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New Connected Home Complex Wifi Setup - Asus - Synology - Ubiquiti

Discussion in 'Wireless Buying Advice' started by ZakBR, Mar 23, 2019.

  1. ZakBR

    ZakBR Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2018
    Messages:
    12
    Hello guys, I need suggestions and an honest opinion from you.

    I just moved to a new home and this is my current scenario:

    My current gig (Asus AiMesh):
    - Asus ROG AX 11000 (main router) - Top floor that has 4 lan ports and 1 2.5GB port
    - 2x RT-AC86U both wired to the Ax11000 (lan port 1 and 2)
    - 1x GS810EMX that switch handles a few ethernet outlets (2.5GB port)
    * Lan port 4 is being used for as dual wan for failover and port 3 has my main desktop hooked directly.

    I have 1 gig connection (up and down) via fiber and a secondary connection that's 400/35 as a failover. The house has 2 stories and most of the connected clients are downstairs. 3300sqft of internal space and a total of 5.500sqft including outdoors, where the cameras are.

    I have over 60 clients connected to my wifi. They range from simple smart outlets and garage door openers (and even the cooktop) to 4k TVs and gaming laptops. We also have 7 Ring cameras all placed outside, including a Ring Pro (only camera that's 5ghz), along with their alarm system.

    We usually have 2 or 3 streaming 4k TVs working at the same time, cameras uploading videos and people gaming.

    Goal:
    - Have a stable wifi (including cameras outside)
    - I don't want to be handling this every day, I wish I could just let it fly for itself
    - VPN: I need to setup a VPN server to be used by 2-4 clients at the same time.
    - SPEED
    - Future Proof if possible

    Problems:
    - Devices keep jumping to the wrong nodes and getting low wifi signal which is VERY bad because of the cameras.
    - Our iphones keeps getting disconnected when it's not using data, it only becomes stable when I'm back downloading something. That's bad as I have voip apps that need stable connections.
    - The secondary keeps getting disconnected (don't know why)

    Its sad to see such powerful equipment doing bad decisions such as the 11000ax grabing a TV that's downstairs just by the side of one of the AC86U nodes. I wonder if I could force the connection

    Ideas:
    I spent US$ 850,00 in all this. I have to decide if I keep the setup or return it by April 14th.

    - Would the Synology setup work better? It looks like they know what they are doing but would their equipment be able to handle all these devices?
    - Maybe I should step into the Ubiquiti world?
    - In both cases I wouldn't have a future proof router (AX) as with the Asus...

    Taking suggestions?? Thanks!
     
    CrystalLattice likes this.
  2. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Messages:
    13,759
    If you want stable, you don't want draft 11ax at this point. If you're married to the concept of "future proofing" using 11ax, then at least shut off HE frames, MU-MIMO and probably 160 MHz channels.

    If you are connecting the router and APs via Ethernet, you really don't need AiMesh. It could be a source of your instability. Plain ol' 11ac APs are better and simpler to deal with.

    Placement of APs is critical. If you have too much signal overlap devices may tend to jump between APs.

    Consider setting up a separate 2.4 GHz SSID for all your "smart" outlets and cameras that don't move around. If the devices are all within range of one of your APs, then do that only on one AP. If not, set up a separate, different SSID on each AP. That way, your fixed position devices won't be able to move to another AP.
     
    Clark Griswald, Dave Parker and L&LD like this.
  3. ZakBR

    ZakBR Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2018
    Messages:
    12
    Hi Thiggins, I will factory reset the nodes and the router, turn the nodes into APs and see what happens.

    Setting a different SSID for the cameras will be a pain though as I need to grab a ladder and press a button on each camera...

    Meanwhile, what would you say about Synology setup?

    Thank you for your help!
     
  4. ZakBR

    ZakBR Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2018
    Messages:
    12
    I'm gearing towards buying the synology setup (1 RT anmd 2 AC) and testing it as they promise their system does handle the smart connect much better. It is pretty sad that I would step down from 1148/4804MB speeds (11000aX) to 800/1730 (Synology RT 2600). What do you guys think? I already spent over 800.00 USD

    Regarding the asus setup:

    I did factory reset everything. Had trouble with the Dual Wan (I had to keep changing it from LAN to WAN or it would say disconnected cable, so weird, clearly a bug). Looks fixed for now.

    I took my 2x RT-AC86U, kept them hardwired, factory resetted them and have them as APs now. It looks better but I can tell by the RSSI that things aren't connected to the correct APs. The asus web ui and the iphone app don't tell me who's connected where anymore, since I switched from aimesh to AP mode.

    So yeah, this took me a long time to do as I had to mess with the cameras and the dual wan problem took me like 2 hours to fix. The next step would be creating 2.4ghz networks and forcing devices to connect to them. My iphone, for instance, would catch the 2.4 when arriving home and not sure when it would jump into a 5ghz (probably only if I reconnected).

    That's the kind of thing I don't want to go through when spending over US$ 800.00 - and in this day and age, one would think this would be doable.
     
  5. ACwifiguy

    ACwifiguy New Around Here

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2019
    Messages:
    7
    I’d keep what you have. This should solve the majority of your issues:

    Step 1 - hardwire everything possible

    Step 2 - setup your 2.4 ghz and 5 ghz as seperate SSIDs. 2.4ghz is slow and perfect for the smart devices. 5ghz is fast and better for phones / tablets / media heavy devices. My phone is strictly on 5ghz - much better!

    Step 3- your APs are probably too close together and your clients are sticking to their previous AP. Consider turning off some of the radios or using MAC filters for each AP (allowing that MAC address to only connect to a certain AP). Example - my main router only has 2.4 ghz turned on and manages all my smart devices. I have two APs that only have 5 ghz turned on and only manage phones / tablets. The APs are placed far enough away that about halfway through the house devices will naturally jump to the other AP. Everything is hardwired together.

    I never have to play with or restart my equipment. It just works.
     

    Attached Files:

    L&LD likes this.
  6. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Messages:
    13,759
    That you would be trading one set of problems for another, plus spending more money.

    Roaming behavior is primarily determined by devices. APs have limited ability to influence device roaming behavior. 802.11k and v can help, but only if supported by both device and AP.

    This is one area where ASUS lags. They don't support 11k,v or r, only a proprietary system that is likely based on device RSSI. I think there is an ASUS setting that influences this.

    ACWiFiguy's advice is in line with mine. You might consider turning off radios or entire APs to check coverage overlap.

    If you are really having trouble getting your fixed position devices to connect where you want them to, then set up different guest SSIDs for each AP. If you are going to go through the hassle of changing SSIDs on devices, you should only do it once.
     
    Dave Parker and L&LD like this.
  7. ACwifiguy

    ACwifiguy New Around Here

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2019
    Messages:
    7
    The easy way to do the above steps is probably to turn off the AC86’s and start off with just the AX11000 in a reletively central location. Create two SSIDs (one for each frequency).

    Test your setup with that simplified setup and find where your weak RSSI and throughput points are in your house (mirrors, walls, furniture all influence this greatly - see my “survey” above). The AX11000 is a beast and probably would be able to accomplish most everything you want by itself. You probably only need one additional AP - map our your weakpoint and you will quickly find the best place to put it.

    Beyond optimizing your APs - The real weakpoint in all systems are your client devices. Most likely the majority of your devices are at most 2x2 antennas and only will be able to max out at 600-700Mbps in the real world regardless of your setup. This is why higgins and myself are recommending against jumping brands - the clients are your biggest weakpoint. Your routers / APs have more than enough power to accomplish what you are looking for.
     
  8. coxhaus

    coxhaus Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    Messages:
    2,591
    Location:
    texas
    I live in a 3300 sqft home. In the old days I used a couple of 2.4GHz routers 1 being used as a AP. It kind of worked. Roaming did not work but to be fair it really did not exist in those days. My wife likes to sit out on our picnic table in my back yard and FaceTime with her friends on her iPad. The problem comes when she wanted to fix a drink and my kitchen is in the front part of the house. My house is long not square. I gave up using routers and switched over to Cisco small business wireless APs which work as one. The Cisco APs have single point setup and talk to each other over an Ethernet back haul. This allows my wife to switch Cisco APs as she walks from the back yard to the front of the house while she is FaceTiming without dropping the call. I have also dropped using 2.4GHz and only use 5GHz due 5GHz being a lot faster. The only issue I see is my back Cisco AP is mounted in a window behind a curtain because penetration is low going outside but works fine going through a window. The other 5GHz thing I see is my connection speed varies over the house using 5GHz. I may be as low as 330Mbps or as high as 880Mbps. This has no real effect that my wife sees. It is just something I noticed. What I figured out is I do not want to center an AP and work from there but what works for me is to work from both ends of my house and then fill in the middle. It took a couple of months for final placement of the APs. I started and then realized I had to move an AP a couple of feet or switch to another close wall which would make a difference overall.

    It depends on how good of a wireless system you want but I think wireless APs work much better than using old routers. If you can get by with 1 wireless router it will be the simplest to set up. But once you start down the multiple wireless path that is when you need to lose the wireless routers and go to a real wireless system.
     
  9. ZakBR

    ZakBR Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2018
    Messages:
    12
    Thank you all for your replies. I really appreciate the time you guys are putting into helping me.

    I have followed @ACwifiguy advice and disabled smart connect. I now have a 2.4ghz and a 5ghz network. It's much more stable now. And yes, I need 2 APs as the Ring Cameras must be getting less than -50 RSSI to work properly in my experience. They are my main reason for the APs, I'm thinking I should probably set a MAC filter so that it forces them to connect to the correct AP as they still jump from time to time (specially to the AX11000 upstairs who keeps invading the area downstairs).

    I am getting around 120-150mb download speeds in my 5ghz around the house, seems fair?

    Should I keep the two 5ghz networks on or just one on the 11000ax? What do you guys think?

    Current bugs:

    - Asus 11000AX is giving me 400-500mb download speeds against 950 upload speeds via Ethernet. Using CenturyLink - no idea what is going on. Happening in an intel 128V and iMac 2017. QOS off, VPN Off, AiProtection off... Just regular routing. Still trying to figure this out.
    - DualWAN: No matter what I do, it disconnects my failover connection. I keep getting "The network cable is unplugged" and I need that failover.

    I have also started researching what @coxhaus said about Cisco. Since I have until April 14th to return everything or to keep it, I am trying to find out if having a Cisco system would be benefitial. Since I have over 60 clients connected (being around 10-12 active ones at the same time, including 4k streaming), maybe a small business solution would woork better as Cisco should have a better management software too. Suggestions on Cisco equipment?
     
  10. ACwifiguy

    ACwifiguy New Around Here

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2019
    Messages:
    7
    Glad it helped!

    I’d keep one 5ghz network on the AX11000 unless you have a reason to have devices on a seperate SSID (guest network).

    That number of active devices is not too much load for your current AP/router hardware. You would have to do a similar amount of setup work with commercial systems. The main advantage of commercial devices is 802.11r and similar protocols which are still in their infancy (they don’t full fix the roaming problem). Roaming is client driven. Having non communicating APs is very similar to the current roaming solutions in a home environment.

    First I’d work with your static devices:
    -I’d do some MAC filtering on 2.4ghz for each of your cameras to link them up with the best RSSI source (depending on your house you may setup). Instead of MAC filtering - for static devices I’ve had two 2.4ghz SSIDs - a “east” and “west” SSID to better help me with linking up smart devices with the nearest SSID. See if one of those two options helps.
    -make sure you do a survey of nearby 2.4ghz neighbors (and your own APs) and pick non overlapping channels (1, 6, 11)

    For roaming devices:
    -use 5ghz - it is much faster
    -survey using wifisweetspots or similar live app to see how your network performs as you roam (I mainly use free apps). I set my APs far enough apart that I am in the mid60’s for RSSI in between. Still pumping out 400-500 mbps.
    -adjust the APs as you see fit and use non overlapping 80Mhz channels
     
  11. WiFiNemesis

    WiFiNemesis Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    Messages:
    44
    As Tim says, you'll be trading one set of problems for another.

    With the intro of SRM 1.2 a few months ago (primarily to add mesh capabilities) they've destabilized the whole environment, even for those using wired APs instead of mesh.

    Check it out for yourself here: https://community.synology.com/forum/2. Not pretty.