Question Help learning about access points and ubiquiti

axlrose

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So I spent about $300 on powerline adapters back in December. They were terrible and actually made internet access worse. Apparently I have too many phases in my circuit breaker for them to work in my house.

On to the next attempt at getting internet around my unwired house. I am going to try to get some runs through my walls and ceilings if I'm able to and try access points. This is what people have told me to try second. They almost always tell me to go ubiquiti too.

Wondering if anyone has experience with this before I try to run lines through the walls and ceilings and spend more money on access points from ubiquiti.

Thanks.
 
Mesh is just a fancy marketing word for repeater. They are a little better than some of the first generation repeaters but they still suffer from the same problem that there are multiple radio connections in the path. This increases the risk of interference on each radio connection. If you are like many people on this forum whose primary use is online games you do not want to use any wifi in the path and the more wifi jumps you have the more random lag spikes you get.

If mesh was such a great system large enterprise companies would be using this. The technology normally is used by enterprise and then comes to the consumer market (like say 10gbit ports). Large enterprise has always used ethernet connected AP for WiFi. Mesh is pretty much only sold to home users.

It is somewhat surprising that powerline did not work. The newer AV2 based unit have much less issue with the power phases. In any case if you have the option to get ethernet run that is your best option. It will give you the ability to use ethernet for applications like games and use AP to increase your wifi converge. It is always the best option when you can do it.

Ubiquiti make product that is between consumer goods and enterprise stuff but with prices closer to the consumer side. It really depends on what feature you want. The advantage is mostly the extra software features and how you manage them. The radio coverage etc is not going to be that much different than say something from dlink or linksys etc. The main disadvantage is that they are a little more complex to setup because of all these additions features. This actually is the reason mesh exists it is for the lazy person who just want to take thing out of boxes and plug them in and somehow a magic network or wifi appears with them pushing 1 button.
 

kanewolf

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Ubiquiti has a very active forum on their website. They also have a WIKI for FAQ type info. The access points are POE only. But if you buy single packs, they generally come with a POE injector. You can get POE enabled switches from 8 ports to 48 ports. The UniFI system uses controller software to manage everything. You can run that software on a PC, laptop or raspberryPI. You can purchase their cloudkey which is just a perbuilt raspberryPI class device. There is now a 2nd generation cloudkey and there are lots of used devices on E-Bay. I got mine for $50.
 
Mesh, as already mentioned, add ez setup for lots, comparatively, money. U want ez setup, money no object, go Mesh, but don't expect huge performance boost.

Go Ubiquiti, if u have lots of WIFI clients 10+ and beyond, with solid bandwidth management features, so everybody gets a shot, nobody get locked out. Still won't save u though if you have anemic 5 mbit old DSL service.

But nothing, nada, beat hard wired ethernet. U can add Access Points to your hard wired ethernet but the gist is, with ethernet as your backbone, u got a solid foundation, u got good solid stuff to add whatever you want on top.
 

axlrose

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So confused! :) Posted on the Ubiquiti forum and all of the responses are to go with the amplifi mesh setup. All of them.

These are what I bought to setup this winter. I get all kinds of drops. More wifi off than on. Can't find IP address messages. etc. etc. The wifi improved significantly when I unplug them all. I've been told repeatedly that with a house at around 4400 square feet and with all of the circuit breakers I have (and apparently phases as a result) they just aren't designed to work in a house like mine.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0725LPTZR/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

My house is not wired. I have one line coming into the basement for internet. My wireless router is there. My daughter has a bedroom on the other end of the basement. She has trouble getting solid wifi in there for her echo dot. My other daughter has the only room on the third floor and she has trouble getting solid wifi there too. We got echo dots over the christmas holiday and upped our internet service from 25mpbs to 50mbps. It's been great for my pc, which I had to run a line to hardware on the main floor. I'd like to get a solid signal for both girls' bedroom for their echo dots. If I could, I'd run a line to each bedroom and put an access point in. Unfortunately, I don't think I can get a line to either bedroom through the finished ceilings and floors and walls.
 
It is like a lot of post you see even here. People just parrot the popular thing without being able to explain why. You might get "works good for me" like that means anything. I suspect if network equipment had RGB leds you would get people say those are best too. I would really like someone to explain to me why a repeated wifi signal is better. Nobody that actually has technical knowledge about how it really works will ever say that.

Best proof mesh is not the best is enterprise customers who have pretty much unlimited money do not use it.

On the powerline units it is best to test with ethernet and make sure it is actually a powerline issue. The wifi in these units is not the best. You could plug a actual AP into powerline and it tends to work better. The av2 based powerline units have much less issue with the phases in houses since they transmit the signal on the grounding wires also.

The only other option you might have is to use MoCA device if you have tv coax run to all the rooms.
 

axlrose

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No tv lines either. The house was wired for nothing. It's odd. If I find a way to run lines to both of the bedrooms I want to get the echo dots working in, anyone have any ideas for what ubiquiti ap's I'd want to be looking at? And someone talked about injectors? Maybe getting a ubiquiti access point set up is a lot more complicated than when I set up an old router as an access point. I build my own pc's, but maybe this is more out of my wheelhouse that I expected.
 
Ubiquiti is a nice device and they work well. BUT for simple application where you only have say 2 AP using a router is sometime simpler. Really the main difference between a true AP and a router running is a AP is true AP generally are using PoE. Part of the reason is you do not always have power where you want to place a AP and if you have lots of AP it is simpler to buy a UPS for a switch that powers all the AP than putting UPS in every room. I know some people like AP because you can mount them on the ceiling and they are out of the way and look like a smoke detector. A router sitting on a counter plugged into the wall will work just as well.

The thing with ubiquiti is there pricing is competitive that home users buy their product when really they are designed to solve issue in small business. Which AP you buy is no different than which "router" you would buy. You look at the radio band you want and you look at feature like how many mimo channels you want. This is mostly a choice you have to make. The requirements for something like a echo dot are extremely minimal.
 
So I just got back from a friends house we ran some AP for and I remember why using real AP in that situation was needed. It was pretty easy to get the ethernet into the attic but trying to get down the walls we wanted was almost impossible. Even almost laying in the nasty insulation there was still not enough room to work between the roof and the top wall plates. It was trivial to cut a small hole in the ceiling of the room and mount a box and pull the ethernet wires to it. Since there was no power in the ceiling having PoE was a huge problem solver.
 

axlrose

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Do I understand correctly that setting up routers off of my router as access points means they are all different connections and with the access points they are all integrated and i don't have to drop one and connect to a different one as I move around the house?
 
Nope there really is no such thing as wifi roaming. The end device is in full control over what it connects to. The main problem is wifi only has one radio and can not look for better radio sources when it connected so it tends to stay with one source until it gets unusable.

Some of the mesh systems and even ubiquiti controller software will force a disconnect from the AP side. It hopes the end device then picks the correct radio to connect to. It is kinda hit and miss and cuases small outages no matter what you do. It tends to be simpler to just manually stop and restart the client if you "the user" know there is a better radio source. The concept of seamless roaming inside someone house is almost a stupid concept. How many people are actually say watching netflicks while they walk around the house, I can see the news about the idiot who gets killed falling down the stairs because he was staring at his phone.
 

AtkinsFriendly

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Nope there really is no such thing as wifi roaming. The end device is in full control over what it connects to. The main problem is wifi only has one radio and can not look for better radio sources when it connected so it tends to stay with one source until it gets unusable.

Some of the mesh systems and even ubiquiti controller software will force a disconnect from the AP side. It hopes the end device then picks the correct radio to connect to. It is kinda hit and miss and cuases small outages no matter what you do. It tends to be simpler to just manually stop and restart the client if you "the user" know there is a better radio source. The concept of seamless roaming inside someone house is almost a stupid concept. How many people are actually say watching netflicks while they walk around the house, I can see the news about the idiot who gets killed falling down the stairs because he was staring at his phone.

So Meraki is the only brand that I know of that does seamless roaming / mesh correctly with the hand off of authentication keys and communication between all APs. They can even adjust power levels to induce load balancing between APs and of course band-steering depending on congestion. It works great for wireless VOIP systems while walking around between APs. But of course it's Meraki in which you're going to be dropping $300+ for the AP and another $300 for licensing with Meraki..
 

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