What's up with the ridiculous price range of router, switch, etc that seemingly comparable?

Discussion in 'PC Purchasing Help' started by orangpelupa, Dec 30, 2021.

  1. Albuquerque

    Albuquerque Red-headed step child
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    Yes!

    There's a few missing parts to this conversation, if we're gonna get pedantic. We've talked about picking the right RF band (wifi channel), however what we must also consider is your neighborhood is dynamic. One neighbor will buy a printer with local wifi hotspot for direct printing, another will swap routers when their cheap ISP one dies, a third has a kid who keeps powering on the mobile hotspot on their personal cell to circumvent their parents time controls on the house router so they can play fortinite past midnight...

    So, a good prosumer device will not only pick a good channel at the outset, it will continually re-scan the spectrum to identify if the situation has changed and, if so, to re-select a new band accordingly. A really good prosumer device will actually build you an RF band plot of interfereing APs and their signal strength. Even better, a collaborating set of APs (eg with a central AP controller) will work among themselves to optimize their own bands and coverage. Basically all enterprise gear will do the same, however a "real" enterprise deployment will have an RF heatmap of their site generated and the AP radios will either by configured in real time during the heatmapping process, or a single discovery phase will be initiated and then the static configuration set in NVRAM.

    Another good piece of prosumer and enterprise gear will perform band-steering. You can obviously create individual SSID's unique to each band (2.4GHz versus 5GHz), and basically all routers these days will let you create just one SSID across both bands. What happens if you get stuck with a slower-speed (300mbps) client clinging to the 5GHz band? The answer is it sucks, unless you're on the ultra-modern AX platform, because it drags the entire radio spectrum down to the lowest speed common denominator. When assigning one SSID to both radio bands, a good quality APs can punt a shitty slow client onto the 2.4GHz spectrum to keep the nicer, well behaved 5GHz clients cooking at high speed. Even better, there are sometimes known-issue wifi cards in the world which have some sort of RF problem, so a good AP controller will keep a list of known MAC address prefixes to keep these known-issue clients off the problematic bands.

    Now to Orangpelupa's point: 100% power isn't really what you want, and you should probably try to avoid for best performance. He's very much correct in that bars do not specifically equate to performance! A good AP radio set can dynamically manage power based on the signal-to-noise ratio of the connected clients. Why blast the whole neighborhood with 100% power on your 5GHz band, when the four clients connected to your AP can be covered at 50% power while maintaining full speed? Also, the higher tech radio sets can use a technology called beam-forming, where an incredibly slight phase-change to one antenna (on a multi-antenna radio) purposefully induces a positive type of RF wave interference to enhnace long range coverage to a given client without necessarily jacking the power to all-the-watts.

    Plenty of people will be fine with a generic router from the local electronics shop, for sure. Still, a really good set of quality prosumer hardware can make a significant difference to you and your family's perception of internet quality at your house.
     
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  2. PSman1700

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    An advantage to living on the country side, no single neighbour wifi signal visible ;)

    What do you think of TP links omada line of networking gear?
     
  3. Albuquerque

    Albuquerque Red-headed step child
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    Yeah, but hows your internet service? ;) We get gig fiber to the house here, and despite having quite a bit of RF chatter around us, our house out-APs everyone else within RF reach haha.

    Honestly, I'm clueless about any of their gear. For years I've been a huge proponent of https://www.smallnetbuilder.com and find their review methodologies to be pretty solid. Anytime someone asks me for a network suggestion in the consumer space, I usually point them in that direction.
     
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  4. PSman1700

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    1gb/s fibre connection ;) Had to live with 24mbit adsl until 2017. No neighbours within a 150m or so radius.

    Ok cool that theres some interest and knowledge around b3d regarding networking aswell, never seen much activity around that here. SNB forums, many like asus routers there. To be honest, their not all that bad. Certainly not quality prosumer or enterprise though.
     
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  5. Albuquerque

    Albuquerque Red-headed step child
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    Yeah, agreed on their coverage of anything outside the pure consumer space being "meh." I don't participate in the forums, I just read the reviews. :)
     
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  6. Davros

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    More bars just means your holding it correctly
     
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  7. Albuquerque

    Albuquerque Red-headed step child
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    I think it means you're a vaxx sheeple???

    :D
     
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  8. DSoup

    DSoup Series Soup
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    This is a massive one. I bought an ASUS DSL-AC68U DSL modem/router in early in 2015 and it's had regular firmware updates to add significant functionality and implement security patches to the linux core ever since.

    Running an internet-connected router without security regular updates? Just no. :nope:
     
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  9. PSman1700

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    I still have an AC68U (AC1900) that has been running since i first got in 2013. It does service for a family member now. It never needs a reboot and is still running rock solid, great coverage and wired/wireless speeds. Last official update was a month or two ago at most. When i had it it was running merlin software.
    I think the routing/SoC performance of the ac68u is faster than the TP Link R605, and the wireless range and speeds where either close or exceeding that of the EAP245v3 i tested it against. The upside for the R605 is VLAN but otherwise its still missing some features, aswell as when adapted into the TP link system (controller etc) theres some limitations router-function wise.

    As much hate some or most consumer hardware gets, you get quite much performance and features for the money. The AC86U is quite the performer aswell, in special if you want higher VPN speeds. Again it all depends on what you want/need, a quality ubiquiti setup or better gear is obviously better in every way, but more often than not also more expensive and requires more knowledge to setup.
    For smb or larger situations its enterprise.
     
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  10. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    finally got a hand on an ubiquiti wifi route.

    no wonder its damn expensive. this damn thing is made of a ceramic or something.
     
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  11. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    First impression of unifi ap 6 lite

    1. Awesome build material
    2. Very very very confusing setup

    To setup this WiFi ap,

    1. I need to connect it to a network with DHCP server and Internet connection.
    2. Then I need to register ubiquiti account.
    3. Scan a tiny qr code on the bottom of the damn thing because auto discovery didn't work.
    4. Update firmware
    5. And unable to set static ip for each of them
    So it seems once the setup is complete, I still need the Internet router to give unifi ap ip address.

    This is really mind boggling cumbersome as I only need the WiFi access points as dumb access points where all ip addresses are manually set up.

    Super easy to do with cheap brands like Xiaomi.

    I guess I'll set the PC as dhcp server and hope the unifi ap will still work without Internet connection.

    If you know how to manually set ip address for the ap, please let me know.
     
  12. Pressure

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    Their consumer stuff is known as Amplifi.

    With their prosumer / business stuff you need a controller running their Network Application, either a computer running their controller software (can be downloaded here) or a dedicated unit with a built-in controller like the Cloud Key Gen 2 / Plus Gen2, Dream Router, Dream Machine or Dream Machine Pro / SE.

    That way you can manage all your devices with ease from the controller running the Network Application.
     
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  13. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    The computer already runs the controller software but the unifi devices cannot be set with static ip. They also cannot be transformed into a dhcp server.

    I'm thinking of using Windows ICS/hostednetwork to make the computer as dhcp server. But I'm not sure whether it can work over wired. I've only ever used them over wireles

    Edit
    https://help.ui.com/hc/en-us/articles/360012282453-UniFi-Self-host-the-Network-Application

    Yep the bloody thing requires Internet connection as it requires the unifi controller app on windows to login to unifi account.

    Edit, found this. Seems this will allow unifi ap to be used without dhcp server and router. But still requires dhcp server for the setup (and Internet for the ubiquiti account) https://community.ui.com/questions/...o-router/c0b8e2fa-d9c9-44a2-af07-6eac82052a14

    I should have stick to xiaomi hahaha. None of this headache with requiring Internet connection and dhcp server.
     
    #33 orangpelupa, Jan 3, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2022
  14. Pressure

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    Well, they are Access Points? If you needed a router you clearly bought the wrong product.

    Anyway, you can definitely set a static IP for any device. If you click on the topology button in the Network Application, select your Access Point and click settings. There you can configure a static IP under "Use Fixed IP Address".

    I believe the beta release of UniFi OS removes the need for an internet connection. It's definitely something they are working on.
     
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  15. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    I need access point. I don't need a router as all devices will use static addresses, and without Internet. Thus I didn't buy a router.

    Hopefully their no-Internet setup in future update mode will be really work, and no handicap
     
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