I live in a ranch style house with a basement. I spread out three AP One AC Minis on the basement ceiling. I thought that I would probably get adequate wifi reception upstairs with the signal passing through the basement ceiling. It definitely works, but the upstairs reception isn’t very strong. Do I have the access points configured optimally so that the wifi connection will be seemless as I walk around the house? Here are the specifics: Both 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz radios enabled on all APs. Different SSID names for each radio band. The SSID name is the same on all three APs. Router mode turned off. I have static IPs assigned to each AP. I let my pfSense router assign DHCP IPs for all wireless clients. All AP settings at default. One setting is “DHCP Setting” which is set to “None”. The other options are “relay” or “server”. Not really sure what “relay” does. Should I change any settings to improve my wifi coverage upstairs or do I simply need to add a fourth AP upstairs? Thanks!
I don’t know for sure, but assuming most people who mount APs on ceilings do so to provide coverage to devices below them in the same room, i wonder if you’re not getting much signal above the APs because the antennas in them are designed to emanate signal down rather than up?
Try sticking an AP against the ceiling in the basement facing upwards (use duct tape or blu-tack or something to hold it there) and see if the situation is improved.
Why are you using differing SSIDs for the different radios? Modern devices (such as smartphones, tablets, PC, TVs, audio systems) will automatically choose the most suitable frequency.
Simplify your network. If you want separate SSIDs for different devices/applications, then you can segregate them using VLANs (lots of info here in the forum on doing that). You can, if you have older equipment that you want on only the 2.4Ghz, create an SSID just for that equipment.
Part of the Wi-Fi design is that the slowest performing device on the radio connection (say the furthest from the WAP) will bring down the whole WAPs speed for that radio channel. You may also want to set some limitations around the acceptable minimum power level (start with -80dbm) to minimise the effect of this. Operating with maximum RF power is typically counterproductive and in several counties will breach your locally allowed RF power limits.
Happy to Help,
I just named the SSIDs differently for the two radios so I’d actually know which radio my phone was connecting to. One is named 2.4 GHz, the other 5.0 GHz. These are named the same on all WAPs. The phone does automatically chose one over the other. If you named them the same, how would you ever know if the 5.0 GHz band was ever even being used?
That’s an interesting thought. I assumed that any radio in a WAP was non directional. But perhaps I’m wrong. If that’s the case, then I definitely need to add a ceiling mounted WAP upstairs. Would you make any non default setting changes in my current three WAPs? Should I assign channels manually as opposed to leaving everything on auto?
Are you just using the Pepwave WAPs? Each of the WAPs has an internal webpage and system logs. So even if you use the same SSID, there is logging and real-time information captured in each WAP.
There is another option (and is free for the first 12 months of your warranty) that is easy and secure to use. Set your self up with a Peplink InControl2 account and place your WAPs into there (see guides within this Forum). You can then use your InControl2 platform to manage and monitor your WAPs. There is ever-evolving analytics captured from the WAPs that will tell you a lot more than just putting a separate SSID on each WAP and looking at your phone.
There are also many useful utilities out there for checking Wi-Fi. In our company, we have in the past tested many of the free versions, though as professionals, we use commercial utilities and analysers (these cost a lot more than a fair penny). Just enter into your favourite search engine for “Free Wi-Fi Analyzer Software” and pick one that is suitable to yourself. If this is all new to you, then go for ease of use over-complicated. Ease of use is why we put all of our customers onto InControl2.
Have you reached out to your Peplink/Pepwave supplier? Your local authorised Peplink Partner may be able to also guide you with keeping within your local RF regulations. In Australia, we adhere to the publications by the ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority). Each country around the world has its local organisation who maintain regional variances.
Happy to Help,
My first year I used the InControl 2 software. It is nice, but I didn’t want to keep paying a yearly subscription. I’m using the Pepwave devices in my home, not a business. I think they’re configured correctly, although I guess I could combine both radio frequencies into the same SSID. I’m more curious if there are any manual tweaks I should try (such as assigning channels) before simply adding another WAP or two upstairs. I do have WiFi Analyzer on my cell phone so I can get a free estimate of signal strength throughout my house.