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What equipment should I buy to connect over a hundred WiFi devices?

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OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
I have purchased
https://store.ui.com/products/unifi-6-long-range-access-point
for $179

U6-LR-US.png

First and foremost, sincere thank you to Janus67 - a true visionary - who gave the best answer straight away.


So do not look for Ubiquiti elsewhere, their official store is the only place to get these - everywhere else they are SCALPING you, including on Amazon.
Second - the $350 HD is probably overkill - so that really only left these three models:

U6 Lite $99
U6 Pro $149
U6 LR - Long Range $179

=============

Both the Lite and the Pro are sold out currently - even if you can find them elsewhere - but that means the prices are going to be scalper prices - so you are paying 50% over MSRP for them elsewhere. There is no choice in December 2021 - only U6 LR is realistically available, for $179.


Finally, if you don't have to - maybe don't buy now and wait for the Wi-Fi 6E as "current products are a stopgap cash grab."
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
So now questions:


0. PoE switch vs. directly connecting one Ubiquity to my router https://www.netgear.com/support/product/R7960P.aspx


1. You said that using these devices as Access Points is a must, as using them as Extenders "immediately takes off 50% of the available bandwidth..." What does that mean in real life?


2. What is the real life difference of these five scenarios:


A: Having ONLY Ubiquiti as a wired Access Point and nothing else connected.

B: Having ONLY Ubiquiti as a wireless Extender and nothing else connected.


C: Having wired Access Point Ubiquiti and a wired access point Netgear device like this:
https://www.netgear.com/support/product/EX6200.aspx


D: Having wireless Extender Ubiquity and a wired access point Netgear device and nothing else connected.

E: Having wired Access Point Ubiquity and a wireless extender Netgear device and nothing else connected.
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
...And looking at the manual, so for $179, this thing does not come with a regular wall outlet?

Do I need to purchase additional parts to power it? Is a special Ethernet cable required? So... can I just connect it to this router with a regular Ethernet cable?
https://www.netgear.com/support/product/R7960P.aspx
 

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
You will want to verify that it is compatible with the AP you purchased. Different injectors use different standards and different wattage/voltage.

 

The_Jizzler

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2003
That one should work fine. I'm just unclear on the power sensing part of it. Some of theses injectors can tell if they are plugged into a non PoE device and won't send power. Some send power no matter what. Hard to tell on that one. Reads like it won't send to non PoE, but I'm unsure. Just be careful not to plug in any non PoE gear to it to be safe.

As to how to set it up, I would just use the ubiquiti for AP and nothing else. If you find you need more coverage, then just add more ubiquiti AP's. Don't go messing around with trying to extend/mix AP hardware, it'll be a mess and only used in worse case scenarios. Biggest issue is handoff as devices roam. The ubiquiti system, or any managed wifi system like it, will seamlessly hand off clients as they roam from AP to AP. Extended systems don't. Your phone will stay connected to the first one it connects with no matter where you roam in the house, for example.

So I say A is the best choice
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Well thanks man.

So I have a unique educational situation for us because most of us will have a tough time finding a test case with more house-hold WiFi devices than I have [triple digit number of them]... So I look forward to testing all this...

So to review:
-Ubiquiti cannot be plugged into my router and just work.
-Ubiquiti needs that PoE injector but does not need a switch [tell me more on pros and cons of having a PoE switch vs. direct plug of Ubiquiti into Router]

Since this model has 'Long Range' in its name, does that mean it has a wider reach through walls to my WIFI devices when compared to other Ubiquiti equipment, is it as good of a reach as the HD flagship Ubiquiti model Janus67 recommended?

I will not use any other Access Point devices - thank you for that warning. The *entire* point is to have uninterrupted synchronized music streaming on seven Google Chromecast Audio WiFi devices. And to be able to add more WiFi devices.


Any ethernet cable will do, right?
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
The UniFi (assuming you bought a Ubiquiti UniFi access point) is powered by PoE. In other words, it gets is power from the Ethernet cable that it is plugged into and does not have a separate power supply that is plugged into an AC socket. The UniFi access point has to be connected to a switch.

To get some terminology correct here:
- Router: Connects one network to another network
- Switch: Allows for wired devices to connect to a network
- Access Point: Allows wireless devices to connect to a network

Your "router" is a combination router, switch, and WiFi access point. The ports that are labeled LAN are actually a switch. As the switch ports on your "router" are not PoE switch ports, you will need a PoE injector to supply power to the UniFi access point.

A PoE injector has 3 ports on it:
(1) LAN In (connect this side to one of your "router" switch ports)
(2) PoE LAN Out (connect this side to your PoE device...i.e. your UniFi access point)
(3) DC Power In (powers the PoE injector, which allows it to "auto negotiate" the proper PoE voltage level with the PoE device)

There are multiple PoE Types and Power Levels:
(1) PoE (IEEE 802.3af): Max power 15.4 W per port
(2) PoE+ (IEEE 802.3at): Max power 30 W per port
(3) PoE++ (IEEE 802.3bt): Max power 60 W per port

I think there is a 100W version of IEEE 802.3bt, but I can't remember right now.

My UniFi access points draw about 3-ish Watts of power off the PoE switch (according to the switch).

Any ethernet cable will do.

The UniFi access point can be setup without their controller. However, to make it easy to setup, I would recommend downloading and installing their controller software to make the setup more seamless. It's light weight. You can run this on a PC, virtual machine, raspberry Pi, etc. You can keep the controller running 24/7, but you only really need it when you first setup the access point. The controller also makes it easier to upgrade the firmware in the access point.

I wouldn't do the "Long Range" version of the access point. Your devices at "long range" also need to be equally long range capable to take advantage. If the device is not long range capable, then it may have difficulty delivering enough transmit power back to the access point. (For example, when you see the WiFi signal strength on your phone, that is what your phone is RECEIVING from the access point, not what it is capable of transmitting.)

PoE is pretty cool.

When I installed my first access points, I used PoE injectors. However, I really liked the idea of PoE, so I later upgraded my hardware with PoE switches. I have the PoE switches running off a UPS...so both the switch and any PoE connected device stays powered up when I lose AC power...pretty cool.

There are also devices called PoE splitters. These have 3 port (PoE LAN in, LAN out, DC power out). I use PoE splitters to power my non PoE devices off my PoE switches. Again, these are UPS backed up through the PoE switch, and allows them to stay powered when I lose AC power.

You can connect non PoE devices to a PoE switch. The 802.3 protocol allows for auto detection and negotiation of required power levels and voltages.
 

The_Jizzler

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2003
Agree with JrClocker on the above.

And to touch on the LR thing a bit more, I would advise you turn down the power via the app/controller. Get a wifi signal strength app for your phone to test the strength through the house. -65db or lower and you should be fine. Adjust the AP power output as needed. If you are at the furthest point in the house away from the AP and strength is lower than -65db then lower the output on the AP. Can be in weird situations where the AP signal is soooo strong that devices really close to it cannot transmit/get drowned out by background and other traffic to/from the AP to/from further away devices
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Yeah - great point Jizzler! I run my access points at "high" power for the 5 GHz and "medium" power for 2.4 GHz.

Additionally, you will want to use the controller to set the channel manually (1, 6, or 11 for 2.4 GHz) and not "auto". The controller allows the access point to do a channel scan and it will tell you which channels have the lowest interference.
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Micro Center to the rescue with original Ubiquiti:

POE-48-24W-G.jpg


I don't understand what good is the LR - Long Range concept if we depend on the receiving Wi-Fi device's antenna to send that signal back?

I am concerned just one Access Point WiFi 6 Long-Range will not reach all the devices it needs to... 65 feet through walls.
 

The_Jizzler

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2003
Ittt shouldl reach, just at lower speeds. If not, you'll need another AP. Same deal with the LR AP, so long as your not at extremes, things can connect further away, just transmission from device to AP will be slower.
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Thanks for that optimism. I am going from the cheapest Extenders money can buy to the best Access Point option money can buy. Cheap stuff could not reach...

What do you guys consider low speeds, my maximum download speed from the internet is 700 KB/sec. Vast majority of stuff is one pulse On/Off lights. It will be interesting to experiment for sure, I am looking forward to it, I am about to find out the hard way little things about set up, so if anyone has done this with Ubiquiti, please post what to watch out for - I will post results for sure.

I maxed out on four Netgear and tp-link Access Points / Extenders. None can add more devices, I had to disconnect a few devices - just to be able to connect one more phone. So I am counting on this one Ubiquiti to accommodate between 100 and 200 devices.
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
The coverage you get depends upon many things...but 65 ft should be OK, just at reduced data rate as mentioned above.

The UniFi controller allows you to model what your coverage will be for your equipment, distances, and going through various material types. Here is what my house looks like:

2.4 GHz

UniFi Coverage.jpg


5G GHz

UniFi Coverage - 5G.jpg

The distance from the "bottom left" U6 Lite access point to the top left corner of the pool area is 50 ft. (diagonally). The exterior of the house is cinderblock construction, and the garage doors are steel. Interior walls are regular wallboard.

I originally had just the 2 access points on the top right and bottom left of the house. I added the 3rd one in the center to give me better 5 GHz coverage.
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Please post what 'reduced speeds' means in your world.

I have just connected this computer - my first device, to Ubiquiti's brand new Long Range model.
After factory resetting my Netgear Router, changing the master password and not connecting or adding anything to the router other than one single thing - the Ubiquiti Access Point WiFi 6 Long-Range U6-LR-US.


So now I will begin pain staking arduous task of connecting all the devices - it will be interesting to see the final number as I will document them all.
I actually have some WiFi lights in my barn, a hundred feet from the Ubiquiti - that's going to be the ultimate test I don't expect to reach. Here we go...

Thank you Janus67 and everyone for helping me make best decisions so far.
 

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
WAN and LAN speeds. In your case LAN speeds could be reduced the further you get from the AP. But when it just needs to send a pulse as long as it CAN stay connected speed does not matter