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Sponsored: Wi-Fi Mesh System Secrets

Discussion in 'Wireless Article Discussions' started by thiggins, Feb 15, 2018.

  1. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    sm00thpapa likes this.
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  3. Razor512

    Razor512 Senior Member

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    With the backhaul being so important, why aren't these device makers pushing more for users to use wired backhauls wherever possible? Even if they can't have every single unit wired, wouldn't it be at least better to have even 1 of the hops take place over a wired backhaul?
     
  4. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    Because if people had Ethernet where they needed it they wouldn't need mesh WiFi invthr first place.
     
  5. dfarning

    dfarning Occasional Visitor

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    Looking forward, 802.11ax will have up t0 8 spacial streams. Due to power, heat, and space constraints it is unlikely that many client devices will use more than 2 or 3 streams in the near future. In theory, that will allow AP's (and mesh points) to have 5 or 6 streams for backhaul.

    I am not holding my breath for usable products at a reasonable price point.... but it seems to be one way the industry is looking.
     
  6. Stephen Jenkins

    Stephen Jenkins New Around Here

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    I get the concept of mesh networking and its a great idea. PowerLine adaptors with access points are brilliant solutions to filling wifi blackspots or provide a mesh set-up. I've used this approach for a few years.

    I feel making people aware of this option is lacking and the push for mesh networking systems appears forced because its 'new'. Powerline with access point is a cheap solution to bolt onto any existing wifi router solution without having to go for a full new mesh system.

    As per SNB previous article roaming is decided by the client unless the mesh system has clever tech to force roaming between stations.
     
  7. Razor512

    Razor512 Senior Member

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    Does 802.11ax add anything to improve roaming?
    While people have been using many APs for a long time, I never see much of a focus on roaming.

    Beyond that, for mesh systems, I wonder if they can support a hybrid solution, for example, suppose you can't run an Ethernet cable between the main router and the first AP, but you are able to run an Ethernet cable between the second and 3rd AP, could they support such a setup to avoid some of the throughput loss that results from being on the 3rd hop of the mesh? It doesn't have to be something that is mandated for the user, but instead, just another of a multitude of options in order to optimize the mesh network.
     
  8. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    No.

    Wi-Fi was fundamentally designed to have STAs in charge of roam decisions. Band-aids like 802.11k,v,r can be applied. But unless the industry wants to break backward compatibility, it can't make the fundamental architecture change that would be required.
     
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  9. dfarning

    dfarning Occasional Visitor

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    Roaming is a very big deal in the enterprise. A general rule of thumb seems to be to be able to handle people walking a ~ 1km/h and not getting perceivable drop offs on voip calls. Most enterprise level systems use several strategies to improve roaming. There is also some fascinating work done in the area of "Wi-Fi" location. Every 40ms (or 25) the AP send out a beacon. If the client has multiple radio chains, they can triangulate their location and send it back to the AP. Stadium vendors like it because it enables spectators to connect the concession stands nearest to them.

    The downside of these systems is that they are expensive and require consistent use of a particular vendors products.

    In the home, where most users only had a single AP roaming was not much of an issue. However, as wireless use increases in the home (driven by network geeks like those who follow SNB) that is starting to change. It will be interesting to see how the various Wi-Fi systems deal with roaming in the home.

    From a purely speculative point of view, my guess is that the term "mesh" is here to stay. It is a bit like "the cloud." Over time, the term mesh will grow to include any system of of wireless connectivity which just works well as a system. Users will be able to pick a back haul method which best suits their environment and needs.

    Over the next couple of years, things are going to get messy as each vendor independently races to develop their own system and toss it into the market to see if it takes hold. In the short term is might seem like the 802.11n debacle all over again.
     
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  10. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    Exactly...

    What's interesting to note - and having done a lot of research back in the day, is most of the "mesh" solutions stop at most with 2-hops...

    There's valid reasons for this in the 802.11 basic PHY/MAC design thru 11ac...

    11ax might help here with changes in the MAC itself...
     
  11. TheDayTheRoutersDied

    TheDayTheRoutersDied New Around Here

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    Will be interested to see what impact the upcoming Multi-AP certification program from the Wi-Fi Alliance may have on "mesh" interop. I know Service Providers are leaning on vendors to come into alignment as none of them wish to remain locked into a single-vendor, proprietary solution.
     
  12. InspectHerGadget

    InspectHerGadget Occasional Visitor

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    I do general IT work for homes and small businesses. I steer right away from this stuff as it is a can of worms and potentially a waste of time. I do use Ethernet over power sometimes although that can be hit and miss too. Range extenders seem to be of marginal use. It may be I should revisit this as the technology is improving.

    I had a customer ask me about Ubiquiti UniFi setup last week. I see that there is Netgear Orbi. All the good gear I trust to work like Orbi is very expensive. Lots of cheap extenders from TP-Link.

    Any suggestions from you guys for 2 or 3 story brick and tile homes with concrete pads for floors? These are the problem places. I suggest people build in Ethernet points when building.

    Most people need only one or at most two extenders. They just seem like unreliable crap to me but I want to keep an open mind.
     
  13. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    If you can't run Ethernet to each floor, try latest generation powerline (AV2 MIMO).

    Your best shot using wireless is to use extenders or mesh systems with four-stream backhaul. For mesh, that means the Original Orbi, or maybe the Zyxel Multy X. Four streams will give you additional link gain, which you'll need to punch through the concrete floors.

    If you want to try an extender, make sure the base router is four stream and use a four-stream extender (NETGEAR EX8000 or Linksys RE9000)
     
  14. pege63

    pege63 Very Senior Member

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    I see a lot of quad cores EXT/RE/AP but no Routers at the moment!
     
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