1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
Dismiss Notice

Welcome To SNBForums

SNBForums is a community for anyone who wants to learn about or discuss the latest in wireless routers, network storage and the ins and outs of building and maintaining a small network.

If you'd like to post a question, simply register and have at it!

While you're at it, please check out SmallNetBuilder for product reviews and our famous Router Charts, Ranker and plenty more!

2x2 AC Access Point Roundup

Discussion in 'Wireless Article Discussions' started by thiggins, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. SpeedyMe

    SpeedyMe Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    May 26, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    Any word on when the second part will be posted?
     
  2. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Messages:
    14,151
    Nothing definite. Hope by end of Feb.
     
  3. dfarning

    dfarning Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2018
    Messages:
    45
    Thanks for all the great information on the site. I am not a network nerd. I tend to do my research, buy a piece of kit, and then forget about it until it fails. Much has changed since my last network upgrade to a wrt1900ac router in 2014.

    In my case, raw throughput is less important than the ability to handle multiple clients doing different things. Such as several phones, a few media devices, and a couple of laptops all connected to the network at one time. I would guess you have thought about this... but just not figured out to objectively evaluate how well an AP or wireless router can handle multiple clients.

    I am particularly interesting in learning how effectively something like the Ubiquity control software can help manage the bandwidth in a busy home.
     
    username0475 likes this.
  4. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Messages:
    14,151
    Wi-Fi systems in general are pretty unintelligent when it comes to managing overall bandwidth. First, this takes intelligence, which means compute power and the software to go with it.

    The main problem is Wi-Fi was not designed to be a system that has strong centralized control of network devices. In Wi-Fi, devices are in charge. Think of trying to "manage" a bunch of unruly 3 year olds...

    So bandwidth control is generally limited to steering dual-band devices to 5 GHz and, in some cases, attempting to balance load among APs by limiting the # of devices that can connect per node.
     
  5. dfarning

    dfarning Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2018
    Messages:
    45
    Agreed, that is why I am particularly interested in how the UniFi system handles things. The control software will either run on my NAS or a cloud key to provide the necessary compute power.

    Even if the clients are unruly, enterprise level systems have been dealing with these situation for year. The client management that happens in a typical computer science building must be mind boggling. When a lectures starts or ends, 1000's of clients get up and move all at once.

    EDIT for clarity: The more I thought about this, a couple of ubiquiti AP + the controller might be a better fit under the rather fuzzy category of Wi-Fi systems than 2x2 access points.

    Thanks again for the great site.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
  6. coxhaus

    coxhaus Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    Messages:
    3,340
    Location:
    texas
    The reason I use multiple WAPs is to complete coverage on my home. The things I look for in WAPs are easy setup and being able to only use 5 GHz. I don't see how you can use both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz in a multiple WAP setup. To me there is no way to balance both 2.4GHz and 5GHz since they cover different distances. If you balance for 5 GHz then 2.4 GHz is going to be too close together and will effect roaming negatively. So I only run 5GHz in my house since it is the fastest and I am already past 1 WAP. Whether I have to run an extra WAP does not matter to me as I am already in a multiple WAP setup.

    So roaming is important and I test it using FaceTime. IF the call does not drop then I am good.

    I remember in the old days of using multiple wireless units and trying to set them up with the same security, name, and password. They kind of worked. Then I found the Cisco One Point setup software. I like the Cisco One Point setup so I use Cisco WAPs. The other reason I guess I am a little bias.

    It is nice to see tests for other brand WAPs.
     
  7. GregD

    GregD Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    May 15, 2016
    Messages:
    17
    These days it's typical to simply design your network for 5GHz and keep 2.4GHz enabled for legacy/low bandwidth devices only. If you're using dual radio AP's, you can turn off the 2.4 radio on some of the AP's if density is an issue. Another option is to reduce 2.4GHz transmit power levels to shrink cell size.

    You're right to design your network for 5GHz. Many WLAN Pros refer to 2.4GHz as a junk band for good reason - this is especially the case in urban areas.
     
    username0475 likes this.
  8. coxhaus

    coxhaus Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    Messages:
    3,340
    Location:
    texas
    I think if you do this and leave your 2.4GHz radio on then the clients will never roam properly. The 2.4GHz signals will be too close.
     
  9. GregD

    GregD Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    May 15, 2016
    Messages:
    17
    You would use a unique SSID for each band. You wouldn't want to join your high performance clients to the 2.4GHz network in the first place if you have proper 5GHz coverage and capacity. As a result, 5GHz-capable clients would only connect to 5GHz SSID and roaming would function as expected since you're placing AP locations based on 5GHz propagation/cell size.
     
  10. coxhaus

    coxhaus Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    Messages:
    3,340
    Location:
    texas
    Even with a unique SSID the problem is the network is based on 5GHz so the 2 or more 2.4GHz radio WAPs will be too close and will not roam.
     
  11. GregD

    GregD Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    May 15, 2016
    Messages:
    17
    I sense confusion. What device(s) are you concerned about not roaming?
     
  12. coxhaus

    coxhaus Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    Messages:
    3,340
    Location:
    texas
    You switched gears, I was replying to your general answer above.
    If you can turn down the power to match the 5GHz it would work. But wall density penetration is a lot different between 2.4GHz and 5GHz so it will be difficult. More than likely they will not match.

    I have a long hall with 3 bathrooms down the middle. 5GHz will not penetrate from one side to the other as I have to stagger 5GHz WAPs on both sides for coverage. 2.4GHz will penetrate the bathrooms and cover both sides.

    So roaming is not going to be the same for both 5GHz and 2.4GHz.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  13. GregD

    GregD Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    May 15, 2016
    Messages:
    17
    Because physics, 2.4GHz and 5GHz are not the same.

    If you design your network for 5GHz, then you must accept that coverage/CCI/roaming performance on the 2.4GHz band will be best effort only. I already provided tips on how to optimize 2.4GHz on networks that are designed for 5GHz.

    It goes without saying that ideal coverage/roaming/throughput will be achieved by 5GHz devices connected to a well-designed 5GHz network while devices joined to the 2.4GHz band of the same infrastructure may exhibit "sticky" tendencies due to the AP density required for proper 5GHz coverage. It's unnecessary for you to disable the 2.4GHz band in your infrastructure in order to improve the roaming performance of your 5GHz clients.

    If you're trying to use one SSID for both bands then fixing the sticky client issue gets more complicated (band-steering, etc.). Good luck!
     
  14. coxhaus

    coxhaus Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    Messages:
    3,340
    Location:
    texas
    I agree 5GHz is the way to go especially if you are going to the trouble to support multiple WAPs.

    I will try turning off the center WAP 2.4 GHz radio in my setup and see if I can get 2.4GHz to work as well. I am not sure in the Cisco clustering single point software setup if you can have WAPs setup differently.
     
  15. coxhaus

    coxhaus Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    Messages:
    3,340
    Location:
    texas
    So I have a question when I test this how well does band steering work? How well does it decide between a low signal 5GHz wide band and a high signal 2.4GHz? How well do the iPhone 7s handle this? Should it be part of the cluster?

    I still need bigger POE+ to run both radios. It will take me a while to upgrade so I can test.
     
  16. mokodi

    mokodi Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2015
    Messages:
    40
  17. username0475

    username0475 Regular Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    Messages:
    155
    I just intalled this 2 weeks ago.
    Really nice consumer grade stuff that borders on professional AP quality. Not that I know what the latter is like esp. since I usually am on the consumption side not the admin side.

    That said the Omada EAP Controller software is very nicely laid out & has plenty of options even for a rookie home network admin like me.
     
  18. pbc

    pbc Regular Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    62
    Just reading up on this thread. I've purchased 4 of the EAP225 v3's, 1 of them in a cabana outdoors, 2 on my main floor (about 60-70 feet from each other), and the third on on the upstairs floor in the main hallway.

    Right now there is only one SSID serving both bands, and I'm not sure how my devices know which to connect to (2.4ghz or 5).

    Having said that, should I turn off the 2.4ghz radio, and/or setup two separate SSIDs for each band? Curious what "best practice" would be here.