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Home Mesh Wi-Fi Coming This Summer From eero

Discussion in 'Wireless Article Discussions' started by brossyg, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. headcase

    headcase Occasional Visitor

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    Even for fast roaming hops on WPA2 Personal (which is my real issue on the latest Airport Extremes when trying to use VoIP), do you think placement is an issue? As I can't adjust the power of the Airport Extremes and I can't disable the 2.4 Ghz radios, I would think that as long as my placement is half-decent, the 5 Ghz hops would be quick enough, as long as the APs and the client support 802.11r and k, which per your's and other's comments, Apple's APs and 10.9 or later does.

    Btw, I've been monitoring my OS X RSSI levels when roaming on AC, and the MacBooks seem to always be less than -70 dBm (usually reaching -78 or -80) when I'm near the next AP. So I'm thinking my placement isn't the issue. But I will fire up the tools you recommend next.
     
  2. headcase

    headcase Occasional Visitor

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    And yes, I always use the same SSID, WPA2 Personal, and same login for all my configurations. I've even made sure to delete previously saved WiFis on my Macbook, to ensure no legacy issues arise from using different APs.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2016
  3. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    San Diego, CA
    Use Airport Utility 5.6.1 - still supported/available - on Mac, you need to get a bit tricky - there's a couple of AppleScripts that are mentioned in the Apple Support forums - or if you have a Windows PC, 5.6.1 is available there and runs fine on Win7 thru Win10.

    There you have quite a few more tweaks that you can do - and Option-Click (or Ctrl Click on Win) opens up additional options.
     
  4. headcase

    headcase Occasional Visitor

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    Hey sfx2000 -

    Ok... so I figured out the apparent issue was that was preventing my mobile devices from Fast Transition (FT) roaming. Once I put an Airport Extreme into routing mode and used that in front of the rest of my Airport units, everything worked smoothly. No more 1-3 second delays in between Apple AP hops, which would cause dead air when in a VoIP call. For whatever reason, using a non-Apple router at the head of my LAN seemed to be causing issues for Fast Transition roaming. And yes, I made sure all my AP configs were using the same SSID, same password, etc. for establishing a proper roaming network.

    Perhaps the Apple Extremes and / or Apple mobile devices are exchanging some information at Layer 3 that includes 802.11r, k, and v data. Regardless, one thing is for certain... after:
    • extensively testing APs from Cisco, Edimax, Ubiquiti, eero, and Apple
    • completing a site survey
    • trying different configs, including establishing separate networks for FT and non-FT
    • reviewing best practices guides on some of this gear
    ...the only vendor that works seamlessly, provides the best bandwidth for my devices, and also simplest to set up, is the Apple units. The only downside with the Airport Utility tool is the inability to disable the 2.4 Ghz radio on an AP (and yeah, I loaded the old 5.6.1 Airport Utility on an old Mac, and there's not much more you can do there). Of course, I also miss the ability to occasionally login to my old ASUS router and see those geeky nobs, switches, and logs vs. the overly simplistic interface of the Airport Utility. But hey, at least with the Apple setup, "It just works." :D
     
  5. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    What again was the router you were using?
     
  6. headcase

    headcase Occasional Visitor

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    ASUS RT-AC66U with merlin's current stable build. I could have tested the ASUS OEM code or other routers, but I happened to have an Airport in the closet where the old router and modem was anyhow, for coverage on the 1st floor.
     
  7. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    Most apple AP to AP comms is done over mDNS - so maybe it was either blocking/filtering multicast outright, or blocking port 5353 on the LAN side... and yes, there is some layer three stuff going on there.

    MAC addr 01:00:5E:00:00:FB (ipv4) and 33:33:00:00:00:FB (ipv6), along with 224.0.0.251 (v4) or FF02::FB (v6) are needed for Airports to work together, along with 5353/udp - Block/filter any one of those, and Bonjour/Avahi/mDNS tends to break...
     
  8. headcase

    headcase Occasional Visitor

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    Although I don't recall blocking multicast, that would make sense. And yeah, I too was thinking that perhaps Bonjour is an important aspect of the problem, which may or may not have been passing along. Either way, looks like I'm sticking with the Apple units for routing and wireless.

    My other place will likely be eero or some other mesh solution, as the house lacks Ethernet runs and I'm no longer a fan of Powerline or MoCA for backhaul.

    Thanks again for the sound advice on using the Apple units!
     
  9. hasek

    hasek New Around Here

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    Nov 15, 2017
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    I'm curious about why it is AC1200.
    as there are 2x2 2.4G + 2x2 5G (high-band) + 2x2 5G (low-band).
    it should be AC2100 instead of AC1200.
    or did I misnuderstood?

    thanks
     
  10. Internet Man

    Internet Man Senior Member

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    Sep 1, 2017
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    The first generation eero devices only have two radios but they are configured differently from most other devices. My understanding is that one radio is essentially selectable dual-band, so it can handle 2.4GHz or 5GHz but not both at the same time. I'm guessing that if 2.4GHz b/g/n clients are detected then all 5GHz clients are moved to the dedicated 5GHz (low band) radio. If all clients are 5GHz then perhaps the selectable radio switches to 5GHz (high band). I suppose eero could have advertised 1st gen stuff as AC1900 or maybe AC2000 from the 867+867 speeds but that would be even more confusing and ridiculous since AC1900 was already well established as 3SS+256-QAM (600+1300).

    With multiple eero devices covering a home, perhaps they collaborate to make 2.4GHz available from one device and have another device in the home switch both radios to 5GHz. I didn't see a complete explanation of how the unusual radio configuration is actually implemented. It's also possible that the 2.4GHz/5GHz radio actually shares time among 2.4GHz and 5GHz clients...

    Remember that SNB is trying to get away from the confusing and misleading Wi-Fi class labeling system: Goodbye To Wi-Fi Router Classes

    Second generation stuff will apparently have three radios so it could be advertised as AC2100.

    - [Source]
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017