Outdoor Wireless Bridging

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MichaelCG

Very Senior Member
A family friend has asked for help on connecting their office Internet connection to their house. This is basically a modern barn that is about 150' from the house with clear line of sight. I haven't had to deal with bridging more than through two floors at my house, so looking for some feedback from some who have actual real world experience with any of this.

Distance: ~150' clear line of sight
Location: Rural farm, Central US
Speeds: Internet speeds are <50Mbps, this is for casual browsing/streaming out of the house

Option A - UniFi
- Use a pair of UAP-AC-M as a bridge
- Include other UniFi switches and APs to provide services

Option B - AirMax/EdgeMax
- Use a pair of LiteAP-AC or Nanostations as a bridge
- EdgeMax Switches
- airCube for APs

Option C - AirMax/EdgeMax
- Use a pair of LiteAP-AC or Nanostations as a bridge
- EdgeMax Switches
- UniFi for APs

Option D - Mikrotik
- Use a pair of ??? as a bridge
- UniFi for APs

To note, I already run UniFi gear at my house, so fairly familiar with that equipment and management with a UniFi controller. I'm really hoping that Option A will work out to greatly simplify the learning curve and management of the system. I already have a UAP-AC-M at my house that I can use as part of a PoC.

Thoughts?
 

Trip

Very Senior Member
You probably want directional, point-to-point gear, as opposed to omni, wide-area wifi like UniFi Mesh. At 150 feet, a pair of UAP-AC-M's may work, but you're spreading so much extra broadcast around -- forgoing a stronger, narrower-beam link -- that I wouldn't think it would the optimal solution.

For the bridge, I would go NanoStation or NanoBeam. 2.4 Ghz should get you 50Mb, but you may need to go to 5Ghz, depending on the environment.

For switching, if you do UniFi for APs, then UniFi switches are nice for the single pane of glass. If you want to power the PTP radios from switches instead of injectors, you'd need to pick specific UniFi switches that support 24V passive PoE -- namely the US-8-150W or US-16-150W. For the passive PoE role specifically, EdgeSwitch does have more universal support.

For APs, regular UniFi is tough to beat, especially since you're already thinking Ubiquiti for the other pieces of the puzzle.
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
I would run copper if I was cheap or fiber if I wanted to do it once and needed it for many years of service.
 

MichaelCG

Very Senior Member
You probably want directional, point-to-point gear, as opposed to omni, wide-area wifi like UniFi Mesh. At 150 feet, a pair of UAP-AC-M's may work, but you're spreading so much extra broadcast around -- forgoing a stronger, narrower-beam link -- that I wouldn't think it would the optimal solution.
I had a feeling 150' may be pushing the Omni antenna of the AC-M a bit much. I could get a different antenna that is directional...but that would double the cost of the UniFi gear compared to the AirMax gear.

For the bridge, I would go NanoStation or NanoBeam. 2.4 Ghz should get you 50Mb, but you may need to go to 5Ghz, depending on the environment.
I has been planning on 5GHz just for future growth, although 2.4GHz may be easier...there isn't any interference out here...their closest neighbor is over 2 miles away so we probably could use 2.4GHz just fine.

For the Nanobeams/Litebeams....does the AirMax gear behave the same as the UniFi gear in that a controller is not required? I do not have the VM capacity at my house to run UNMS along with the UniFi controller.

I would run copper if I was cheap or fiber if I wanted to do it once and needed it for many years of service.
As much as I agree with you from a long term performance and stability perspective, they have made it clear they aren't digging....and I sure as heck am not digging either. They can get WiFi in the sunroom of the house (closest to the barn), but nothing inside the rest of the house. They just want to be able to watch Netflix in the bedrooms.

I just picked up a 2nd UAP-AC-M to test with at my house. I already have one UAP-AC-M in my garage that services my garage door opener. So I can take this 2nd unit across the street to the neighbor's house to see how well the bridging works at that distance. I do not have any expectation that this will be the greatest at 150'...just need to see if it is at least stable.
 

VisionxOrb

Occasional Visitor
I'm using 2 engenius ens500-ac to do a 170ft bridge to my neighbors, running a dfs 80mhz channel I get 60-70 MB solid across it.
 

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