New Home Construction - Mesh?

mkrosal

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Jan 9, 2018
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Getting ready to move into a 2400 sqft home that we built. I have 2 cat6 cables running to each room in the house and will have the modem/switch in one of our garages. I have wireless security cams as well as a ring doorbell (30 ft from house) on gate of a courtyard.

I'm obviously still going to need a wireless network setup and have been looking into different options, however it's a bit of paralysis by analysis at this point. I'd like the wireless range to cover the entire house plus an outside patio that is about 60 feet from the back of the house.

I'm pretty tech saavy but at this point with how much work it's been to build a house plus I have two very small children I don't have time for much research and configuration so I'd like the most "plug-and-play" option available.

Do I go with multiple routers, wireless APs or a mesh setup?
 

vmfantom

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Nov 28, 2017
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Even though you have dual Cat6 runs per room, I'm loath to recommend a PoE access point at the moment because 802.11ax routers are starting to hit the market this year, so spending several hundred bucks on APs you'd want to replace in a year's time seems sub-optimal. 802.11ax has 39% higher link rates than most 802.11ac chipsets, and covers both 2.4 and 5 GHz.

Where do the Cat6 runs terminate - is it in the garage, or in a closet?
How many RG-6 coaxial runs do you have per room?
 
You should not use multiple routers it only makes a mess of things in a home network. You could use the router as AP I suppose.

There is no reason to use mesh when you have cables to every room. Mesh is a form of wireless repeater and will never perform as well as a wired AP setup. You would only use mesh when you can not get it to work another way.

I would put a AP outside if your really want good coverage outside. It is hard to predict how much signal will get out. Many newer houses have metal foil insulation and energy coatings on the windows. It does not take a lot to absorb the wifi signal.

I would try to run your security cameras on wired if it is at all possible. You have to run power to them anyway so you might as well use PoE ethernet instead. Security cameras send a constant stream of data and if that is on wifi they will not share well with other devices. It works but it is not optimal.

A good source of AP that is above consumer grade but does not have the huge cost of enterprise class devices is from a company called ubiquiti.
 

nigelivey

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Second the answer above (bill001g). Unless you have an insanely fast service from your ISP or require huge transfer rates internally, I would look at the AC products from Ubiquiti. They are extremely reliable, cost effective with great performance. Depending on your setup you could run all of them off one of their PoE switches to cut down the cabling mess of injectors.
 

mkrosal

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Jan 9, 2018
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So if I went with Ubiquiti APs and a PoE 16 port switch, do I still need a router of some sort between the cable modem and switch? Also, I've looked into the Ubiquiti products and it always seems to say that you need multiple pieces of their products to work correctly. Is that true, or can i literally just purchase the APs and be good?
 

nigelivey

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Yes a router is still required if you only have the modem. You will be good to go but you will need to download the unifi controller software to configure the APs.
 

vmfantom

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It seems you specifically need a UniFi PoE switch, or PC running UniFi software as the controller for the UniFi APs, although you can retain your existing router (after disabling its wifi). Whether you look at Ubiquiti, Engenius, Comfast, etc., they all require some managed switch or router (or PC running their software) as the network controller, and it needs their firmware on it to serve as the brains for the dim-witted AP minions. UniFi setup and maintenance is by no means simple or cheap. If you want simple and cheap, just buy a great standalone router.

One question I'm not sure this forum can answer is whether UniFi truly supports 802.11v - not just a beta - for fast roaming between APs. The new Huawei Q2 with G.hn powerline support isn't even Ethernet based but supports 802.11v with switching between APs completed within 100 milliseconds. That's really the main litmus test for wired APs' performance. The other is packet handling between APs and the controller.

Spending $500+ on 802.11ac APs in 2018 is like distributing desktops with Pentium CPUs through your house and expecting comparable performance to an i7 or i9. It's a generation behind the times and is overpriced for what you get. This table shows you that some 802.11ax APs are hitting the enterprise market, and you can expect more to reach downmarket soon. As for routers, there's really no comparison to the 4800 Mbps 5 GHz chipset on the 1.8 GHz dual-core CPU + 1 GB RAM of the RT-AX88U and the 1300 Mbps 5 GHz on the 600 MHz CPU + 256 MB RAM of the UAP-AC-PRO. Plus the whole thing about creating hidden node interference and multipath issues if you need to use UniFi's Zero Handoff to make fast roaming work between APs.

I've seen lots of enterprise deployments with Aruba, Ruckus/ARRIS, or Meraki, but none with UniFi APs.
 

nigelivey

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All Ubiquiti APs are supplied with injectors, so a unifi switch isnt required. A controller isnt required, the wireless network is setup via any pc or laptop which can then be removed after, only then being used again for changes. The roaming function on ubiquiti is no where near perfect but to be honest in a
a residential environment you are unlikely to require a zone director that vendors such as Ruckus may use. That being said you could equip your house with a ZD1100 and R300s or R500s quite cheaply depending how many APs are required, the included licenses are 6 if I remember correctly with additional ones at roughly 120$, you can pick up the ZD1100 for a few hundred bucks on ebay. I would also question the need for anything other than AC at this point and waiting for the next revolution in tech is a never ending process. Unless you have huge demand for bandwidth on the LAN side your APs will exceed any WAN connection you may have unless your blessed withe ftth. Just my two pennies worth.
 

RealBeast

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