Question What direction do you recommend for improving home wifi?

erpauls

Commendable
Dec 11, 2017
2
0
1,510
0
I currently have an Asus RT-AC5300 in Router mode/aimesh Router mode. I have a 2nd RT-AC66U in AP mode on 2nd floor(it can not do Mesh).
Current issue is my office just happens to be almost perfectly between these 2 APs so my phone is constantly switching APs causing some apps to need reloading all the time.
We use the network heavily for Gaming PC/X-box and streaming video. Most of the computers are wired but the laptops, TVs and Firesticks are wifi.
I have about 20+ devices that use the wifi. My Internet is 500mb. The 66U is wired.

I am looking for a long term solution and was hoping if I moved to a Mesh Network this would not happen.

Question 1: Would moving to mesh alleviate my current issue?

Question 2: If a mesh is the way to go should I get rid of the 66U and add maybe 2 ac86U's nodes to the network? Or should I Just switch to a high end mesh system like Orbi wifi 6 system?

Ps. I am not saying money is no object but I really do want the best coverage and throughput I can get. I can add another wired AP/Node to help also.

Thankyou in advance for any input you can lend.
Eric
 
Mesh is mostly marketing. You always want to use it in AP mode even if a device would have "mesh".

So called "mesh" is for people that do not have ethernet cables. They run these as repeaters. Every wifi hop makes things slower and runs the risk of interference. Running any form of repeater should be avoided.

Although they try to pretend you get wifi roaming with mesh that is mostly a lie. The end device not the network is in control. All they can do is force a disconnect and hope the device chooses a better wifi source. Unlike a cell phone the network has no actual control over the device.

Your problem with it jumping back and forth is likely some option many times called roaming aggressiveness. It set the value when it goes looking for another wifi signal. You should be able to change this but you will have to read what the values mean,...the devices are not consistent to what "increasing" means.

You might also be able to stop this by using different SSID on the router and the AP. Then YOU the end user would be in full control over what you are connected to and not some software.

You want to cable as much as you possible can especially game machines. You can add more AP if you feel your wifi coverage is not good enough but be careful your own signals will interfere even with different SSID. You likely already have lots of crap from neighbors wifi already.

If you want new AP I would look at ubiquiti. There is a central control software which is one of the primary feature of mesh and if you really want it has the ability to force disconnects just like mesh. The only feature it does not have is the wifi repeater which you don't want to use anyway.

I suspect your current equipment will work ok if you change the SSID and see if you can set the roaming options n the end devices.
 

erpauls

Commendable
Dec 11, 2017
2
0
1,510
0
Mesh is mostly marketing. You always want to use it in AP mode even if a device would have "mesh".

So called "mesh" is for people that do not have ethernet cables. They run these as repeaters. Every wifi hop makes things slower and runs the risk of interference. Running any form of repeater should be avoided.

Although they try to pretend you get wifi roaming with mesh that is mostly a lie. The end device not the network is in control. All they can do is force a disconnect and hope the device chooses a better wifi source. Unlike a cell phone the network has no actual control over the device.

Your problem with it jumping back and forth is likely some option many times called roaming aggressiveness. It set the value when it goes looking for another wifi signal. You should be able to change this but you will have to read what the values mean,...the devices are not consistent to what "increasing" means.

You might also be able to stop this by using different SSID on the router and the AP. Then YOU the end user would be in full control over what you are connected to and not some software.

You want to cable as much as you possible can especially game machines. You can add more AP if you feel your wifi coverage is not good enough but be careful your own signals will interfere even with different SSID. You likely already have lots of crap from neighbors wifi already.

If you want new AP I would look at ubiquiti. There is a central control software which is one of the primary feature of mesh and if you really want it has the ability to force disconnects just like mesh. The only feature it does not have is the wifi repeater which you don't want to use anyway.

I suspect your current equipment will work ok if you change the SSID and see if you can set the roaming options n the end devices.
What do you think of adding a 3rd Asus AP in the office area?

Do you think ubiquiti equip will out perform the Asus stuff?
 
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Not really. A AP is a pretty stupid device it basically is a media converter from ethernet to wifi. The wifi radio chips are only made by 2-3 vendors and no matter the name on the outside they kinda work the same.

Ubiquiti has more options. You can do stuff like reduce the radio power to try to prevent overlap. They have fancy management so you can push firmware updates to 100's of AP. The only key feature you find on AP that you almost never find on a router is that it can be powered by PoE. This would be important if you wanted to say ceiling mount the device. It is pretty easy to get a ethenet jack installed but electrical power tend to be much more problematic.

In general the more AP you have the better. Even though you will interfere to some extent with your other equipment you also will be able to overpower the interfering signals coming into your house.

Wifi actually works very well with a weak signal as long as there is little interference. Years ago before everyone had multiple routers/ap/repeater/mesh in their house you could get by with even a fairly modest router and get good coverage in even large houses.
 
A cheap option might be to use a wifi adapter with an external antenna, then build an antenna like the windsurfer, point it at one of the APs and the switching should be eliminated in favor of the higher signal strength.

Agree that Ubiquity UniFi is the best bang-per-buck solution if you are going to rip/replace. Use their cloud key or an old PC or VM to run their controller software, excellent to minimize the roam/switching AP issue.
 
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