MESH Linked EAP225_Outdoor Kinda Slow

MESH Linked EAP225_Outdoor Kinda Slow
MESH Linked EAP225_Outdoor Kinda Slow
2020-06-08 00:02:08
Hardware Version: V1
Firmware Version: 1.7.0 Build 20200113 Rel. 35383

So,

 

I've been trying to learn to love my relatively new EAP225-Outdoor that I have had installed for about 2 months now.  I have 2xEAP225 indoor and an OC-200 that I dearly love, but the Outdoor unit has always seemed "Meh" at best.  I've seen a lot of great reviews on Amazon, but my experiences haven't been that great.

 

Don't get me wrong.  It's works, my OC-200 adopted it and configured it right away, and it seems, so far, just as stable as my indoor EAP's.  It works well with my OC-200, configuration, status, fast roaming, etc.  All just as good as my regular EAP's.

 

But speed wise, signal strength wise, and performance consistency it's never really worked as well as I was expecting.  Now to be fair, it is on wireless MESH, which I also don't have much experience with.  I'm sure if I could run an Ethernet line to it, it would work much better.

 

So today I spent some time optimzing it's placement and configuration, and I've definately made some improvements.  Particularly in terms of signal strenth, signal consistency, and and throughput DL/UL consistency.  But it's still slower than I would have expected. 

 

Here are the changes I've made that have helped:

 

1) Moved it further from my house (and thus further away from the master node).  It used to be about 10-15 feet away from the AP through an outdoor wall (drywall, insulation, vinyl siding) mounted on of my Deck posts.  It's now at the edge of my back yard, probably ~50 feet away.

 

2) I've lowered the center of the antenna height from ~8 feet to ~5 feet -- the 3 or 4 dBi antenna should be pretty omnidirectional, but the unit definately seems to work better with the antenna at device height.

 

I suspect it was a combination of being too close to it with the antenna to high.  It just so happened I was bouncing between one of the minor lobes of the RF signal.  I tried removing the antennas to see if they were doing anything, and the AP quickly lost it's uplink connection (which works fine when they are on) so at least one of the antennas is working.  I've ordered some replacement antennas which may or may not be higher quality, 3 dBi and 6 dBi to experiment with.

 

3) I changed from using High / Medium transmit power to using the Custom scale.  I don't know why by the signal seems a lot strong on Custom -- even when setting the equivalent dBm (e.g. 14 or 22) which corresponds to Medium and High.  14 doesn't seem to work that well.  But 16 and 18 are very good.  I'm on 18 now.

 

4) I turned off the 2.4GHz radio on the Outdoor unit.  I don't need it, and I'd rather reduce the traffic and interference.  It also helps me keep so few random indoor STA's from occassionally connecting to the Outdoor AP mistakenly.

 

So, between all of these changes the Outdoor unit now provides good 5.8GHz coverage for my entire back yard (mostly 3 bars on my iPhone, sometimes 2) -- roughly 1/4 acre -- 100 feet x 50 feet.  The AP is centered on my back fence (which is 100 feet long) so it's now providing a semicircular coverage area with a radius of 50 feet (to the house) and a bit of coverage to my side yards (on either side of the house) about 60-75 feet away.

 

Speeds are even and predictable now, with good mobile client STA RSSI's, but speeds slower than I would have expected.  I'm only seeing 140-150 Mbit/sec of "good put," DL and UL, best case, using various Internet speed tests (I have Gigabit FIOS).  In contrast I see speeds of 350-450 Mbit on my indoor, hardwired AP's.

 

If you look at the image below, you'll see that signal from the root node is good (-68 dBm) and the air link rates are high (650 Mbit/sec up and down).  So based on my normal calculations, I would expect / hope to see roughly 50% of the air link rate as usable "good put."  That is to say ~325 bit/sec.  When in practice I'm only seeing half of this at best -- e.g. ~162 Mbit/s of usable throughput.

 

It seems like the wireless MESH is "dinging me twice."   That is to say, I'm only getting roughly 1/4th of the air link speed as useable throughput.  Or perhaps more precisely if there is a 50% loss/overhead from STA to Outdoor AP, and then another 50% loss/overhead from Outdoor AP to root node.  That would be 0.5 * 0.5 = 0.25 of useable BW which is what I'm seeing.

 

While I expected some additional wireless MESH overhead, I wasn't (perhaps naively) expecting this much.

 

Any suggestions?

 

 

 

 

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17 Replies
Re:MESH Linked EAP225_Outdoor Kinda Slow
2020-06-08 12:38:20

@JSchnee21 When you try the mesh setup you will lose 50% data throughput and so many drops for sure.  I NEVER use it at all opn all my business and residential networks...been in the IT network business for 30 years and I ALWAYS run cables to get the 100% and solid WIFI when needed with AP's.  I REALLY wish they would get rid of the mesh idea...would make my life much much better....but it will never happen.....frown
 

Good luck!

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Re:MESH Linked EAP225_Outdoor Kinda Slow
2020-06-08 13:17:24

Thanks @Doc2485,

 

I totally agree -- and that would have been my preference, too.  But I'm lazy and don't feel like trenching my yard for the couple times a month my wife uses the Wifi outside to host a Zoom meeting for a "virtual" Cub Scout campfire (-:  I also have one of my MOCA connected indoor AP's configured to fall back to MESH in the event the MOCA flakes out, which happens once or twice a year.

 

I've been trying to keep an open mind about the EAP225 MESH -- so as not to band mouth the vendor's forum I chat on a lot -- and because it gets a lot of (misplaced) interest -- in some user populations.

 

Home users also typically get confused because MESH is so aggressively marketed as a "better" wifi solution -- without any understanding of whether or not it is really "better."  In most cases, it is just more convenient.  Though some higher end home MESH solutions (with tri- band, 4x4 radios) -- Orbi I'm looking at you -- it can be better than their current, single, "big a$$ router" solution.  Though, of course, still not as good as multiple Ethernet connected AP's.

 

Without a doubt, Ethernet connected AP's are definately the way to go, if at all practical.  Even if not practical, it's worth the added effort and investment.  This is why they are used for all corporate deployments.

 

-Jonathan

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Re:MESH Linked EAP225_Outdoor Kinda Slow
2020-06-08 13:22:09

@JSchnee21 That is why they are pushing hard no the mesh concept...... because when they say you have to run a cable....80% of people in USA are lazy now and would never buy it!!!!! 

 

Here is your tool:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpiIswHesL8

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Re:MESH Linked EAP225_Outdoor Kinda Slow
2020-06-08 13:25:42

That said, I'd love to see TP-Link come out with a tri-band 6E solution, ideally with a commercial chipset.  Given the greenfield nature of this band, and a dedicated 3x3 or 4x4 backhaul radio, this could be a really strong contendor for the Power User / SOHO market. 

 

Netgear makes such crappy software, and all of the residential MESH solutions have grossly simplied user interfaces, so I could never consider one for myself.  But I have to admit, having spare Ethernet jacks on each of the MESH nodes -- for PC's, Media Centers, etc. is genius.

 

Regardless, what I'm trying to say, is that I like TP-Link, and I want / am hopeful that the 225 and future MESH options (245, 620, 660) can / will / should work better.  BUT, it may not be physically / technologically possible.

 

-Jonathan

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Re:MESH Linked EAP225_Outdoor Kinda Slow
2020-06-08 13:28:21
Try to connect your laptop (turn off wifi) to the unused rj45 with cable to POE adapter on remote mesh acccess point and test the link. I guess you have 350-450 Mbps, When using mesh the trafic going twice on same channel so ekspeted speed will be as you sey 162Mbps. +-
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Re:MESH Linked EAP225_Outdoor Kinda Slow
2020-06-08 13:29:32

@JSchnee21 One big router will NEVER give you the WIFI that AP's will.  I have been with Unifi hardware for over 15 years and I have 100's of AP's out there running solid and all wired and all using POE switches.  Modem>>>router>>>switches>>>> many AP's

 

I have alot of networks running this exact setup.  I have many also using PTP and PTMP radios for long distances and YES they are solid too.

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Re:MESH Linked EAP225_Outdoor Kinda Slow
2020-06-08 13:48:17

Hi @shberge,

 

Good suggestion.  Yes I'll try this the next time I unpackage the injector from its weather proof cocoon.  This would all but prove the two hop penalty/overhead -- STA to Outdoor, Outdoor to Root Node.

 

Gosh, I cannot imagine how bad it would be if I had 3 hops.  I guess I'd get maybe 50-70 Mbit/sec.

 

keeping in mind this is with one single active client.  I cannot imagine this working well at all with even 5 or 10 concurrently active users.  I guess it would work if connections were throttled enough.

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Re:MESH Linked EAP225_Outdoor Kinda Slow
2020-06-08 14:15:54 - last edited 2020-06-08 14:16:29

I totally agree.  I moved away from one big router year ago in favor of multiple, distributed AP's.  BUT, one big router (or one crappy router) is what most people have b/c that's what they get with Comcast or Fios and they don't know any better.  Or don't want to pony up for something extra.

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Re:MESH Linked EAP225_Outdoor Kinda Slow
2020-06-08 14:18:00

@JSchnee21 Yes so true.  I have seen many buy a $450-600 big router and they think it will cover their whole 8000 sq ft house or buidling??? So much wasted money for sure that still does NOT work.

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Re:MESH Linked EAP225_Outdoor Kinda Slow
2020-06-08 16:23:31

That's a nice tool for low voltage wire!

 

I'm usually pretty handy, albeit lazy, but my main issue is that my home (raised ranch) is of the pre-fabricated / modular variety.  I don't have a basement or crawl space, and everything is buttoned up tight with finished drywall.

 

So it's difficult to get wires from floor to floor.  Since our main living space is on the second floor, probably the best solution would be to go outside with the Ethernet up to the attic and then come down from the top.  But even that is a PIA because we sealed, insulated, and put decking all throughout the attic.  And with the trusses it's still quite hard to move around and get to the ceiling (of the second floor).

 

I generally try not to put holes in things both on principle, and because the wife gets annoyed.  Also I'm not always good at going back and "cleaning up."  So I tend to make do with a jury rigged for a while, until I get fed up and pay a professional to do a good job. (-:

 

-Jonathan

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