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Old 07-03-2018, 10:31 AM   #1
TorqueDog
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In my last place, a 1,200 sq-ft apartment downtown, my faithful ASUS RT-N66U served up access without skipping a beat, and I paired it with a Linksys RE7000 repeater/extender to provide patio coverage (since the glass was pretty good at blocking wireless signals).

Since we've moved into our house (3 storey, 2,700 sq-ft built in 2008), it has become increasingly evident that our current wireless solutions (the primary of which must live in the utility closet out of necessity) are simply not up to the task of sufficiently providing coverage. AP roaming is clunky between the RT-N66U and the RE7000, and the RE7000 is often reporting simultaneously that it is 1. too close to the current router to provide maximum extension and 2. receiving a weak wireless signal, denoted by a solid orange LED on the unit.

My RT-N66U is old and I get that. I've been rocking this thing since ~2013, so naturally I started to shop for a new router. But the problem is that all the top rated router/wireless combos cost an upwards of $500 and will still suffer from the same problem of being located in the utility closet. Mesh wireless systems that use a separate communication network look interesting, but I just wasn't convinced that I wouldn't end up with similar issues to my current setup (trying to extend an already weak signal)... not to mention that many of them lack more advanced features that my old ASUS still has going for it.

So I've decided I'm going to spend a bit more money to do it properly, and go enterprise. I'll be installing the following in the upcoming weeks, and I'll let everyone know the results:

- Ubiquiti UniFi Security Gateway
- UniFi 8-port 60W PoE Managed Switch
- UniFi AP-AC-Pro being installed in my office, far east main floor
- UniFi AC-Mesh to be installed in our master bedroom, far west top floor
- UniFi Cloud Key (optional, used for managing the whole thing without installing the software onto a VM or server)

The PoE switch is required unless I want to use a PoE injector. However, since I've already got ethernet ports/wiring where I want to mount the wireless APs, a PoE switch is a no-brainer and saves on wiring clutter. I'm going to re-purpose the RE7000 as a 'basement only' AP and hardwire it until I decide to pick-up another AP-AC-Pro (likely).

If anyone is interested in a similar set-up, I found that price shopping between Amazon.ca and NewEgg.ca yielded the best results. Amazon had the USG, the AP-AC-Pro-E, AC-Mesh, and Cloud Key for cheaper than NewEgg.ca, but couldn't beat NewEgg.ca's price on the PoE switch. Shipping was free on both sites.
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Old 07-03-2018, 02:03 PM   #2
GoinAllTheWay
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This is why, when we are in a larger house, I wan't to run network cable to every room. Probably a bit pricey and a PITA but so worth it in the end. I hate wireless.
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Old 07-03-2018, 04:01 PM   #3
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I do have Cat5e run to ... well, most rooms. But in the utility box, they're hooked up for voice, not data. So I'm removing the POTS crap and wiring them into a small patch panel that I have coming from eBay.

The house is also pre-wired for an alarm system apparently, with Cat5e hiding behind several blank-out panels on the walls, so I could also use those as well.
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Old 07-03-2018, 04:11 PM   #4
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Ah, very good. Sounds like a fun project. Hope to do something similar one day.
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Old 07-03-2018, 04:17 PM   #5
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I'm having no issues with my Netgear R7000 in the basement in 3000sq ft house. I get my full 150 from Shaw throughout. And enough through put to watch Netflix in the garage and back patio.
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Old 07-03-2018, 05:39 PM   #6
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Excellent solution. I use similar Unifi solutions for my clients.

The UAP-AC-IW, UAP-AC-IW-PRO, are good additions as well (install over wallplate). They seem to power more than the room they are in (adjacent rooms as well) plus they have both additional POE and data port as well. Note for others, you will need an Unifi switch with POE to power these. OP has one.

Unifi is not for the neophyte, you will need some level of networking knowledge to implement them.
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Old 07-03-2018, 06:44 PM   #7
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Great choice in equipment. I too went from a RT-N66U to Ubiquiti Unifi. I was having unreliable wifi and after switching, I have never had a single problem in the 200 days I've had it.

I went with a single AP-AC-LR (mounted on 2nd floor) covering my entire lot including separate garage. Paired with the Unifi Gateway, but using a Netgear switch, no cloud key, just running it on my pc that always runs.

Found setup no easier or difficult than a typical consumer router.
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Old 07-03-2018, 09:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keratosis View Post
I'm having no issues with my Netgear R7000 in the basement in 3000sq ft house. I get my full 150 from Shaw throughout. And enough through put to watch Netflix in the garage and back patio.
I think where my current set-up's challenges come into play is that my wireless router has to live right beside the electrical panel in the utility box. The amount of interference it likely has to overcome is significant.

I just spent the evening tracing/toning the data lines throughout the house, so I know what cable goes where. Have to replace five of the wall plates with RJ45 wall plates as the builder used RJ11 plates instead. D'oheth.

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Great choice in equipment. I too went from a RT-N66U to Ubiquiti Unifi. I was having unreliable wifi and after switching, I have never had a single problem in the 200 days I've had it.

I went with a single AP-AC-LR (mounted on 2nd floor) covering my entire lot including separate garage. Paired with the Unifi Gateway, but using a Netgear switch, no cloud key, just running it on my pc that always runs.

Found setup no easier or difficult than a typical consumer router.
I played around with the UniFi management demo (http://demo.ubnt.com/) and was very impressed by how simple it looked to configure.
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:57 PM   #9
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I was JUST reading up on this last week after finally getting tired of my WiFi issues at home. I found a couple of good blog posts about people who went down this road as well with Ubiquiti. Keep us posted on how it goes. I'm still in the "this is likely overkill" mindset but not by too much.
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoinAllTheWay View Post
This is why, when we are in a larger house, I wan't to run network cable to every room. Probably a bit pricey and a PITA but so worth it in the end. I hate wireless.
To plug what in?

Edit. I'm not a gamer
Router says we have 21 'devices' connected in our home. I am certain only 3 have built in port for hardwire.
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:02 PM   #11
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Interested in the results, building a new house now and one of my worries is terrible wifi coverage.
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:20 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by EldrickOnIce View Post
To plug what in?

Edit. I'm not a gamer
Router says we have 21 'devices' connected in our home. I am certain only 3 have built in port for hardwire.
Entertainment room:
Samsung Smart TV
Xbox One X
Denon AVR-X2200W Receiver
OG Xbox (for emulators!)
Xbox 360
Telus Box
- Connected using a gigabit switch.

Living room:
Xbox One S
Telus Box
- Currently on wireless and isn't *bad* but still kinda crap.

Bedroom:
Samsung Smart TV
Xbox One X
Telus Box
- Currently on wireless and suffering for it.

Office:
Workstation
Laser MFP
SmartThings Hub
- Connected using a gigabit switch.

Utility closet:
Liftmaster MyQ Gateway
- Direct connection to a switch port on the RT-N66U router.

The only things that do not have ethernet ports are our phones, my Surface 3, the Mrs' Macbook Air, and several Echo Dots (and an HK Invoke) floating around.

Hardwiring is the way to go for entertainment equipment like TVs, stereos, and consoles. Especially if you do 4K Netflix like we do.
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:38 PM   #13
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^ you need more xboxes.....
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Old 07-04-2018, 04:21 PM   #14
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Why does it have to live in the utility closet? You could put it anywhere you have 2 ports and run into it, then back down.
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Old 07-04-2018, 04:27 PM   #15
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I switched to Ubiquiti equipment a couple years ago from consumer hardware. Edgerouter Lite withe AC-Pro APs. Rock solid, beautiful signal distribution and virtually 100% uptime. Very satisfied.
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Old 07-04-2018, 05:21 PM   #16
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I've been having great luck with Netgear Orbit, and probably a bunch cheaper. velop is on sale for like 359 at best it now for a router and 2 satellites.
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Old 07-04-2018, 09:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I've been having great luck with Netgear Orbit, and probably a bunch cheaper. velop is on sale for like 359 at best it now for a router and 2 satellites.
I've been doing a lot of research in the past few days on Mesh Wifi systems and pulled the trigger on a Linksys Velop System... as it was on sale at BB. I've had it up and running for a couple hours and am already fully impressed with the speed.
I was running the "newest" Airport Extreme and a Airport Express as a booster... much happier.
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:23 PM   #18
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An update: I decided to skip waiting for the UAP-AC-PRO and just get everything set up with just the UAP-AC-Mesh.

So far, everything is awesome, learned some quirks along the way.

First, I'm the sort of guy who likes to set up his new network gear without interrupting his existing network; this is a problem for the USG unless you are willing to hook it up to the existing network and give it a LAN IP, as it won't let you proceed with anything unless the USG gets a DHCP IP address from something. No, you cannot just proceed and manually assign it, I do not know why. Not a big deal, but weird.

Second, turn off Deep Packet Inspection. I was incredibly frustrated when I tried to update some Steam titles only to see that I was getting 200 KB/sec downloads -- hardwired! Steam was able to saturate my old RT-N66U so badly that I couldn't DO anything until it finished downloading updates, so what the hell was going on here? I tried a lot of things that made no difference, but disabling DPI resulted in 22 MB/sec downloads. Yes, MB not Mb.

Also, jumbo packets are disabled by default, so turn that on.

As I get deeper into the configuration of this thing, I'll have some more to add. This is the tip of the iceberg. Overall, the setup was really easy using the Cloud Key, the interface is reasonably easy to get the hang of. The wireless has been solid running off a single UAP-AC-Mesh which is just a 2x2 that maxes out just below 1 Gbps, and the Mrs. isn't complaining about the WiFi anymore.

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Why does it have to live in the utility closet? You could put it anywhere you have 2 ports and run into it, then back down.
Exactly, if I had two data cables terminating to two ports in the same box, that would be awesome.

But I don't. :\

I was spoiled for connectivity with my apartment which was built in 2015, where several walls had dual ethernet lines per box. It was beautiful.

This house was built in 2008. I have Cat5e to every main room in the place and for that I'm fortunate. Upon which wall and how many, however, is a different story. The TV ledge above the fireplace doesn't have Cat5e, just coaxial. The entertainment room and bar both have Cat5e run to them in a data configuration. The rooms were wired with Cat5e but the placement screams "we only thought about telephones". All the bedrooms have Cat5e run but wired for voice, so I pulled those and replaced them with actual RJ45 ports.
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Old 07-05-2018, 05:47 AM   #19
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I've been doing a lot of research in the past few days on Mesh Wifi systems and pulled the trigger on a Linksys Velop System... as it was on sale at BB. I've had it up and running for a couple hours and am already fully impressed with the speed.
I was running the "newest" Airport Extreme and a Airport Express as a booster... much happier.
I've had orbi for a few months now and I love it, I chose it because I needed the LAN ports that the velop didn't have, otherwise I would have opted for it for sure. I have no idea how some Mesh units like the Google one can still justify the price for AC1200 throughput, I think the velop was 4400 and the orbi is 3000
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Old 07-06-2018, 01:44 PM   #20
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I was JUST reading up on this last week after finally getting tired of my WiFi issues at home. I found a couple of good blog posts about people who went down this road as well with Ubiquiti. Keep us posted on how it goes. I'm still in the "this is likely overkill" mindset but not by too much.
I don't think it is overkill.

I think it is well worth the effort and price(which isn't that much more) to get a router where it simply runs and you never have issues with it.

Compared to home consumer models where you have to go restart it at random times for whatever reason.
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