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Mesh system - Basic question!

Bobcat1
Newbie
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎18-05-2023

Mesh system - Basic question!

So we recently got connected via FTTP, due to some tedious and disappointing to and fro with PlusNet we eventually got it installed on a day we couldn't be at the house (there's extremely long story behind all this!!) Anyway the install was done via sporadic phone calls with the engineer and the help of a neighbour. It turns out it's in a pretty rubbish position in the house and signal drops off dramatically once you're out of the room where the router is and there's several completely dead spots in the upstairs room at the front of the house.

The actual speed to the router is good so I'm wondering if installing a mesh network would be the 'best' option here. We're not going to hardwire in ethernet cable throughout the house, it isn't an option but a mesh network seems like it could be a good solution.

 

My question, after that long boring bit, is...is it as simple as choosing a system and then installing it in place of the router and does anyone have any recommendations on good systems for larger old houses.

 

Thanks in advance

4 REPLIES 4
bmc
Hero
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Registered: ‎28-02-2017

Re: Mesh system - Basic question!

@Bobcat1 

Can't answer the Mesh question but regards ethernet cable have you thought of running a cable up the outside wall with a wall mounted ethernet socket at either end.

 

This at least gives you a solid starting point upstairs.

 

Brian

aesmith
Pro
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Registered: ‎26-09-2015

Re: Mesh system - Basic question!


@Bobcat1 wrote:

 

The actual speed to the router is good so I'm wondering if installing a mesh network would be the 'best' option here. We're not going to hardwire in ethernet cable throughout the house, it isn't an option but a mesh network seems like it could be a good solution.

 

 


I don't know why "mesh" has suddenly become the buzz word for domestic installs. Commercial buildings almost never use mesh, but instead use multiple Access Points (APs) connected by Ethernet.

 

That would be the best solution for you as well. Get any sort of AP, locate it somewhere to cover the areas not covered by the FTTP router's wireless. Connect back to the FTTP router with Ethernet. Set the same SSID and security parameters.

pjmarsh
Superuser
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Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Re: Mesh system - Basic question!

@aesmith, one issue with that is the handover between access points. A decent managed wifi system will hand over between access points to give each device the best signal they can.  With a bunch of separate access points with the same SSID a device will hang on the the same access point for as long as it can, or until the device searches again for the network (such as when you turn wifi off and on again on the device or such like).

My first approach would always to hardwire the access points for the backhaul rather than wifi, but there is more to a mesh system than just getting the access points internet access.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

aesmith
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Registered: ‎26-09-2015

Re: Mesh system - Basic question!


@pjmarsh wrote:

@aesmith, one issue with that is the handover between access points. A decent managed wifi system will hand over between access points to give each device the best signal they can.  With a bunch of separate access points with the same SSID a device will hang on the the same access point for as long as it can, or until the device searches again for the network (such as when you turn wifi off and on again on the device or such like).



 "Mesh" does not mean controller based, or vice versa.  I've installed loads of controller based systems, Cisco and Meraki and have always used Ethernet connections to the APs.  One of my colleagues used mesh connections temporarily because a particular customer didn't initially have cabling to the correct places.  But it's very much a second choice, even with enterprise grade APs with separate radio for the mesh connections it still occupies more RF spectrum.

Regarding roaming, whether mesh, stand alone or controller based, roaming is initiated by the client not the AP or the controller.  All they can do is bias it. A correctly performing client listens to beacons and probe responses from other APs on the same SSID and initiates roaming when a better signal becomes available. That applies both to controller based and stand alone APs.  Customers typically have moved to controller based systems for management purposes, not because their autonomous AP deployments weren't satisfactory.

The behaviour you describe would be characteristic of a system with different SSIDs preconfigured on the client. Typically, and unlike same SSID roaming, it won't move to a different SSID unless it loses the current one altogether. But again that's a client driven process, it's not impossible that a client with multiple SSIDs saved might be configured to jump when a different SSID has a better signal.

Personally I suspect that the prevalence of the term "Mesh" in the residential/amateur market is pure marketing, I don't suppose there's even any consistency in what they mean by the term.