Question What is the best wireless access point?

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by andyg0141, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. andyg0141

    andyg0141
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    I am having wifi issues mainly in the upstairs of my house which I am looking to resolve. The house is a fairly large, 100 year old stone built house with 300mm deep floor joists filled with ash. As such, no matter where I have my router (Asus DSL-AC68U), I have poor wifi signal either upstairs in some of the rooms or downstairs. The house has 2 CAT6 points in most rooms which I use for computers, sky etc however, these don't help when using iPads etc.

    Im therefore thinking the best solution may be to install a wireless access point upstairs?

    Any advice on this, recommended makes/models would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, Andy
     
  2. mickevh

    mickevh
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    By far the best way to improve Wi-Fi coverage issues is to create additional cells and Access Points are the correct tool for the job. Some people re-purpose "old" SOHO routers they have lying around to save money - there's an FAQ on the subject pinned in this forum.

    There's a US based web site called SmallNetBuilder that reviews and (fairly objectively) tests a fair bit of SOHO kit. You could do worse than look there. Just bear in mind he's US based, so there may be differences in the detailed equipment specification (typically "just" the PSU - so no big deal) and they are allowed a bit power transmit power in the US than Europe (though it's not as big a deal as you might think.)
     
  3. andyg0141

    andyg0141
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    Thanks for the advice. I have had a look at the pinned thread and found some useful information there. I unfortunately don't have any old routers I could use so will be buying something new (or used). Have done a bit more reading and Unifi AP's seem to get a decent write up - can get a used one from eBay for £35 delivered so may go down this route...
     
  4. starfarer

    starfarer
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    where you finding ubiquiti AP for £35? IMO a good 2nd router as AP is better value and probably will outperform these dedicated enterprise AP as long you're happy with how they'll look in house.
     
  5. ChuckMountain

    ChuckMountain
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    Not at £35 its not.

    If you are using an old router chances are a dedicated AP will offer better control and additional functions that old routers don't.
     
  6. starfarer

    starfarer
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    what kind of benefits from dedicated AP? I've been tasked to help someone with wifi coverage. I installed sonicwall Ni to my relative's house and at mid point in clear line of sight, Talktalk's router overpowers AP's wifi signal. Only advantage was POE and ceiling mount.
     
  7. Member 581642

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    With Ubiquiti, and now also GrandStream Access Points you have a single SSID to log onto which makes it easier to use around a house. You would switch off the router Wifi and just use a number of Wifi Access Points around the house connected to teh router via Cat6 or if that's not possible via Powerline.

    We have installed a great many Ubiquiti APs (though now migrating to GrandStream for domestic installs) and the feature set and covergae is hard to beat
     
  8. ChuckMountain

    ChuckMountain
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    Overpowers? Are you expecting it to compete on the same WiFi Channel etc, doesn't sound like you are setting it up properly??
     
  9. Member 581642

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    Powerline just for a link bank to the router for each Access Point where impractical to run cable, not powerline wifi
     
  10. Member 581642

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  11. ChuckMountain

    ChuckMountain
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    No worries you confused me with your response :D
     
  12. Member 581642

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    I saw the overpower(ed) and assumed!!!!
     
  13. andyg0141

    andyg0141
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    Thanks for all the advice. So am I right in saying that with the Unifi, I would need to turn the wifi off on my Asus router and just use 1 or 2 of these instead?

    I conmect through a VPN regularly and move about the house so cant have it chopping and changing networks or it deops connection.
     
  14. Member 581642

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    Yes that would be correct , they would both be on the same ssid so shouldn't be any dropouts as you move around
     
  15. petrolhead

    petrolhead
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    GrandStream, how do these compare to Ubiquiti
     
  16. Member 581642

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    Slightly simpler to setup as you just setup one which then mirrors the settings to all the others, no seperate software/hardware controller required to set them up.
     
  17. petrolhead

    petrolhead
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    Do they include a POE box
     
  18. Member 581642

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    No unfortunately not, we would normally use a Small POE switch
     
  19. Member 581642

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  20. starfarer

    starfarer
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    signal strength :blush: and yes on different channels.
     
  21. ChuckMountain

    ChuckMountain
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    How did you measure it and that's one ap not necessarily representative
     
  22. starfarer

    starfarer
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    Just android, ios phones/tablet and windows laptop. Not an accurate and definite tests but the pattern was there on all. It's old AP (sonicpoint Ni) which I managed to get for £15 with POE adapter.

    I'm now on lookout for either AP or good router with max budget of £50. Even on used market, this takes out any ac based AP but within a decent router's price range. Only a simple requirement as not a big house and just need to cover dead spots on upper floor 2 bedrooms. Is older N based AP a better buy than newer ac based router?
     
  23. ChuckMountain

    ChuckMountain
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    It depends on what speeds and how many clients etc you are trying to use.

    I have been using

    TP-LINK TL-WA901ND Advanced 300Mbps Wireless N Access Point: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories

    For some time and with my VM Router they have worked fine and get roughly 70Mbit connection depending on where I am in the house

    However I am having a problem with them routing through an LRT224 Dual WAN Router - specifically its not liking either been plugged in directly and\or giving a slower speed through VM as an ISP. (taking the LRT224 out of the equation solves it)

    I am considering listing them for sale though.
     
  24. andyg0141

    andyg0141
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    Is there any way to use an AP's wireless and my own routers i.e. only purchase 1 AP and leave the wifi on on my router? Or is this likely to cause problems when moving around the house?
     
  25. mickevh

    mickevh
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    Yes that's just fine. Apart from sharing the same box with a bunch of other stuff, the Wi-Fi functionality of a SOHO router is an AP. There's no problem having lots of them - on big site we put up hundreds. Have a read of the "Using Two Routers Together" FAQ pinned in this forum for some background information.

    There are a few considerations with "cellular" Wi-Fi infrastructures worth bearing in mind:

    The "extended coverage footprint" (the union of an AP/router and all it's Associated (connected) client devices) almost always overlaps adjacent cells. To avoid inter-cell interference, one would want to use a radio channel plan so that each cell uses different - non-interfering channels. In SOHO kit I advocate setting the channels manually as SOHO device do not "talk" to each other to map out RF channels automatically as enterprise systems do.

    You need a "backhaul" link between AP's and routers. "Proper" wired ethernet is best, HomePlugs (usually) next best, Wi-Fi backhaul if you have not other choice.

    "Roaming" from one AP to another without user intervention only occurs if the SSID names, passphrase etc. are the same. Basically make all the Wi-Fi settings as similar as possible except the radio channels which should differ.

    Even then, bear in mind it is the client devices that decide if/when to roam, not the AP's. It is "Big Wi-Fi Myth Number 2" that client devices are "always hunting for the best signal." They are not - some need the connection to get pretty bad before they initiate a roaming assessment.

    If your SSID's differ, then a client will never "roam" until it completely looses connection and "starts from scratch" choosing an AP as if you'd just turned the client on.

    There's no real right or wrong way to do this. Many people like the simplicity of potentially having automatic roaming (same SSID) whilst others prefer to be able to choose their AP (different SSID and no roaming.) Both approaches have their virtues and vices.
     
  26. ChuckMountain

    ChuckMountain
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