Access point for a big house

I'm looking for a good and not so expensive Access point on the professional side.

I have a client with a big house with thick walls, I will run cable to certain points of the house but I need a good access point but under $200,

A good reliable solution.

Do you guys have something from experience that works well?
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Troy MartinCommented:
How big is the house (sq ft)? One, two or three stories? Normal walls or lead walls? These questions will matter, as what will work for a 1500 sq ft house wont for a 5500 sq ft house. Same with walls/stories
alonig1Author Commented:
Thats Rubbish,

if you compare it to the cheap stuff its the best , but very far from the professional class.
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alonig1Author Commented:
Troy ,

I would say around 10,000 sq with a swimming pool and tennis court out side.
Dirk MareSystems Engineer (Acting IT Manager)Commented:
The dlink 2360 with POE in array configuration works great for large size environments.. Depending on the size of the network use 2 or more and preferably with cat 5/6 to all the access points.

alonig1Author Commented:
I'm looking for professional class and not advanced home class.
Craig BeckCommented:
@alonig1 - Have you ever actually used Ubiquiti gear?  It doesn't sound like you have?

Forgive me, but I deal with some of the best gear there is to offer, in all kinds of settings.  If I didn't think it was good I wouldn't have suggested it.
alonig1Author Commented:
Yes, I did.

In the home small Business it works very good, but let me give you example you can't compare the  Ubiquiti to aruba or ruckus ones ...the problem is that they are very expensive.
Troy MartinCommented:
Sorry, but for under $200 dollars, you won't be able to find anything decent. What are you going to use to manage your APs? I am running Cisco AIR-CAP3702I's using a 5508 WLC and those alone cost around $800 bucks per access point. I would differently consider them professional grade. But Cisco is extremely pricey, so it's not always an option for everyone.

You can always go with Ruckus, as I have a ruckus wireless network set up over at one of my schools, which works like a champ. They have internal and external APs for a decent price.  <- Controllers <- Indoor APS <- Outdoor APs

Hopefully this helps you make a decision.

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Craig BeckCommented:
Oh, I'm sorry.  I thought you came here asking experts for help.  It appears you're the expert?

I can compare Ubiquiti to Aruba and Ruckus.  I just did.  I've installed the likes of Aruba, Ruckus, Cisco, HP, Meraki, Ubiquiti, D-Link... you name it.  I'd say that, in my time as a WLAN consultant I've easily installed over 50,000 APs from different vendors.

The problem you have is that you stipulated $200 as the limit.  You go and find me an Aruba, Ruckus, or Meraki AP that can do the same as a Unifi AP for less than $200.  You won't.

If you'd have said you had $500 I'd have pointed you at something like the Cisco 2700, but you didn't.
alonig1Author Commented:
The problem with the expensive ones is the you need to get a controller that is also pricey.

Is there something in the middle?

the Ubiquiti you sent doesn't support 5ghz..
Craig BeckCommented:
The problem with the expensive ones is the you need to get a controller that is also pricey.
Not true.  Cisco's APs can run lightweight (controller) code or autonomous (controller-less) code.

the Ubiquiti you sent doesn't support 5ghz..
Like I said... you want it all for little cost.  You need to increase your budget or make do.  Also, you didn't stipulate 5GHz as a requirement.

I have a client with a big house with thick walls,
5GHz won't penetrate as well as 2.4GHz.  If you want penetration through the walls you shouldn't rely on 5GHz.
Craig BeckCommented:
Also just a note on the Ruckus APs...  They're usually more expensive than Cisco's APs if you put them against each other on equal features.

For example, the Cisco 2702 is the equivalent of the Ruckus R700 (the Cisco is actually marginally better on features).  The Cisco offering is around $250-$300 less than the Ruckus offering.
alonig1Author Commented:
Correct me if im wrong the speed with 2.4 is very limited as oppose to 5ghz is can get to much higher speed ?
Craig BeckCommented:
Correct me if im wrong the speed with 2.4 is very limited as oppose to 5ghz is can get to much higher speed ?
You're correct in one sense, but it's not always the case...

If you use 802.11g or 802.11a you're limited to 54Mbps PHY rate.  Technically 5GHz would give slightly faster throughput than 2.4GHz at 54Mbps (roughly 1Mbps more).  However, through an obstacle the 2.4GHz link would [generally] offer a more reliable link than the 5GHz link, so 2.4GHz would be better.

If you're wanting to use 802.11ac to achieve speeds over 450Mbps PHY rate you have to use 5GHz as 802.11ac isn't supported at 2.4GHz.  Also, using 802.11n you are limited (theoretically) to using 20MHz channel-widths instead of 40MHz channel-widths at 5GHz.  That means you can achieve 50% less throughput at 2.4GHz using 802.11n than you can using 5GHz.
alonig1Author Commented:

With your knowledge I rephrase my question,

in my circumstances , what would you recommend going with just N ? 2.4 ? 5 ghz or ac? what will cover the house the most with a decent speed.

I know that on paper some AP's say they get to 300mbps but they not even close.
Craig BeckCommented:
Going back to your OP...
I have a client with a big house with thick walls, I will run cable to certain points of the house but I need a good access point but under $200, you want to use more than one AP?  I'm assuming you're going to run cable for wired devices?

There's a reason I ask this.  If you want to use only one AP you need to rely on penetration through walls and floors.  That certainly won't cover a large house at 5GHz... not in a million years.  In that case you're better off just looking for a good 2.4GHz AP which does 802.11n.  You'll get somewhere around 144Mbps PHY link (which equates to roughly 60-65Mbps real throughput), but it'll be better than what you're likely to get at 5GHz.

If you want to use more than one AP, look at dual-band APs.  These will give you both 2.4GHz and 5GHz radios and depending on which AP you choose you could be looking at 450Mbps PHY at 5GHz (roughly 200Mbps throughput) if you go with an 802.11n AP, or anything up-to around 1900Mbps PHY (800Mbps throughput) using 802.11ac.  Obviously you're talking silly money for that, but it's what you could get.

Don't shoot me, but you can get a Linksys LAPAC1200 for under $200.  It is a business-class AP.  It'll give you around 420Mbps throughput at 802.11ac.
Natty GregIn Theory (IT)Commented:
4 access point connected at the strategic points will do and provide seamless wireless transfer on different channels, I would use the AC modems so that the 5ghz would connect to the smart tv's and other non tablets or phones for added performance.
alonig1Author Commented:
Is MIMO technology out of the game these day?

it use to be the most powerful wireless.
Craig BeckCommented:
No MIMO is still current - it's how 802.11n and 802.11ac operates.  MIMO still uses 2.4GHz and 5GHz though (802.11ac only works at 5GHz).

Unfortunately though it's not as simple as just sticking 4 access points at strategic locations.  You've said that the walls are thick.  That means we may not be able to cover the whole house with 4 access points to provide adequate coverage to seamlessly roam, and in any event, you need RADIUS to truly seamlessly roam without client disconnection.

As well as that, not all devices use 802.11ac (or indeed 5GHz).  Luckily though nearly all 802.11ac access points are dual-band so you'll still have 2.4GHz 802.11n functionality for those devices.
alonig1Author Commented:
If I configure all access points with the same ssid and key ..won't the roaming work seamlessly ?

won't the device connect automatically to the closes AP?
Craig BeckCommented:
The client will move between each AP without you doing anything, but will have to reauthenticate every time it moves to a different AP.  That means the link will drop momentarily.

The client won't necessarily connect to the closest AP - it's not that simple.
alonig1Author Commented:
So what is the right way to configure roaming ?
Craig BeckCommented:
Same SSID, authentication and encryption is a start.  If you're using PSK you won't get true seamless roaming though.  The client will always disconnect from the original AP to connect to the new AP as they don't share authentication information between them.

If you use RADIUS the RADIUS server maintains the session information so when the client moves between APs it is already authenticated, so the AP takes less time to let the client connect.  You're still disconnecting, but the time is much shorter.

If you want absolute seamless roaming you need RADIUS and a controller-based solution.

To recap, with preshared key you'll get automatic roaming, but it will cause a brief drop (probably 1s or so).
alonig1Author Commented:
That's ok.

They won't notice it's a house with iPhone and iPads .
Craig BeckCommented:
Cool, but you didn't answer whether you want more than one AP or not?
Craig BeckCommented:
Not even points for an assist...
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