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Wireless routers, Extenders or access points as access points

Discussion in 'General Wireless Discussion' started by DarthMarcaroni, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. DarthMarcaroni

    DarthMarcaroni New Around Here

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    I'm looking to setup a wireless network and one router isn't going to cut it. The place is wired up so I don't need to/ intend to rely on mesh technology. My intention is to have a main router connected to 5-6 access points via cat 6 cable that is run through the area (which I believe is the better option vs mesh based on the research I've done so far.- if however I am wrong in this regard, would appreciate hearing your views).

    My main question is does it matter performance wise whether I buy:
    1) access points to be access points

    2) routers to be access points and put them in access point mode

    3) wireless extenders to be access points (in access point mode, not as extenders)- I know with routers I get the benefits of more LAN ports/ USB ports to plug in storage (not sure/ don't think USB storage would work though when daisy chained like this?) and extenders seem to be more compact

    4) does it matter whether the "access points" (regardless if they are routers, extenders or "true"access points have a different transmission speed AC1900/2200/5300). I'm guessing it does since the higher ends would theoretically give me better wireless transmission speeds.

    Other questions/ considerations
    5) how important is it that I have a "higher" end main router? Reason I am asking is the main router will be in an area where wireless coverage is not so important so I'm wondering if I can save some money here and use a cheaper router (in my mind no point sticking an AC5300 in a place nobody will use it). There will still be about 10 -20 wired devices connected through switches to the router.

    6) taking questions 4 and 5. If say I had a cheap N router or lower spec AC router as my main router but I have my access points speced at say AC5300, am I "wasting" the access points (will the cheaper main router bottleneck things for me).

    7) if I setup MAC filtering on the main router does this go through to the access points or does this have to be configured at the access points as well?

    I'm trying to weigh the cost vs benefits. I'm not sure why but the access points I've seen tend to be the most expensive option (also for seemingly slower transmission speeds) vs routers/ extenders.
     
  2. degrub

    degrub Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2015
    Messages:
    275
    some other questions to ask yourself -
    What is your budget ?
    Is this for a business/school/etc or for home ?
    Is the application for local lan services or for the internet or combination biased towards ?
    What is the bandwidth of the ISP service ?
    how many simultaneous devices and what bandwidth do they require for the application ?
    what is the newest wireless standard that the existing devices meet - Nxx , ACxx ?
    The wireless network will only work as fast as the slowest interface between the AP and device (ignoring signal strength).
    Wired will always beat wireless if you need reliable high bandwidth.

    That being answered, Wireless AC 2x2 is the lowest i would install now unless you have 3x3 devices and can use it.
     
  3. DarthMarcaroni

    DarthMarcaroni New Around Here

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    Aug 12, 2017
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    1) I could spend if I wanted to. Just don't want to spend unnecessarily

    2) home

    3) internet as well as for local lan services (primarily internet I would say).

    4) ISP claims 1gbps

    5) no more than 10 at a time. Could be 2-3 video, 1-2 gamers the rest surfing

    6) building from scratch. Assume baseline AC

    You say "AC2x2 is the lowest you would install unless I have 3x3 devices that can use it" Would it matter performance wise if my main router was a 2x2 and I used a 3x3 as an access point (as mentioned in my original post, the main router is not expected to have high wireless requirements as it is in a seldom accessed area)

     
  4. netwrks

    netwrks Senior Member

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    Location:
    Canada
  5. DarthMarcaroni

    DarthMarcaroni New Around Here

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    Thanks. Have considered them but I'm not in the US or a country that officially distributes or supports them.
     
  6. tannebil

    tannebil Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Messages:
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    Don’t assume that mesh means wireless connections. Most mesh products can use wired connections instead which eliminate lots of performance and placement issues. The advantage that the mesh products bring to a wired environment is that the wireless network is managed as a single network, the access points can cooperate in ways that standard consumer acesss points cannot, and the manufacturer can integrate additional services on top of it (guest networks, enhanced security, limiting use of devices to specific times)

    If you need a highly configurable WiFi network, Ubiquiti brings a lot to the table as do other pro/prosumer products from companies like Cisco and Ruckus.

    AFAIK, 2x2 vs 3x3 is only an issue for the device and the access point it’s using at that time. But there’s all kinds of weird stuff in WiFi so I wouldn’t be surprised to hear there are some subtle issues that can effect performance in some situations. Those same types of issues may argue for using the same model access point everywhere.

    Which options are available in your location?
     
  7. DarthMarcaroni

    DarthMarcaroni New Around Here

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    Well, the brands available in my area would be the likes of Linksys, Asus, Netgear, D-Link and TP Link. I'm intending to stick with either Asus or Linksys.
     
  8. tannebil

    tannebil Occasional Visitor

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    Linksys Velop, ASUS Lyra, Netgear Orbi, D-Link Cover, and TP-Link Deco are all “mesh” products and they all do wired backhaul (except for the Netgear Orbi where it is promised in a future firmware update). They are hideously complicated and difficult to evaluate but much of the complication goes away if you are using them with wired backhaul where so you can focus on features and root (no hops) performance.. Also, you are going to want to deploy your APs so that your clients are using 5GHz connections almost all the time so I wouldn’t spend much time looking at 2.4Ghz band performance.

    Of course, just because D-Link (for example) is available in your location, that doesn’t mean that all D-Link products are available so you may find that none of these manufacturr’s mesh products are actually available to you.

    I think mesh is the way to go but you can just buy the regular wireless routers and configure them as access points with the same SSID. You lose “over the top” features that integrate the access points (for example, which access points are being used with which devices reporting), each AP has to be configured and managed separately, a guest netork is problematic, and you may (or may not) experience worse routing (handoff between access points) performance because roaming is not a priority feature for products that manufacturers expect to be the only wireless access point in a home. But it works and is usually cheaper to purchase as long as you stay away from the flagship models.

    I personally would use mesh if there is a mesh products available, but different people make different choices and it’s possible to succeed or fail with all these products.
     
  9. pege63

    pege63 Very Senior Member

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    Try to find TP-Link EAP245 Accesspunkt that would do it.
     
  10. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    When you move from one central router to a system of multiple APs, the range performance of APs matters less. In fact, you may not want APs with high transmit power because they will overlap too much and cause roaming problems.

    There is no need for a tri-radio router at the core. You could even go with a wired-only router.

    No reason to use an N router at this point unless for cost or if you already have it.

    MAC address filtering must be applied at each AP to block devices from joining the network.

    More streams, i.e. 2x2 -> 3x3 will improve receive gain, which helps increase range. But as noted above, you may not want that. So 2x2 AC should be fine.
     
    Klueless likes this.

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