• Our team is working to address issues posting quotes or media to the forums. Please bear with us as we get this sorted out.

Question What is the best home network setup for me? 3 levels, hardwire for each level. APs?

ccualumni

Distinguished
Dec 27, 2005
16
0
18,510
0
I ran Ethernet cables from the main floor to the attic, and to the basement. I want to walk around my house and get great wireless no matter where I am in the house. My thought is to use APs, but wondered if mesh would be better. I have hard wired the game systems and computers.
i keep reading mixed up information. Some say to get Ubiquiti and your device will automatically switch to the best connection as you walk around. Others have said that does not happen and you have to buy extra software to get that to work.
it is just so confusing and the information is all over.

I need wifi in my basement, main floor and my top floor. What is the best option for me?

Thank you
 
You already have the best option for wifi coverage. A mesh/repeater system is going to use wifi to connect to the main router. If the mesh unit can connect to the main router you end device will also. What you have now is the optimum solution to provide the best wifi coverage.

Wifi was never designed for roaming. Unlike a cell phone network where the network is in full control of everything in your phone including the transmit power a wifi network the end client is in full control. A wifi client will stay connected to a radio source until the signal level drops below some value. You can change this but then you can have constant interrupts because the phone is jumping around too much when the signal are marginal.

There are some software packages that run in the ap that try to guess what the best connection is but they can not actually tell what the phones signal levels are. All they will do is force he device off the network and hope it select a better radio source.

No matter what you will never get true seamless roaming, you will always get some packet loss for a couple seconds while it tries to connect to a new radio source.

For most people the default is fine. There should be little overlap in your signals, if there is you either do not actually need all the radio sources or you designed the layout incorrectly. You many times need to actually reduce the radio power to reduce the overlap.

In most cases the time it take to walk from one room to another the signal will have enough time to connect to the new radio source. If still have too much signal overlap when you get to the new room you can just manually stop and start the wifi, that is all the automated systems are going to do.

Now if you mean you actually want to say watch netflix as you walk around your house and not get any interrupts at all that you are not really going to get. There is always a small handover time. People that actually would do this I can see falling down their stairs. We already see idiots staring at their phone and walking into traffic.
 
Last edited:
Reactions: ccualumni

Rogue Leader

It's a trap!
Moderator
Bill gave you some good info there. To simplify since you have ethernet ran to all the areas of your house do not use a Mesh network as that is designed for when you DON'T have that ethernet ran.

Yes you want to use APs and I use Ubiquiti Nano HD's off of a Ubiquiti 24 port PoE switch and a Ubiquiti Dream Machine Pro as my router. I have 3 APs around the house. Using all this brand hardware it will hand you off between APs as you move about the house seamlessly. Now to use Bills example, do you want to walk around the house watching Netflix? I've never tried it and I don't plan to but Netflix often buffers ahead and I've watched the console as devices roam and it is very fast so I'd imagine you wouldn't even notice the handoff. But there is a handoff. That said that handoff has never ever been a problem to me as usually you are moving to a location, sitting down, etc and by the time you've accessed the device it has already moved.

Ubiquiti is pretty excellent because it somewhat stupid proofs this stuff, it will put the APs on different channels and set their strength based on their overlap with other APs (you can put your home layout into the software, and as well it can discern between APs how much they cross eachother). Some people don't like their software as it does a lot of things like creating VLANs in a non-traditional fashion, but it works very well.
 
Reactions: ccualumni

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Ubiquiti is pretty excellent because it somewhat stupid proofs this stuff, it will put the APs on different channels and set their strength based on their overlap with other APs (you can put your home layout into the software, and as well it can discern between APs how much they cross eachother). Some people don't like their software as it does a lot of things like creating VLANs in a non-traditional fashion, but it works very well.
Ubiquiti is having supply problems just like every other vendor.
I also have Ubiquiti for my home network. I have a mixture of models of APs, switches, and even cameras.
The simple answer for great WIFI is to put an AP where you have clients and then turn DOWN the transmit power on the APs to minimize overlap. WIFI is typically limited by the transmit power of the client device, not the AP/router. Physically having an AP close to the client ensures that the AP gets good signal BACK from the client.
The second part of great WIFI is to make all stationary devices wired. PCs, TVs, game consoles, etc ALL wired. Save WIFI for portable devices and IOT devices that can't be wired.
 
Reactions: ccualumni

ccualumni

Distinguished
Dec 27, 2005
16
0
18,510
0
Ubiquiti is having supply problems just like every other vendor.
I also have Ubiquiti for my home network. I have a mixture of models of APs, switches, and even cameras.
The simple answer for great WIFI is to put an AP where you have clients and then turn DOWN the transmit power on the APs to minimize overlap. WIFI is typically limited by the transmit power of the client device, not the AP/router. Physically having an AP close to the client ensures that the AP gets good signal BACK from the client.
The second part of great WIFI is to make all stationary devices wired. PCs, TVs, game consoles, etc ALL wired. Save WIFI for portable devices and IOT devices that can't be wired.
Yep. I wanted to get the new series 6 ones they have and it shows as sold out.
 

ccualumni

Distinguished
Dec 27, 2005
16
0
18,510
0
Bill gave you some good info there. To simplify since you have ethernet ran to all the areas of your house do not use a Mesh network as that is designed for when you DON'T have that ethernet ran.

Yes you want to use APs and I use Ubiquiti Nano HD's off of a Ubiquiti 24 port PoE switch and a Ubiquiti Dream Machine Pro as my router. I have 3 APs around the house. Using all this brand hardware it will hand you off between APs as you move about the house seamlessly. Now to use Bills example, do you want to walk around the house watching Netflix? I've never tried it and I don't plan to but Netflix often buffers ahead and I've watched the console as devices roam and it is very fast so I'd imagine you wouldn't even notice the handoff. But there is a handoff. That said that handoff has never ever been a problem to me as usually you are moving to a location, sitting down, etc and by the time you've accessed the device it has already moved.

Ubiquiti is pretty excellent because it somewhat stupid proofs this stuff, it will put the APs on different channels and set their strength based on their overlap with other APs (you can put your home layout into the software, and as well it can discern between APs how much they cross eachother). Some people don't like their software as it does a lot of things like creating VLANs in a non-traditional fashion, but it works very well.
Thank you. I will not walk around watching Netflix, but do want great coverage in my house and around it in places like my back deck and driveway

I already have one Ubiquiti AP, but I don’t have it set up properly. The software will not fully recognize it, but the app on my phone will.
Should I set up two or 3 Ubiquiti APs and turn off the wifi on my router? I turned the wifi off on my Windstream router and run wireless from my Asus router instead.
I see that Ubiquiti offers an in wall access point. Is that basically the same as the other version 6 AP they are sold out of? They seem comparable.
thank you for the response. .
 

ccualumni

Distinguished
Dec 27, 2005
16
0
18,510
0
You already have the best option for wifi coverage. A mesh/repeater system is going to use wifi to connect to the main router. If the mesh unit can connect to the main router you end device will also. What you have now is the optimum solution to provide the best wifi coverage.

Wifi was never designed for roaming. Unlike a cell phone network where the network is in full control of everything in your phone including the transmit power a wifi network the end client is in full control. A wifi client will stay connected to a radio source until the signal level drops below some value. You can change this but then you can have constant interrupts because the phone is jumping around too much when the signal are marginal.

There are some software packages that run in the ap that try to guess what the best connection is but they can not actually tell what the phones signal levels are. All they will do is force he device off the network and hope it select a better radio source.

No matter what you will never get true seamless roaming, you will always get some packet loss for a couple seconds while it tries to connect to a new radio source.

For most people the default is fine. There should be little overlap in your signals, if there is you either do not actually need all the radio sources or you designed the layout incorrectly. You many times need to actually reduce the radio power to reduce the overlap.

In most cases the time it take to walk from one room to another the signal will have enough time to connect to the new radio source. If still have too much signal overlap when you get to the new room you can just manually stop and start the wifi, that is all the automated systems are going to do.

Now if you mean you actually want to say watch netflix as you walk around your house and not get any interrupts at all that you are not really going to get. There is always a small handover time. People that actually would do this I can see falling down their stairs. We already see idiots staring at their phone and walking into traffic.
Thank you. That is great advice. When I am walking around, I am either playing a game or browsing a website so I rarely have problems now. I appreciate the information.
 
A note on wifi6. I would not get too hung up on if you can't get these. First wifi6e is starting to get seen more and more so wifi6 is kinda outdated.

The problem with wifi6 is to get most the speed increase it needs to use 160mhz radio bands. There is no single 160mhz block in the 5g range. The only way to get 160mhz is to either use tricky stuff to combine the 2 80mhz blocks or to use the radio bands that are subject to all kinds of rules related to interfering with weather radio. Many end device, espeically cell phones, gave up and only support 80mhz maximum. Some less expensive routers and AP also only support 80mhz.

This means it does not run a lot faster than 802.11ac which also uses 80mhz bands. It is still can be faster at short distance than 802.11ac but it is not the huge increase they pretend you are going to get.

Wifi6e hopefully will fix this issues. There are 9 160mhz blocks if I remember correctly in the new 6ghz radio band used by wifi6e.
 
Reactions: ccualumni

Rogue Leader

It's a trap!
Moderator
Thank you. I will not walk around watching Netflix, but do want great coverage in my house and around it in places like my back deck and driveway

I already have one Ubiquiti AP, but I don’t have it set up properly. The software will not fully recognize it, but the app on my phone will.
Should I set up two or 3 Ubiquiti APs and turn off the wifi on my router? I turned the wifi off on my Windstream router and run wireless from my Asus router instead.
I see that Ubiquiti offers an in wall access point. Is that basically the same as the other version 6 AP they are sold out of? They seem comparable.
thank you for the response. .
So your problem with using that disparate hardware is that you will end up getting crossover between signals. Like an area of your house where the device could get the same signal strength from 2 different APs. This can cause issues sometimes. You want to set each AP so that the strength from them does not cross over. Unless you have a massive house 3 APs is more than enough, even 2 is fine, and if so you'd turn off WiFi on your router(s). You may want to do 1 AP per floor and see how it works, and then possibly add an outdoor AP for the yard.

Their in Wall APs are great, not sure if they offer a WiFi 6 one, but the hardware is basically the same. That said I agree with bill Wifi 5 is fine thats what I'm running, Wifi 6 is kinda half baked right now.

The one thing with using Ubiquiti APs without their router/cloud key is you don't get the handoff feature between APs like I have. But obviously it requires a lot more hardware investment.
 
Reactions: ccualumni

gggplaya

Distinguished
For "seamless" roaming, you need a client and AP device with wireless 802.11k, 802.11r, and 802.11v standards. These standards will work together to help your client device point move to the best wifi device based on their signal strength, it'll also speed up the authentication process during handoff.

Most newer higher end smartphones support all these standards, as well as tablets and nearly all Windows 10 computer, but not MacOS computers(they have their own "interoperable standard). Link here to learn more about corporate wifi roaming:

Apple Support said:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202628

Wi-Fi network roaming with 802.11k, 802.11r, and 802.11v on iOS
Learn how iOS and iPadOS improves client roaming using Wi-Fi network standards.

iOS supports optimized client roaming on enterprise Wi-Fi networks. The 802.11 Working Group standards k, r, and v let clients roam more seamlessly from access point (AP) to AP within the same network.
802.11k
The 802.11k standard helps devices search quickly for nearby APs that are available as roaming targets by creating an optimized list of channels. When the signal strength of the current AP weakens, your device will scan for target APs from this list.
802.11r
When your device roams from one AP to another on the same network, 802.11r uses a feature called Fast Basic Service Set Transition (FT) to authenticate more quickly. FT works with both preshared key (PSK) and 802.1X authentication methods.
iOS 10 and later and iPadOS include support for adaptive 802.11r on Cisco wireless networks. Adaptive 802.11r offers FT without the need to enable 802.11r on the configured Cisco wireless network. To support adaptive 802.11r, the Cisco network must be using controller code version 8.3 or later.
802.11v
iOS and iPadOS support these 802.11v functionalities on certain devices:
  • Basic Service Set (BSS) transition management
  • Disassociation Imminent
  • Directed Multicast Service (DMS)
  • BSS Max Idle Service
BSS transition management with Disassociation Imminent allows the network’s control layer to influence client roaming behavior by providing it the load information of nearby access points. The device takes this information into account when deciding among the possible roam targets.
DMS optimizes multicast traffic transmission on wireless networks. The device uses this information to enhance multicast communication and preserve device battery life.
The BSS Max Idle Service helps clients and access points efficiently decide how long to remain associated when no traffic is being transmitted. The device uses this information to preserve device battery life.
When you combine 802.11k and 802.11v’s ability to speed up the search for the best target AP with FT's faster AP association, apps can perform faster and you get a better Wi-Fi experience in iOS and iPadOS.

I use ubiquiti equipment as well. I can't wait until they release wifi 6E access points. I have all wireless AC right now and the roaming is excellent with my Windows 10 laptop, ipads and iphone.
 
Reactions: ccualumni

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
For "seamless" roaming, you need a client and AP device with wireless 802.11k, 802.11r, and 802.11v standards. These standards will work together to help your client device point move to the best wifi device based on their signal strength, it'll also speed up the authentication process during handoff.

Most newer higher end smartphones support all these standards, as well as tablets and nearly all Windows 10 computer, but not MacOS computers(they have their own "interoperable standard). Link here to learn more about corporate wifi roaming:




I use ubiquiti equipment as well. I can't wait until they release wifi 6E access points. I have all wireless AC right now and the roaming is excellent with my Windows 10 laptop, ipads and iphone.
Ubiquiti roaming can be excellent IF you tune your system. Default values on Ubiquiti are not your friend ...
 
Reactions: ccualumni

ccualumni

Distinguished
Dec 27, 2005
16
0
18,510
0
I am going to get the dream machine with two more Ubiquiti APs (will have 3 total) and just upgrade my entire system. While I do not want to walk around watching netflix, I just want a strong signal that I do not have to worry about. When wifi6e is ready, I will upgrade the APs at that point.
Thank you all so much for this information. everyone has clarified this for me which is a tremendous help.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I am going to get the dream machine with two more Ubiquiti APs (will have 3 total) and just upgrade my entire system. While I do not want to walk around watching netflix, I just want a strong signal that I do not have to worry about. When wifi6e is ready, I will upgrade the APs at that point.
Thank you all so much for this information. everyone has clarified this for me which is a tremendous help.
The dream machine ethernet ports are not POE. You should get a POE switch to power your APs. You should also pull more ethernet cable than just for the APs. Get ethernet to your PCs, to your TV and game systems. The more wired connectivity, the better WIFI works.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS