Author Topic: Wireless Internet Advice Needed  (Read 128 times)

Offline EDC

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Wireless Internet Advice Needed
« on: August 12, 2017, 05:38:48 PM »
I've been tasked with upgrading the wifi system in my fire station and I was looking to see if I could get some advice if there happened to be an expert on the village.  Here is the situation but I was looking to see if I could ask someone over the phone some stuff if possible.

Here is some info:
We are currently paying for 75mbs from comcast which is the best service that we can get from any company atm.  No fiber available atm.
The fire station is not too big but is two story and has a large 3 fire truck bay and one of the problems is that the kitchen is on the other side of the bay in its own room on the opposite side of the station.

Our current setup:
The cable comes in trough the bay, through the concrete into the downstairs office and we have one of those higher-end modem + wireless AC router comcast combo units. (The downstairs internet is great and we get 50mps+ downstairs with no complaints from anyone) -Perfect

They run a ethernet cable though the floor upstairs into a tv room and plug into an older linksys router that looks old and I'm guessing it is an N router.  Then they have an extender off that router into the bunk room which also looks old.  They complain about the service upstairs.  I get 50 mps+ in the tv room but they complain about their fire stick cutting out.  Im telling them to ditch the firestick and get a fire tv that is wired because the router is right there which would solve that problem.  The problem is the wifi off the extender in the bunk rooms off that router is only getting 5mps.  -I could just buy an nighthawk x4 router and extender which im sure will solve that problem but see below for my other concern

The main problem is that people like using their phones/devices while sitting at a table in the bay/garage and in the kitchen which through this area attached to the building on the other side.  The bay is full of trucks and they do have an old extender which is a linksys RE6500HG which is attached to the comcast router on the first floor but is on the other side of a concrete block wall.  Needless to say it is only giving 2mbs.  -Maybe i can try to run an ethernet cable from the comcast modem/router back through the wall and put a router in the bay to atleast see if i can get a better wifi there.  Any suggestions?

My other concern is this:
When you search for wifi at the station like 6 different options come up and it looks like a mess. 
There is:
Station downstairs 2.4ghz
Station downstairs 5ghz
Station upstairs 2.4gz
Station upstairs 5ghz
Station upstairs extender 2.4gz
Station upstairs extender 5gz
Bay extender 2.4ghz
Bay extender 5gz

Its confusing.  Most people are using IOS devices so i think it selects the best one but I might be wrong and you might need to manually select one as you move throught the station.

My main questions is should i look at some kind of Mesh wifi system that will auto switch instead of installing a bunch of netgear extenders to get the best signal.  I'm going for the easiest solution so people can not be easily confused.  I had someone at best buy try to talk me into the EERO Pro system so i[ve just started to do some research on them.  I have about $500 to use give or take a little.

Thanks for the help.
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Offline Hamster

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Re: Wireless Internet Advice Needed
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2017, 08:00:30 PM »
Throw it all away, and buy a good mesh network platform ( such as Ubiquiti Networks Enterprise AP Unifi ) //

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Offline k7

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Re: Wireless Internet Advice Needed
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2017, 10:06:47 AM »
mesh networks work well. the technology i see/work on in person is always already 2-3 years old, so i can't really recommend the latest and greatest (except netgear has been solid over the years, and i tell everyone to throw out their linksys/cisco equipment).

maybe also look into getting a second comcast cable fed into the kitchen, and run a wifi network that take care of that side of the concrete wall.
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Offline number six

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Re: Wireless Internet Advice Needed
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2017, 04:10:12 PM »
We exclusively use Ubiquiti access points at our client sites, when setup properly they can handle hundreds of connections at a time without choking.

I have 2 older AC Pros at the house, one at each end. They do just fine signal wise.

They are also easy to control with the centralized management software. You just setup the one Wifi network and start adding the Access Points to the network. They will all automatically use those same WIFI networks (unless told otherwise) so it's super simple and you'll only have one network throughout your campus (unless you want more).

Offline Maverick1978

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Re: Wireless Internet Advice Needed
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2017, 04:29:53 PM »
Add me to the ubiquiti bandwagon. I've used them for years as point to point systems (rocket m series, longest hop 14.6 miles) as well as mesh networks (ap series previously mentioned)

They're cheap. They perform well. They're easy to setup.

You can't go wrong with them. I suspect 2-3 of the ap units in mesh mode will have everyone quite happy regardless of where they're at in your firehouse. And probably outside of it too.

Offline WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

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Re: Wireless Internet Advice Needed
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2017, 06:40:05 PM »
I have Aerohive AP's, but I'm considering moving to the Ubiquiti UAP‑AC‑PRO. The feedback I've been hearing is overwhelmingly positive and they have a very attractive price point.
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