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Using a MESH over multiple WIFI gateways? Any pros and cons?

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    Using a MESH over multiple WIFI gateways? Any pros and cons?

    Hi.

    (title correction. gateway=access point)

    I'm currently using 5 routers to cover all my house. One Router and 4 Access points. Same network (192.168.6.XXX) Each have it's own SSID and you have to manually change networks when you go from one area to the other. Not an issue, as those are different and separated areas.


    What about HS, MQTT, Shelly. Would it be better to have a MESH (Mikrotik WDS) or each device simply connects to a nearest AP?

    Also when AP get's replaced. If new SSID and Password is the same. Will devices connect to it, or needs to be reconfigured?

    Thank you

    Br,
    Dali




    #2
    Networking is not my expertise so there may be more than what seems obvious to me. HA devices typically have a fixed location so roaming between access points is not a consideration. When a device is setup it needs a SSID which is part of its initial configuration. If you change your device location and need to connect via a different access point then you will need to reconfigure the WiFi device.

    I do not know the performance differences between separate access points vs. MESH , but seems to me that the problem of finding the best set of channels for each access point to avoid collisions had been overcome by the newer MESH technology.

    The only real consideration that I am aware is the capability of the access point. Typical consumer grade products will limit the number of WiFi clients that can be connected at the same time. I use Ubiquiti for my AP and have in the neighborhood of 100 WiFi clients going through the single AP.

    Comment


      #3
      Here using 4 routers with different SSID.

      As Michael mentioned above, devices typically have a fixed location and if you use Tasmota, it displays signal strength so you can select the appropriate AP. It also allows for a second/ failover AP. So no big issue there if you have decent coverage.

      ​​​​​​i have assigned fixed IPs for critical devices (100-160) and assigned a dhcp range for the remaining ones (161-255)
      ​​​​​
      no connectivity issues, slowdowns or collisions.

      BTW if you are on android, you can use "Wi-fi switcher" if you don't want to change SSIDs manually.​​​​​​:

      https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...cts.wifiswitch

      ​​​​​​

      Comment


        #4
        Thank you for reply.

        The only real consideration that I am aware is the capability of the access point. Typical consumer grade products will limit the number of WiFi clients that can be connected at the same time. I use Ubiquiti for my AP and have in the neighborhood of 100 WiFi clients going through the single AP.
        I use mikrotik. A bit better than typical consumer product, I hope. Well, if I keep multiple APs than the wifi clients will be distributed between them. Access point only has 4 wired AP clients. No wireless clients directly to access point.

        A basic question.
        How does the Tasmota,Shelly... wifi devices work? (I'm new, coming form Z-wave) Same as every other network device? Is IP static od dynamic? Can I ping each device?

        Thank you
        Br,
        Dali

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for reply.

          Originally posted by 123qweasd View Post
          Here using 4 routers with different SSID.​​​​​​
          Using 4 different APs is perfectly fine by me. I was just thinking ahead about MESH if there are any benefits, but I don't see one. Quite the opposite. Even better to have the multiple APs to avoid a possible limit of WiFi clients as Michael said. I will just connect each device to the nearest AP.

          ​​​​​​i have assigned fixed IPs for critical devices (100-160) and assigned a dhcp range for the remaining ones (161-255)
          So you can assign IP or use DHCP with every home automation WIFI Device? Same as every other WIFI device? I'm new to this home automation WIFI devices. I rather ask.

          Do you use any network monitor software to monitor (ping) the devices and alert is not responding?

          Br,
          Dali

          Comment


            #6
            I also use my router to assign static IP addresses and in my case static range is 1 to 199 at this time. I am at .142 at this time. Any time a new device is added then it will be in the .200 range so it is easy for me to find new devices and identify those that do not belong to my network. I keep a spreadsheet to keep track of the assignments and notes about logins and other important info as appropriate.

            I do not use a network monitor, but there are plugins that do this. What I do use for my MQTT and xAP traffic is the Last Will and Testament and Heartbeat respectively. When a MQTT devices goes offline the the MQTT Broker will recognize it (via ping) and send MQTT message to indicate the widget is now offline.

            The easiest place to start is with Shelly devices as they support MQTT natively. Look at the mcsShelly document at http://mcsSprinklers.com/mcsShelly.pdf for setup information. You can use mcsMQTT for the plugin. mcsShelly plugin is for those users that do not have any other MQTT traffic so some of the setup is pre-configured.

            With mcsMQTT or mcsShelly, when a device is connected to the network and has been setup to use MQTT, then HS device will be automatically created. You can then use the HS UI to control the device and look at the status.

            There are 3rd party providers of firmware that goes into the ESP8266/ESP8255. This is the device that most suppliers use in the smart devices market. Changing the firmware (flashing) removes the dependency on the cloud and gives you local control of the device. My preference is Tasmota, but ESPurna, ESPEasy, and ESPHome are also good solutions. YouTube gives many videos on flashing 3rd Party devices. If the device was designed to be Tuya compatible then the flashing can be done without opening the device using a RPi as the host for the flashing operation.

            Your question is pretty general so hard to provide an answer that provides the questions that are bouncing about in your mind. If you has more specific questions, such as related to a specific objective you are trying to achieve, then a better answer should be able to be provided.

            Comment


              #7
              Thank you Michael.

              Things will become clearer once I get devices ans start to play with it. For now I'm just trying to wrap my mind around the concept of it. To see the logic of it and to purchase what I will need as it will take time for all to arrive. Luckily Shelly devices will come earliest.

              Another beginner question. I see in mcsMQTT plugin I need to set IP of the MQTT broker. What is MQTT broker? A server that can run on a same machine?

              Thank you

              Br,
              Dali

              Comment


                #8
                To start let mcsMQTT be the broker which is done by leaving the broker textbox blank. Mosquitto is the most popular broker, but until you get your feet wet keep it as simple as possible and let mcsMQTT do both the broker and client roles. Later I can explain why you would want to use Mosquitto rather than mcsMQTT as the broker.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Ahh it's optional. Yes, let's keep it simple for start

                  Waiting for devices to arrive. Then I will have questions for sure

                  Thank you!!!!

                  Br,
                  Dali

                  Comment

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