SOLVED: Access point decision for home


#21

To close the loop -

I configured the AP One Enterprise and dropped it into my home network to test it out this weekend. Short version - it rocks.

Config through the Balance is a breeze and coverage is fantastic. I placed it on the second floor of my house, where I want the strongest wireless signal. I hoped it would also provide decent coverage for the first floor. It does…and to my surprise, the coverage in the basement is also fantastic. Sure, I can see some signal degradation, but speed down there significantly exceeds my expectations. I thought I would definitely need at least one more AP and I am no longer sure I do.

And a big thumbs up for the support I received from 3GStore before and after the sale. Great stuff. :+1:


#22

Scuba_Steve, Your situation was of interest. I’m considering a Balance One Core for use in a new home. And as you, I was concerned with coverage and the potential need for and cost of multiple AP One Enterprise’s.

Our home is 2,700 sq.ft main floor and 2,700sg.ft walk-out basement, partially finished.

You apparently have 2-floors, plus a basement and you have only employed one (1) AP One Enterprise on the 2nd.floor. It then covers 2-additional levels – the 1st. floor and basement. Do I have it correct? If so, how many square feet are your levels?

More importantly, with my described house’s configuration and size do you believe 1-AP One Enterprise mounted on the ceiling and centrally located on the main floor, would cover both the main floor and the basement? I allowed for close to 30 hardwired CAT 6 locations, so Wi-Fi is not of vital import. Nevertheless, I would like good coverage on both floors.

Scuba_Steve your thoughts and of course anyone else’s are encourage and welcomed…Thanks.

Lastly, in addition to Ubiquiti AP’s, I was also considering TP-Link’s EAP-225’s which are well priced and have been very positively reviewed coming out on the top of the 8 tested AP’s.

As my initial post explains, this will be my first LAN deployment. So, I along with my buddy are doing due diligence as to hardware selections. As this post suggests, Scuba_Steve, your configuration involved VLANS and segregating IoT devices and ours does also. So, although we’re techie, we’re networking neophytes. Thus, simplicity is not only a good thing, it is essentially mandatory. Thus, with a Balance One, is it safe to assume that Peplink AP’s are the best way to proceed?


#23

Hello @Audiophile,
We use in our own place a Balance ONE, our place is double story with concrete floor, brick walls and plenty of interference around the area on the Wi-Fi spectrum, in a separate building out the back is a small warehouse (the size of a double garage). The Balance ONE resides at the front of the place down stairs.

From this single Balance ONE we have connectivity to our vehicles parked out the front in the street, connectivity to portable devices out the back in the Warehouse and connectivity through out the rest of the place. Due to landlord restrictions we have to run everything via wireless, bandwidth is a challenge at the coverage extremes, though we have not need to add any additional equipment to date.

If you are looking to start with something simple, the Balance ONE is a great place to begin and is feature packed.
Happy to Help,
Marcus :slight_smile:


Peplink Balance 380 and DDWRT Router + AP One Mini
#24

Thanks midowling. I was thinking that a Balance One Core may be the way to go with an AP or two. But you’re suggesting that a Balance One with Wi-Fi, may be all that we need.

Good to know that your Balance One resides down stairs. Our structured wiring terminations are in the basement and that’s where the router will be placed. My concern was that the signal may not travel as well up as it would down. Hence, my thought of placing an AP up on our main floor and having no Wi-Fi radio down (in the basement).


#25

Hello @Audiophile,
We have many sites with the Balance ONE (not the CORE) where we also have installed separate WAPs such as the Pepwave AP ONE Rugged. Normally we will disable the WAP within the Balance ONE keeping that for backup and support.
Running from a basement, if your floors are wooden then you may have enough signal, if the floor is concrete then we would have to recommend you use a separate WAP (or two). Our place has lots of windows without tinting, so the RF can propagate around the place, if we had tinted windows on the building, we would certainly not have the coverage we currently are experiencing.
Happy to Help,
Marcus :slight_smile:


#26

@Audiophile,

I went with the Core model of the Balance One for a similar reason - my network gear is in my basement and I didn’t feel like placing the router in a more central location. I also didn’t love the reviews of the Balance One’s Wifi performance. Since people seemed very happy with the AP One Enterprise, I went that route…and as noted above, have been very satisfied.

I put my firs AP One E in a central location on my first floor and had coverage on all three floors of my fairly large home. Large as in 2200 sq feet per floor, so about 6500 sq feet total. Standard wood frame construction by the way.

I later added a second AP One E, more for redundancy than anything, so now I have one in the basement and another on the top floor, each fed by a single PoE switch with my network gear in the basement.

Well worth the investment in my opinion.


#27

midowling and scuba_steve, you have provided a suggested starting point in my case and that is what I was seeking…Thanks.

Our new house is similar in size and construction to our new one. We’ve been pushing a Wi-Fi signal (up) with a single AT&T gateway residing in the basement. It works upstairs, but not without occasional drop-outs and hiccups. So, with an Enterprise AP on the main floor in the new house, that may give us all the coverage we need in all wood construction,17 windows without tinting (RF interference). I should say however, that on the main floor & on one end of our present house, I can see 14 other Wi-Fi radios and ours (AT&T gateway) has one of the weakest signals. We’re in a single family home neighborhood with 3/4 - 1 acre lot size spacing.

Given the price delta, I wonder if two (2) AP mini’s (1 up/1 down) centrally located in our open floor plan 2,700 sq.ft., (each floor) would work as well, or better than a single AP Enterprise (ceiling mounted on the main floor centrally located). Or, how about an Enterprise up (on the main floor) and a Mini in the basement. Any preference as to these configurations?


#28

I considered 2 or 3 Minis (also due to cost) but at the time they were experiencing numerous issues. Hence, I went with the AP One E. Since then there have been a number of firmware updates, so perhaps the Minis are doing better now. Perhaps someone here can weigh in.

And just in case the radiation patterns are of interest…

Mini:

AP One Enterprise:


#29

Thanks for the providing the distribution patterns.

Good suggestion of asking for the member’s advice on their AP One Mini experiences. [As an aside, there is a thread on the Ubiquiti Forum concerning a problem with their AP Pro’s that seems to reveal itself at around the 2-year in-service mark. If my recollection is correct, the problem was attributed to the POE circuit.]

So, if folks have more recent experience than over a year ago with AP One Mini’s – pro or con – your input would be appreciated.

Assuming that previous “issues” have been remedied for the Mini’s – for my aforementioned described home use & with only 2, maybe 3 simultaneous users – would there be MUCH if ANY advantage of paying more than twice as much for AP One Enterprise’s, when compared to the Mini’s?

I assume that both AP units can be powered the same, is that true? Also, do either come with wall wart type injectors, or are those available/optional? As we’re probably going to use a POE capable switch, the outboard injector question may be moot, however, it would be interesting to know.


#30

Wall wart! Makes me laugh every time!
MINI - PoE 802.3af or 12V 2A supplied “wallwort”
Enterprise - 802.3af only
Of all the AP ONE Minis and Enterpries APs we have deployed, we have less than 1% failure rate and some of the minis are five years in service and the Enterprise model - since it was released.
If you are running PoE switches and want to future prof, put a little bit extra coin in and go for the enterprise model.