Just a bit more wifi needed (Original question by Shadowbane)

@Shadowbane comment on THIS post:

@ChrisA, could you go into more detail as to why you didn’t like mesh systems. It sounds like a mesh system would be perfect for my use case. I should go into more detail about my use case. My wife has quit smoking. Now, she is kicking me outside every time I light a cigar. The problem is the Internet coverage outside. We don’t have any 5g coverage where we live, so I am stuck with the cheap AP provided by our internet provider, and my tablet keeps dropping from the AP every time I try and use it outside. I thought of putting an Unifi Ap under the porch roof, but since I would have to use a wire to connect it to our router, that idea is out. My wife wouldn’t prove the exposed wire on the kitchen ceiling, the hole in the kitchen wall so I could reach the dining room where all our network equipment is kept. Does anyone have any ideas?

Hi Shadowbane,

I didn’t like the performance loss with the mesh setup - there’s already potential for loss due to building structure so I didn’t want to compound that. Also, as my day job is construction, it’s a thoughtless task to punch through walls/floors.

If you don’t have permission from her in doors to have wires, I guess the mesh solution is ideal. The down side for you is that you have to buy two new AP’s - one that cable connects to your router (router wifi then disabled), then the outside one that connects via mesh/wirelessly. Do note that Unifi aren’t the only players and TP Link / Mikrotik make competitive gear too.

Do you have a single or two storey house by the way?

A wired way (if you can hide it externally) if by going from the Dining room to outside (punch through the external wall), then loop around the outside of the building with a PoE cable (at high or low level) to where you’d need the outside AP?

This is a good video about speed comparisons, it might not make a difference in your use case.

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I figured there would be a lot of performance loss due to the building structure and the surrounding house’s WiFi. When we purchased it, two other dwellings surrounded our property within one hundred feet; now, there are fifteen. I forgot to mention in the other post what I think is happening with WiFi outside; I notice when most people are not home, and I am sitting inside my car (smoking and watching a movie). My tablet rarely drops from the WiFi, but as soon as it’s apparent people are home, I get a lot of drops. I forgot to mention I always park my car as close to the front porch as I can, so I am never more than 30 feet from my indoor WiFi router—also, thanks for creating this sub-post. I have a feeling other people will be interested in how this problem is solved. I have to go now got other projects that need doing.

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This depends entirely on the system. Previous mesh systems were typically capped at (at best) 50% the speed of the main/master AP because they could only communicate with the master or connected clients - not both at the same time. Some systems today (I believe the ones advertised as “tri-band”) establish a connection to the master on a separate 5 GHz channel than the one it broadcasts to connected devices, enabling it to have (theoretically) wired-equivalent performance with only a minor latency increase.

This might not be as detrimental as you think. If you have a good AP, you could probably coat the entire house and enough of the driveway with just one. In Linus’ most recent video on Ruckus equipment, he used one Ruckus R750 for his 6000+ sq ft home (with concrete floors) and had full coverage even out in the yard. Of course, the R750 is expensive, but if you watch ebay for their cheaper products (R610, etc), you can find some incredible deals on enterprise surplus, especially during November/December (when companies usually upgrade their equipment and sell off the old stuff).

Some access points deal with congestion better than others. Case in point: I only need one Ruckus R610 in my apartment, where everyone and their dog seems to have their own ISP-provided router/AP combo and a mesh system. Previously, I had 2 Ubiquiti UAP-AC-Lites, but one R610 covers the entire place with faster speeds because it is much better at handling heavily congested frequencies. And my place isn’t that big, either (<1k sq ft), it’s just that I have a lot of neighbors who don’t realize they should disable the AP on the ISP-provided router/AP combo if they want to use their own mesh/whatever system.

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@Flaming_Globe Thanks for your opinion. There is some relevant information I forgot to include in my post. The house was built in 1928 by the previous owner’s grandfather. So when you do a project like this, you have to find creative solutions to problems. The home hasn’t been remodeled since the 1940s. The house didn’t have indoor plumbing and electricity until 1940.

It is a two-story home with a root cellar instead of a basement.

Well, in fairness, you may not need too much speed, it might be alright really.

That’s a shame about the housing density increasing, I guess that’s a benefit to Unifi as it adjusts the frequency based on existing local wifis (needs confirming).

You’re very welcome for creating the post :+1:

Ah, I only wondered because it could have been easy to route cable with a single storey. Over here we call roof cellars, “lofts”, “attics” or plain old “roof voids”.

If that’s the case though, cable routing is less straight forward for sure. If you had a suspended floor and a small void under the ground floor, a cable could be dropped through there. If you have a solid floor / floor slab, that’s not an economical method and requires way too much disruption.

Even a 50% loss for back haul might not be that bad, as it is likely Still more than the main internet connection.

I would suggest @Shadowbane ise something like wifi analyser to check their channel is separated from other houses.

Also check the radio is on the 2.4ghz band, as that would allow best penetration?

If getting another device for bridge/extension of existing net, then penetration less important, and then 5ghz better?

(Just a couple of thoughts that can be dispelled/disregarded)

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That’s what I was thinking - if incoming house speed is 10Mb, having a 20Mb connection is then more than enough (unless there were LAN resources, Media Server, etc.)

Root cellar, not roof cellar. Cables can likely be routed through it just fine.

5 GHz is used as a backhaul a lot more often than 2.4 because 2.4 is so much more crowded. 2.4 GHz has a grand total of three non-overlapping 20 MHz (and one 40 MHz) channels in the US:

2.4 ghz channels

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Channel 14 is available in some regions as a fourth non-overlapping 20 MHz channel, but that’s as good as it gets on 2.4. By comparison, this is the 5 GHz channel division:

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As you can see, 5 GHz has more non-overlapping channels, which makes it much easier to handle congestion. While it has less range than 2.4 due to 5 having decreased penetration through obstacles, (in my experience) in areas with competition for airtime, 5 GHz broadcasts farther due to APs having more channels to choose from.

This is why Ubiquiti, Mikrotik, etc. have far more 5 GHz wireless point-to-point systems in their portfolios than 2.4 (in addition to 5 GHz having far higher max speeds).

You might notice that wifi 6 has 160 MHz channels. Those are flaky - it depends on having little airtime competition, and the areas inside the DFS arrow share space with radar (e.g. weather stations, airports), so whenever radar activity is detected, your APs have to scale down to 80 MHz and might switch channels.

Wifi 6E, by comparison, operates on 6 GHz:

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Even though 6 GHz will have worse penetration abilities than 5 and 2.4, the extra channels will likely make it have the best range in congested environments (and 6 GHz is exclusively wifi in the US - 2.4 and 5 GHz are both ISM bands, which means that there are plenty of non-wifi things using them and adding their own interference).

In the future, I expect that 6 GHz will overtake 5 GHz’s dominance in PTP & mesh backhaul, but for now, 6E equipment is still expensive, unpolished, and not worth the price for most since wifi 6 equipment can more than handle the average (US) residential internet connection.

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Ah, I thought it was a typo. Root cellar is most certainly an American term, for sure. Useful to know if I ever I move to the US :+1:

The remainder of your post was very interesting by the way, I had little knowledge of 6 GHz.

Still worth giving wifi-analyser a go, in case on Chanel is clear of neighbours, I reckon.

But I guess it just shows hosts, not the growing miasma of iot devices screaming into the void

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WifiMann is pretty good, I found recently. It’s made by Ubiquiti so no adverts, which makes a nice change :slight_smile:

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Try this video from Linus’ other channel, Short Circuit, on for size.

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Would you know if there is an android version of WifiMann? The current Wifi analyzer I am using has a lot of ads.

@Pauld42, thanks for sharing Linu’s video on the TP-Link Deco; it was a fascinating video. Unforchantly I won’t be using that product. The Wifi inside the house is perfect; it is the outside that is the problem.

@Trooper_ish I have used a Wifi Analyzer, and unfortunately, the 2.4ghz band is very crowded; there isn’t a single channel free on that band. Also, the 5ghz channel doesn’t extend to the outside. I know my tablet is using the 2.4ghz channel because the coverage of the 5ghz band ends in the kitchen.

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@Flaming_Globe Nice idea about running the cabling through the root cellar; unfortunately, the root cellar goes only under the kitchen and living room, not the dining room. There is a crawlspace inside the root cellar that will give access to the dining room, but I am too fat to crawl into it, and my wife sure isn’t.

It does indeed, I’ve been running it on an android :slight_smile:

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So place it closest to the wall inside where you go outside to smoke?

That would work, except in my case, there is a fine wire mesh that helps to hold the kitchen’s plaster walls together. Also, the siding on the house is steel, not plastic. So 5ghz band won’t penetrate all that mettle, and there is too much interference from the surrounding homes’ Internet of things for the 2.4ghz band to work reliably. I have decided the best option would be to attach a device under the porch’s roof and somehow attach that Access Point to my router in the dining room. The only question now is will it connect wirelessly (mesh system) or hook an ethernet cable to both the router and the AP. I have included a picture of where I want the attach the access point.