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Thread: To Mesh or Not to Mesh

  1. #1
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    To Mesh or Not to Mesh

    I have a large building that has three (3) floors; the building is brick and concrete with metal reinforcing. Currently I have two APís on the roof, two APís on the main floor and one AP on each of the other floors all connected by Ethernet cabling. All of the APís use the same SSID but each uses a different channel. Only one of the APís is 5GHz all the rest are 2.4GHz.

    I want to provide the fastest, most efficient, seamless Wi-Fi network, one that allows my users to move throughout the building as effortlessly as possible. I have been reading about Mesh networks and was wondering if this might be a better solution that what I currently have but I am not sure.

    Can anyone provide some guidance, should I stay with what I have or setup a Mesh network? Will I sacrifice anything by going to a Mesh network?

  2. #2
    Administrator Philip's Avatar
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    If you already have cabling to all APs, I wouldn't go to mesh topology because it will introduce more noise and simply replace some wired connection with more wireless communications.. You are usually better off using wired Ethernet. If you'd like to upgrade, you can simply get better access points, maybe even with some centralized management (Ubiquity, Engenius, Meraki, Aerohive, Aruba), maybe with PoE, but imho you wouldn't gain much by changing the topology.

    One thing you can do with your current hardware is use fewer channels, but further apart (staggered 3-4 channels apart, so that they don't overlap if they are within each other's range).

    For example:
    Floor 1: ch 1 and ch 11
    Floor 2: ch 6
    Floor 3: ch 1
    Roof : ch 11

  3. #3
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    Thanks Phillip, your comments were right along the line I was thinking but I just wanted other opinions. I do have channels set about the same as you suggested and may upgrade a couple of the AP's later but right now all seem to be working fine given the limited user base (family and visitors). I am using POE on several of the devices were power was not readily available. Now if I could just fine a better ISP in my area of Brazil that would offer me better than 10M I would be happy.

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