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Not quite enterprise, Not quite residential... HELP!

Discussion in 'General Wireless Discussion' started by David H, Jan 29, 2017.

  1. David H

    David H New Around Here

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Hello,

    I am in serious need of help. My family owns an RV Park in the middle of nowhere and recently our small town received Fiber Optic Service. Before we were using an over the air setup that was pretty terrible. So naturally, we went with the better service. We have 100 mbps up and down. When we switched to Fiber Optic, we needed to replace antenna’s and routers and all that jazz. Now, im not a complete noob to basic home networking, but something like this is causing me some serious problems. We have internet working, but its intermittent. Here’s how this is setup:

    We have Fiber coming to an ONT as the company calls it, Basically its just a pass through to our router which is an Asus AC66R located in our office (I don’t even know if the router is causing our problems or can handle what we are asking of it). It has a 4 port switch (as does every other router) and 3 of 4 are being used.

    Port 1: We have a Cat5e cable running to an outdoor access point (Hawking Technology HOWABN1) on top of a building. Its run is less than 100 feet. We have multiple repeaters (3x Hawking Tech HOW2R1) throughout the park repeating that main signal. All less than 250 feet from the original access point and has a pretty clear line of sight. All of the repeaters are 30 to 35 feet in the air.

    Port 2: Main office computer

    Port 3: Patch cable going to an 8 port gigabit switch. 2 Security camera’s connected to the switch, DVR for the security system, and a fiber converter for security camera’s on the other side of the park. On the other side of the Fiber, we have 10 camera’s and another Access Point for the park manager.


    Now here’s the problem, It would seem like we have a lot of things connected to this router. However, as of right now, we have a total of 48 devices connected, including the camera’s and access points. I wouldn’t think this is a lot of devices. I have to reboot all of the devices at least once a day because our speeds start to crawl, down to the kbps range.

    I honestly don’t know where to start to start fixing our speed issues that we have. Am I asking too much of our residential grade Asus router or are the outdoor repeaters crap and that’s causing the problems?

    Im sure ive left details out that are needed to actually answer any questions, please feel free to ask and ill be as prompt as possible to respond.


    Thanks in advance to anyone that can help.
     
  2. Krusher

    Krusher New Around Here

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2017
    Messages:
    3
    I've been reading here for some time and saw that nobody replied to your message yet; so here's some ideas.

    #1: Have you updated the firmware on your router or verified that it's up to something current?
    #2: How old is your router? After a few years, all the routers I've had just start acting weird. Dropping packets, web pages partially load, logging into the router and telling it to reboot does nothing. i.e. just start acting weird, and then it's time to replace it.
    #3: Have you updated firmware on your cameras and security system and set good passwords i.e. from random.org? It might be far fetched, but if others are connecting to your cameras then that will be eating up bandwidth for those who don't belong.
    #4: Repeaters are generally bad for a long term solution, but if you have no other choice (like upgrading everything to hybrid fiber and going PoE+) then if all else fails above try replacing them one at a time.

    It seems that you have a few things to narrow down and in your situation you might want a router that is in-between residential and commercial like a pfSense router (there are lots of similar more reliable routers here I'm sure).

    Good luck
     
  3. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Messages:
    14,237
    Hawking products would not be my first choice for AP and repeaters. That said, as Krusher suggests, you need to start by getting some data.

    Instead of rebooting everything when things slow down, take things offline one at a time. Start with the security cameras first. Disconnect, then test internet speed. Repeat until you find the devices eating bandwidth.

    Alternatively, you can get an inexpensive smart switch. Then move all Ethernet connections from the router to it. You can then see where bandwidth is being used.

    Unless you have some sort of rate limiting in place for WiFi, your probem could be one or more users torrenting or simply streaming.
     
    mlg321 likes this.
  4. David H

    David H New Around Here

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    Jan 29, 2017
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    Krusher, thanks for the reply. All of the firmware is up to date on the router, camera's, repeaters and access points. The Asus Router is at most 3 years old. The security camera's cant be viewed or accessed without access to the DVR. I didnt think about the app for mobile devices to be able to view the camera's remotely. Ill have to look and make sure that is secured.

    As for repeaters, I've spoke with the owners about running Cat6 to the repeaters and changing them for access points but they didnt want to bury the cable that far. It would be passing a lot of roads and packed gravel that no one wanted to deal with, despite my suggestions. So im stuck with the repeaters.

    Thiggins, thanks for the suggestion. Ill try eliminating some things off the network and see whats eating the bandwidth.
    Is a smart switch the only way to monitor whats being used? If so, what would you recommend to use?
     
  5. MichaelCG

    MichaelCG Very Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2017
    Messages:
    631
    Location:
    Central US
    What ASUS router are you using?

    Here is the order I would start testing with:

    1.) Use a PC that is hard wired into the ASUS and do a couple of speedtests after a fresh reboot of the network

    2.) When the network is slow as dirt, repeat same test from same hard wired PC

    3.) When the network is slow as dirt, start removing various systems one by one until network performance returns.

    My "guess" here is like someone else already called out....your user base and/or security cameras are burying your connection/capacity.

    If removing all of the other connections doesn't return performance to normal, it is upstream as in the Asus router, the modem, or the ISP connection itself.
     
  6. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Messages:
    14,237
    It's the easiest. A few that will do the job are NETGEAR GS108T, TP-Link SG-108E.

    BTW, your repeaters are N300 class, which are probably providing 20 Mbps throughput max. Wouldn't take too many users streaming Netflix to exhaust Wi-Fi bandwidth. I would consider moving up to AC1200 at least.

    The problem with repeaters is they all must operate on the same channel as the base AP they repeat. This means bandwidth can't be increased by using multiple channels, which you could do if you have hardwired APs.
     
  7. David H

    David H New Around Here

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    Jan 29, 2017
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    I have an Asus AC66R as the main Router / AP. I have one computer hard wired and already had problems with the WiFi for our customers. Like suggested, I ran a speedtest through testmy.net and was running at 98 mbps hard wired. On a fresh reboot of the entire system, I was at 114 mbps avg through multiple tests.

    Im beginning to think that my Hawking Tech equipment is a piece of junk and what is causing the problems.

    The reason we went with Hawking for our equipment was for what we were looking for (outdoor equipment, all weather) for a relatively inexpensive price. I'm pretty new to outdoor solutions, is there something that you guys can recommend for what we are looking for? Has to be outdoor and handle up to 250 devices. The owners have retired so I may be able to push for a hardwired solution to additional access points rather than setting up multiple repeaters.
     
  8. Krusher

    Krusher New Around Here

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    Jan 30, 2017
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    Ah cool, a few things I didn't think of too. :)

    I've not had good luck with WiFi routers lasting very long I guess. I'm going to upgrade myself but am waiting for Nbase-T unless it quits tomorrow.

    I like Tim's idea with the smart switch either way so you can see where the most use is coming from and fix that bottleneck first. If it turns out nothing is using heavy bandwidth, then I'd look at the router.
     
  9. KenZ71

    KenZ71 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2014
    Messages:
    223
    If you plan to offer wifi to your RV clients might be easiest to outsource the entire operation to a vendor.

    Said vendor could manage the network for you in exchange for charging a nominal fee to users.

    Also, by outsourcing that vendor would take on the liability for naughty peeps doing bad stuff inside the park and outside via your network.
     
  10. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
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    14,332
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    You're probably at a point to reaching out to a specialist in the area is a very good idea... getting input from a web forum is not the best plan of action if one is running a business.

    These are all solvable problems - and one isn't going to do with consumer gear and get the level of performance and stability for your guests (and the back office network). It's not just the equipment - but knowing where to put things and what resources are needed to meet your customer's needs and what level of service you're willing to provide to them.

    And that's why you need a wireless expert on site - to get a feel for the footprint and coverage/performance levels of service.

    It's going to cost - that's a capital expense and investment - so work the accounting over time...
     
  11. David H

    David H New Around Here

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    I appreciate y'alls advice. I have narrowed it down to the AP from Hawking to be the problem. I actually only have one person streaming in the park but that's not effecting the bandwidth too bad to the point that we are having the issues we have.

    We have reached out in the past to have someone come in and install a business solution for us but the quote that he gave was far outside our price range. We are a very small family business and didn't have the money to spend on a solution like that.

    Again, appreciate all of your advice and help, you've pointed me in the right direction.
     
  12. mlg321

    mlg321 Regular Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2012
    Messages:
    66
    Wireless uplinks are never ideal. You could look into point to point solutions or Ubiquiti Mesh as an alternative. Start at $99.
     
  13. Samir

    Samir Very Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    Messages:
    785
    Location:
    HSV
    I've dealt with hotel systems, so aside from outdoor APs, we're basically in the same boat. :)

    Firstly, when things get super slow, disconnect all LAN cables from the Asus, plug in a system and do a speed test. If the Asus is slow, then everything would be slow. And if the Asus is slow, it's done a good job for a couple of years and may need replacement, and that's it.

    If it's more involved than that, you'll need to start taking things that have more variables offline for testing--like the fibre link and the repeaters.

    Also, look at what wires you have available to you, especially phone and coax. It's amazing what type of speeds you can get over these wires with the right equipment.

    I know about being on a budget. We spent 30k on our fire wireless system at one of our hotels. That was a huge investment and there were still 3 complaints a day from it since it was using wireless repeaters to connect 4 buildings. After the original contractor died, there was zero support and we were on our own. Luckily, this was when 802.11g just came out and 10Mbps Internet was fast, so some Meraki Outdoor APs built a nice stable mesh. Then we added some netsys direct boxes to run ethernet over 30 year old, water soaked, category-nothing telephone wire for solid 10Mbps links between all the buildings and to be a backhaul for the Meraki APs. System ran so smooth that I forgot about it except for the once a year guy that wanted to play xbox. Cloud management allowed me to give him a dhcp reservation and off he went to play. It was a beautifully powerful and easy to manage system (and cheap too) until 802.11n and 802.11ac came along. The Meraki Outdoors topped out at 11Mbps to the backhaul so there went that. I actually still have all the equipment as the mesh was second to none, even by today's standards. Absolutely seamless roaming from one AP to another, maybe one packet dropped at the max...