd start by replacing that. I had months of problems with Plusnet fibre, low speeds and devices dropping out. Two replacement routers were as bad.

But £30 or so on a TP-LINK router from Argos and I have decent signal, even through multiple walls. For my office in the garden, about 20 metres and three walls away from the router, I plug a WiFi aerial (TP-LINK also) into my MacBook and get video streaming speeds. Other good quality brands would do the same.

This might be all you need, and you can try it tomorrow.


Many thanks for the suggestion, my Plusnet service has been pretty good, having said that the copper cable connecting me to the fibre cabinet is only 100ft because the telephone exchange is next door but one. The position of the router within the house is the killer, on the gable wall at one side of the house, it is simply not suitable for supplying the whole house, but it has to be there because of wired connections to nearby office equipment. So I need to get the wifi source into the middle of the house.

Following other suggestions, I ordered a tp-link AC1350 over the weekend, it arrived today.
By avtur3
#1810433
avtur3 wrote:
rikur_ wrote: .... One minor point to note with the AC1350 is make sure you use screws with small heads to fix the backing plate, as the unit fits snug to the backing plate, and if you use larger screwheads it won't slot into place (he says from experience!) ...


Thanks for the heads up ....


Image

This evening's project is to see how quickly I can prove this statement wrong :lol:



Well, I have to say that in terms of 'out-of-the-box plug and play,' it just works. Doing nothing more than plugging in the appropriate cables there are two new networks available straight away, 2.4GHz & 5GHz although they're not secure until the management software is used to set the security.

Neighbours probably wonder what I've been doing because I've been walking all around the garden and up and down the road watching a 1970's Elton John concert on YouTube on my phone to test the range. First impressions are great, and once the 'full, neat and domestically acceptable installation has been completed' the wifi should not require any further attention.

For some reason Mrs Avtur doesn't appreciate this evening's installation, she prefers the painting of Polperro Harbour that normally hangs there. :lol:
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By avtur3
#1810450
I spoke too soon, opening up the control panel for the new access point is proving to be impossible

Once the access point is working (out of the box but unsecured) it says the device has to be accessed wirelessly to open the control panel.

I've tried all methods in the instructions and nothing works, searching google about the problem returns masses of people reporting the same problem, but there isn't an intelligible answer to be found.

There is a web address in the instruction which is supposed to take you to the control panel, it simply doesn't work, which seems odd but it is a problem that appears to be widely reported.

There are various IP address suggestions but they all take me to the control panel for my Plusnet router.

I'll keep searching the internet in the vain hope that someone has posted a reply which I can understand. Seems very odd that there isn't a well-documented straightforward solution when the problem appears to be so widespread. I thought it was too good to be true. :think:
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By rikur_
#1810454
@avtur3 have you tried to Omada app - and these instructions: https://www.tp-link.com/us/support/download/eap225/ ?
I don't recall a problem setting up, but can't recall how I did it either...

Looking at instructions, should also be able to do it via a browser, browsing to http://tplinkeap.net/ (you have to be connected to the new EAP wirelessly for this to work).
If that doesn't work, you should be able to login to the plusnet router to get the IP address of the EAP.
Failing that there is a discovery tool to download here and some more instructions here here
By avtur3
#1810462
rikur_ wrote:@avtur3 have you tried to Omada app - and these instructions: https://www.tp-link.com/us/support/download/eap225/ ?
I don't recall a problem setting up, but can't recall how I did it either...

Looking at instructions, should also be able to do it via a browser, browsing to http://tplinkeap.net/ (you have to be connected to the new EAP wirelessly for this to work).
If that doesn't work, you should be able to login to the plusnet router to get the IP address of the EAP.
Failing that there is a discovery tool to download here and some more instructions here here



Thanks rikur, It's accessing http://tplinkeap.net/ that's been the problem, seems a common problem. I had been avoiding the omada app fearing it would be overly complicated for me, just wanting to set up a single standalone wap. However, in desperation, I decided to look more closely at the app and tucked away it has an option for setting standalone devices, it seems to have done the trick, all secured, and it provides plenty of information about who and how the network is being used.

Back to feeling pleased with myself again :lol: And thanks again for your input :thumleft:
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