Recomendation for Wireless Access Point for Metal Building with two areas/sections

We have a large Pole Barn 54’ wide and 84’ long and 16’ tall. It’s split into two separate areas or sections with a common metal clad studded wall.

We need each area/section to have a good WIFI Access Point for signal strength, but both routers to share Access point names/passwords for seamless movement between the two areas.

Each area/section has wired shared Ethernet connectivity.

What would you recommend and not brake the bank?


Some affordable options to consider include:

  • Google Nest Wifi: This is a mesh system that provides fast and reliable internet coverage and is easy to set up.
  • TP-Link Deco Mesh WiFi System: This is another affordable option that provides good coverage and is easy to manage through a mobile app.
  • AmpliFi HD WiFi System: This system provides good coverage and has a user-friendly app for setup and management.

It’s important to note that the actual performance of these systems may depend on the specific conditions of your building and the number of devices connected to the network.

Access point in each area? e.g. one unifi u6-pro in each section?

ChristianMorris, Thanks, Good options, but the “quoted” range may be an issue, and the larger area is 54*48, so a ceiling mounted unit will need to be rated to cover a rated 4,400 sq.ft.

Risk, Yes looking to ceiling mount a unit in each area and connect them together thru the Cat 6 Network cabling.

PS I like the Access Point U6 Enterprise, good future proofing, but a little more expensive than I liked. Not sure if it supports a Mesh Network.

You don’t need to care about “mesh” (as marketing people call it), since you have a wired LAN as a “backhaul” whatever you get will just have to be able to work in “access point mode”. You’re unlikely to use wireless mesh or wireless “uplink”.

U6 Enterprise AP supports WiFi 6E , which some fancy high end devices can take advantage of, and it means that you’d get around 1.5Gbps of throughput in some cases instead of topping out at 700-800.

It’s strictly technically a higher end device, but a bit of a waste of money unless you know what you need it for - unless you need it for a specific purpose.

Most devices people carry with them aren’t going to be able to take advantage of it, or people won’t care (e.g. phones downloading stuff at 160MB/s as opposed to 80MB/s … outside of an occasional Genshin update generally nobody cares; laptops will do their thing and chug along in the background at trickle rate speeds).

What’s your use case? How many clients will you have and what do you expect them to do?

Depending on your answer it might be interesting to look into perhaps two APs per each area if you’re turning the barn into an office/working space, or into a conference venue and expect to have e.g. 200-300 devices connected from each section simultaneously.

Risk, Thanks, they only reason I was looking at the Mesh was my understanding that they can handle the same SSID/PW hand off between access points better, but if that’s not the case, simple two good long range coverage units should work.

We only have 1GB Fiber to the facility, so yea the Pro is overkill, was only considering it to address the better/newer Wifi6 connection.

As for the number of clients, likely only a half dozen at a time in one area, and a mix of phone and tablets, as the PC’s are hard wired to the network.

We appreciate any recommendations and Thank you for the insights.

The Grandstream GWN7660 costs ~60% of an Ubiquiti with same specs.
It runs as a controller and can manage 50 other Grandstream devices or you can do cloud management. They don’t come with PoE injectors but I imagine you will want a PoE switch.

While not as established as Ubiquiti the Grandstream products are killer bang for the buck. I’ve deployed them at multiple locations and never had any issues that weren’t my own fault. A nice thing about them is that they come with an extra ethernet port that can be VLAN tagged for your random IOT device/TV/daisy chaining ethernet.

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using U6 Pro’s, looks like coverage would be ok - but that’s based on them being placed at the 16 foot height.

I wonder if the 16’ tall refers to the wall height or underside of ridge?

Those GWN7660 APs have roughly the specs of the U6 Lite (GWN7660 is same 5g bandwidth but better 2.4g bandwidth), and costs the same as them. They are not even remotely close to the U6 pro which they are 60% the cost of (1.2gbps vs 4.8gbps).

The local (northern EU) supplier here has the U6 Pro listed as 2.4 gbps, must be on one radio. At those prices the U6 is a better deal.

Edit: For reference the U6 lite is listed at ~150USD.