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      08-04-2015, 03:29 PM   #1
P1et
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Networking / Wi-Fi question...

I have a relatively small home, but a quarter of an acre of land with a detached garage. I would like to ensure that I have proper coverage, no matter whether I'm working inside or outside.

I current have an Airport Extreme 6th Gen in my office, and one in my detached garage. Works well.

I also have a 4th Generation Airport Extreme, and an Airport Express laying around. Would it help if I hooked them all up in order to extend my coverage? Or would this only "confuse" the entire Wi-Fi network?
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      08-05-2015, 02:52 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P1et View Post
I have a relatively small home, but a quarter of an acre of land with a detached garage. I would like to ensure that I have proper coverage, no matter whether I'm working inside or outside.

I current have an Airport Extreme 6th Gen in my office, and one in my detached garage. Works well.

I also have a 4th Generation Airport Extreme, and an Airport Express laying around. Would it help if I hooked them all up in order to extend my coverage? Or would this only "confuse" the entire Wi-Fi network?
Depends how you plan on setting it up.

Back in my old place, our wireless coverage wasn't that great and we also had the entire house wired CAT6. So I bought two of the routers and made one connected to the modem as the main router and had the other one act as an access point. The access point plugged into the wall and wired back to the main router, ensuring a full and strong connection.

You can also set it up as en extender, which is when a router will find a specific Wi-Fi signal and extend the range. I don't like this method as much because I found it not to be as reliable in my scenario.
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      08-05-2015, 05:51 AM   #3
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Run cat5/6/7 whatever takes your fancy to the places you want signal then put in a bunch of these: https://www.ubnt.com/unifi/unifi-ap/ then you get proper handover while walking around and should be a load more reliable too.
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      08-05-2015, 11:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halsifer View Post
Depends how you plan on setting it up.

Back in my old place, our wireless coverage wasn't that great and we also had the entire house wired CAT6. So I bought two of the routers and made one connected to the modem as the main router and had the other one act as an access point. The access point plugged into the wall and wired back to the main router, ensuring a full and strong connection.

You can also set it up as en extender, which is when a router will find a specific Wi-Fi signal and extend the range. I don't like this method as much because I found it not to be as reliable in my scenario.
Thanks for the response. Your first scenario is indeed the best option, but my house unfortunately isn't wired. I only have one place (in the living room) where I can do that. Probably might be best to at least try that.

I am using the extender scenario to get Wi-Fi in my garage, and when using two of the 6th gen Airport Extremes, it actually works very well.
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      08-05-2015, 11:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daftasabrush View Post
Run cat5/6/7 whatever takes your fancy to the places you want signal then put in a bunch of these: https://www.ubnt.com/unifi/unifi-ap/ then you get proper handover while walking around and should be a load more reliable too.
I think you've just hit on my dilemma. When I have too many Airport Extremes/Expresses set up around the house, will it confuse all my peripheral that access the internet in which router they should connect to? Or is everything just "signal" and it doesn't care where it gets it from?
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      08-16-2015, 06:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P1et View Post
I think you've just hit on my dilemma. When I have too many Airport Extremes/Expresses set up around the house, will it confuse all my peripheral that access the internet in which router they should connect to? Or is everything just "signal" and it doesn't care where it gets it from?
Yeah, it'll probably be a bit shite, no controlled handover and they wouldn't co-ordinate their operation. 3 unifis will cover a pretty large area and if you bring them closer to each other, they reduce their output. I could probably get away with two of them in my house, but with three of them, I've guaranteed coverage in all of the house and they're all running at a low enough power so it doesn't stray too far beyond the house.
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      08-17-2015, 03:10 AM   #7
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I agree with Daftasabrush. Using SOHO routers as APs is only a bandaid measure and won't provide proper wireless performance. The suggestion by Daftasabrush to look into something like Ubiquiti is spot on. Other products out there are Meraki, Meru, Ruckus, Aerohive, and Aruba Networks.

Here's more detail as to why using multiple SOHO routers isn't a good idea. First each of these SOHO routers will not work as a single wireless network. There is no intelligence between them. So to properly set a system like this up, you have to configure all of them to have the same SSID but each of them needs to be on a different channel. So for instance, 2.4 GHz has 3 non overlapping channels (1, 6, and 11). These are the preferential channels as 1 will not overlap into 6 and so on. As eluded to by Daft, if you have a client connected to on SOHO router on channel 1 and then roam to an area covered by the other router on channel 6, the algorithm in the client's wireless adapter most probably will maintain "stickiness" to the first router even though the signal on the second router is stronger. Roaming in these setups is dubious at best. Also as stated by Daft, these routers will also transmit at their normal power output. If this so happens to stomp over the adjacent router you set up...oh well. So this will also add to the confusion of which AP to associate with by the wireless client. Another feature which is missing with SOHO wireless products is the ability to monitor the RF space around it and then being able to auto select an operating channel continuously to avoid interference.

P1et, to your question about range/wireless extenders....DON'T. Most equipment out there is just pure junk. They operate on the same wireless frequency as the ones your wireless clients are using. The better systems are business class devices which typically use 5 GHz as the data back haul between wireless APs and then dedicate 2.4 solely for wireless clients. One thing you have to remember, wireless is a half duplex technology. This means only one wireless device can talk on the air space at any given time...this means wireless clients and APs. When you use extenders, the extenders have to transmit the data back to the main network. If the extender happens to use the same frequency as the wireless clients, that means everything has to wait till the extender finishes playing "telephone". Also for every hop introduced on the wireless communication path, the extender counts as one hop, you divide any wireless speed achieved in half. No imagine how fast contention can build up when you have multiple wireless clients connected to this extender.

I've been playing around with wireless technologies for a couple of years now as part of my job. I have a bunch of wireless networks running in my home. I have products from Aruba Networks/Dell PowerConnect W (both controller and controller less), SonicWall, and Aerohive. In addition to the heat glow and power vacuum I create, I have tons of RF radiation emminating from my house to probably cause an FCC investigation.
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