Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

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TomatoTomahto
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Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:01 am

Based on a recent post by RickBoglehead, I realize that I should upgrade my wireless access points to allow a Guest Network.

For a number of reasons, I am not interested in a mesh network. We have fieldstone throughout the house, so please don't recommend a WAP that has great range; I need 3 locations (at least) for my WAPs.

My current topology is an Airport Extreme in the cabana, an Airport Extreme in the garage, each with their own SSID. Additionally, the main house has 3 Extremes, one connected to Ethernet from the router (FIOS), and the others with Ethernet coming off the main Extreme.

Because of a bunch of "inside baseball" stuff, the Extremes do not reliably support a Guest Network; you have to ignore Double NAT and in any case, the Guest Network doesn't connect to the Internet. PITA.

I think I should replace the 3 Extremes in my house with some other WAP that will not have this problem, as I want to connect my smart devices to the Guest Network. Recommendations? They do not have to be stellar at range, since they will be spaced throughout the house, but the software should be simple to configure.

TIA.
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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:10 am

I am just curious. Why do you not want a mesh network in your home?

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by KlangFool » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:15 am

OP,

I have good experience with this router and I bought two for my kids to be used in their colleges. And, the price is great! It is less than $50.

https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-AC1750-S ... 621a6b118d

KlangFool
Last edited by KlangFool on Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:16 am

I would echo that question (why not mesh?). I also have zero experience with Apple products, except the fruit.

I bought the Google 4-pack at Costco, put 2 in my house, and service is good throughout and outside, although I have not tested outside significantly as I installed it during winter. I plan on putting the 2 other pucks in our cottage.

I did discover one issue when setting up the Google device. It gives you the ability to restrict access to the internet for any device, which is great. However, I have a sprinkler controller that uses port forwarding. Port forwarding is not allowed on a Guest network device with Google. So, I decided to move it to the home network, because it has certificate security, and figured I could block access to doubly ensure security, then unblock it when I wanted to program the sprinklers. Can't do that because port forwarded devices cannot be blocked...
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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by miamivice » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:37 am

KlangFool wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:15 am
OP,

I have good experience with this router and I bought two for my kids to be used in their colleges. And, the price is great! It is less than $50.

https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-AC1750-S ... 621a6b118d

KlangFool
I'll give a +1 to the TP-Link line of products. I use TP-Link cards in my computers and also have a TP-Link router (not sure if the exact same one as KlangFool). They are the cheapest out there and their reliability has been incredibly high.

I do not know if they have Guest network capability. We do not have a guest network but also do not have guests, so it is a non-issue at our house.

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:42 am

miamivice wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:37 am
I do not know if they have Guest network capability. We do not have a guest network but also do not have guests, so it is a non-issue at our house.
It is not a non-issue if you have internet connected devices in your home - switches, outlets, alarm system, thermostats, appliances, fans, garage doors, etc.

However, your router most assuredly has Guest network capability.
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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by hand » Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:29 am

Perhaps you really want more than just a "Guest" network?

I'm pretty happy with Unifi access points which generally allow for four concurrent wireless networks with minimal setup.

My pretty typical setup is:
1) Primary network
2) Internet of Things / Media network (setup with Guest attributes, to limit access to Primary network and other devices)
3) Guest network with easy / no password for visitors to the home (setup with Guest attributes, to limit access to Primary network and other devices)

Depending how far down the rabbit hole you want to go, Unifi has as robust a set of features as a home user could want. Notably, Power over Ethernet as a way to simplify access point installs, and bandwidth by WLAN / user group ensure auxiliary users don't interfere with primary users of the internet (home office etc.). UAP-AC-Lite and UAP-AC-LR are typical home models, but there is a case to be made for the nano-HD for future compatibility given the relatively small upcharge if you care more about top speed than long reach.

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by Quickfoot » Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:35 am

Doing individual APs is bad design in 2019. You don't get seamless handoff and devices get stuck on low signal APs when they move throughout the property (think phones and laptops). The only real reason NOT to go with mesh these days is if you only need one router.

The Linksys Velop mesh system would be ideal for you, you can have as many nodes as you want and they can do wired backhaul resulting in two 5 ghz 1.2 gbit networks and one 2.4 ghz per AP with seamless AP handoff. If you don't have a wired port for backhaul it uses one of the 5 ghz networks for node to node communication. Velop also has built in guest network capability.

I'm running 3 Velop nodes (1 upstairs, 2 downstairs) on a 1 gigabit Internet connection and 60-70 devices with zero problems. I'm going to add a 4th node to get signal to exterior security cameras on a corner of the house (wifi inside is great but always struggles to punch through exterior walls).

If you truly want to avoid mesh look at Linksys Max-Stream routers, you are going to spend the same or more than if you went Velop though.

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by mrb09 » Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:37 am

I used to have an extreme and 3 expresses for my wifi network. I replaced the main network with google wifi which is a mesh and what you said you don't want. But the part that might be interesting is I kept the extremes and expresses, just configured them for slaves. I use the extreme for my time machine disks, and I use the expresses for when I need an ethernet port, like my weather station in my shed.

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:48 am

Quickfoot wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:35 am
Doing individual APs is bad design in 2019. You don't get seamless handoff and devices get stuck on low signal APs when they move throughout the property (think phones and laptops). The only real reason NOT to go with mesh these days is if you only need one router.

The Linksys Velop mesh system would be ideal for you, you can have as many nodes as you want and they can do wired backhaul resulting in two 5 ghz 1.2 gbit networks and one 2.4 ghz per AP with seamless AP handoff. If you don't have a wired port for backhaul it uses one of the 5 ghz networks for node to node communication. Velop also has built in guest network capability.

I'm running 3 Velop nodes (1 upstairs, 2 downstairs) on a 1 gigabit Internet connection and 60-70 devices with zero problems. I'm going to add a 4th node to get signal to exterior security cameras on a corner of the house (wifi inside is great but always struggles to punch through exterior walls).

If you truly want to avoid mesh look at Linksys Max-Stream routers, you are going to spend the same or more than if you went Velop though.

I have to ask - 60 to 70 devices? What in the world do you have connected?

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by Ged » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:15 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:01 am

For a number of reasons, I am not interested in a mesh network. We have fieldstone throughout the house, so please don't recommend a WAP that has great range; I need 3 locations (at least) for my WAPs.
My guess is that you have a lot of devices. Recently I replaced my old WAP with an Asus RT-AC5300 to gain lower latency and capability to handle more devices without saturation. It also has guest network capability which I use. While it has great range and ability to mesh those are features that you can ignore if you wish. It is fast enough to handle 4K streams. I haven't tried 4K HDR.

One of the reasons that I like Asus products is the ability to use open source firmware - which is usually more reliable and secure than closed source. Many of their products use re-skinned open source firmware.

The downside is that it isn't especially easy to configure.

These guys sell the RT-AC5300 pre-loaded with Open Source firmware and offer support services if you are concerned about configuration.

https://www.flashrouters.com/routers?gc ... gJ-uPD_BwE
Last edited by Ged on Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by batpot » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:16 am

The T-mobile Asus Tm-ac1900 frequently goes on sale for $40.
Can be flashed to a RT-AC68U/P.

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:20 am

Dottie57 wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:10 am
I am just curious. Why do you not want a mesh network in your home?
I guess I should restate that. I am not interested in a mesh network without Ethernet backhaul.

If anyone has lived in a house with many rooms that are full of fieldstone, they will understand. The only two things fieldstone insulates against are Wi-Fi and cellular.
Last edited by TomatoTomahto on Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by flarf » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:28 am

The Netgear Orbi products can now use Ethernet backhaul.

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:29 am

hand wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:29 am
Perhaps you really want more than just a "Guest" network?

I'm pretty happy with Unifi access points which generally allow for four concurrent wireless networks with minimal setup.

My pretty typical setup is:
1) Primary network
2) Internet of Things / Media network (setup with Guest attributes, to limit access to Primary network and other devices)
3) Guest network with easy / no password for visitors to the home (setup with Guest attributes, to limit access to Primary network and other devices)

Depending how far down the rabbit hole you want to go, Unifi has as robust a set of features as a home user could want. Notably, Power over Ethernet as a way to simplify access point installs, and bandwidth by WLAN / user group ensure auxiliary users don't interfere with primary users of the internet (home office etc.). UAP-AC-Lite and UAP-AC-LR are typical home models, but there is a case to be made for the nano-HD for future compatibility given the relatively small upcharge if you care more about top speed than long reach.
Those (older versions) were installed at the house when I moved in. They are large and ugly, IMO, but perhaps if they weren’t mounted high up the wall they’d be okay. I really don’t want to go far down the rabbit hole, as network instructions make my eyeballs spin even more than IRS documents.

I will research this more. Thanks.
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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:33 am

Here’s another question.

We have not had issues with “handoff” between WAPs with the Apple products (same SSID, same password, AC devices).

Given that I insist (perhaps foolishly) on wired connections for my WAPs, what is the benefit of mesh for me? I ask that question sincerely.
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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by corn18 » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:34 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:20 am
Dottie57 wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:10 am
I am just curious. Why do you not want a mesh network in your home?
I guess I should restate that. I am not interested in a mesh network without Ethernet backhaul.

If anyone has lived in a house with many rooms that are full of fieldstone, they will understand. The only two things fieldstone insulates against are Wi-Fi and cellular.
I use my Google mesh with ethernet backhaul. Not sure I need it, but our house is wired for it so I use it.
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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:44 am

corn18 wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:34 am
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:20 am
Dottie57 wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:10 am
I am just curious. Why do you not want a mesh network in your home?
I guess I should restate that. I am not interested in a mesh network without Ethernet backhaul.
If anyone has lived in a house with many rooms that are full of fieldstone, they will understand. The only two things fieldstone insulates against are Wi-Fi and cellular.
I use my Google mesh with ethernet backhaul. Not sure I need it, but our house is wired for it so I use it.
With respect, are there instructions for how to do it that don’t include the word “workaround?” There’s apparently a workaround for Apple’s problems with Internet on guest network, but I have an aversion now to anything requiring a workaround.
The workaround
As stated earlier, the additional access points must not be connected via Ethernet until after the initial setup is complete. So how do you handle that when the signal doesn’t reach the intended location? Here’s how:

Temporarily place the additional Google Wifi devices to be used as access points close enough to be in range within the the house, office, studio or building (i.e. hotel or shopping center) in the relative direction of the final destination.
During the setup process, name each Google Wifi device with the intended location.
After setup has been successfully completed, connect any required Ethernet “switches” (more precisely called switching hubs), and move the temporarily located units to their respective intended locations, connect them via Ethernet, and apply power.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

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corn18
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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by corn18 » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:46 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:44 am
corn18 wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:34 am
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:20 am
Dottie57 wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:10 am
I am just curious. Why do you not want a mesh network in your home?
I guess I should restate that. I am not interested in a mesh network without Ethernet backhaul.
If anyone has lived in a house with many rooms that are full of fieldstone, they will understand. The only two things fieldstone insulates against are Wi-Fi and cellular.
I use my Google mesh with ethernet backhaul. Not sure I need it, but our house is wired for it so I use it.
With respect, are there instructions for how to do it that don’t include the word “workaround?” There’s apparently a workaround for Apple’s problems with Internet on guest network, but I have an aversion now to anything requiring a workaround.
The workaround
As stated earlier, the additional access points must not be connected via Ethernet until after the initial setup is complete. So how do you handle that when the signal doesn’t reach the intended location? Here’s how:

Temporarily place the additional Google Wifi devices to be used as access points close enough to be in range within the the house, office, studio or building (i.e. hotel or shopping center) in the relative direction of the final destination.
During the setup process, name each Google Wifi device with the intended location.
After setup has been successfully completed, connect any required Ethernet “switches” (more precisely called switching hubs), and move the temporarily located units to their respective intended locations, connect them via Ethernet, and apply power.
Dunno. I didn't have to use the workaround as I have reception at all the access points. Sounds like you do not. Seems like an incredibly simple workaround but you seem to have made up your mind that it won't work. Good luck.
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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:58 am

corn18 wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:46 am
Dunno. I didn't have to use the workaround as I have reception at all the access points. Sounds like you do not. Seems like an incredibly simple workaround but you seem to have made up your mind that it won't work. Good luck.
It is a simple workaround, the first time. We get frequent power outages, and the Apple devices come back with no intervention, but I’m not sure about the Google devices — will I have to go through setup again? Additionally, the requirement to place the devices “in the relative direction of the final location” gives me pause.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by shawndoggy » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:05 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:20 am
I guess I should restate that. I am not interested in a mesh network without Ethernet backhaul.

If anyone has lived in a house with many rooms that are full of fieldstone, they will understand. The only two things fieldstone insulates against are Wi-Fi and cellular.
FYI I have google mesh and all of the access points are running off of ethernet. We have a one story house with wifi needs in the far corners, and I'd previously run multiple routers (one "master" router serving the DHCP addresses, and others in access point mode (with static IP addresses) with DHCP disabled). Worked "OK," but never great (btw, I was using the TP Link routers that klangfool linked to).

Went to google mesh about six months ago and it works the way I'd wished my cobbled together system always would. Easy handoff between APs, and fast wifi speeds throughout the house.

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by corn18 » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:06 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:58 am
corn18 wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:46 am
Dunno. I didn't have to use the workaround as I have reception at all the access points. Sounds like you do not. Seems like an incredibly simple workaround but you seem to have made up your mind that it won't work. Good luck.
It is a simple workaround, the first time. We get frequent power outages, and the Apple devices come back with no intervention, but I’m not sure about the Google devices — will I have to go through setup again? Additionally, the requirement to place the devices “in the relative direction of the final location” gives me pause.
That's a good question. That would suck to have to redo it every time. We've had the power go out and the network comes back up but we have reception back to the hub, so not apples to apples. Always a mystery trying to figure out if it is re-meshing via the ethernet backhaul or via the wifi. I guess I could wrap my AP at the switch with tinfoil and see if the other AP's come up without WiFi.
Last edited by corn18 on Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by lazydavid » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:10 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:42 am
miamivice wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:37 am
I do not know if they have Guest network capability. We do not have a guest network but also do not have guests, so it is a non-issue at our house.
It is not a non-issue if you have internet connected devices in your home - switches, outlets, alarm system, thermostats, appliances, fans, garage doors, etc.

However, your router most assuredly has Guest network capability.
To be clear, separating these devices does not automatically mean they have to be on a Guest network. Any sufficiently feature-rich AP should allow you to create multiple protected networks with different SSIDs and different security policies.

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:15 am

lazydavid wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:10 am
To be clear, separating these devices does not automatically mean they have to be on a Guest network. Any sufficiently feature-rich AP should allow you to create multiple protected networks with different SSIDs and different security policies.
I'll yield to your expertise, but that's not my experience. Google WiFi for example does not support this.
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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by telemark » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:19 am

At the risk of being tedious, I don't understand why you are running into double NAT with the Airport Extremes. Assuming that you have another router connected to FIOS, none of the Extremes should be doing NAT at all. In Airport Utility, under the Network tab, the router mode should be set to Off (Bridge Mode) for each Extreme. Only one router, the one connected directly to the internet, should be doing NAT.

For what it's worth, I have a single Airport Express configured to provide a guest network and haven't noticed any problems.

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by crystalbank » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:23 am

I'd setup a Ubiquiti UniFi Wireless AP. They're a little bit more complicated to setup than regular consumer routers and they don't have a router built-in, just a really strong Wireless AP. They're designed for enterprise use, so they work incredibly well in multiple units. Since they don't have routers you don't have to worry about bridging etc and other network configuration setups. Once setup you don't have to ever touch them again and they have incredible range. I setup one in my parents house and I get strong Tx Rate even 100ft away and a couple of floors with many obstacles.

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by Elric » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:33 am

I hear very good things about MicroTik (https://mikrotik.com/products/group/wir ... and-office), and I've been very happy with my MicroTik router. I don't have one of their access points, so I can't speak from personal experience. They aren't the most user friendly for a consumer, but you sound like you know your way around.
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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by lazydavid » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:35 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:15 am
lazydavid wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:10 am
To be clear, separating these devices does not automatically mean they have to be on a Guest network. Any sufficiently feature-rich AP should allow you to create multiple protected networks with different SSIDs and different security policies.
I'll yield to your expertise, but that's not my experience. Google WiFi for example does not support this.
That's where the "sufficiently feature-rich" threshold comes in. :mrgreen: Most of the mesh systems, including Google WiFi, are focused on convenience and simplicity above all else. But for example, I have a 7+ year old Cisco router that supports unlimited SSIDs, either bridged or segmented from the wired network and each other. Albeit in early versions of the code, all but one of the SSIDs had to be hidden--that limitation was removed later on.

But we're getting pretty far afield here. :mrgreen: Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by jebmke » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:43 am

crystalbank wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:23 am
I'd setup a Ubiquiti UniFi Wireless AP. They're a little bit more complicated to setup than regular consumer routers and they don't have a router built-in, just a really strong Wireless AP. They're designed for enterprise use, so they work incredibly well in multiple units. Since they don't have routers you don't have to worry about bridging etc and other network configuration setups. Once setup you don't have to ever touch them again and they have incredible range. I setup one in my parents house and I get strong Tx Rate even 100ft away and a couple of floors with many obstacles.
When you say "strong" are you referring to the wifi signal strength or just that they are very good units. I

I have an old router in WAP mode at the end of a decent powerline connection that I'd like to replace with a unit that has stronger signal. I can get coverage in most of the area but there are some places where it fades.
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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by crystalbank » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:57 am

jebmke wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:43 am
crystalbank wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:23 am
I'd setup a Ubiquiti UniFi Wireless AP. They're a little bit more complicated to setup than regular consumer routers and they don't have a router built-in, just a really strong Wireless AP. They're designed for enterprise use, so they work incredibly well in multiple units. Since they don't have routers you don't have to worry about bridging etc and other network configuration setups. Once setup you don't have to ever touch them again and they have incredible range. I setup one in my parents house and I get strong Tx Rate even 100ft away and a couple of floors with many obstacles.
When you say "strong" are you referring to the wifi signal strength or just that they are very good units. I

I have an old router in WAP mode at the end of a decent powerline connection that I'd like to replace with a unit that has stronger signal. I can get coverage in most of the area but there are some places where it fades.
I meant to say strong signal. If signal strength is your top priority I'd even skip dual band model and stick with a 2.4Ghz one with a much beefier antenna like this one, Unifi Long Range AP.
https://store.ui.com/products/unifi-ap-1

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by shawndoggy » Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:01 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:15 am
I'll yield to your expertise, but that's not my experience. Google WiFi for example does not support this.
I'm running a guest network with google wifi. Are you running super outdated firmware or something?

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:03 pm

telemark wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:19 am
At the risk of being tedious, I don't understand why you are running into double NAT with the Airport Extremes. Assuming that you have another router connected to FIOS, none of the Extremes should be doing NAT at all. In Airport Utility, under the Network tab, the router mode should be set to Off (Bridge Mode) for each Extreme. Only one router, the one connected directly to the internet, should be doing NAT.
For what it's worth, I have a single Airport Express configured to provide a guest network and haven't noticed any problems.
I had multiple Airport Expresses in my old house, and I never had these problems either. In my new house, wired by the previous owner, there are two pulls to out-buildings (inside conduit, so I can’t examine them), and I have had nothing but problems when I tried to have all 5 of my WAPs (3 in the house, 1 in each out-building) on the same SSID. The best I’ve been able to achieve is 3 separate networks (one for each building), but no Guest Network.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:04 pm

shawndoggy wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:01 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:15 am
I'll yield to your expertise, but that's not my experience. Google WiFi for example does not support this.
I'm running a guest network with google wifi. Are you running super outdated firmware or something?
I was responding to a post that said multiple SSIDs in addition to a Guest network. Google WiFi allows one SSID and one Guest network, not multiple SSIDs.
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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by shawndoggy » Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:09 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:04 pm
I was responding to a post that said multiple SSIDs in addition to a Guest network. Google WiFi allows one SSID and one Guest network, not multiple SSIDs.
ah. Gotcha. Agreed. But that's sorta the whole point -- only one SSID. I really THINK (but admittedly don't KNOW) that the google mesh is perfect for the OP. Shoot they sell 'em at costco too. So easy return if it doesn't work.

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queso
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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by queso » Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:56 pm

crystalbank wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:57 am
jebmke wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:43 am
crystalbank wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:23 am
I'd setup a Ubiquiti UniFi Wireless AP. They're a little bit more complicated to setup than regular consumer routers and they don't have a router built-in, just a really strong Wireless AP. They're designed for enterprise use, so they work incredibly well in multiple units. Since they don't have routers you don't have to worry about bridging etc and other network configuration setups. Once setup you don't have to ever touch them again and they have incredible range. I setup one in my parents house and I get strong Tx Rate even 100ft away and a couple of floors with many obstacles.
When you say "strong" are you referring to the wifi signal strength or just that they are very good units. I

I have an old router in WAP mode at the end of a decent powerline connection that I'd like to replace with a unit that has stronger signal. I can get coverage in most of the area but there are some places where it fades.
I meant to say strong signal. If signal strength is your top priority I'd even skip dual band model and stick with a 2.4Ghz one with a much beefier antenna like this one, Unifi Long Range AP.
https://store.ui.com/products/unifi-ap-1
+1 for Ubiquiti. I have no experience with their non-mesh systems, but I have an Amplifi system and 2 AirFiber 5s and have been really impressed with the quality of all their devices.

JamesSF
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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by JamesSF » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:22 am

I have a similar setup you have (Airport Extreme as base router connected to internet, two Airport Expresses ethernet-connected to it, all on the same SSID). No problems with seamless switching to the strongest signal on the same SSID as I move around my 1929 wifi-phobic house. The base Extreme is configured normally to do NAT, and the satellite devices are in bridge mode, no NAT. I do use the guest network feature and it does connect to the internet - maybe its your configuration?

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:47 am

JamesSF wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:22 am
I have a similar setup you have (Airport Extreme as base router connected to internet, two Airport Expresses ethernet-connected to it, all on the same SSID). No problems with seamless switching to the strongest signal on the same SSID as I move around my 1929 wifi-phobic house. The base Extreme is configured normally to do NAT, and the satellite devices are in bridge mode, no NAT. I do use the guest network feature and it does connect to the internet - maybe its your configuration?
I probably have configured it incorrectly. Any ideas?
Image
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

shawndoggy
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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by shawndoggy » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:21 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:47 am
I probably have configured it incorrectly. Any ideas?
Image
Make one of the five the primary router. So for instance, if that's "downstairs," then also put Cabana and Garage in bridge mode. Then downstairs will be dealing out all of the dhcp addresses for the whole network, and a device connected to any of the routers could connect to another device connected to a different router.

While it's not a huge issue given that you have airport utility, I would personally also assign static IP addresses to each of the bridged routers, so you can find them later.

onourway
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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by onourway » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:26 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:47 am
I probably have configured it incorrectly. Any ideas?
I'm not clear - do all of these have the same SSID and password? If so, roaming should happen automatically.

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:39 am

onourway wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:26 am
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:47 am
I probably have configured it incorrectly. Any ideas?
I'm not clear - do all of these have the same SSID and password? If so, roaming should happen automatically.
For the moment, let’s forget cabana and garage.
The three Airports in the house have same SSID and password. Roaming is fine.
When I try to make Downstairs the master (rather than bridge mode), Internet is not available. Fios gigabit seems to want its router to control. There is not a separate modem, just Ethernet from the Fios router.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:41 am

And, if I make everything bridge mode, i can’t successfully make cabana and garage the same SSID. Not a huge deal, but a pita.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by inbox788 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:43 pm

I'm not familiar with routing functions of the Airport Extreme or FIOS, but it seems if you got a router and plugged all the Airports into it, it could be the gateway to your ISP. JamesSF seems to have it working with one of the Airport Extreme routers as the gateway. Or couldn't you use the FIOS router directly and plug all the Airport Extremes (using a switch if you needed extra ports)?

Configuration wise, what is your IP/NAT address space for FIOS coming in, at the Downstairs Airport, and the other remote locations? An overlap like 192.168.1.x used in multiple segments can sometimes be an issue. As can multiple DHCP servers. What device is the DCHP server?

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:56 pm

inbox788 wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:43 pm
I'm not familiar with routing functions of the Airport Extreme or FIOS, but it seems if you got a router and plugged all the Airports into it, it could be the gateway to your ISP. JamesSF seems to have it working with one of the Airport Extreme routers as the gateway.
i believe he’s connected the Extreme to a modem, and the AirPort Extreme is assigning IP Or couldn't you use the FIOS router directly and plug all the Airport Extremes (using a switch if you needed extra ports)?
that’s when everything starts getting a bit squirrelly.

Configuration wise, what is your IP/NAT address space for FIOS coming in, at the Downstairs Airport, and the other remote locations? An overlap like 192.168.1.x used in multiple segments can sometimes be an issue. As can multiple DHCP servers. What device is the DCHP server?the only thing that I’ve successfully gotten to work is 1). DHCP server is the Fios router 2) separate network names for cabana, home, and garage 3) works fine, but 4) internet does not work if I try to have a guest network
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by inbox788 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:19 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:56 pm
1). DHCP server is the Fios router 2) separate network names for cabana, home, and garage 3) works fine, but 4) internet does not work if I try to have a guest network[/color]
I thought Airport were supposed to be easy to setup, but never had the pleasure. Is the the double NAT issue you're coming up against?

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/59 ... 5147483022

I don't really understand this VLAN stuff, and I might have gotten lucky and the routers I've used had it. If that's the issue, you might just replace the Downstairs Airport with another non-Aple routing device (that supports VLAN) and use Bridge Mode on all the remaining Airports.
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:41 am
And, if I make everything bridge mode, i can’t successfully make cabana and garage the same SSID. Not a huge deal, but a pita.
Are you plugging cabana and garage into FIOS router? Why not same as Office and Sunroom?

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:30 pm

inbox788 wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:19 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:56 pm
1). DHCP server is the Fios router 2) separate network names for cabana, home, and garage 3) works fine, but 4) internet does not work if I try to have a guest network[/color]
I thought Airport were supposed to be easy to setup, but never had the pleasure. Is the the double NAT issue you're coming up against?
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/59 ... 5147483022
I don't really understand this VLAN stuff, and I might have gotten lucky and the routers I've used had it. If that's the issue, you might just replace the Downstairs Airport with another non-Aple routing device (that supports VLAN) and use Bridge Mode on all the remaining Airports.
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:41 am
And, if I make everything bridge mode, i can’t successfully make cabana and garage the same SSID. Not a huge deal, but a pita.
Are you plugging cabana and garage into FIOS router? Why not same as Office and Sunroom?
Airport is very easy to set up, but as is so often the case with Apple, only if all of the components are Apple. Don't get me started on their productivity apps.

I don't know why cabana and garage don't work with the same network name when plugged into the FIOS router. The Ethernet cable goes into a conduit and then appears in the outbuildings at a jack; I have not looked into whether the wiring is funky; the previous owner was an EE and did some odd things.

I guess I have a few options:
1. Forget a guest network; take my chances. My PC is relatively secure, and my financial information is not shared to other devices.
2. Replace all of the Airport devices with something like Ubiquiti or other WAPs
3. Look into VLAN and see whether that's an option
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

bryanm
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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by bryanm » Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:53 pm

I think the fundamental problem with any sufficiently advanced technology is that making it easy to use (magic!) takes quite a bit of development, and that's usually only done for high volume use-cases. Your use-case is unique for a few reasons, but the most straightforward is that you're trying to do a non-mesh multi-WAP setup. That's just not a typically use case.

The complicating factor is the guest network. Different devices vary in how they support guests. I would argue the correct way is to do VLAN tagging--meaning each there are two virtual networks running through all the wires in your LAN, and each device gets assigned to one of those two virtual networks. However, typical consumer level devices don't take that route. Instead, they do guest isolation at the WAP, by simply never sending guest network traffic over the wired ports. In effect, they act as the "single arbiter of truth" for isolated guest traffic. In that configuration, I don't think it's possible to have a single guest network span multiple WAPs. (To be clear, I don't know what Airport Extremes do, but brief Google searching indicates that they don't support true VLANs.)

I suspect that the combination of multiple WAPs, guest network, and non-mesh means you're squarely outside of the typical home use case. At that point, your best option (aside from living with it) is to go the pro-sumer or small-business level route and buy something like Ubiquiti APs. They have all the bells and whistles, but you do have to know a bit about what you're doing.

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by inbox788 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:16 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:30 pm
I don't know why cabana and garage don't work with the same network name when plugged into the FIOS router. The Ethernet cable goes into a conduit and then appears in the outbuildings at a jack; I have not looked into whether the wiring is funky; the previous owner was an EE and did some odd things.

I guess I have a few options:
1. Forget a guest network; take my chances. My PC is relatively secure, and my financial information is not shared to other devices.
2. Replace all of the Airport devices with something like Ubiquiti or other WAPs
3. Look into VLAN and see whether that's an option
I think I finally get the problem. It's not just configuration and incompatible devices. You can work around those problem with wiring! You just need a common place to wire all the Airport Extreme connections into one device (not the FIOS router). I assumed the FIOS router was next to the Downstairs Airport Extreme, but I suspect there's some distance. How far apart are these 2 devices? Is there another Ethernet Cable available between FIOS router and Downstairs Airport? And how hard is it to run another cable or two?

I've had many issues with lack of ability to configure ISP routers, so I've configured all of my networks to use a single gateway device to the ISP, and not depend on the capabilities of their router.

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by bryanm » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:21 pm

inbox788 wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:16 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:30 pm
I don't know why cabana and garage don't work with the same network name when plugged into the FIOS router. The Ethernet cable goes into a conduit and then appears in the outbuildings at a jack; I have not looked into whether the wiring is funky; the previous owner was an EE and did some odd things.

I guess I have a few options:
1. Forget a guest network; take my chances. My PC is relatively secure, and my financial information is not shared to other devices.
2. Replace all of the Airport devices with something like Ubiquiti or other WAPs
3. Look into VLAN and see whether that's an option
I think I finally get the problem. It's not just configuration and incompatible devices. You can work around those problem with wiring! You just need a common place to wire all the Airport Extreme connections into one device (not the FIOS router). I assumed the FIOS router was next to the Downstairs Airport Extreme, but I suspect there's some distance. How far apart are these 2 devices? Is there another Ethernet Cable available between FIOS router and Downstairs Airport? And how hard is it to run another cable or two?

I've had many issues with lack of ability to configure ISP routers, so I've configured all of my networks to use a single gateway device to the ISP, and not depend on the capabilities of their router.
OP could probably solve the issue of forcing a single Airport Extreme to act as a router. (I know he reported problems currently, but I think they're solvable.) The bigger issue in my mind is the guest network. So far as I'm aware, Airports cannot do guest networking when in bridge mode (see my post above re: lack of true VLAN support). So, if a single Airport was the router, that WAP could do a guest network. However, the others would lack any guest connectivity.

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by inbox788 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:33 pm

bryanm wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:21 pm
OP could probably solve the issue of forcing a single Airport Extreme to act as a router. (I know he reported problems currently, but I think they're solvable.) The bigger issue in my mind is the guest network. So far as I'm aware, Airports cannot do guest networking when in bridge mode (see explanation above re: lack of true VLAN support). So, if a single Airport was the router, that WAP could do a guest network. However, the others would lack any guest connectivity.
Yes, I think that will solve his problem for the time being. Long term, a mesh solution is likely the best strategy. From what I understand, I think guest mode does work (not standard) if going through an Airport Extreme doing the routing. I think if OP can hardwire all the airports onto a single LAN and use a single gateway to the ISP, Apple products can do their magic. I was reading how Apple devices can "roam" between AP, but that might not work for non-Apple devices. This technology was ahead of it's time and doesn't adhere to current standards. Since Apple has adopted modern standards, its possible they broke some of their own things too. But OP and another poster seem to have Guest Networking successfully working on at least part of their network.

I've got some dead spots that I've looked for solutions, but the simplest has been to get up and move closer to the AP. I did looking hooking up multiple Airport APs, but that required running some wire, which was more involved. I'm just learning about Mesh solutions, but they change faster than I can keep up, so I hope by the time I really need it or get around to it, it's truly plug and play.

https://www.thegeekpub.com/5191/use-air ... idge-mode/

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Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

Post by killjoy2012 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:39 pm

If you have the IT/networking know how and inclination for taking on a small project, I'd second the recommendation above and look at moving over to prosumer-grade Ubiquiti Networks wireless gear. Their WAPs are priced anywhere from $50-300/each and support/prefer gigabit copper wired PoE backhaul. Then you'd either need to run their Unifi Controller software on a PC, VM or purchase their PoE-powered CloudKey which will manage all of the WAPs (plus their switches/routers if you so choose), provide you with a pretty GUI mgmt console and 24x7 monitoring, and runs the guest wireless landing page and user experience (which is totally customizable).

If cost isn't an issue, you could replace your existing Apple WAPs with UAP-nanoHDs which are relatively new and support 4x4 MU-MIMO. Cloud Key gen 2 info here. I just run the Controller in a Ubuntu VM in VirtualBox and it does fine, but the PoE CK gen 2 would be a nice to have. They also sell PoE switches and routers that could all be managed by the Controller. Only concern I may have would be the speed of your FIOS service, whether you're running any VPN tunnels or want to enable IDS, as the USG is only good to about 500Mbps (lower with IDS enabled)... so you may need to step up to the USG Pro depending on the variables.

All that said, if you're just looking for a plug and play solution, this isn't it. But it will give you great wifi coverage for both 2G and 5G, seemless handoff between APs, a customizable guest wireless portal and remote mgmt.

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