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Wifi Mesh using Linksys WRT150N 802.11n MIMO router

by kraizykid / February 27, 2008 1:33 AM PST

Wifi Mesh using Linksys WRT150N 802.11n MIMO router

Im trying to setup a mesh network in an MDU so im shopping for solutions and one idea was to use the Linksys WRT150N 802.11n MIMO router and flash it using Sveasoft firmware. Im being told that if these are connected in a mesh and wireless G is in range these routers will switch to wireless G instead of wireless N anyone know if this is true? Any comments on this are very much appreciated thanks for your time!

Heres a link to another discussion about this:

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And the goal?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 27, 2008 1:36 AM PST

For most of us, a repeater is all that is needed.

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I suppose im being to vague
by kraizykid / February 27, 2008 4:18 AM PST

The solutions i've checked into all use wireless G which would give roughly 200-300 feet between repeaters. The wireless N routers claim 3x the coverage of wireless G which would give 600-700 feet between repeaters. This means less equipment would be necessary to cover the same area meaning less cost to deploy, but if im spending more money on wireless N equipment that is only gonna reach 200-300 feet whats the point? Will the wireless repeaters connect to each other using wireless N or wireless G? Does anyone know the answer to this?

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Better idea. Have the lcients be the mesh.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 27, 2008 4:30 AM PST

Implement this like the old Richochet network. The moment you go off the reservation with this mesh you may as well go the extra step to the real deal.


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A real answer!!!
by techspert561 / March 7, 2008 1:19 AM PST

I'll try to shed some light on your questions:

#1: With MIMO technology you must use multiple antennas. If you truly want to achieve 600-700 ft range (radius) from the AP then I would recommend upgrading the antennas to low gain 8dbi (GREATLY improves the range). Also, if you walk 600 ft from the AP your signal strength will be very low, if you connect at all, and your connection speed will be about 5mbps. This is because with draft-N the further from the AP/Router you go, the more the speed decreases. The beauty of draft-N is that it does support a larger range than G, as well as speeds up to 300 mbps.

#2: If you are attempting to setup a Mesh WIFI then I would recommend one other thing. Use a router/AP that utilizes both 2.4ghz and 5ghz frequencies. In a mesh scenario, all of the routers & APs are continuously communicating to each other. If the APs are talking to each other on the same frequency that you are trying to send and receive data on, you will notice a large decrease in your speed.

#3: When you setup just a simple router, have you ever noticed where it says "choose one: Wireless A, Mixed Mode:B,G,N, Wireless N"? When most people see this selection, they go with Mixed Mode. When in mixed mode, if someone walks on your network with a Palm Pilot that uses wireless B, then YES, your whole network will slow down to the SPEEDS of wireless B, the range is not affected. It is best to just set whatever router/AP you are using to Wireless N. Then you can achieve your maximum speeds.

I hope some of this info. was helpful for you, or anyone interested in Mesh networking in the future!

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I don't see any mesh solution in your answer.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 7, 2008 1:33 AM PST
In reply to: A real answer!!!

While improving the wifi coverage is nice I couldn't find any answer to how to implement the mesh.

-> What mesh software are you proposing?


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The red pill or the green pill? You Decide!
by techspert561 / March 7, 2008 6:26 AM PST

I was merely attempting to provide some basic guidelines as to mesh networking. I can't really get into specifics based on the information that was given at the top of the post, but I can share some info on a project I am working on in South Florida.

I have been planning the implementation of wireless coverage for a small town, approximately 43 acres. I explored the setup of a mesh network for this area HOWEVER, I have decided against it. Mesh networks are mainly used for large scale wireless deployments, ie. Philadelphia's recent project. The major benefits of a mesh network, as I see it, are that the network is easily scalable, and when your bandwidth is a concern then the APs automatically re-route end-user access to different gateways (if available) to compensate (this is a very nice feature).

If I were to deploy a mesh network in my scenario, I would be using the Cisco Aironet 1510 APs, a Cisco WLC (wireless lan controller, your amount of APs determines which model to go with), for the gateway I would use the Linksys WRT600N, and for the management of the network I would use the Cisco WCS software.

Even though Linksys is a subdivision of Cisco, you cannot beat Cisco quality and support. The SmartNet OnSite warranty is an absolute MUST if you are going to have subscribers, or people that depend on your network.

Like I said, I will not be using the mesh network. I will be using about 20 Cisco Aironet 1250 APs to create a large overlapping network. I will still be using the WLC,Linksys WRT600N , and the WCS software.

The range of the 1250 and 1510 is very similar given the same antenna, approximately 500-600ft, but you will most definitely be experiencing all sorts of network interference, and will probably end up with a range of 200-300 ft of GOOD network coverage that will allow for higher speeds. I have my reasons for not going with a mesh network, but I will delve a little further into that topic.

The Cisco Aironet 1510 is an outdoor mesh AP that is EXTREMELY reliable, withstands severe conditions, and provides up to 675ft coverage area. If you are going to setup a mesh network then this is what you want. Mesh networks typically are used to span across a large area, where outdoor placement is a must. Many people have now been attempting to develop little mesh networks, for their neighborhood for example. If your are operating at that level I recommend the use of MERAKI networking solutions. They have been endorsed by Google, and are MUCH cheaper than using Cisco hardware.

Yes, I do like to talk a lot.

So to answer your question "What mesh software are you proposing?", it really all depends on your situation! I know that is not much of an answer, but there are many factors that play into the implementation of a mesh network.

If you could, just provide me with some more details like; how much area are you trying to cover, are you indoor or outdoor, what price range are you working with, what is your networking experience... Even the material of the surrounding buildings, and the placement of trees (which greatly degrade the signal strength) effect which solution that I would recommend.

As far as software goes, I would use the WCS for a project like mine, or for a smaller project, Meraki provides excellent free management software that should be sufficient.

I have assumed that you are talking about management software, not "firmware".

If anyone needs any more info, I would be glad to offer my help.

You can email me through my company Techspert Solution, or post a reply here.

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I know that solution.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 7, 2008 11:13 PM PST

I could make a safe bet they wanted it for 40 bucks at CostCo.

Too bad solutions like Richochet and that Zigbie (mesh networks) didn't catch on.


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