Troubleshooting & Suggestion
Not sure exactly under which topic to post this, but I settled on here. Feel free to move.
I’ve been a user of the HD kit for about a year now, and basically am quite happy with it. The most problematic issues for me have been the semi-regular disconnects of the mesh points, and the issue regarding devices not connecting to the closest, most powerful point. While I have found that a simple reboot of either/and/or the mesh point and device usually resolves the issue, that’s a pain, particularly when traveling. Recently, I decided to take the plunge and add a second HD router (black!) in the hope that I can get more reliable coverage.
Adding the second router as a mesh point (using the Ethernet backbone) has mitigated the disconnect issue. Although it seems to work well, I am very much surprised to see that the second router does not possess nearly the same coverage power as does the main router, which is in the basement, and does a pretty good job on most of the main floor on its own. While the second router serves well to round things out, it’s not nearly the same. As a matter of fact, devices in the same room as the second router don’t typically read a signal of much more than about 84% when only about 10 feet from it (as displayed in the Amplifi app). That said, I must admit that my overall coverage is more stable, and the disconnects are all but gone. I’m not certain whether this is a function of the new beta firmware, or it is from using the second router, but that part is all good for me.
That said, I’m still having issues with many devices wanting to connect to the main, faraway router instead of the new one, which is way closer by. While it’s not quite as bad as before, it’s still an issue. I’ve tried all combinations of router and band steering, but nothing seems to work. A main router reboot really screws things up, I suppose because the devices connect to it prior to the access point going live, but that sucks, and I have to go through the device rebooting process all over again. In fairness, however, I have 41 devices connected, but only about 5 need to be rebooted.
Sorry for the rambling comment, but I have one other major beef…
Now that I have “reconstructed” my system (and don’t get me wrong…I’m happy), what am I to do with the two mesh points included in my kit? I have a lot invested here, and to think that they are now useless is a problem for me. Ubiquiti says that they are solely hardware matched to the original router, and can only be used with it. I find that hard to understand, and would think that there would be some sort of firmware that could wipe the mesh point system and allow it to be used like the standalone mesh point that is being sold, so that those of us who have additional upgrade dollars tied up in the brand can use their purchased equipment rather than scrapping it. I have many uses for them, but in the current state, they’re useless to me.
Thanks so much for your patience.
Those 84% displayed by Amplifi app are signal level of main router as seen by mesh point.
When router steering is enabled, client devices tend to connect to main router, not mesh points. It is designed this way to allow faster Internet access where possible. Stronger signal does not always translate to faster Internet speed. If you do not need this, just disable router steering.
If you want your devices get connected to mesh point, you can enable separate SSID:
Amplifi app -> router icon -> Wireless -> Separate WiFi SSID
This option will activate additional SSID specific to main router and mesh points, and specific band. Now, you can instruct some of your devices to use YourNetwork-MP-HD-2G instead of YourNetwork. They will maintain fixed connection to your mesh point 2.4 GHz radio.
Thanks @dmitrijs-ivanovs, for your reply.
I’m unsure that your explanation of the signal level in the mesh point is correct. While I understand that the LED’s serve that purpose on the the plug-in mesh points, I believe that the app indicates signal strength to the individual device, as the power levels vary from device to device as anecdotally noted depending upon distance from the second router (or a plug-in mesh point if you’re using it). I have understood from the start that the “Family” section in the app indicates the device’s signal strength from the access point under /client details/signal. It would be misleading if that’s not the case. If I need to be corrected regarding this point, please do so.
Also, and as noted in my post, I have tried both router and band steering settings in each possible combination, including off. No help there. Thanks for your explanations, but I fully understand the concepts of both, as well as SSID settings. I am not attempting to improve my network speeds, as they’re fine…only the best possible signal for each device, and those are in fact available, but they’re not always connecting to the closer point unless I reboot. I have no desire to work with the inconvenience of separate SSID’s (or stepping down bands), as that somewhat defeats the purpose of a mesh system such as this.
@jeffreyh51 Would it be fair to say that you want devices to always connect to the closest mesh point, and then be responsible for mesh point uplink optimization yourself, i.e. don't want us to second guess your setup?
@UBNT-Gunars, I would never want to second guess what you guys are attempting to do because you are the experts...certainly not me : )
One of the issues that I've seen since I upgraded to the second router is that a few of my devices, most notably ip cameras, want to connect to the main router's much weaker signal as opposed to the secondary one now used as an access point, which is much closer, and using the Ethernet backhaul. I used to use one of the mesh points (as noted in my original message), which not only allowed for a better signal than the main router (which is in the basement), but also offered better performance for the cameras in their location, other than those more than occasional pesky disconnects. Since installing the 2nd router as a mesh point (and unplugging the mesh points), the signal from point to device, for some reason, is weaker (but good) than the plug-in one was, even though the connection is solid as a rock with no disconnects noted. I actually expected the new signal to be stronger, but it's still much better than is the one from the main router, ans is fine as is. Unless you tell me I'm wrong, I figure that the best possible connection between the 2nd router (access point), combined with the Ethernet backhaul should offer better overall performance, which it does seem to do when it stays connected to the cameras in question.
I really don't want to setup separate SSID's, nor do I want to relegate the 2nd router to only 2.4GHz connections, because I need it to address both 2.4 & 5GHz for other devices. I suppose that this goes back to the request from the community to allow for the ability to manually set devices to address a specific access point.
All that said, I find my Amplifi system to be fantastic for my overall usage. I guess I would simply like the ability to "lock in" a specific device to a designated access point...and find something to do with the two plug-in mesh points that I'm now left with.
Thanks again for your reply.