AP Placement

Discy

Occasional Visitor
Hi all,

I'm moving to a new house in December and am looking for advice regarding AP placement.

- Will be for the next 10-15 years
- 5ghz in all rooms (maybe 6ghz after a couple of years)
- I already have an AP-AC-LR

Below are my considerations.

Floorplan:
floorplan.jpg

Consideration 1: Using in-walls, except for ground floor:
in-walls.png
- Clean: no "ugly" accesspoints on ceiling
- Furniture that can possibly block signal
- Limited upgradebility: Limiting myself to in-wall solutions only

Consideration 2: Ceiling AP in each room
- "ugly" accesspoints on ceiling
- No blocking from furniture
ceiling-ap.png

Consideration 3: Three ap's might be enough?
- Less interference
- Limited 5ghz, and especially 6 for future?
three-aps.png


..Or?
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
7 AP's in a 735SqFt area (each floor) is a good way to have many unexplained issues.

3 AP's directly above each other is just as bad.

I would start with a single RT-AX88U on the ground floor in the area 'K' near the middle/stairs.

In fifteen years, anything anyone recommends here will be changed a few times over. :)
 

Discy

Occasional Visitor
Thanks :)
I'm staying within Unifi Eco-System.
I could try to put my UAP-AC-LR on ground and one on second floor but not sure if I will have 5ghz coverage everywhere.
I can lower RX levels to avoid interference and disable 2ghz on some of them.
7 does seem a lot.. I agree but not sure how else I'm gonna get good 5ghz coverage everywhere.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Does the home have stone/concrete walls/floors or sheetrock?

You don't want APs per room unless you have good control over transmit power. You also need a good channel plan. Very difficult with that density of APs with 2.4 GHz. More doable with 5 GHz, but with 20 or 40 MHz B/W.

Since it looks like you are well covered for Ethernet, I'd start with one AP per floor, but don't line them up over each other.

Anything in Wi-Fi won't last 15 years. Your next upgrade will be in a year or so when 6E is available.
 

Discy

Occasional Visitor
I'm not yet covered for Ethernet. I have to route all cables.

Position of AP's now is where I'd like them to stay so I can easily upgrade them down the line.
I'm redoing all ceilings on first and second floor, so it's farily easy for me to route UTP through every ceiling as I have them open anyway.
This is why I am considering to do it properly (and overkill) once as I expected that range of 6E will be worse than 5.

Unifi provides very good control over transmit power can be set per unit and every number between 1 and 22.
For 2.4 I expect I don't need more than one AP per floor enabled, maybe even less or at very low tp.

I might not even buy all of them until 6E is out...
 
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L&LD

Part of the Furniture
In a 5,000 SqFt home, a single RT-AC3100 was more than sufficient a few years ago. The RT-AX88U is superior. What are your ISP speeds? What can they be at maximum? What is your definition of 'good 5GHz coverage'?

RT-AC3100 Report https://www.snbforums.com/threads/s...-go-with-the-rt-ac1900p-v3.34748/#post-281391

RT-AX88U Upgrade https://www.snbforums.com/threads/b...ta-is-now-available.60037/page-31#post-531024

It doesn't matter which system you want to stay with. The smaller footprint of the home does not warrant more than 2 AP's at the most. Unless as Tim asks, the walls and floor are stone/concrete.

The 'K' area is ideal as the stairwell is a natural funnel for the WiFi signal to propagate throughout the home, including the other two levels too. If the ground floor isn't ideal, the 1st floor would be (for maximum reach and throughput with a single router.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
If the power limits don't change, there will be no effective difference between 5GHz and 6GHz bands for range. If anything, they will be superior.
 

Discy

Occasional Visitor
Thanks. All walls and floors are stone/concrete.
The K area is a closet surounded by concrete walls and ceiling.

If 6e won't have less range (I thought it did) I guess it makes sense to test with the AP I already have for 5ghz range and go from there..?
 
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thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
I'm not yet covered for Ethernet. I have to route all cables.
Ah! Well, Ethernet cabling is the best investment you can make in future-proofing. And with concrete construction, you will want more vs. fewer.

Higher is better than lower for placement, so ceiling would be preferred. The APs you'd be using wouldn't be any more visually obnoxious than smoke detectors. So I wouldn't let that be a deciding factor. The downside for ceiling ports is they are only good for APs; can't be used to connect in-room computer, streaming box, smart TV, etc.

For lower/wall mounting, I wouldn't worry too much about furniture attenuating the signal unless it's metal furniture, fish tanks, mirrors, large appliances.

If interior walls are concrete, stairwell-mounted APs aren't going to do much.

Since ground floor design is open plan, one ceiling mounted AP where you have it should be good.
For upstairs bedrooms, I'm leaning more toward an AP per room as you suggest. I wouldn't limit yourself to in-wall APs, though. Put in a wall box and you could always figure out something to mount the AP mounting plate to the box. This also gives you the option of also having Ethernet in the room.
 

Discy

Occasional Visitor
Thanks Tim,

That's the feeling I got - living in a full concrete location right now - but I can still test the range before I buy of course.

I was considering below in-wall accesspoints which also include two ethernet ports so I'd be done in one go.
Ceiling might be best though.. (combined with normal wallboxes)
1601051410845.png

 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
With an AP in each room, wall-mount should be fine. What do you want for throughput per device? How many devices per room?
 

Discy

Occasional Visitor
These are all bedrooms and two offices so personal devices (1-3 per room I'd say).
About 100-200mbps for now should be fine for a while and basically enough also to read/write from NAS.
I'll be routing ethernet as well for netflix/television and for anyone - like me - who still prefers a desktop.

Future needs might be different as internet speeds increases. I suspect my family will be relying on wifi more and more and not bother to plugin a dock and/or cable to their notebook.
Trying to plan for that as well.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
About 100-200mbps for now should be fine for a while and basically enough also to read/write from NAS.
A wall-mounted in-room AC or AX AP @ 5 GHz should handle that fine, even at 40 MHz bandwidth if you needed more flexibility in channel assignment. I wouldn't worry about ceiling mount in the bedrooms/offices, but it certainly wouldn't hurt if you decided to do it, in addition to wall-boxes.
 

Trip

Very Senior Member
For 1800 square feet over 3 floors of concrete/stone, multiple hard-wired APs at appropriately lower power are optimal.

Cabling - Commercial-grade Cat6. One wall port and one ceiling port per room. Better to have too many runs go unused, than not enough after you've closed the walls.

APs - Best choice would likely be ceiling-mounted, at least one per floor, with staggered azimuth between floors. AP density based on surveying. In-wall units could work, but will be lower amplification (by design), so more APs will probably be needed per floor, and you may not have enough bleed-over signal to work with to create optimal roaming in some spots (versus longer-reaching APs that naturally give you more dB to balance and dial down).

Either way, considering mixing form factors while surveying, including the FlexHD, which can be desktop-mounted.
 
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Trip

Very Senior Member
Cat7 has never, nor will it ever, be a TIA/EIA standard and is more or less pointless to buy. If you're being sold Cat7, especially for a premium, you're being duped, and if you're advocating for it, you're pushing for a pointless "advantage". Plain and simple.

Cat6a is effectively the highest-end you can go for on-prem, non-datacenter copper, and realistically Cat6 is all you need for multi/10-gig over home-size distances, yours definitely included. In fact, even quality Cat5e would probably do multi/10-gig in a place as small as yours (although I'd recommend Cat6 for a new install).

So just stick with Cat6 for your in-wall runs: quality UTP, solid core, 23AWG.
 

MichaelCG

Very Senior Member
Also....do not forget outdoor coverage. As you move into multi-AP, you generally start to lower the transmit power of your APs which tends to have the side effect of dropping your ability to see your WiFi outside the house. I do NOT have concrete construction and noticed that my phone struggled to stay on the WiFi in my yard. So I ended up putting two APs outside to service my phone and laptops when out in the yard or on the patio.
 

Discy

Occasional Visitor
Thanks Michael. I plan to put an UAC-AC-M for coverage outside and in garage, if the single UAP-AC-LR on groundfloor doesn't cut it. As can be seen on blueprints.

The pricing for 7 (I guess basically 6a/SFTP) is the same as 6a:
7: https://www.netwerkkabel.eu/en/cat7-sftp-1000mhz-solid-100m-copper.html
6a: https://www.netwerkkabel.eu/en/cat6a-u-utp-network-cable-solid-100-copper-100m-bl.html

Only 6 is a bit cheaper: https://www.netwerkkabel.eu/en/20327934.html

Or 6-UTP, but this is CCA instead of 100% copper. I will be using POE to power my accesspoints and understood that copper might be more reliable in that case.
https://www.netwerkkabel.eu/en/cat6-u-utp-network-cable-solid-100m.html

I'm leaning towards going for 6a UTP, or S/FTP (what they call "7") - for the small price difference.
Is there a downside to this?
 
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Trip

Very Senior Member
The only advantage of 6a is 10Gig beyond 55 meters (officially), which I'd infer is going to be plenty long enough for any of your runs; beyond that, you're dealing with thicker diameter, more weight and having to ground the entire cable path and all connected components if you opt for shielded cable, which unless you have a very specific use-case requiring you to do so, isn't worth the extra hassle. If you did go Cat6a, I would only recommend you pick a slimmer 24AWG, polymer-based EMI-resistant solution which didn't require grounding, such as Belden 10GXS, but it's likely going to cost you a small fortune.

So again, I'd probably just stick with Cat6 UTP from a quality supplier.
 
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