[SOLVED] recommended residential mesh solution

slug420

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I have 3 APs in my home, one in the basement near my home office, another 2 floors up on the other end of the house over the garage, and a third in a barn about 60' from the house. Right now I have 2 ASUS N66U's in the house and an old netgear running dd-wrt in the barn.

My cable comes in to the main N66u in the basement which acts as the wired switch for my desktop and nas...and I have cat6 run to each of the other wireless routers. Each router uses a different SSID and treats its "uplink" port as Internet (leases a DHCP address from the main N66U and assigns its own IPs from a different subnet to hosts behind it).

It works well enough if you put yourself on the right SSID but theres just no roaming ability so its kind of a pain at times when you're over the garage 10' from that router but your signal sucks because your phone/laptop is still connected to the one in the basement.

I think there have been a bunch of new residential wifi mesh solutions in recent years so I was just looking for some guidance on what might work best for me....the main part that I find confusing is that most solutions are designed for people who dont have ethernet run to the different AP locations so they try to grab on to a weak signal and boost it or use powerline or something like that. I am hoping there is some solution that takes advantage of the wiring I have run?

oh, I should add, in the room over the garage I also use the N66u as a switch and all my multimedia stuff is hardwired (playstation, dish joey, fire tv etc)

thanks
 
The problem with roaming is it is a fundamental design "flaw" in the wifi standard. The end client is in full control over what device it uses. Mesh is just a new fancy form of repeater it does not really solve the roaming issue. It is more marketing than any new technology. It is mostly for people that don't want to run cables it is primarily a wireless repeater system that does a better job of controlling the interference from the signal back to the main router.

If mesh was so great corporate installation would have long ago gone to it but they still install AP solution much as the system you have. The big commercial vendor like cisco and HP do not sell "mesh" systems

Part of your issue is you are using your remote devices as routers rather than AP. You want only the main router assigning IP. You want the remote devices to basically be remote radios connected via ethernet. This makes your house 1 network 1 ip network rather than multiple. The device may have a AP mode or you can just cable them to the lan port disable the dhcp and make sure the lan management ip does not conflict.

The roaming issue can not really be solved. The end device can not look for other wifi signals when it is using its radio to talk to the router. It will only look when the signal becomes pretty much unusable. Some systems have central controllers that can force a disconnect from the AP side but it is fairly hit and miss. Ubiquiti is has a system that will do this and they do not charge for the controller software.

It tends to be easier to just stop and restart the wifi. They tend to connect to the nearest Wifi...well most the time. I have not seen a actual need for seamless roaming in someones house. I envision some idiot falling down the stairs while he is staring at his phone watching youtube.

The only way they are going to "fix" the roaming problem is to replace the wifi standard with something else. Things like the cell phone network were designed from the start to allow for roaming between towers but even they have issues, its not like you can play a online game and not get massive lag spikes when you change towers.
 

gasaraki

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Why didn't you make the APs have the same SSID so the devices can roam? Are the APs the same brand and model? If so, is there a central management for them? If so, they should even be able to hand off the connection to the closer AP if they have the same SSID.
 

slug420

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I originally gave them the same SSID but nothing would roam and you could only tell which one you were connected to by looking at available networks and the number of bars each had.

I just did some research after posting this and it looks like at least velop and orbi offer wired backhaul...not sure on google wifi. Asus also offers it and its just a feature that is part of updated firmware on a number of their regular wireless routers but neither of mine are on the list.
 
The problem with roaming is it is a fundamental design "flaw" in the wifi standard. The end client is in full control over what device it uses. Mesh is just a new fancy form of repeater it does not really solve the roaming issue. It is more marketing than any new technology. It is mostly for people that don't want to run cables it is primarily a wireless repeater system that does a better job of controlling the interference from the signal back to the main router.

If mesh was so great corporate installation would have long ago gone to it but they still install AP solution much as the system you have. The big commercial vendor like cisco and HP do not sell "mesh" systems

Part of your issue is you are using your remote devices as routers rather than AP. You want only the main router assigning IP. You want the remote devices to basically be remote radios connected via ethernet. This makes your house 1 network 1 ip network rather than multiple. The device may have a AP mode or you can just cable them to the lan port disable the dhcp and make sure the lan management ip does not conflict.

The roaming issue can not really be solved. The end device can not look for other wifi signals when it is using its radio to talk to the router. It will only look when the signal becomes pretty much unusable. Some systems have central controllers that can force a disconnect from the AP side but it is fairly hit and miss. Ubiquiti is has a system that will do this and they do not charge for the controller software.

It tends to be easier to just stop and restart the wifi. They tend to connect to the nearest Wifi...well most the time. I have not seen a actual need for seamless roaming in someones house. I envision some idiot falling down the stairs while he is staring at his phone watching youtube.

The only way they are going to "fix" the roaming problem is to replace the wifi standard with something else. Things like the cell phone network were designed from the start to allow for roaming between towers but even they have issues, its not like you can play a online game and not get massive lag spikes when you change towers.
 

nigelivey

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The only way to achieve this is by spending money. You could purchase a solution like Ruckus Zone director and 3 APs and a PoE switch. Roaming works flawlessly. You can find at quite reasonable prices on eBay. A ZD1100 and 3x 7 series APs would set you back 500£. The controller then passes you from AP to AP. Cisco, Aruba and Meraki offer similar solutions.
 

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