How far apart is the best distance to place EAPs for best coverage?

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How far apart is the best distance to place EAPs for best coverage?

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How far apart is the best distance to place EAPs for best coverage?
How far apart is the best distance to place EAPs for best coverage?
2022-05-24 02:40:35 - last edited 2022-08-17 12:55:41

How far apart is the best distance to place the EAPs? 

 

How many should you use in a 2400 sqft house? I have a 615wall, and a 245 right now.  Would it be advisable to get one more EAP for complete coverage?

 

Also, is there a place to go to find out how to set the EAPs properly? Any YouTube videos to show the proper procedure in finding the best settings? 
Thanks.

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Re:How far apart is the best distance to place EAPs for best coverage?-Solution
2022-05-24 21:54:47 - last edited 2022-08-17 12:55:25

  @ingeborgdot 

 

Having installed hundreds of APs, I hate to be honest but there really isn't a simple answer to this    Every install you come across will be different in some way, yes there are some general rules but no 'white paper' for this.    That aside some pointers below that might help!

 

I replied to a post similar to this last year, link below might help you to start!

 

https://community.tp-link.com/en/business/forum/topic/245868?replyId=544196

 

 

Pointers... (in no particular order)

If you have an AP free or can borrow one its good practice to do a SNR test..  Set the AP where you would like to start and move away in distances, ideally staying below -65db.  Once you hit -80db that's where you should look to place another AP within 10 meters...  generally -80 is so low its unusable, therefore that position in relation to the first AP should give you -40db all the way on average, take into account that will never happen so add some walls / refraction / interference etc and it should still be -50ish in the middle between the APs.

 

A better way to do this is with a heatmap software, I have personally always used solarwinds for this as it just works... place a single AP and mark it on the map you upload, walk around and mark positions as you walk, it will generate best placement for the APs for you.    There is a 30 day trial of this if you need, good starting point.   Another reasonable FREE one is NetSpot WiFi Heatmap, not as good however!

 

Channels..  If using a controller its generally OK to let it automatically control these, it does a reasonable job in fairness.   It used to be that channels needed to separate and manual setting was best, namely   1   6   11    6    1   6    11   etc etc.. the problem with that is the 2.4ghz in reality is saturated and likely someone near you will take up channel 4 and bust your manual settings.  Its therefore better to just let the controller change it as needed.  There is nothing wrong with 2 APs on the same channel if your not hammering dozens of clients on the air.

5ghz wireless, again just let it do it automatically unless channels 36-48 are really busy by your neighbours.  Personally I use DFS on 52 and 104 manually as I live in an area with LOTS of random SSIDs around me, just prefer the DFS channels as I get ~15% faster speeds on them.

 

Enable Fast Roaming, always the best option.

 

Avoid MESH on the APs unless 100% necessary, it will slow the entire network down considerably

 

MAX power on the APs isn't the answer to all WiFi issues..   Sometimes you will get much better results at lower power.  If you have an area or AP with lots of retries, try lower power as it could be refraction / mis-phasing of signals.    This will also help if you have clients randomly doing mass roaming between APs.. lower power on one and that should help

 

Ceiling Mounted APs are best as the signal goes evenly left and right, but in reality wall mounted will also work fine.  In tests there is a little less signal coverage from wall mounted but its marginal at best (5-10% IMHO).  Its sometimes just easier to mount on a wall, corners at an angle (45 degree) are good if you can do that.

 

METAL will kill WiFi, if you are in a metal building expect reflection / signal bouncing and possible retries.   Lower the power where appropriate and consider mounting as far from metal beams / supports as possible.    

 

5ghz doesnt go as far as 2.4, best to do the SNR tests on 5ghz as that is your lowest penetrating frequency.  If its good at 5 its likely better at 2.4!

 

 

Speeds.   The rule of 40% -   Huawei engineer once told me that WiFi is the rule of 40%, basically any 'speed' you can get 'on average settings' will be 40% of the connection speed.    So if you have a 2x2 connection (866mbps) then speeds around 350mbps+ is what you can expect as acceptable in a multi AP setup.   Clear air this might be 500mbps, dirty air 350mbps.    After much time, it still holds true!   Too many people buy APs claiming 3000mbps and call me when its not working, its simply a pipe dream!   The best WiFi6 setup you might get 700/800 area but not into the gig range.

 

NEVER use an IPhone to test WiFi..  It will straight out LIE to you!  In fairness its not specifically IPhone, but Apple is the worst and they tend to be very un-reliable for SNR ratings.   Android is better, laptop with power save OFF is best.   Remember battery devices reduce the WiFi card strength to save juice, this in turn affects your tests

 

 

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Re:How far apart is the best distance to place EAPs for best coverage?
2022-05-24 21:04:46

This must be a silly question.  I have looked but have not found a good video on EAP placement or even EAP adjustment for fine tuning. I have looked but must be not be doing a good search parameter.

I'll keep looking, but in the meantime if anyone has any suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

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Re:How far apart is the best distance to place EAPs for best coverage?-Solution
2022-05-24 21:54:47 - last edited 2022-08-17 12:55:25

  @ingeborgdot 

 

Having installed hundreds of APs, I hate to be honest but there really isn't a simple answer to this    Every install you come across will be different in some way, yes there are some general rules but no 'white paper' for this.    That aside some pointers below that might help!

 

I replied to a post similar to this last year, link below might help you to start!

 

https://community.tp-link.com/en/business/forum/topic/245868?replyId=544196

 

 

Pointers... (in no particular order)

If you have an AP free or can borrow one its good practice to do a SNR test..  Set the AP where you would like to start and move away in distances, ideally staying below -65db.  Once you hit -80db that's where you should look to place another AP within 10 meters...  generally -80 is so low its unusable, therefore that position in relation to the first AP should give you -40db all the way on average, take into account that will never happen so add some walls / refraction / interference etc and it should still be -50ish in the middle between the APs.

 

A better way to do this is with a heatmap software, I have personally always used solarwinds for this as it just works... place a single AP and mark it on the map you upload, walk around and mark positions as you walk, it will generate best placement for the APs for you.    There is a 30 day trial of this if you need, good starting point.   Another reasonable FREE one is NetSpot WiFi Heatmap, not as good however!

 

Channels..  If using a controller its generally OK to let it automatically control these, it does a reasonable job in fairness.   It used to be that channels needed to separate and manual setting was best, namely   1   6   11    6    1   6    11   etc etc.. the problem with that is the 2.4ghz in reality is saturated and likely someone near you will take up channel 4 and bust your manual settings.  Its therefore better to just let the controller change it as needed.  There is nothing wrong with 2 APs on the same channel if your not hammering dozens of clients on the air.

5ghz wireless, again just let it do it automatically unless channels 36-48 are really busy by your neighbours.  Personally I use DFS on 52 and 104 manually as I live in an area with LOTS of random SSIDs around me, just prefer the DFS channels as I get ~15% faster speeds on them.

 

Enable Fast Roaming, always the best option.

 

Avoid MESH on the APs unless 100% necessary, it will slow the entire network down considerably

 

MAX power on the APs isn't the answer to all WiFi issues..   Sometimes you will get much better results at lower power.  If you have an area or AP with lots of retries, try lower power as it could be refraction / mis-phasing of signals.    This will also help if you have clients randomly doing mass roaming between APs.. lower power on one and that should help

 

Ceiling Mounted APs are best as the signal goes evenly left and right, but in reality wall mounted will also work fine.  In tests there is a little less signal coverage from wall mounted but its marginal at best (5-10% IMHO).  Its sometimes just easier to mount on a wall, corners at an angle (45 degree) are good if you can do that.

 

METAL will kill WiFi, if you are in a metal building expect reflection / signal bouncing and possible retries.   Lower the power where appropriate and consider mounting as far from metal beams / supports as possible.    

 

5ghz doesnt go as far as 2.4, best to do the SNR tests on 5ghz as that is your lowest penetrating frequency.  If its good at 5 its likely better at 2.4!

 

 

Speeds.   The rule of 40% -   Huawei engineer once told me that WiFi is the rule of 40%, basically any 'speed' you can get 'on average settings' will be 40% of the connection speed.    So if you have a 2x2 connection (866mbps) then speeds around 350mbps+ is what you can expect as acceptable in a multi AP setup.   Clear air this might be 500mbps, dirty air 350mbps.    After much time, it still holds true!   Too many people buy APs claiming 3000mbps and call me when its not working, its simply a pipe dream!   The best WiFi6 setup you might get 700/800 area but not into the gig range.

 

NEVER use an IPhone to test WiFi..  It will straight out LIE to you!  In fairness its not specifically IPhone, but Apple is the worst and they tend to be very un-reliable for SNR ratings.   Android is better, laptop with power save OFF is best.   Remember battery devices reduce the WiFi card strength to save juice, this in turn affects your tests

 

 

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Re:How far apart is the best distance to place EAPs for best coverage?
2022-05-24 21:56:45

  @ingeborgdot 

 

It's not a silly question, nor is there an easy answer.

 

Are two APs enough?  That depends on a few things like:

- how much external Wifi there is interfering with your radios

- how many clients you have

- what does the internal construction of your house look like, tiled and brick walls being far harder to penetrate through than wood-framed drywall.

 

Where to put them?  I'm assuming you have a 2 storey with partially finished basement and somewhat rectangular in shape.  If it were my house, I'd locate the two APs 1/4 to 1/3 of the way from the end-walls, near the centreline of building.  If you have a basement entertainment room with gaming boxes, TVs, streaming boxes maybe a home office, I'd put the 245 ceilng AP down there.  Acoss the house on the ground floor, I'd locate the in-wall AP, cheating somewhat nearer the more important service areas.

 

Locate them temporarily and fire them up.  Get an app like WiFi Analyzer (Android?) and do a walkabout in your house with realtime monitoring and check your signal levels.  Do a few speed tests in key areas..noting that you'll get better speeds on 5G channels than 2G for the most part.  If you chosen areas are good, go ahead and permanently install. 

 

Otherwise, a few iterations may be required.

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Re:How far apart is the best distance to place EAPs for best coverage?
2022-05-24 22:16:38 - last edited 2022-05-24 22:19:22

Thanks guys for the great responses.  I don't have an ideal situation.  My main office is located in the basment. That is where the er605 is also. I have an EAP in the hall about 9' away from my main office, but it is inside of a suspended ceiling.   I figured since the signal has to go up to the room above it was just as important to have it in that spot since there was no way to mount it on the outside on the ceiling (WAF ).

My OC200 controller is in what I call my control room, which is an area that I have with myCasaTunes server, Blue Iris server, Russound server and one of my NAS, along with 2 Omada switches.  It doesn't make a great signal to the control room for any wifi equipment needs.  Anyway the signal is good up and down in the close proximity for this EAP. 

The 615 doesn't cover as big of an area and I knew that going in. It had the features I wanted going in so that is what I got.

I have one area where the signal says weak, but it is in an area that doesn't really have anything, but with my OCD (lol), I really want to fill that void, so I'm pretty much thinking another EAP is in line.  After doing further research, I think the new 610 V2 looks like a good option because it is the new standard, and it's not the size of a car anymore.  

I'll do a little more research, but the info you guys provided is more than helpful.

Oh, if I add a 3rd, do I have them all on the same SSID, or do I make each one a different SSID.  I have seen briefly where some have said one or another?  What do you guys do?

Thanks so much.

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Re:How far apart is the best distance to place EAPs for best coverage?
2022-05-24 22:30:38

  @ingeborgdot 

 

Hey

 

If you are running the APs from a controller (OC200 as you say) then just let them all broadcast on the one SSID.  If you have multiple SSIDs for each AP it wont allow roaming as it will disconnect one SSID to move to another, which results in disconnects.

 

One SSID on all APs, the controller will do the handover and no disconnects (Fast Roaming enabled)

 

Personally I always use band steering on my SSIDs, let the one SSID broadcast on 2.4 and 5ghz it will sort itself out.   Some people have reported this causes issues, personally never seen it and its a cleaner / easier way to do things.

 

 

 

 

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Re:How far apart is the best distance to place EAPs for best coverage?
2022-05-24 23:16:44 - last edited 2022-05-24 23:18:27

  @Philbert okay, got it. One SSID it is.

What kind of issues does band steering seem to cause?

Have you seen the new 610 V2?  It is so much smaller.  I wish I would have seen that earlier. 

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Re:How far apart is the best distance to place EAPs for best coverage?
2022-05-25 00:16:46

  @ingeborgdot 

 

Hey

 

So far I have only used the v1 devices, which are horridly big in my opinion, the newer v2 look to be a lot smaller which can only be a good thing!

 

People have reported that on occasion band steering doesnt move users to the 5ghz correctly, or that speeds are slower when its enabled.   The main culprit seems to be iPhones which connect to the 2.4 and stay there until it roams AP, if it doesnt roam it doesnt move to 5ghz

 

 

This is just my opinion from here on.. but the reports are not that common enough to raise an issue with the band steering.  From what I have read on the forums it's uncommon and the users reporting it tend to offer sporadic methodology in testing, to the point where one has insufficient detail to speculate this is anything but a red herring.

 

In any band steering setup it will hit a certain threshold on the 5ghz where balancing is better by leaving the device on 2.4ghz, if a device is idle or using little data traffic it may be best to leave it on the slower frequency saving the capacity for other more consuming devices, performance on that device may suffer until it is roamed to the 5ghz, however if its being used for web traffic or is in low power, what is the issue with it remaining on the 2.4ghz?...  but that is purely my speculative opinion on it and I have never experienced it in the wild personally.

 

I did have one customer complain his iPhone remained on the 2.4ghz for long periods, but strangely when he contacted me (usually after running some speed test) it had then roamed to the 5ghz in keeping with my speculation..

 

Just my two cents there :)

 

 

 

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