Use wired Wifi APs instead of mesh network

Worthwhile mesh networked Wifi APs (a.k.a. “tri-band”) use a separate simultaneous channel for the backhaul.

Mesh networked Wifi AP should:

  • use two simultaneous 5 GHz channels (one for backhaul/mesh, one for users)
  • even better, use 60 GHz backhaul
  • have a graphical screen/web interface that encourages users to reduce number of hops by tweaking AP location

In general Wifi APs should:

  • be placed in inner rooms or the inner side of rooms away from windows.
  • use wired, MoCA or powerline Ethernet connections to each AP.

Wifi APs should be placed (from most preferable to least preferable)

  • in each high usage room (den, kitchen, bedroom), and place a Wifi AP at least every other room for large homes
  • in smaller homes, one Wifi AP per home level, near the center of each level

5 GHz on all APs, enable 2.4 GHz only on ONE most central AP to account for IoT devices without 5 GHz.

Wifi AP Performance Notes

  • We should always strive for wired Ethernet connections or MoCA to each AP as today’s best HomePlug and MIMO powerline Ethernet are much closer to 100 Mbps throughput instead of the 1000 Mbps displayed prominently on the package.
  • Keep in mind the latency introduced by mesh networking and its impact on live streaming video.
  • Wifi repeaters are even worse w.r.t. latency.

Related: WiFi channel, SSID, power best practices