Extending WiFi 350 Feet Away Using EAP225-Outdoor (or N300)

Extending WiFi 350 Feet Away Using EAP225-Outdoor (or N300)
Extending WiFi 350 Feet Away Using EAP225-Outdoor (or N300)
2022-04-02 00:05:10 - last edited 2022-04-16 23:52:25
Model: EAP225-Outdoor  
Hardware Version: V1
Firmware Version: 5.0.4 Build 2020520 Rel. 67983

Hi everyone,

 

I am struggling to broadcast a wireless network approximately 300-350 feet away from my home in order to connect a wireless surveillance camera to an NVR. Here's a good view of the area for reference:

 

 

I'm looking to have two wireless networks; one is my existing SSID that is used within my house but the other would be a separate one specific just to that wireless camera. Ideally, it'd be great to not broadcast the camera-only network. 

 

Previously, I was using the TP-Link N300 and, while it worked, it was not consistently getting bandwidth to/from that bottom location. On top of that, if I connected to the network from my phone, it wouldn't even get any internet so it was really strange. I suspect that I customized the settings too much. I would frequently need to either reboot the system from the local IP or physically unplug and replug the PoE injector. 

 

More recently, I got my hands on the TP-Link EAP225-Outdoor. I have it set up in the Omada app for iOS and it shows up under the Standalone APs section of the app. There doesn't seem to be too much customization but it seems to work a bit more reliably than the N300 did. However, I have to have the resolution, bitrate and frames per section very heavily downscaled. Plus, it seems to still have poor coverage with frequent outages, especially lately. As I'm upgrading my camera system, I'm not able to get a new model camera to connect to either my home network or the camera-only one.

 

The neighbor that lives at the house in the middle of the photo is more than willing to let me put another device on her roof or an eave, but I'm not sure which product to get here and how to configure it so it can work off the existing network I'm broadcasting without needing to be plugged into etherhet. 

 

My questions:

  • Are either of these TP-Link products wrong for my use case?
  • Should I go back to the N300 with certain settings?
  • Is there anything I need to change with the EAP225-Outdoor (though the Omada app doesn't give many options for settings unless there's another UI to get into the device)?
  • Should I buy another EAP225-Outdoor (or N300) to extend the existing device that's wired into my network (at the neighbor's house in the middle of the screenshot above)? Or can I use both devices together somehow?
  • Any other suggestions for how to accomplish this?
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1 Accepted Solution
Re:Extending WiFi 350 Feet Away Using EAP225-Outdoor (or N300)-Solution
2022-04-03 18:27:50 - last edited 2022-04-16 23:52:25

  @rfmurphy81 

 

Hey

 

We have had people before with the same issue, its not uncommon.

 

In short answer, yes its possible with EAP225-Outdoors but will require an OC200 controller to make this work; let me explain

 

The OC200 will manage your EAP225-Outdoor from your property.  Then when you add the second one at your friend's house, the controller will see it and adopt it as a "Mesh Node", therefore it will repeat the signal for you.  More info here... https://www.tp-link.com/us/support/faq/2949/

 

Basically what you are creating is a MESH system, but this does indeed require a controller to function correctly.

 

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Another option may be to look at the CPE range     https://www.tp-link.com/us/business-networking/outdoor-radio/cpe510/

 

 

These are directional antenna, so rather than serving 100m in all directions, they angle the beam in one specific direction for up to KMs of range..

 

These are designed to send a signal from POINT to POINT over a distance, mount one on your house and one on the target house, they talk all good.   However you would also need APs for local WiFi traffic at both sites, these are really just for connecting the backbone between the two sites.   Think of them as a Wireless version of running a cable, you will still need an AP on each end!   :)

 

 

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Re:Extending WiFi 350 Feet Away Using EAP225-Outdoor (or N300)
2022-04-03 01:15:02

It appears that I can put a second EAP225-Outdoor at the midpoint on my neighbor's house as long as the second device has a line-of-sight. However, it seems like I have to buy Omada Hardware Controller (OC200) to get them to talk together. is that the only way to connect these two or is there a way to have the controller happen via a desktop device or even a NAS on my local network? 

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Re:Extending WiFi 350 Feet Away Using EAP225-Outdoor (or N300)-Solution
2022-04-03 18:27:50 - last edited 2022-04-16 23:52:25

  @rfmurphy81 

 

Hey

 

We have had people before with the same issue, its not uncommon.

 

In short answer, yes its possible with EAP225-Outdoors but will require an OC200 controller to make this work; let me explain

 

The OC200 will manage your EAP225-Outdoor from your property.  Then when you add the second one at your friend's house, the controller will see it and adopt it as a "Mesh Node", therefore it will repeat the signal for you.  More info here... https://www.tp-link.com/us/support/faq/2949/

 

Basically what you are creating is a MESH system, but this does indeed require a controller to function correctly.

 

------------

Another option may be to look at the CPE range     https://www.tp-link.com/us/business-networking/outdoor-radio/cpe510/

 

 

These are directional antenna, so rather than serving 100m in all directions, they angle the beam in one specific direction for up to KMs of range..

 

These are designed to send a signal from POINT to POINT over a distance, mount one on your house and one on the target house, they talk all good.   However you would also need APs for local WiFi traffic at both sites, these are really just for connecting the backbone between the two sites.   Think of them as a Wireless version of running a cable, you will still need an AP on each end!   :)

 

 

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Re:Extending WiFi 350 Feet Away Using EAP225-Outdoor (or N300)
2022-04-03 18:32:02 - last edited 2022-04-03 18:32:39

P.S. Stay away from the N300.. its older tech now and runs on 2.4ghz. That spectrum is flooded and performance will suffer in 90% of cases. Stick to 5ghz

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Re:Extending WiFi 350 Feet Away Using EAP225-Outdoor (or N300)
2022-04-03 20:05:19

  @rfmurphy81 if you use 2 eap's for a mesh connection, you need take care about few things:

 

- you did not say where this is located, considering DFS issues, if you have them, you will not have a stable connection as each time when eap is forced to change the channel, the eap connected in a mesh will be readopted and all if it takes few minutes where your cam would not be reachable, which means if you record over network, then it is probably better if your nvr is connected directly with a cable (would mean in a friends house)

- you should consider having 2 root access points (2 eap devices in your house) and optimal would be 2 in a friends house, however, one should be enough as if one root AP changes the channel, your eap at friends house will simply connect to a second root AP without additional adoption reducing offline time to marginal values.

- DFS is on one side only for 5Ghz, but if you use only 2Ghz you can't ignore this issue as eap225's mesh works only in 5Ghz.

 

If there is no weather station or anything else which cause your eap to change channel, then you might be good with 2 eap's, but I strongly recommend using at least two root AP's.

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Re:Extending WiFi 350 Feet Away Using EAP225-Outdoor (or N300)
2022-04-08 23:46:45 - last edited 2022-04-09 14:16:57

Thanks for all the replies so far.

 

Since I originally posted my message, I ended up getting a second EAP225-Outdoor and created a mesh network by running Omada Controller on my Synology NAS via Docker. Then I put the second EAP225-Outdoor on the roof between the two red arrows. Unfortunately, even moving it around the roof in various spots, it didn't get a strong signal over to the bottom red arrow. I had it in 4 different spots, all but one had a direct line of sight to both the wired EAP225-Outdoor and the wireless camera.

 

Here are those spots for reference, right in the middle of the original EAP225-Outdoor and the wireless camera:

 

 

While standing next to the wireless EAP225-Outdoor on the roof, I would be getting strong signal strength and "fast . com" would be giving varying results but usually over 100 mbps and sometimes almost up to 200 mbsp. My internet provider generally offers me 200-225 mbps into the house via coaxial cable. Based on the speed registered standing next to the wireless EAP225-Outdoor on the roof, I know it's got a solid connection to the first wired EAP225-Outdoor. However, I have noticed that sometimes running "fast . com" while on this wireless network, it sort of pauses for a second then starts showing the download speeds, so not sure if this is related.

 

When I head over to the pole that the camera is installed, the coverage is almost entirely non-existent. I can connect to the wireless network from my iPhone 13 Pro but when I run "fast . com", the phone seems to drop the wireless and goes to 5G (which has super fast speeds). 

 

What's interesting is that on my NVR, I was able to see a live feed that would pop in for a second then it would drop away so it's connecting but the coverage is just less than enough to stay connected. It would take maybe another few minutes before the live feed pops in for a second then drops away. What's crazy is that when I only had te one EAP225-Outdoor (not set up with Omada Controller), I was able to get MUCH better coverage but not 100% consistent which is why I was wanting to try to find my original solution. 

 

When I look at the Omada Controller web interface (or the Omada app), it shows that the wireless camera is connected to the network but it's usually at a red single bar (or sometimes two yellow bars). However, the activity speed is either 0 kb/s or extremely low. According to the camera manufacturer, the camera needs 12,288 kbps (if the bitrate is set to 4096) but I had downscaled the camera's bitrate to 1024 so it really only needs 2,072 kbps.

 

I've also tried fiddling with the radio signals such as trying different channels or entirely disabling 2.4GHz or 5GHz, but no luck. I'm not sure if there are certian data within the Omada Controller that I should be looking for or settings that need to be changed. Connecting the second EAP225-Outdoor was painfully easy, but it's not too helpful when it doesn't get my the results I need.

 

What should I do or try next?

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Re:Extending WiFi 350 Feet Away Using EAP225-Outdoor (or N300)
2022-04-10 21:04:12

  @rfmurphy81 

 

Hey

 

So when you brought the second AP online at 1/2/3/4 points you mentioned.. were you able to adopt this wirelessly (MESH) on the controller?   If so how strong / good was the MESH speeds?   YOu should be able to see this by selecting the MESH AP and looking for below

 

 

Did you test connecting a device at that point?   namely some phone / tablet at points 1/2/3/4 to see if the mesh was working ok?       If so my next advice would be to take something like WiFi Analyser for Android and start to head to the camera position.. record the signal drop and levels coming from the MESH and ROOT APs, once you have that you will know more

 

If you are getting -70db from the mesh AP at the camera location.. its pretty dead air and changing to a semi directional (sectorised) antenna or something with higher gain (omni directional 7db) might help a bit... but remember your camera needs to be able to send the signal back also so consider better antenna that side.

 

So many times people don't consider the end device, generally the APs are not the issue as they have good antenna, its the end device that cant send back to it.   Had a guy once set up a massive CPE pointing to his shed 200 meters away.  At the shed he got a good signal reading on the phone, issue was his phone couldn't reply the 200 meters back to the AP..

 

Hopefully that helps!

 

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Re:Extending WiFi 350 Feet Away Using EAP225-Outdoor (or N300)
2022-04-10 21:14:17 - last edited 2022-04-10 21:16:54

  @Philbert 

 

Just to clarify..  something like WiFi Analyser is your best bet here, you need to find out the real signal from the ROOT to MESH and then to the client camera. 

 

This is measured in -dbm  ranging from -20 to around -90.   There is always some loss in WiFi signal so it's accepted that -30 / -40 is a VERY good signal.  Head to -50 / -60 and its good to Average... when you are -70 its low / flakey and -75 lower its dead tbh

 

If you can find out what your MESH device is getting, then that is a good start.  As mentioned in last post its on the Controller under the device details (see pic).   If that is OK (-50ish or lower) then start to walk to the camera with WiFi Analyser, keep an eye on the 2x APs it finds (Root and Mesh) ensure one drops off (root) and the MESH has a reasonable signal at the camera.

 

Also have you enabled all advanced settings on your controller?   User WiFi Analyser to check for channel usage in your area, if needed consider manually changing the channel the ROOT and MESH APs talk on (36 / 40 etc  or DFS   if need)

 

 

Also are you running the latest firmware on the APs and Controller?

 

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Re:Extending WiFi 350 Feet Away Using EAP225-Outdoor (or N300)
2022-04-11 02:13:06 - last edited 2022-04-11 03:26:39

   @Philbert 

Thanks for the reply! Yes, the wireless AP was able to adopt to the mesh in every instance. As my iPhone 13 Pro was connected to the wireless AP while I was on the roof next to it, it was always getting very strong speeds doing a speed test. I'll need to run a WiFi Analyzer to see what it says.

 

I've left the wireless AP in position #4 from my previous screenshot and Omada Controller is showing the signal strength at -60db for the wireless AP's connectivity to the wired AP across the cul-de-sac. Omada Controller is running 5.1.7 which I believe is the latest and I've also updated the APs to 5.0.7 via the Omada app/Controller. I didn't have the Advanced Features on as Omada Controller was set up using all the default settings, but I've gone ahead and enabled per your screenshot. Are there any other places for me to check/change in Omada?

 

You mentioned getting a better antenna. Is there a better antenna I should get beyond EAP225-Outdoor that could wireless connect to my original EAP25-Outdoor? Or do I just need to scrap the whole thing and try something else? 

 

Part of me was considering setting up ANOTHER EAP225-Outdoor at the house just on the other side of where the wireless camera is set (out of view from the screenshot), but that honestly seems like overkill and I didn't really want to hassle those neighbors anyway, plus I'm already sinking money into something that isn't working as expected so I would be frustrated if this didn't work as well. 

Small Update: I had put a similar wireless camera to the one I had before that was having not 100% coverage and it seemed to connect right away. When running a speed test via the WiFi Analyzer app, it showed 6.9-7.6 Mbpc download and 5.9 Mbps upload and it seems like it's loading the live view both when connected directly and to the NVR that is recording everything. I even slowed down the bitrate and frame rate a bit. The Omada Controller shows the signal strength to the wireless AP is -67 dB. However, this camera doesn't have the smart detection features that I need so I'm hoping that I can get a newer camera to see if it can connect in the same way. The sort of started when I got the newer version of this same camera with the smart detection features (downgrading the resolution, bitrate and frame rate) but it wouldn't connect all, so I guess I'll try this one more time. 

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Re:Extending WiFi 350 Feet Away Using EAP225-Outdoor (or N300)
2022-04-11 18:45:48

  @rfmurphy81 

 

Hey again

 

No if you have advanced features enabled as per last screenshot you should be ok setup now, they are quite often forgotten and might help you with this (fingers crossed).  When you setup your SSID did you tick both 2.4 and 5ghz to allow the steering between them?  that might help you in the long run by letting the AP do the working out and not the clients.

 

The EAP225 outdoors come with removable antenna, you can therefore replace them with 5 / 7 / 9db versions and that might help you.  Check this post out here..  https://community.tp-link.com/en/business/forum/topic/542430?replyId=1063422

 

Bigger antenna gain will help for distance at expense of the vertical angle, but that may be what you require!

 

In terms of another AP.. Technically that is possible indeed as the ROOT can take 2 hops if needed and its not unusual.    Does the camera work OK if you bring it nearer the mesh AP?  assuming this isn't already fixed down in place..

 

 

Small Update: I had put a similar wireless camera to the one I had before that was having not 100% coverage and it seemed to connect right away. When running a speed test via the WiFi Analyzer app, it showed 6.9-7.6 Mbpc download and 5.9 Mbps upload and it seems like it's loading the live view both when connected directly and to the NVR that is recording everything. I even slowed down the bitrate and frame rate a bit.

 

Being honest, it seems like the speeds you are getting there are the deads of a signal, what -db did you get from the location?   if you are getting speeds in the 6-9mbps its pretty slow.  Does the mesh AP read many drops / retries on the controller?

 

 

 

 

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Re:Extending WiFi 350 Feet Away Using EAP225-Outdoor (or N300)
2022-04-16 23:50:58

@Philbert 

Thanks so much for all your detailed replies. I think I'm good to call this issue resolved. The second AP located in position #4 above seems sufficient for me to stream to this camera. Apparently the reason why my newer camera wasn't working was because of the 100 foot power cable leading to it, not the WIFi network. On the older camera at that utility pole (which worked with the "bad" cable) had plenty of WiFi coverage where I wasn't having gaps in NVR recordings like before. Once I figured out it was the the 100 foot power cable, I replaced it with a different one and the new camera powered up and connected to the enhanced wireless AP and everything is working as expected now. I appreciate all the suggestions!

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