WIFI 6 setup/router advice

moneybanks77

Standard Member
Hi everyone,

Looking for some advice regarding upgrading to wifi 6 infrastructure. I currently have 500mb broadband with Virgin and use the SH3 in modem mode with a netgear nighthawk R7000 router. I have around 35 devices linked to the network with 5 connect via ethernet. What would be the best direction to go in terms of setup i.e mesh or a standalone wifi6 router. I can reach all ends of the house currently but it does struggle in my sons bedroom on the xbox with lag.

I have mobile devices with wifi 6 capabilities and the oculus quest 2 which is what i will prioritise it for until all other tech catches up.

Any advice on a wifi 6 router or setup that could handle 35 devices for a max budget of £200?

Thanks
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
I like a US based site called SmallNetBuilder for reviews of SOHO kit. He does a much better job than many of objectively testing and (importantly and more scientifically) publishes his methods. He tabulates his results of his router/AP tests by various performance metrics. You could do worse than start there. Just bear in mind he's US based if you are outside that territory and exact specs of kit may vary (often it's just the PSU) and the US are allowed a bit more Wi-Fi power than (for example) UK/EU.

As to what's "best" is always a difficult question to answer as it depends very much on the layout and structure of your property and what you are trying to achieve.

For example:

Wi-Fi is fundamentally an only-one-thing-at-a-time-can-transmit technology. The more "things" you have, the more they want to transmit, the more competition (it's anything but "fair") there is for some air time. So one might deploy multiple hotspots to reduce the "contention ratio" within each hotspot that could result in a "faster" usage experience for any given user. But if "speed" is not currently an issue, then one could argue it's a waste of time and money.

Poor signaling conditions always leads to a reduction in Link Rate ("speed") and (usually) throughput and the solution for poor signalling conditions is almost always to move the communicating peers closer together and/or remove any obstructions. Most of the time moving clients closer to AP's (or taking down the walls) is inconvenient, so the only alternative is to "move" AP's closer to clients by deploying more of them.

Combine the two arguments and we often can make a good case for more AP's.

With multiple hotspots the "trick" is how one establishes the "backhaul" link between the outpost AP's and the rest of the (wired) network. "Proper" wired ethernet backhaul is always the best - fastest and most reliable, but backhaul can also be created using HomePlug/Powerline type technologies and/or Wi-Fi though both of these are not without their own vices especially if "speed" and reliability is important to you.
 
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jaspermycat

Active Member
For example:

Wi-Fi is fundamentally an only-one-thing-at-a-time-can-transmit technology. The more "things" you have, the more they want to transmit, the more competition (it's anything but "fair") there is for some air time. So one might deploy multiple hotspots to reduce the "contention ratio" within each hotspot that could result in a "faster" usage experience for any given user. But if "speed" is not currently an issue, then one could argue it's a waste of time and money.
wifi 6 overcomes this now, where as with previous wifi versions the AP could only talk to a single device at one time, with wifi 6 the AP can talk to multiple devices at the same time
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
wifi 6 overcomes this now, where as with previous wifi versions the AP could only talk to a single device at one time, with wifi 6 the AP can talk to multiple devices at the same time

Thanks. I appreciate that I may be preaching to the choir here...

802.11AC introduced this too - it was called MU-MIMO (Multi-User MIMO.) It does depend on some "spacial diversity" of the clients, which in english means the target devices can't be physically too close to each other.

I still use the "only one thing at a time can transmit" metaphor for brevity and to save myself having to cite lots of caveats as I aim to communicate the fundamental principles in a way I hope amateurs find easy to digest.
 
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jaspermycat

Active Member
my biggest issue with 802.11ac it only supported the 5GHz spectrum and not the more common 2.4 Ghz, 802.11ax now overcome this and supports both spectrums.
 

oneman

Active Member
I used to have a mishmash of equipment but recently got a Asus RT-AX88U. 52 devices, 18 on wireless. All my high usage devices are hardwired and Asus has pretty decent wifi coverage, from a central location I can get a signal through 3 breeze block internal walls plus an external wall and 20m further outside. Granted it's down down to 25mbps but still quick enough to stream Netflix in 4k.

I have one AP (it's an old SH3) that gets used to connect a VR headset but that is also hardwired now.
 
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oneman

Active Member
Still using the iPhone app to set it all up.

Can anyone explain what the ‘cloud controller’ does or how it could help. What does the UDM do on top? At some point I want to add CCTV - would either of the above help or support that in any way?
I assume you are talking about Ubiquiti. Cloud controller is their 'easy' management software, if I remember there might be a subscription for some features.

UDM is a AP, switch all in one device.

I personally wouldn't mention CCTV and wireless in the same sentence.
 

moneybanks77

Standard Member
I managed to get a Netgear rax200 for £200 on the bay and it has absolutely blown me away.

Paired it with a tp link re605x and I don't need anything else bow!

Appreciate all the replies.
 

groen

Member
Above your budget but I recommend this for future proofing as well.

TP-LINK AX3600 Cieling Mount Access Point

If you can find a router that has 2.5gbit ports you will be even better off as well.

Netgear rax200 is decent as well :)
 

moneybanks77

Standard Member
Above your budget but I recommend this for future proofing as well.

TP-LINK AX3600 Cieling Mount Access Point

If you can find a router that has 2.5gbit ports you will be even better off as well.

Netgear rax200 is decent as well :)
I've got a 2.5 multigig port on the rax
 

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