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FAQ for wifi router options

Ethancool1234g

If I have a house with thick walls, trying to improve the range and 25 fibre plan with a asus et12 right now, what would be my best option now. Ubiquiti dream machine + some aps or another ASUS router, I have Ethernet through the house but none in garden or garage. Thanks

 
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15 hours ago, whispous said:

A rough diagram would be good, with the important distances listed 🙂

 

Screen Shot 2023-12-03 at 2.38.48 pm.png

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11 hours ago, whispous said:

Are you sure a Ubiquiti controller can control non-ubiquiti APs?

you wont be able to use some of the functions but it would work, either way, I could use it somewhere else

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20 minutes ago, Ethancool1234g said:

you wont be able to use some of the functions but it would work, either way, I could use it somewhere else

I'm not sure that's correct. I would expect Ubiquiti controllers can only truly manage a proper multi-AP wifi network when it's Ubiquiti APs.

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1 hour ago, whispous said:

I'm not sure that's correct. I would expect Ubiquiti controllers can only truly manage a proper multi-AP wifi network when it's Ubiquiti APs.

This.

 

2 hours ago, Ethancool1234g said:

you wont be able to use some of the functions but it would work, either way, I could use it somewhere else

As a standalone router, yes. But the whole point of a UDM is to use the Controller to manage multiple UniFi APs/switches through a single interface. Please note that the UniFi Controller cannot manage hardware from Ubiquiti's UISP line.

 

On 12/2/2023 at 6:45 AM, Ethancool1234g said:

If I have a house with thick walls, trying to improve the range and 25 fibre plan with a asus et12 right now, what would be my best option now. Ubiquiti dream machine + some aps or another ASUS router, I have Ethernet through the house but none in garden or garage. Thanks

 

Having a UniFi setup doesn't provide you with "magical" WiFi penetration through thick walls. It has its own shortcomings as any other WiFi antenna/AP. There are some brands like Ruckus that will provide a more superior WiFi experience, but that comes at a cost; you're entering proper enterprise-grade hardware after all.

 

Here's my opinion on setting up WiFi in challenging building infrastructure: it's not a matter of what you have, but how you use what you have.

  1. Ethernet runs reduce need for WiFi (less interference because of less reliance), but allows you to drop APs in areas as required.
  2. Instead of trying to blast WiFi on maximum antenna power from a single AP in a house with multiple intervening walls/floors, increase the number of APs and reduce the antenna output power to just cover the area needed. You get better coverage and rely less on a degraded signal that is passing through several walls.
  3. A system like UniFi makes the above setup easy to manage. It's not the only one out there.
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4 hours ago, Falcon1986 said:

This.

 

As a standalone router, yes. But the whole point of a UDM is to use the Controller to manage multiple UniFi APs/switches through a single interface. Please note that the UniFi Controller cannot manage hardware from Ubiquiti's UISP line.

 

Having a UniFi setup doesn't provide you with "magical" WiFi penetration through thick walls. It has its own shortcomings as any other WiFi antenna/AP. There are some brands like Ruckus that will provide a more superior WiFi experience, but that comes at a cost; you're entering proper enterprise-grade hardware after all.

 

Here's my opinion on setting up WiFi in challenging building infrastructure: it's not a matter of what you have, but how you use what you have.

  1. Ethernet runs reduce need for WiFi (less interference because of less reliance), but allows you to drop APs in areas as required.
  2. Instead of trying to blast WiFi on maximum antenna power from a single AP in a house with multiple intervening walls/floors, increase the number of APs and reduce the antenna output power to just cover the area needed. You get better coverage and rely less on a degraded signal that is passing through several walls.
  3. A system like UniFi makes the above setup easy to manage. It's not the only one out there.

would it be better for me just to buy several cheap asus routers and create a mesh system? or replace everything and get a ap setup

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59 minutes ago, Ethancool1234g said:

would it be better for me just to buy several cheap asus routers and create a mesh system? or replace everything and get a ap setup

No, not unless you can use a wireless backhaul. Even with the UniFi setup, you need a wireless backhaul to make this work well. 
 

UniFi can do WiFi from AP to AP, and I do have that setup running myself since I live in an apartment and can’t run a wire from my place to my garage, but it’s not ideal. I have concrete walls and the signal is horrible, I am able to get just enough coverage from AP to AP, but the AP’s are only about 40 feet away, but through the walls and floors it gets not great signal, thankfully just good enough. Point here is, use a wire between the AP’s, that way you greatly reduce the amount of noise (WiFi signals) your putting into the system, and increase reliability. 
 

UDM pro > wired AP’s (at least as many as you can do wired, if you HAVE to put some on WiFi to Wifi mode, this is life), and use more AP’s with the strength turned down on each. You will need to tune the system, UniFi stuff is not entirely “plug and play”. I fiddled with my WiFi settings in my UniFi controller (I don’t run a udm, I use pfsense for firewall/router and UniFi for switching gear and AP’s) to get things to all hand off nicely from AP to AP, and then I had a new neighbor come in and they brought with them a new router that had 5ghz (previous neighbor didn’t) and this was enough to cause me to have to tweak settings again even tho there was no channel overlap simply because there was now more “noise” (more AP’s all shouting at each other and devices in 5ghz) in my area. 
 

TLDR, get all UniFi AP’s, or don’t get any. It doesn’t make sense unless they all are UniFi. Hardwire as many as you possible can. And expect to be tweaking and tuning until it’s good enough. 

Rig: i7 13700k - - Asus Z790-P Wifi - - RTX 4080 - - 4x16GB 6000MHz - - Samsung 990 Pro 2TB NVMe Boot + Main Programs - - Assorted SATA SSD's for Photo Work - - Corsair RM850x - - Sound BlasterX EA-5 - - Corsair XC8 JTC Edition - - Corsair GPU Full Cover GPU Block - - XT45 X-Flow 420 + UT60 280 rads - - EK XRES RGB PWM - - Fractal Define S2 - - Acer Predator X34 -- Logitech G502 - - Logitech G710+ - - Logitech Z5500 - - LTT Deskpad

 

Headphones/amp/dac: Schiit Lyr 3 - - Fostex TR-X00 - - Sennheiser HD 6xx

 

Homelab/ Media Server: Proxmox VE host - - 512 NVMe Samsung 980 RAID Z1 for VM's/Proxmox boot - - Xeon e5 2660 V4- - Supermicro X10SRF-i - - 128 GB ECC 2133 - - 10x4 TB WD Red RAID Z2 - - Corsair 750D - - Corsair RM650i - - Dell H310 6Gbps SAS HBA - - Intel RES2SC240 SAS Expander - - TreuNAS + many other VM’s

 

iPhone 14 Pro - 2018 MacBook Air

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1 hour ago, LIGISTX said:

No, not unless you can use a wireless backhaul. Even with the UniFi setup, you need a wireless backhaul to make this work well. 
 

UniFi can do WiFi from AP to AP, and I do have that setup running myself since I live in an apartment and can’t run a wire from my place to my garage, but it’s not ideal. I have concrete walls and the signal is horrible, I am able to get just enough coverage from AP to AP, but the AP’s are only about 40 feet away, but through the walls and floors it gets not great signal, thankfully just good enough. Point here is, use a wire between the AP’s, that way you greatly reduce the amount of noise (WiFi signals) your putting into the system, and increase reliability. 
 

UDM pro > wired AP’s (at least as many as you can do wired, if you HAVE to put some on WiFi to Wifi mode, this is life), and use more AP’s with the strength turned down on each. You will need to tune the system, UniFi stuff is not entirely “plug and play”. I fiddled with my WiFi settings in my UniFi controller (I don’t run a udm, I use pfsense for firewall/router and UniFi for switching gear and AP’s) to get things to all hand off nicely from AP to AP, and then I had a new neighbor come in and they brought with them a new router that had 5ghz (previous neighbor didn’t) and this was enough to cause me to have to tweak settings again even tho there was no channel overlap simply because there was now more “noise” (more AP’s all shouting at each other and devices in 5ghz) in my area. 
 

TLDR, get all UniFi AP’s, or don’t get any. It doesn’t make sense unless they all are UniFi. Hardwire as many as you possible can. And expect to be tweaking and tuning until it’s good enough. 

Ok thank you, would there be a way to incorporate the asus et12 into the setup at all with the unifi setup or not at all? Also is udm needed for the setup, I don't know much about internet. Sorry to bother.

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6 hours ago, Ethancool1234g said:

Ok thank you, would there be a way to incorporate the asus et12 into the setup at all with the unifi setup or not at all? Also is udm needed for the setup, I don't know much about internet. Sorry to bother.

You can, yes. But it likely won’t be a super seamless setup. 
 

The reason mesh WiFi systems work well is because the AP’s are “smart” and can communicate with each other. If an AP sees a device with a weak signal, but still a signal that the device itself would deem “good enough to try and stay connected to”, the AP will automatically drop it and pass it off to a different AP. Without this functionality, devices will remain “sticky” and not drop from an AP they are barely in range of. This results in crap performance. 
 

This is why mesh systems work better then simply having multiple AP’s with the same SSID and password scattered around. That can work, but it’s a less effective solution. If cost is an issue, yes, you can certainly try it.

 

You don’t need a udm go use UniFi stuff, but you do need a controller of some sort. I run their controller software on my homelab in a linux VM, but they have the software available for windows as well so you could run it on a computer. It only needs to be on when your actually trying to edit settings, otherwise you don’t need the controller running. 
 

You have the UDM pictured in your proposed layout tho, so I just assumed this was something you were planning on getting. 

Rig: i7 13700k - - Asus Z790-P Wifi - - RTX 4080 - - 4x16GB 6000MHz - - Samsung 990 Pro 2TB NVMe Boot + Main Programs - - Assorted SATA SSD's for Photo Work - - Corsair RM850x - - Sound BlasterX EA-5 - - Corsair XC8 JTC Edition - - Corsair GPU Full Cover GPU Block - - XT45 X-Flow 420 + UT60 280 rads - - EK XRES RGB PWM - - Fractal Define S2 - - Acer Predator X34 -- Logitech G502 - - Logitech G710+ - - Logitech Z5500 - - LTT Deskpad

 

Headphones/amp/dac: Schiit Lyr 3 - - Fostex TR-X00 - - Sennheiser HD 6xx

 

Homelab/ Media Server: Proxmox VE host - - 512 NVMe Samsung 980 RAID Z1 for VM's/Proxmox boot - - Xeon e5 2660 V4- - Supermicro X10SRF-i - - 128 GB ECC 2133 - - 10x4 TB WD Red RAID Z2 - - Corsair 750D - - Corsair RM650i - - Dell H310 6Gbps SAS HBA - - Intel RES2SC240 SAS Expander - - TreuNAS + many other VM’s

 

iPhone 14 Pro - 2018 MacBook Air

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Ok, thank you, would you say buying lots of decent asus extra mesh or just a few good ones better eg tri band dual band and wait for wifi 7 asus routers

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9 hours ago, Ethancool1234g said:

Ok, thank you, would you say buying lots of decent asus extra mesh or just a few good ones better eg tri band dual band and wait for wifi 7 asus routers

Personally I wouldn’t buy asus routers at all, so I just don’t know. I have no experience with them.

 

How big is the house you are putting them in? Even with pretty horrible walls I can’t see needing more than 3 for a 2000-2500sqft house. 

Rig: i7 13700k - - Asus Z790-P Wifi - - RTX 4080 - - 4x16GB 6000MHz - - Samsung 990 Pro 2TB NVMe Boot + Main Programs - - Assorted SATA SSD's for Photo Work - - Corsair RM850x - - Sound BlasterX EA-5 - - Corsair XC8 JTC Edition - - Corsair GPU Full Cover GPU Block - - XT45 X-Flow 420 + UT60 280 rads - - EK XRES RGB PWM - - Fractal Define S2 - - Acer Predator X34 -- Logitech G502 - - Logitech G710+ - - Logitech Z5500 - - LTT Deskpad

 

Headphones/amp/dac: Schiit Lyr 3 - - Fostex TR-X00 - - Sennheiser HD 6xx

 

Homelab/ Media Server: Proxmox VE host - - 512 NVMe Samsung 980 RAID Z1 for VM's/Proxmox boot - - Xeon e5 2660 V4- - Supermicro X10SRF-i - - 128 GB ECC 2133 - - 10x4 TB WD Red RAID Z2 - - Corsair 750D - - Corsair RM650i - - Dell H310 6Gbps SAS HBA - - Intel RES2SC240 SAS Expander - - TreuNAS + many other VM’s

 

iPhone 14 Pro - 2018 MacBook Air

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57 minutes ago, LIGISTX said:

Personally I wouldn’t buy asus routers at all, so I just don’t know. I have no experience with them.

I do. I have used two different ones myself, and found them to be of poor reliability.

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28 minutes ago, whispous said:

I do. I have used two different ones myself, and found them to be of poor reliability.

That lines up with a friend of mine who seems to buy a new one every year or so, always complaining about network issues… 

Rig: i7 13700k - - Asus Z790-P Wifi - - RTX 4080 - - 4x16GB 6000MHz - - Samsung 990 Pro 2TB NVMe Boot + Main Programs - - Assorted SATA SSD's for Photo Work - - Corsair RM850x - - Sound BlasterX EA-5 - - Corsair XC8 JTC Edition - - Corsair GPU Full Cover GPU Block - - XT45 X-Flow 420 + UT60 280 rads - - EK XRES RGB PWM - - Fractal Define S2 - - Acer Predator X34 -- Logitech G502 - - Logitech G710+ - - Logitech Z5500 - - LTT Deskpad

 

Headphones/amp/dac: Schiit Lyr 3 - - Fostex TR-X00 - - Sennheiser HD 6xx

 

Homelab/ Media Server: Proxmox VE host - - 512 NVMe Samsung 980 RAID Z1 for VM's/Proxmox boot - - Xeon e5 2660 V4- - Supermicro X10SRF-i - - 128 GB ECC 2133 - - 10x4 TB WD Red RAID Z2 - - Corsair 750D - - Corsair RM650i - - Dell H310 6Gbps SAS HBA - - Intel RES2SC240 SAS Expander - - TreuNAS + many other VM’s

 

iPhone 14 Pro - 2018 MacBook Air

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7 hours ago, LIGISTX said:

Personally I wouldn’t buy asus routers at all, so I just don’t know. I have no experience with them.

 

How big is the house you are putting them in? Even with pretty horrible walls I can’t see needing more than 3 for a 2000-2500sqft house. 

 800 m^2 house+garden but main problem is the thick walls

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