Mesh for Church

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Soapm

New Around Here
Hi,

We're a congregation of about 400 members but realized with people wearing watches, tablets and phones, we're fighting for the same IP addresses. To combat this we've had the churches assets on one router and our guest network on another. But we still had lots of dead spots and the guest network still ran out of ip addresses.

We recently purchased an Asus ZenWiFi mesh network but noticed the guest and main network share the same pool of 249 addresses and there doesn't seem to be a way to add additional blocks of ip's (just 249).

Any recommendation of a mesh system that will have the guest and main network on separate ip blocks? That would at least give us 249 + 249.

Any recommendations on one that will accept other than class C blocks so we can increase the size of the ip pool? How about one where the guest zone is also transmitted out of the node (the guest some is only transmitted from the main router on the ZenWiFi).

Especially with the virus, we don't have the money for a professional to come out so we're just tossing idea's in the air to see how we can better our WiFi. The good news, only a few of us come to the church on Sunday so we have plenty of time to think this through before we assemble again in full force. I predict it'll be next year before people feel safe worshiping in person again.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
You could try changing the netmask from 255.255.255.0 to 255.255.0.0. But I don't know if the ASUS' DHCP server can serve addresses in the expanded range.

Even if you could attach all those devices, you're likely to run out of bandwidth if all mesh nodes are on the same channel.

When you're up in the 100's of active devices, you need a multi AP network with proper frequency assignment and Ethernet backhaul.
This doesn't have to be expensive. There are plenty of $100 (or so) APs that can be used to construct such a network. Others will probably weigh in on this thread to provide the details.
 

Soapm

New Around Here
So i'm clear, with multi access point, can the ssid be the same on each? I need it to be seemless to the user when their switching over.

It isn't that bad with that many devices since most are just connected and not active. They might check FB or emails but people don't really use much bandwidth at church.
 

Soapm

New Around Here
That worked, I have the same ZenWiFi router at home and changed the subnet to 255.255.0.0 and the ip range went from 192.168.0.2 to 192.168.255.254.

Thanks!!!
 

Soapm

New Around Here
I guess I spoke to soon, changing the subnet to 255.255.0.0 worked at my house on Comcast (or because I've supplied my own modem) but not at the Church which is on Centurylink (and their leased modem).

With the churches modem I get an error that says only class C subnets are allowed. Which then displays a list of subnet's all starting with 255.255.255.xxx That must be Centurylink's way of limiting you to 254 addresses.

What it does allow is a way to assign a subnet to each Ethernet port. I talked to the guy who suggested the Mesh and he said the reason he didn't suggest the ap route is because during service, all the members with their watches, tablets and phones etc... will all be in the sanctuary which would be served primarily by one ap. So again, they'd all be fighting over the same 254 ip addresses.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Then don't use the CenturyLink modem for DHCP. Use the ASUS
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
Use 2 ethernet back hauled APs in the sanctuary with the same SSID but use separate channels on the APs.

I guess it depends on the APs you use. The Cisco WAP581 small business APs will allow 200 connected users per AP. Other APs you might need to use more.

PS
I would probably use a 255.255.248.0/21 mask. 255.255.0.0 mask is too big.
 
Last edited:

Soapm

New Around Here
Then don't use the CenturyLink modem for DHCP. Use the ASUS

I tried that but couldn't get it to connect? I don't know the password and the field is ******** out, even when I change the field coding to text. I may have to call them but I'm sure they'll want me to use their modem.
 

Soapm

New Around Here
Use 2 ethernet back hauled APs in the sanctuary with the same SSID but use separate channels on the APs.

I guess it depends on the APs you use. The Cisco WAP581 small business APs will allow 200 connected users per AP. Other APs you might need to use more.

PS
I would probably use a 255.255.248.0/21 mask. 255.255.0.0 mask is too big.

Thanks, we'll look into it.
 

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