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Access point upgrade


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Hardware: I bought a home last summer that has an Araknis 310 router with 5 Araknis 510 APs (~8500 sq ft house. Entire first floor is tile floors. All brick, lots of rock in the interior. this may affect coverage?), and multiple 210 Switches.

When we first moved in, I installed my Eero Pro 6 (3 pack) from the old house. It worked, but wasn't the best. Some dead spots on each end of the house, but it actually reached out to the pool, albeit <10mb speeds. The AV guys the old owners used then came out and got the "professional" system up and running. It doesn't reach outside at all, so I could no longer control the pool robot from the phone app. For now I've got one of those TP Link Wifi Extenders and i can finally control the robot, but if you're out at the pool, while you can get a 2.4 signal, it's pretty bad. The property is water front and if we go further out, it's dead again.

The house itself has better coverage and no complete dead spots with the araknis APs, but it's still pretty shit. 5Ghz rarely has more than 2 bars and WiFi speeds generally max out at about 150-200 unless you're in the same room as the AP. I also keep getting random WiFi drops on devices and they can't reconnect again until I reset the router. The AV company claims they've checked everything and see no issues, but this never happened with the Eero. It's also not a handoff issue I don't think because it happens with stationary TVs. As soon as I reboot the system, everything works fine. This happens multiple times a week and it's frustrating.

Anyway, can I pick up a few Ruckus Router/AP's off eBay, replace my Araknis with those, and easily be up and running? Any suggestions on which ones to get? Or will there be compatibility issues? Will I notice much improvement? My wife and I both work from home and I want everything rock solid and running at maximum. We have 1Gig up/down fiber. Tons of smart devices, laptops, ipads, Ten 4mp/8mp ip cameras. I'm also open to other brands, but I've just heard solid feedback from Ruckus. Cost isn't a big issue, but at the same time I'd rather not spend double or more for 5% gain.

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I'm not a fan of those Araknis APs...I would recommend Ruckus R650's, they should be significantly better.  I have some in stock, I can pre-configure them for you so all you have to do is plug them in at the existing locations.  I use Ruckus Unleashed, so you don't need a new router or a Ruckus controller.  PM me if interested.

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... Any chance the wifi setup has fast roaming enabled? That is often what I find when devices randomly drop off - another common one is the bandwith spectrum setting (anything other than 20 on 2.4, sometimes 40 works better on 5).

 

Just something to have checked - Ruckus works a treat but you should't be seeing the issues you mention with the Araknis APs either if set up correctly.

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23 minutes ago, RAV said:

If "I'd be happy if it just wouldn't drop out" ... probably a setup issue.

If "I want more than 200" ... go Ruckus.

Outside - you need an 'outside' AP either way.

Problem is, the guys who set everything up have everything locked out (apparently this isn't uncommon?). They've already stated everything looks good and basically I'd need to replace the units. Previous owners left them, so maybe something could be bad with the APs?

The switches and the Araknis 310 router are practically new though apparently. These guys are extremely frustrating to deal with. It took 5 months after we moved in just to get them to come in and have everything up and running, and we've had non stop problems since. They never answer the phone. Never. You have to leave a voicemail and MAYBE you'll get a callback.

I tried to get a competing outfit come in, but they were locked out as I said before. They said they could force them to give everything up, but to be aware that in the long run I'd probably end up spending way more for them to do that because they didn't setup the house to begin with and it'd take quite a few billed hours to get up to speed.

So in a best case scenario, I want to replace and not even have to deal with those guys. Or no matter what am I going to have to get them here? Will changing this out affect anything with the Control4 setup? And is Ruckus simply better to go with over a cheaper Ubiquiti option?

 

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If "I'd be happy if it just wouldn't drop out" ... probably a setup issue.
If "I want more than 200" ... go Ruckus.
Outside - you need an 'outside' AP either way.

This assessment makes sense.

We have all Ubiquiti gear. Our wifi speeds are also in the 150ish range, even standing right under the AP. That is more than enough for us, especially since nearly all our stationary clients are wired. But, if you are looking for higher wifi speeds, I agree that Ubiquiti may not be the way to go.

I do wonder about one thing though. Why can’t the new company just factory reset all your existing gear and reconfigure everything from scratch? That avoids having to get login info from the old guys, and considering all the issues you are having, maybe it is not such a bad idea to start the configuration over?


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24 minutes ago, DLite said:




I do wonder about one thing though. Why can’t the new company just factory reset all your existing gear and reconfigure everything from scratch? That avoids having to get login info from the old guys, and considering all the issues you are having, maybe it is not such a bad idea to start the configuration over?


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44 minutes ago, Naphz said:

 

I tried to get a competing outfit come in, but they were locked out as I said before. They said they could force them to give everything up, but to be aware that in the long run I'd probably end up spending way more for them to do that because they didn't setup the house to begin with and it'd take quite a few billed hours to get up to speed.

 

 

@DLiteThink he said the new company he called didnt work/know that hardware so there would be billable hours trying to "figure it out" and it could get expensive.

Some may laugh at that, others may agree, I guess it depends on the skill/experience of the company doing the take over.  Resetting everything may also conflict with Control4 and all the IP addresses so then you are having to re-do potentially stuff in C4.  It can add up I gather based on size/scope.

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Araknis has user and password login, like all networking equipment. If the current company won't provide, or change them for you to use, then they need to be factory reset and re-setup.
Araknis also has a cloud component, OVRC. Allows remote support and monitoring. For all the onsite equipment to be taken over, that's some time, even knowing the equipment.

Ask the current dealer if they'll release the login, if they say they're company secrets, ask them, and fair they should be paid for about an hours time, to remotely change them and provide them to you.

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6 hours ago, Naphz said:

I tried to get a competing outfit come in, but they were locked out as I said before.

Get someone else - any Araknis setup can be taken over using a new actual pro-hub, and any dealer using them should know this....

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I bought 3x r650s for inside and bought a used r710 off ebay for $250 that I was going to use outside (covered area and inside a junction box).  Main areas of use are main floor and basement, so I thought putting two r650s on the main floor and one in the basement might work well.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, lippavisual said:

It may serve your house better if you mount 2 of the ruckus on your second floor (if you have one), on opposite sides and also the one in the basement.

This is what I do mostly because I was advised by him but it works well in my ~4,000 sq ft house.  2 on the second floor each ~1/3 of the way in from the exterior wall (House is mostly a rectangle) and 1 in the middle of the basement.  I am using some older Unifi equipment and connection speeds are fine YMMV

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Our houses are probably very similar…similar size, lots of brick, stone, marble, etc on interior and exterior walls. I upgraded to AR 810 APS from 500’s or 510’s (can’t remember which) and have had no issues ever since. I was having constant issues prior. I also have an outdoor AR 700 AP since signal was bad to the outside because of so much brick and thick walls. Anyhow, the biggest thing you want to look at is the antenna technology in the AP regardless of which route you go. Also, AP placement is important for proper coverage - I assume they’re all ceiling mounted and placed properly because this make a HUGE difference in proper coverage as well. 

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13 minutes ago, macosr said:

Our houses are probably very similar…similar size, lots of brick, stone, marble, etc on interior and exterior walls. I upgraded to AR 810 APS from 500’s or 510’s (can’t remember which) and have had no issues ever since. I was having constant issues prior. I also have an outdoor AR 700 AP since signal was bad to the outside because of so much brick and thick walls. Anyhow, the biggest thing you want to look at is the antenna technology in the AP regardless of which route you go. Also, AP placement is important for proper coverage - I assume they’re all ceiling mounted and placed properly because this make a HUGE difference in proper coverage as well. 

How many of the 810's are you using? How do those compare to r650's?

I had enough coverage to actually get WiFi with a mix of 3x 510s and 2x 700s, but 2.4 speeds are usually only about 25-35 and the 5.0 bands are only usable if you are in a room with the AP. With that, it's 150-250ish depending. This on top of the random drops. Apparently that may have been a setup issue, but I'd rather have blazing speed too. I currently have 1gb up/down, but 2 gb will be available in a couple weeks for $99/month if I wanted it.

 

One would be ceiling mounted (basement), the other 2 wall mounted.

I'll give the 2 upstairs and 1 in basement a try and compare it to 2 on the main floor on opposite sides of the house. That's where I have Araknis APs already so it'll be easy to swap them in.

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We are in process of rolling out a Ubiquiti/Unify WiFi6 network in my new home.  Going with a mix of Unifi6 Pro and Unifi6 Long Range WAPs.   I got POE switches with 2.5G ports and enough POE power to drive WiFi6e WAPs down the line, but no need for those now (even iPhone14 announced today lacks WiFi6e).  The Long Range ones have 4x4 MIMO on both 2.4G and 5G bands, so we're placing those on outside patios/decks to cover outside (excellent 2.4G range) and the Unifi6 Pros for inside.   I started with a few WAPs the get *coverage* but discovered that, if you want very fast (600-800 mbps) coverage *everywhere*, you need A LOT of WAPs.  Pretty much need to be ~25 feet or less from WAP for max speed.   For me that means like 20 WAPs.  But, at $149/each, it's not horrible (in context of a large construction project).   Is it silly to insist on near-gig speeds everywhere?  Yes, of course it is.  But it gives me warm and fuzzies to max things out a bit.

My dealer (and I) were a bit worried about the "no human support" issue with Ubiquiti but (knock on wood), so far, so good.  Their tools are pretty easy to work with and seem reasonably full-featured.   I don't have experience with enterprise gear, so I assume at those lofty price points it must be better for some use cases (at a minimum you get real support, which might justify price for some).  

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For residential settings there's no performance reason to go "enterprise". Ubiquiti APs are great and cheap. They come in several forms as well. Their switches are great. Routers are fine, but there are competitors that may be preferable based on personal preference. Stay on "release" firmware, don't try beta unless there is a specific issue to be addressed. I get good coverage in my 4700 sq ft house with 2 U6-LRs. I'll probably add another soon as there is one room with a lot of mirrors that sometimes gets spotty coverage. Too many APs can be as much of an issue as too few.

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So I swapped in the r650's today. I went from 5 araknis down to 3 of the 650's. Overall coverage is roughly equal on 2.4, but speeds are much faster. Also, the 5ghz band coverage is a huge difference and speed also more than double. Before it was hardly usable unless you were in a room with an AP.

I still have the used 710 that I need to put up outside.

I did a few speed tests before and after (standing in roughly the same spots).

Before Avg on 2.4 - 54 down/33up

5ghz - 285 down/213up

 

After: 2.4 - 148down/140up

5 - 702down/641up

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