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Coverage vs Density.

Discussion in 'General Wireless Discussion' started by derselia, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. derselia

    derselia New Around Here

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    Having read through many reviews in Wifi Products, I noticed that most reviews are focused on coverage and throughput. However there isn't much coverage on performance when there are lots of low bandwidth devices.

    E.g. I have a Asus RT-AC86U and RT-AC68U AiMesh setup. While this covers the whole house with great speeds wherever I am, some of my IOT devices get disconnected. Especially after I throw a LAN parties (where there are more than 100 devices connecting to my Wifi).

    When the party is over, some of the IOT devices (Google Home Mini, TP-Link SmartPlug, Xiaomi Cloud Camera) no longer connect to the network. A reboot often solves it but I am not aware that it has been disconnected until I tried to access it.

    For a home with lots of smarthome appliances, what is the best setup?
     
  2. MichaelCG

    MichaelCG Very Senior Member

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    100 devices across two consumer grade APs seems to be quite a bit in the first place...impressed it worked. I have nothing but theory to back this statement, I would for sure assume you should have a minimum of 4 APs to handle the client counts you describe. Most IoT devices have pretty crappy antenna setups and struggle for signal when the network is near idle. When the airspace gets busy and noisy, they probably give up and disconnect. My WiFi cameras are usually "fine" unless another 2.4GHz device gets busy and then some of them stop responding for a while. If I am viewing an HD stream on one, the camera in the next room won't stream. The signal quality is just so bad to these little crappy devices even though all of my bigger devices (phones or laptops) have no issue still working on 2.4GHz.

    I have distributed my APs across my house so most of my devices connect to other APs so my cameras have their own AP fairly near them and don't fight as much with the other devices in the house. My device count is no where near the density you have....pretty sure I have around a max of 30-40 devices on my WiFi across 3 APs. Right this moment, there are 22 active WiFi devices. I know my wife's iPad and kid's tablets aren't even powered on right now nor are a couple of FireSticks powered on.
     
  3. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    What's needed is packet capture of WiFi traffic to see when and how devices stopped responding. Or maybe the ASUS WiFi logs might have some clues.
     
  4. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    Also, consider that most consumer routers/AP's can handle a maximum of 32 clients per band, per radio, at least one more AP is needed for 100+ client devices.

    If you don't want to add another AP or two, wire everything you can, use the 2.4GHz band for as many low throughput clients as possible and use the 5GHz band for the 'important' clients (max 32 per router).

    To properly accomplish the above, I would use new SSID's for each router/AP and band (so, 4 SSID's in total). I would also try using the RT-AC86U as an AP in wired mode (and centrally located to your most demanding clients) and the RT-AC68U as the main router.
     
  5. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    I've found that routers will connect more then 32 devices easily. The issue is more whether they can handle the bandwidth needs of all those devices if they are active simultaneously. And, of course, bugs that crop up when the router has to keep track of and buffer traffic to and from all those devices.
     
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  6. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    Of course. :)

    Connecting more clients is easy, 'handle' more than ~32 clients is much more hit and miss. :)
     
  7. coxhaus

    coxhaus Part of the Furniture

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    Yes, I am waiting for prices to come down on the AC stuff so I can move up to a higher density Cisco AP which supports more clients. I figure WiFi6 will drive the price down.
     
  8. derselia

    derselia New Around Here

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    Thanks, Interesting point of view. And something quite unexpected.

    Each AP, each band different SSIDs so 4 in all.
    1. AP1-2G (2.4Ghz band)
    2. AP1-5G (5Ghz band)
    3. AP2-2G (2.4Ghz band)
    4. AP2-5G (5Ghz band)
    Currently I have set all using the same SSID since it is simpler and allows for roaming.
    Why use different SSID? Prevent devices from roaming between the AP?

    Older AC68U as main router, Newer AC86U as AP. I did the reverse, since the AC86U has much higher specs with better features. Why use the older AC68U as main router?

    What I did is to disable B and G connectivity allowing only N and AC devices, I find that helps.

    Recently someone gave me a Asus Lyra Trio after complaining about its poor performance. Might convert them into AP instead. But I understand too many APs in close proximity will interfere with one another. You will have to implement some sort of shielding or directional antenna to work around that.

    I've also read that tweaking RTS Threshold and Beacon Interval will help. But there is no standard recommended value. I have to test and find the value the best meet my needs. I wonder if it does benefit since needs will change.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  9. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    Leave RTS and Beacon settings alone. You have more potential to cause harm than good if you don't know what you are doing.

    Shielding and directional antennas are not the way to control AP overlap. Reducing power and proper placement are.

    You should also be using 20 MHz B/W in 2.4 GHz and staggering channels using only 1, 6 and 11.
     
    L&LD likes this.
  10. Klueless

    Klueless Very Senior Member

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    I agree.
    Sometimes devices make poor decisions. Multiple SSIDs allow you to override a poor decision -)
    Although ... once you've connected to the other SSIDs you can roam amongst them.
    Good to hear, I've started doing that as well so maybe I'm making the "right mistake" ; -)
    I've been pondering similar. Depending on density/location I'm thinking something like turn off the 2.4 GHz band on "every other one"?
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019