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timesupuk0ed
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Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:19 pm

Hello, I have 3 airport extremes and wish to replace all of them for one good router. In recent years their reliability has really taken a hit i.e. dropping signals, not switching to the next AirPort Extreme when going in other rooms of the apartment, etc. I have 3 AirPort extremes which all work in tandem with 2 of the routers extending the network range, with the main router in my room connected to the modem. The signal has to go through apartments (my apartment and my grandparents right beside mine), I have a few deadspots due to concrete being in some of the walls.

Apartment info: Approx. 1200sqft. Dead zone in dining room due to concrete in the walls. Grandmothers apartment is separated with only a foot or so of drywall - we can hear her tv if it’s loud enough through the wall and into the master bedroom next to it.
Budget: $500.00 CAD.
Main purpose for router: Need extended and reliable range, don’t care for all the bells and whistles - cannot make my own, not network savvy, only know the basics.
Note: I don’t want another mesh setup, I would rather have one really good router instead.

Thank-You.
 
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:18 am

1200ft^2 is pretty tiny. We service our 2000 ft^2 house with a single Uniquiti AC-AP eight no problem. It even covers most of the front and back yards. It is ceiling mounted in the middle of the house and goes brought he block walls no problem.
 
timesupuk0ed
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:29 am

I know it’s tiny, but the problem is numerous walls of the rooms have concrete so that exponentially degrades the signal. On top of that, the dining room is actually an extension of the 3bedroom corner apartment i.e. it extends into the staircase, which is why all corner houses in this building have concrete extension. One AirPort Extreme is in my room (main), the second is in the living room/dining area which extends the signal, and lastly, the third extreme is in my grandparents living room (on the other side of our conjoining wall).

This is why I want a signal great router mainly for its range, instead of another mesh network as their signal degrades overtime (I don’t change routers very often, thus they have to last 5-10yrs). That and the added points of failure with a mesh network.

As for ubiquiti, I was looking into it a while back, and while it’s great for typical houses made up of wood, I couldn’t find any information back then about how good it does with concrete instead. This was a few years ago, if they have changed with even more powerful built-in antennas since then, which are capable of going through concrete walls, I’ll look into them again. Thanks for the suggestion.
 
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:57 am

we also service our house with Ubiquiti UAP-AC.
i installed 3 lite models (~CAD120$ ea). 1 on the basement's ceiling, 1 on the ground level's ceiling and 1 outside about 50' away from the house in our BBQ island. (bbq island is one single block of concrete and it radiates pretty good nonetheless)
 
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:55 am

Thirded for Ubiquiti. After having deployed UniFi at work and being very satisfied with it I got the AP AC PRO for my condo that's also 1200 sq ft. Maybe a bit of overkill but it's solid. While I was at it I also got their router and switch. They replaced Optimum provided gear. Couldn't be happier. WAP is downstairs and the PC is upstairs. Speed tests show about 100 mbps download which I never got even close to with the Optimum WAP. Granted, I have no concrete walls in the place. Also the frequent disconnects are a thing of the past. They also make the AmpliFi line for home but I'm not familiar with it. If you decide to go with it just make sure you familiarize yourself with their controller software as the devices don't offer web interfaces for configuration. There is the option of the Cloud Key at additional cost but I used a laptop and saved the configuration file in a safe place. Once they are configured, the controller software can be shut down. For any questions I'd recommend their forums.
 
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:36 am

Just going to add yet another vote for a UniFi, got an AP-AC-LR at home and it is rock solid.
 
timesupuk0ed
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:31 pm

Thanks for all of the replies. It’s clear that ubquiti is the choice of routers. Quick question though, on amazon Canada I found the router, but do you guys recommend buying the package deal i.e. router + 2 extenders?

https://www.amazon.ca/Ubiquiti-Networks ... quiti&th=1
 
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:42 pm

Sorry, can't help you there but Ars Technica has some good write-ups here, here, and here (just skip the ads). If you want just one device then that AmpliFi router might just be the ticket. See if they offer hassle free returns if it doesn't work for you (or if the extenders aren't needed). Or (if they do offer hassle free returns) you could try the AP AC PRO. Funny thing with Wi-Fi is that you won't know if it works until you try. Note about AP AC PRO: it needs a router/switch to plug into, preferably with PoE ports as otherwise you need to make sure to get the model with the power injector.

PS. Ugh, that's a huge premium over Amazon US. Is that because of the stupid trade wars?
 
timesupuk0ed
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:04 pm

bitcat70 wrote:
Sorry, can't help you there but Ars Technica has some good write-ups here, here, and here (just skip the ads). If you want just one device then that AmpliFi router might just be the ticket. See if they offer hassle free returns if it doesn't work for you (or if the extenders aren't needed). Or (if they do offer hassle free returns) you could try the AP AC PRO. Funny thing with Wi-Fi is that you won't know if it works until you try. Note about AP AC PRO: it needs a router/switch to plug into, preferably with PoE ports as otherwise you need to make sure to get the model with the power injector.

PS. Ugh, that's a huge premium over Amazon US. Is that because of the stupid trade wars?



I see. You are right, that’s the pain with wireless systems. I was actually looking into the D-Link 890L for its range, and the Asus AC88U, although I’m weary of the Asus since I owned one of their older flagships when it had just come out and that thing overheated and slowly lost about 50% if it’s range (AC68U, if I remember correctly).

As for the price, you are absolutely correct, because of NAFTA being in limbo, even though the Canadian economy is going well, the uncertainty is keeping it suppressed. Trumps recent tariffs don’t help either. Luckily, I might be able to get my brother to purchase whichever router I go with from the US.
 
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:01 am

a colleague bought the Amplifi setup and he's actually not at all impressed.

what i use is this model. i also have a few dozen of their UAP-AC-PRO deployed at work.
 
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:03 pm

I have an older Ubiquiti A/B/G ceiling-mount style unit serving our entire house from the basement under a stairwell, and it gets through the stair framing and two 2x10-framed floors to the top level at about 80% strength. It reaches the carport outside at about 50% strength even though the line-of-sight is through the concrete foundation. At some point I want to move it up to the closet on the next floor, just above the stairwell, but that's waiting until I demo the inside of that same closet to install a light and reroute the HVAC thermostat

Is there a location in the apartment that has Internet access, where you can draw a line to every other apartment while hitting, at most, one concrete wall? If so, a single Ubiquiti router installed at that location, possibly the long-range rated unit (UAP-AC-LR), would probably make you very happy. Just pay attention to the fact that Ubquiti designed some of their units to use 24V PoE and some to use 48V PoE. Normally the unit will include the correct PoE injector in the shipping box; use that and you should be fine.
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timesupuk0ed
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:54 pm

Thanks for all of the suggestions everyone. I have done more research on ubiquiti mesh network routers and it doesn’t seem to be worth the price they’re asking. A lot of people seem to say that when extending the Wi-Fi signal, the extenders lose ~40% of their bandwidth, which is really not good. I know there is always a hit when extending the range, but 40% Is simply too much. Also, in terms of range from other tech reviewer sites, it seems to be mediocre to good, not great.

I always hated this part of purchasing routers, when the AirPort Extreme AC had come out I almost immediately got it because it was a very simple device to use and it’s range at the time was great, however, as with anything tech, it has slowed down since then. Apple discontinuing their entire router division doesn’t instil any further confidence either, which is precisely why i want move off of airport routers and sell them while they’re still worth something.

Anyways, do any of you guys know of a single router solution that’s been really good with range? I don’t want to deal with a mesh network if I don’t have to.

Thanks.
 
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:18 pm

timesupuk0ed wrote:
Anyways, do any of you guys know of a single router solution that’s been really good with range? I don’t want to deal with a mesh network if I don’t have to.

Thanks.

Netgear R7000/P for "budget"
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FWIW, as an anecdote, I have an R7800 and it covers my whole home, which is a fair bit larger than your place of residence. Of course it doesn't have cement walls in the middle though, but it does cover a lot of square feet.
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timesupuk0ed
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:57 pm

DancinJack wrote:
timesupuk0ed wrote:
Anyways, do any of you guys know of a single router solution that’s been really good with range? I don’t want to deal with a mesh network if I don’t have to.

Thanks.

Netgear R7000/P for "budget"
Netgear R7800 for a little more juice

FWIW, as an anecdote, I have an R7800 and it covers my whole home, which is a fair bit larger than your place of residence. Of course it doesn't have cement walls in the middle though, but it does cover a lot of square feet.


I was thinking about this router: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01N57VABO/ref ... 5c5e04125d
 
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:01 pm

timesupuk0ed wrote:

Why? What does that router have that you need/want over others?
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:03 pm

ludi wrote:
Just pay attention to the fact that Ubquiti designed some of their units to use 24V PoE and some to use 48V PoE. Normally the unit will include the correct PoE injector in the shipping box; use that and you should be fine.


You'd think! Make sure the description actually states it comes with the PoE injector. Learned the hard way. Or if going the PoE switch way, make sure it's compatible with it.
 
timesupuk0ed
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:13 pm

DancinJack wrote:
timesupuk0ed wrote:

Why? What does that router have that you need/want over others?


Oh, I haven't had the best of luck when it comes to Netgear in the past, that, and the fact that they don't actually sell the R7800 on Amazon Canada.
 
timesupuk0ed
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:19 pm

For any future replies, I'll make my desires condensed. The number 1 thing a router that I will purchase needs is reliability - I don't want to go through daily/weekly restarts, it's a pain in the rear when I used to own my ASUS RT-AC68U, and don't ever want to go through that again. Number 2 is the range. I don't care about NAS capabilities or any nifty features that may add to the routers value. I essentially want a plug and play router with good reliability and range - everything else is secondary. The AirPort Extremes were great when it came towards their reliability and range at the time, but now are showing their age and Apple scrapping their networking team altogether was the final nail in the coffin.

Thank-You for all of your suggestions so far!
 
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:25 pm

I would/do put in UBNT units as well. The ERL is a great home router, and the ER-X is cheap and solid enough (the ERP-4 is fantastic). And the UAP-AC WAP is a solid unit. Even the Lite is good (but I like having ethernet Pass-thru on the Pro, as you can daisy chain the APs if you can run near an AC outlet to power the injector, or just hang some wired section off of it-you can put it right in the middle of a wire run if you want to cut and reterminate).
Also, I believe the newest AC -Lite units work with normal PoE now and not just the weird Passive PoE they used to support.
Finally, they have a Wave2 unit that looks pretty good as well (its sorta gimped on 2.4Ghz, but I'm not sure that’s a pressing issue in 9 out of 10 homes).

I have 3 units in my 1200sf apartment: 2 handle 5Ghz only and one by a window handles 2.4Ghz (so I can get a signal down to the laundry room in the building).
 
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:48 pm

timesupuk0ed wrote:
For any future replies, I'll make my desires condensed. The number 1 thing a router that I will purchase needs is reliability - I don't want to go through daily/weekly restarts, it's a pain in the rear when I used to own my ASUS RT-AC68U, and don't ever want to go through that again. Number 2 is the range. I don't care about NAS capabilities or any nifty features that may add to the routers value. I essentially want a plug and play router with good reliability and range - everything else is secondary.

As noted above in the thread -- have you looked at the Unifi UAP-AC-LR? A bit pricey but optimized for long range.
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timesupuk0ed
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:13 pm

ludi wrote:
timesupuk0ed wrote:
For any future replies, I'll make my desires condensed. The number 1 thing a router that I will purchase needs is reliability - I don't want to go through daily/weekly restarts, it's a pain in the rear when I used to own my ASUS RT-AC68U, and don't ever want to go through that again. Number 2 is the range. I don't care about NAS capabilities or any nifty features that may add to the routers value. I essentially want a plug and play router with good reliability and range - everything else is secondary.

As noted above in the thread -- have you looked at the Unifi UAP-AC-LR? A bit pricey but optimized for long range.


Hi, I just started looking into it. (I am a complete novice when it comes to networking) - What do I exactly need to get everything working with either the UAP-AC-LR or UAP-AC-PRO? I am leaning more towards the pro as I like to buy things related to networking once and leave it unchanged for years to come.
 
timesupuk0ed
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:52 pm

Also, is the HD version of the Ubiquiti AP worth it for the MU-MIMO standard?
 
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:31 pm

If Ubiquiti pricing is too rich for your blood, try the old method of buying a few dual-band, plug-in, AC range extenders that have ethernet ports and can be piggybacked off a powerline network and run as an access point

I'm not sure about the US, but over here you can actually get powerline modules with built-in access points. Just disable DHCP of the extender, ensure that it matches the SSID and WPA2 passphrase of your router's WiFi network, and let your router do the routing/DHCP'ing and your devices decide how aggressively they want to roam between APs.

I find this works well with large houses spanning multiple floors with poor inter-floor WiFi signal. 5 floors (4 additional APs) is the most I've ever tried with this method. Anything larger than that can usually afford either Meraki or Ubiquiti.
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:33 pm

timesupuk0ed wrote:
Also, is the HD version of the Ubiquiti AP worth it for the MU-MIMO standard?

Not unless you have hundreds of devices. Also he LE isn’t worth the price versus the pro. Even the lite will work for you.
 
timesupuk0ed
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:13 pm

I see. Well price isn’t too large of an issue as I buy once and spend decent money st that time as an investment for less headache years down the line. I will probably either try the Lite and/or pro, and if it works better than my current setup of 3 APExtremes then I’ll sell 2 of them.
 
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:18 pm

Just as an FYI (since I haven't seen it mentioned) - the Ubiquiti APs are exactly that - just wireless access points. They don't do any routing so you still need a router to connect the AP to - either one of Ubiquiti's routers or another one (or even one of the AirPorts, you could disable the WiFi in it and use it as a pure wired router).

I use pfSense in a VM at home as my router with a Ubiquiti AC Lite as my WiFi access point and an FTTC modem supplied by my ISP, for example.
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timesupuk0ed
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:47 pm

Mentawl wrote:
Just as an FYI (since I haven't seen it mentioned) - the Ubiquiti APs are exactly that - just wireless access points. They don't do any routing so you still need a router to connect the AP to - either one of Ubiquiti's routers or another one (or even one of the AirPorts, you could disable the WiFi in it and use it as a pure wired router.


I see. I do have one question though, if I choose not to disable the wifi of my AirPort Extreme, will it cause an interference with the access point?
 
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:53 pm

timesupuk0ed wrote:
Mentawl wrote:
Just as an FYI (since I haven't seen it mentioned) - the Ubiquiti APs are exactly that - just wireless access points. They don't do any routing so you still need a router to connect the AP to - either one of Ubiquiti's routers or another one (or even one of the AirPorts, you could disable the WiFi in it and use it as a pure wired router.


I see. I do have one question though, if I choose not to disable the wifi of my AirPort Extreme, will it cause an interference with the access point?


The Ubiquiti APs are pretty smart and will pick an empty-ish channel when they're setup, so they shouldn't cause you problems on that front. You will end up with two separate WiFi networks however, one from the Airport and one from the Ubiquiti.
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timesupuk0ed
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:56 pm

Mentawl wrote:
timesupuk0ed wrote:
Mentawl wrote:
Just as an FYI (since I haven't seen it mentioned) - the Ubiquiti APs are exactly that - just wireless access points. They don't do any routing so you still need a router to connect the AP to - either one of Ubiquiti's routers or another one (or even one of the AirPorts, you could disable the WiFi in it and use it as a pure wired router.


I see. I do have one question though, if I choose not to disable the wifi of my AirPort Extreme, will it cause an interference with the access point?


The Ubiquiti APs are pretty smart and will pick an empty-ish channel when they're setup, so they shouldn't cause you problems on that front. You will end up with two separate WiFi networks however, one from the Airport and one from the Ubiquiti.


Oh, I see. If I were to get 2 access points would that create 2 separate networks or would they create a single one? Also, is there a way for merging the network from my AirPort Extreme and the access point to act as one?
 
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Re: Need to replace AirPort Extreme setup.

Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:06 pm

timesupuk0ed wrote:

Oh, I see. If I were to get 2 access points would that create 2 separate networks or would they create a single one? Also, is there a way for merging the network from my AirPort Extreme and the access point to act as one?


It would create two separate networks with different SSIDs on different channels - if you tried to put them both on the same SSID/channel it'd cause conflicts between the APs. While not something I've experience of, while it's possible to have one SSID cover multiple physical APs (as you're doing with your trio of AirPorts), I don't believe it would work across different manufacturers kit. Is there a reason you wish to keep the AirPort WiFi active rather than just relying on the new AP - after all the reason you're getting the AP is to replace the three existing ones, from what I can tell? :)
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