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Question Network upgrade - big house and garden

OnlyCORE

Reputable
Jul 17, 2017
15
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4,510
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Hey,
I am looking into upgrading Wifi in my home that's about 250 m^2 across 2 floors with a lot of walls. Right now I have 3 different SSIDs all around house which is not ideal because devices have to frequently connect and disconnect and there are still a lot of dead zones and it often drops even with half the bars.
  1. ISP router (Comtrend something...Need it for VDSL)
  2. TP-Link Archer C6
  3. TP-Link TL-WR841N in AP mode
All of them create their own WiFi.
I thought about getting repeaters for the Archer C6 and create their OneMesh network but if I understand correctly they don't support wired backhaul, only over wifi that means the all have to be close to one another so the speed doesn't deteriorate.
What are your suggestions? I heard only good things about Ubiquiti (my friend has Ubiquiti UniFi UAP-AC-LITE and the signal is strong) but I don't really understand all their different products and everything you need to set it up. Also they need PoE so that would make the upgrade even more expensive.

PS: One quick question for now: can I disable DHCP server on the ISP router and have it only on Archer C6 without problems even if it creates it't own wifi? Devices connected to it should get their IP from Archer right?
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Hey,
I am looking into upgrading Wifi in my home that's about 250 m^2 across 2 floors with a lot of walls. Right now I have 3 different SSIDs all around house which is not ideal because devices have to frequently connect and disconnect and there are still a lot of dead zones and it often drops even with half the bars.
  1. ISP router (Comtrend something...Need it for VDSL)
  2. TP-Link Archer C6
  3. TP-Link TL-WR841N in AP mode
All of them create their own WiFi.
I thought about getting repeaters for the Archer C6 and create their OneMesh network but if I understand correctly they don't support wired backhaul, only over wifi that means the all have to be close to one another so the speed doesn't deteriorate.
What are your suggestions? I heard only good things about Ubiquiti (my friend has Ubiquiti UniFi UAP-AC-LITE and the signal is strong) but I don't really understand all their different products and everything you need to set it up. Also they need PoE so that would make the upgrade even more expensive.

PS: One quick question for now: can I disable DHCP server on the ISP router and have it only on Archer C6 without problems even if it creates it't own wifi? Devices connected to it should get their IP from Archer right?
Ubiquiti is best if you have some wired infrastructure, tied back to the primary router. Do you have that?
You have to remember that WIFI requires radio connection in both directions and that the radio on handheld devices have much lower power than the router. So your phone may be able to receive "with half the bars" but can not transmit back.
 

OnlyCORE

Reputable
Jul 17, 2017
15
0
4,510
0
Ubiquiti is best if you have some wired infrastructure, tied back to the primary router. Do you have that?
You have to remember that WIFI requires radio connection in both directions and that the radio on handheld devices have much lower power than the router. So your phone may be able to receive "with half the bars" but can not transmit back.
Huh, that's really good explanation.
I have cat 5e cables laid to most parts of the house so that shouldn't be a problem.
I have a floor plan of my house in .dwg so I thought I could you some wifi heatmap software to plan where to put the access points.
How do the Ubiquiti APs work and which is the best for my scenario? What else do I need? They themselves are quite expensive.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Huh, that's really good explanation.
I have cat 5e cables laid to most parts of the house so that shouldn't be a problem.
I have a floor plan of my house in .dwg so I thought I could you some wifi heatmap software to plan where to put the access points.
How do the Ubiquiti APs work and which is the best for my scenario? What else do I need? They themselves are quite expensive.
I don't put a lot of faith into the basic heat map tools. I do have a Ubiquiti system in my home with three APs, 6 switches and a USG. I recommend the more basic approach of putting APs where you have the most devices. So a family room/living room gets and AP. The kids bedrooms may get one. The master bedroom gets one. If you want coverage for a pool or patio, you get an outdoor rated unit there. My typical recommendation would be start with three APs. There are three 2.4Ghz channels. So you can start with one AP on each of the three 2.4Ghz channels. I only run 80Mhz on my living room AP. All the others run 40Mhz on 5Ghz.
 

OnlyCORE

Reputable
Jul 17, 2017
15
0
4,510
0
I don't put a lot of faith into the basic heat map tools. I do have a Ubiquiti system in my home with three APs, 6 switches and a USG. I recommend the more basic approach of putting APs where you have the most devices. So a family room/living room gets and AP. The kids bedrooms may get one. The master bedroom gets one. If you want coverage for a pool or patio, you get an outdoor rated unit there. My typical recommendation would be start with three APs. There are three 2.4Ghz channels. So you can start with one AP on each of the three 2.4Ghz channels. I only run 80Mhz on my living room AP. All the others run 40Mhz on 5Ghz.
Ok, to sum it up. I get 3 APs (for example: Ubiquiti UAP-AC-LITE). How do I connect and controll them? Do I sell my Archer C6 and DHCP will be taken care of by my ISP router? Will they create one seamless network? Should I get PoE Switch or does it come with one?
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Ok, to sum it up. I get 3 APs (for example: Ubiquiti UAP-AC-LITE). How do I connect and controll them? Do I sell my Archer C6 and DHCP will be taken care of by my ISP router? Will they create one seamless network? Should I get PoE Switch or does it come with one?
Depending on where your ethernet ports are, I would recommend the flexHD for the APs. It is designed to sit on a table and is outdoor rated. The smoke detector style APs are optimized for ceiling mounting.
You can keep your existing router -- you may choose to upgrade later. You disable the WIFI on the router and use it as a wired only device. You can control the Ubiquiti system several different ways. You can use their android/iPhone app. You can run their free controller software on a PC or laptop. You can buy their dedicated controller hardware or you can run a raspberry PI with their controller software. I run a raspberry PI with PIHole and their controller running.
 

OnlyCORE

Reputable
Jul 17, 2017
15
0
4,510
0
Depending on where your ethernet ports are, I would recommend the flexHD for the APs. It is designed to sit on a table and is outdoor rated. The smoke detector style APs are optimized for ceiling mounting.
You can keep your existing router -- you may choose to upgrade later. You disable the WIFI on the router and use it as a wired only device. You can control the Ubiquiti system several different ways. You can use their android/iPhone app. You can run their free controller software on a PC or laptop. You can buy their dedicated controller hardware or you can run a raspberry PI with their controller software. I run a raspberry PI with PIHole and their controller running.
The flexHD is 2,25x more expensive than UAP-AC-LITE that's a big no no if I need at least 3 of them.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
The flexHD is 2,25x more expensive than UAP-AC-LITE that's a big no no if I need at least 3 of them.
I can't tell you how many you NEED. Only testing with actual devices in your RF environment can tell you that. Buying the lowest cost devices isn't usually the best answer either. They are lower cost for a reason. I can only give you the benefits of the flexHD. If you are considering wall mounting anything, then look at the in-wall units rather than mounting an AC-LITE "sideways" ...
 

OnlyCORE

Reputable
Jul 17, 2017
15
0
4,510
0
I can't tell you how many you NEED. Only testing with actual devices in your RF environment can tell you that. Buying the lowest cost devices isn't usually the best answer either. They are lower cost for a reason. I can only give you the benefits of the flexHD. If you are considering wall mounting anything, then look at the in-wall units rather than mounting an AC-LITE "sideways" ...
I really wouldn't say "lowest cost" since for an AP even the LITE is expensive.
I never said there is a problem with mounting them on the ceiling. I can route the cables through the attic.
What are the downsides of only using a phone to manage it?
 

OnlyCORE

Reputable
Jul 17, 2017
15
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4,510
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Thanks, I appreciate it. What about my question from my first post?
PS: One quick question for now: can I disable DHCP server on the ISP router and have it only on Archer C6 without problems even if it creates it't own wifi? Devices connected to it should get their IP from Archer right?
 
"can I disable DHCP server on the ISP router and have it only on Archer C6 without problems even if it creates it't own wifi? Devices connected to it should get their IP from Archer right?"

Won't work for a couple reasons. First the network on the ISP router is on the wan side of your archer it can only give out IP for the lan. If you disable the DHCP on the ISP router and devices connect to it they will not function unless you use static IP. You will also have to assign the WAN ip to your archer static.

Even if you ran the archer as bridge/ap the ISP router must be the DHCP server. Technically it should work to use the archer as the DHCP server and disable the one on the ISP router but consumer routers are very limited in what they allow you to set. They generally require that the gateway IP be the routers lan IP and they will not allow you to use a different subnet than the lan interface is set to. If you were using some form of actual DHCP server there are all kinds of things you can do. Consumer routers many feature are dumbed down to avoid confusing people.
 

OnlyCORE

Reputable
Jul 17, 2017
15
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If there's someone with experience in placing APs I created a floor plan of our house with current APs and a bit of legend and scale. Where would you recommend placing new AP so they don't overlap yet cover all living areas? Thanks
Links to lightshot:
Ground floor
1st floor
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
If there's someone with experience in placing APs I created a floor plan of our house with current APs and a bit of legend and scale. Where would you recommend placing new AP so they don't overlap yet cover all living areas? Thanks
Links to lightshot:
Ground floor
1st floor
Overlap is managed by turning DOWN the power on the APs. If you need more 5Ghz, you may have to add an AP and disable the 2.4Ghz radio.
 

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