Question TP link EAP 225 mesh network setup

DAG93

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Feb 23, 2020
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Hey everyone! I am working on trying to set up a mesh network for a buddy of mine who has both a concrete house and concrete detached garage. I got a TP link EAP 225 outdoor unit which is getting signal to the detached but not reliably. So we got a second outdoor unit in hopes to mesh the network and repeat the signal closer to the garage. I honestly figured it would be as simple as going into the Omada app and pairing the two access points but it would seem I am wrong? Can anyone give me an idea on what might be the best way to go about this. I’ve read that it probably needs a controller but this will not be connected to a PC. Can I avoid buying anymore hardware or do I need to get a Poe switch? These both come with standard POE injectors. Any and all advice would be great thank you!
 
It does not appear these devices are really made for the purpose you want. They are pretty much AP only. I am not sure what the that omada stuff is but it appears it is a expensive controller of some kind. I am not sure if these units can run as repeaters. Note mesh does not ususally mean repeater when you are looking at more commercial equipment. You seldom see wireless repeater in commercial installs.

What you would really want was a pair of outdoor point to point bridges. There are many brands, I used to recommend ubiquiti loco ac5 because you could get a pair for $100 but it would be a example. Now these do not actually provide wifi to the remote building they appear logically as a ethernet cable that goes through the wall and then by "magic" comes out a ethernet cable on the other. You could use the second AP you have inside the second building connected to the bridge.

Now what might also work is to just use a bridge on one end and use the eap225 on the other. Hard to say if this will work, it has a pretty good chance since you say you get some signal and the directional antenna will help a lot. You would still need to use the second eap 225 in the second building to talk to the end devices. Note you can not use one loco ac5 by itself if you look at ubiquiti brand you must use there older nanaostation loco 5. The newer models only work in pairs talking to each other. But again look for a outdoor bridge in general should get you some options.
 

DAG93

Commendable
Feb 23, 2020
54
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It does not appear these devices are really made for the purpose you want. They are pretty much AP only. I am not sure what the that omada stuff is but it appears it is a expensive controller of some kind. I am not sure if these units can run as repeaters. Note mesh does not ususally mean repeater when you are looking at more commercial equipment. You seldom see wireless repeater in commercial installs.

What you would really want was a pair of outdoor point to point bridges. There are many brands, I used to recommend ubiquiti loco ac5 because you could get a pair for $100 but it would be a example. Now these do not actually provide wifi to the remote building they appear logically as a ethernet cable that goes through the wall and then by "magic" comes out a ethernet cable on the other. You could use the second AP you have inside the second building connected to the bridge.

Now what might also work is to just use a bridge on one end and use the eap225 on the other. Hard to say if this will work, it has a pretty good chance since you say you get some signal and the directional antenna will help a lot. You would still need to use the second eap 225 in the second building to talk to the end devices. Note you can not use one loco ac5 by itself if you look at ubiquiti brand you must use there older nanaostation loco 5. The newer models only work in pairs talking to each other. But again look for a outdoor bridge in general should get you some options.
If these can not be run in a mesh I will be pretty peeved at TP link and Amazon for their misleading info on the retail page. I’m stuck with both of them as we started this project and my buddy had his kid a bit earlier then expected and we went past the return window. So what you are recommending is get one bridge to receive signal from the house and then connect that to the lan on the port of the access point? I appreciate your input!
 
What do you think "mesh" actually means. This is some advertising buzz word they use. Maybe they should put "gamer" or "turbo" on the box too.

The system you have purchased are designed for business use. The concept of mesh is different. A home user system mesh almost always means "repeater". A business system it is more related to central management of many, like 100's, of AP. It allows the APs to do things like dynamically adjust the radio power of the AP to help balance the users between all the AP as they move around.

The concept of a single network and of roaming have been in wifi from the very beginning it is just lately the manufacture have found they could get more money out of people by selling them multiple device for their house by printing "mesh" on the box. But the home user does not have ethernet cables in every room so they added the repeater function.

So your problem is worse than I thought it was. Key to making any repeater type of system work is the support of WDS. This is actually a hack where they use a feature designed for a different purpose to get around a restriction in the wifi encryption. It is not part of the actual wifi standards but most vendor run it the same way so they are now compatible unlike early systems. WDS is considered a security exposure many times.

The new problem is like many business systems I do not think the eap225 has support for WDS This means you can only have a single MAC address on the remote device.....ie only 1 device connected. The WDS field was used to pass the mac addresses of other devices.

There is another "hack" that can partially make this work when the main unit does not support WDS. What you can do is run the remote bridge unit like a router so all the device behind it share the mac address and IP addresses.

Problem is not all devices support this hack. Most the ubiquiti products do but ubiquiti stuff is semipro and can be confusing to configure, TPlink is easier to configure and they call this mode universal repeater because it connects to any system. The problem is I do not know if their outdoor units support this. I went in looked at a couple manual and don't see the feature. A lot of the indoor repeaters clearly support it.

Now what you could do is build this yourself and use a outdoor bridge unit as a simple client-bridge and connect it to the wan port of a router in the second building.

In both these cases the devices in the second building will be a different subnet/network. You can have issues sharing files and things like printers between the location.


SO
What I think is going to be the cheapest solution is to buy a pair of point to point bridge units to run the connection between the buildings. You would then use the outdoor AP in the other building and maybe find another way to run a second cable for the AP near the main house.

This is a case where you really needed to understand how all this technology works before you buy things especially when you buy commercial grade equipment.
 

DAG93

Commendable
Feb 23, 2020
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I can use one of the APs elsewhere. Honestly just want to plug a tv in so Wi-Fi in the detached would just be an extra benefit. In regards to that do you happen to have an okay recommendation for point to point bridges? The buildings are about 100 feet apart with no obstructions they would be mounted to the soffit of both buildings.
 
The key thing you look for is called CPE...means customer premise equipment.. but you use 2 of them for point to point. TPLINK 210 is a common one people use. What you might try is buy just 1 of these units and see if it is compatible with the eap225. You might get lucky and have it work without having to spend all the money for the controller garbage. If not buy a second one and they will work point to point since that is what they are designed to do.

The ones I used to use and are still in my junk box are ubiquiti nanostation locom5. They have some new ones called nanostation loco AC 5 but these only work in pairs. I am not sure if ubiquiti has some other models but this type of equipment is always out of stock on their site and hard to get on even amazon at times. It used to be easy to get before pandemic stuff.
 
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DAG93

Commendable
Feb 23, 2020
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So I finally got home from work and remembered I have a spare TPlink RE450 that I could connect directly to the standalone AP and extend the network. It also has a jack to run to the other AP point. I tested it and it seemed to work. Think this is worth giving a shot?
 
Yes but it is a indoor unit and goes in a outlet. Normally when you do this you can try to put it in a window. Its worth a try.

I am pretty sure that unit you can get in universal repeater mode but that will get 2 different networks. Likely will not be a problem unless you need to share files from the remote location to the main location. The other way works fine.
 

DAG93

Commendable
Feb 23, 2020
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Awesome this will be the first go before looking into an alternative. The is a small area on the Interior of the detach that will be close to the AP point. No file shearing will be done. My buddy only has his iPhone and internet for streaming. I’ll update once we get it implemented. I really appreciate your feedback!
 

DAG93

Commendable
Feb 23, 2020
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Just want to let you know using the extender connected to the access point on the house we plugged the second access point into the extender and ran it directly into the garage. Worked like a charm!
 
Sep 9, 2022
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DAG93, can you explain in more detail what you used where. I am trying to solve a similar situation and was looking at the eap 225 so was curious how you wired up both ends.
 

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