WiFi Coverage

AVBeginner

Active Member
Hi all, after some help if possible please. Forgive me if the answer is really obvious.

I want to improve WiFi coverage around the house.

Current arrangement is:
  • Virgin Media Hub set to Modem mode
  • Netgear Nighthawk (R7000)AC1900 Router
  • CAT6 Wired Ethernet throughout the home.

Anything connected on Ethernet or in close proximity to the Router is fine, and will receive the full internet connection speed (200MBps), but the WiFi signal drops off and speeds reduce in other parts of the house.

Options as I understand them;

a) Replace the router with something better and hope that gives better coverage
b) Wireless Access Point(s)
c) Both a and b
d) replace the whole lot with a fancy mesh system?

Any thoughts please? Which option, and if possible what equipment?
 

markiii

Active Member
if you can run cable to them I'd recommend Unifi Access Points and turn off the routers wifi.

Mine has perfect coverage and handover hat way
 
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ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
My understanding is that ALL firmware are now called Release Candidates - this is now Ubiquitis ‘in their own words’ Suitable for use. Release candidates have 2 designations Beta - as described or Official, released for use. Official Release Candidates are, in my understanding Ubiquitis officially released firmware. This is kind of supported in Automatic Updates (non-Beta) loading Official Release Candidates.

A release candidate is just part of the normal software lifecycle coming after beta but before the final (stable) release. It should be functionly the same as the release, but the release might fix some additional bugs. Unfortunately, it looks like unless you are part of the beta software trial or have a UDM(P) product you can't a later than the release I am on :(
 
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AVBeginner

Active Member
So far so good.

2 APs giving good coverage throughout the right hand side of the house (lounge, kitchen and upstairs ‘bedroom3’ and Master bedroom.
Less so on the left hand side ‘bedroom 1’/small family room/bedroom 2/landing but that was to be expected.

Next steps:-
  • add an extra AP on the left somewhere.
  • swap out the PoE injectors for a PoE switch. I think I’m going to take the advice and add a small 8port switch to the rack rather than replace the bigger 24 port switch.

I’m still using the iPhone app to configure it all. Can anyone explain the benefit of the cloud device (or UDM unit)? If I’m adding CCTV later do either of these devices help?
 
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AVBeginner

Active Member
Now added a third AP on the landing and using the US-8-60W switch to power via PoE.

Minor niggle - not sure whether this is due to the new switch - when I connect to the WiFi on my idevice, the 5GHz network shows up with a privacy warning. Any idea what that’s all about? See pics.

@ChuckMountain @mickevh @mushii
 

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ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
No its a new feature of IOS 14 that is basically warning you of a few things on your network.

DNS was traditionally not encrypted so it depends on where DNS is being done in your network. ISP often can do transparent intercepts on DNS requests and "hide" sites from you.
 
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mickevh

Distinguished Member
To amplify; it's not your new switch or AP's that are causing your phone to moan, it's just a coincidence it's occurred at the same time you've put in the new kit.

Much as having a towing hitch fitted to my car hasn't caused a flat tyre - it's just bad luck that they happened at the same time.
 
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chris1976

Active Member
did you find it all easy to configure?

ill be attempting to configure my 4 ac lite access points tommorow ( they are all in position)

ill be knocking the wifi off on my superhub and hopefully the rest will be straightforward
 
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AVBeginner

Active Member
did you find it all easy to configure?

ill be attempting to configure my 4 ac lite access points tommorow ( they are all in position)

ill be knocking the wifi off on my superhub and hopefully the rest will be straightforward
Yes, really easy. I did it through the UniFi Network App on my iPhone and each one took about 5 minutes (add to network, change SSID name, alter power/channel etc).
 
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chris1976

Active Member
Do one at a time otherwise it will be chaos !
lol, i think iv done it right, i had a bit of chaos, for some reason i couldnt log into each of them on the app even though i was sure of my password, anyway i reset them and started from scratch.

how do i know im logging onto the closet point? for some reason im getting decent speeds around my house but when i go to my living room with an access point the speed drops massively
 
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mushii

Distinguished Member
If you don’t know then I guess they are an auto. So full power. That maybe your problem. Knock them all down to low power on 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz and see how they behave then.
 
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mickevh

Distinguished Member
The decision as to which AP to Associate with and if/when to "roam" between them is decided by the client devices, not "the system." Contrary to popular belief, clients are not constantly "hunting for the best signal." Some clients need the signal levels to get pretty grotty before they initiate a roaming assessment, (iSomethings were notorious for this - we call it the "sticky client problem.")

Reducing the transmit power of the AP's is one way to try and encourage roaming sooner by reducing the RSSI at any given distance from an AP. 2.4GHz radio penetrates "stuff" (walls door air) better than 5GHz, just like with sound - treble is attenuated more readily than the bass. Thusly, we see recommendations to reduce 2.4GHz Tx power more so than 5GHz as 5GHz is more readily attenuated - though (in the UK at least) 5Ghz is allowed a bit louder Tx power in the first place.

Paradoxically, contrary to the logic of "Top Gear" maths which believes "more power fixes everything," in multi-cell Wi-Fi deployments we can achieve better results with lower power settings!
 
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chris1976

Active Member
Assuming you’re using the UniFi network app, you can see which clients are logged onto which device - when you’re in the living room, are you connected to the ‘right’ AP?
That’s something else I was unsure of, can I give them names without it messing things up
 
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sep8001

Well-known Member
That’s something else I was unsure of, can I give them names without it messing things up
I believe as long as you do not change the SSID it will be fine. I have my ones as up stairs and downstairs.

Also if in doubt you can go into the controller and make a back up of your settings so if you mess up you can roll back to the version you had before the change.
 
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mushii

Distinguished Member
The app can tell you which AP any device is connected to, whether it’s 2.4G or 5G, how long it’s been connected etc.
 
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chris1976

Active Member
I can’t tell which is which though, I haven’t fitted the external one yet so Iv got 3 showing up on the app, how do I rename them is that in configure- device name
 
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AVBeginner

Active Member
Yes, configure and change the device name. I did mine one at a time so I knew which was which. If I were you I’d turn all but one off, configure it, and then move on to the next.
 
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AVBeginner

Active Member
Can anyone explain what the cloud key does?

I want to add a small (3-4 camera) CCTV system - the obvious answer would be to stick with Ubiquiti... if I added a UDMP then it looks like you get the functionality of the network controller alongside the ‘protect’ controller plus NVR etc.

Would you go down UDMP road or go for their separate NVR, plus separate controller (and does the separate controller give the ‘protect’ functionality?)
 
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mickevh

Distinguished Member

That sounds like a transmit (Tx) power level - if they are using numbers instead of terms like "high/medium/low" it's probably being expressed in Decibels (dB.) The decibel scale is meaningless in it's own terms and always has to be specified relative to something. In Wi-Fi it's often expressed relative to a milli-watt (dBm.) Don't worry about the science of it unless you're really interested, in which case just Google "dBm."

In the UK and EU legislation caps max. Tx power and 20dBm in 2.4Ghz waveband and 23dBm in the 5GHz waveband. (USA for example are allowed a bit more.) A difference of 3dBm represents a halving/doubling of the power. Don't panic that that sound like a massive difference, radio is "just like that" - power falls off with the square of distance so the amount of energy a device receives is miniscule compared to what the transmitter sends, so halving the transmit power isn't as big a deal as you might think.

Depending on the granularity of control your kit avails, you may be able to tweak the Tx power in as little as 1dB steps or you might find it'll only let you use lumps of 3dB at a time.
 
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