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Rukus Newbie - Decide my r320(s) fate

New Contributor II

Greetings.  Purchased new home and low voltage company pre-wired the house with some "stuff" that I'm not familiar.  3500sq ft 2 story + basement home.  Signal path in the basement utility room is Comcast 1200 Internet (higher than my needs, yet ultimately will downgrade) - Arris S33 Modem - tplink GB VPN Router - Pakedge SE-8P Switch - 2x Rukus R320.  

The PakEdge switch feeds wired connectivity to several rooms/TVs/Office/etc along with both of the r320s.  One R320 is upstairs while the master is downstairs in the utility room.  

The wired PakEdge connections are okay, yet weaker than SLA.  Comcast coming out to fix the lines as the tested line outside isn't meeting their specs (Comcast tech tested it around 600ish mbps prior to coming in the house, thinks there's condensation in the line yet he's not the guy who climbs up the pole to fix things).  Inside wired connections off the Pakedge are roughly 350ish.  Still good enough for my needs, yet lower than spec.  

The r320s are roughly 250-275 when physically near the WAP (within 20ft).  Still good enough for my needs.  

The problem is main level, kitchen area.  There's a bit of a dead area where it's consistently under 35mbps.  There is an ethernet jack in the kitchen to the PakEdge switch which is ultimately my question.  

Do I:

a)  Pay the network tech to troubleshoot at $150/hr as the low voltage company says the r320 should be sending a stronger signal all over the house.

b)  Buy a 3rd WAP for the kitchen which would be great for the deck in the summer?  If so, what is your recommendation to compliment the (2) r320s and hopefully is managed off the same Unleashed App.

c)  Start over with a modern Mesh system as ultimately as I'd like better/more consistent coverage throughout the house.  Any recommendations?

d)  Start over with Comcast modem / MESH as they can troubleshoot and expand their SLA when it's their equipment (not very happy about monthly fees, yet I'm already beyond that with the low voltage guys hourly rates).  


Contributor III

Good Afternoon KellieS,

  I use an R620, and have great connectivity throughout my home, back yard, and property in general. We use an R320, which is backhauled through a VPN pipe to my work's corporate network, to provide vpn access over wifi. The  R320 has okay coverage, but it's not great. I would try to find a stronger AP, it might be a bit more money, but the Ruckus APs really are in a class on their own.
That being said, my Inlaws needed a quick out of box solution for their ranch-style home and had a minimal budget for wifi. Their network runs those little google mesh APs and they appear to be competent for what they are. That might be a good solution for you as well. 

In closing, if your guts tell you to move platforms, I would do it. in my particular use case, I prefer the Ruckus in my Home.  Tighter control, though the switch could be a bit more intuitive to program.



Valued Contributor II

I would say as you have a socket on wall, 3rd AP is the best option (will fix things for sure, and doesn't require any work). Same R320 will do just fine. 

It is possible that moving AP could fix died area, but that would require installing new cabling. Of cause, check a few things -- that 2 APs you have are installed properly (not put near or even over the ventilation duct, for example, or aren't installed vertically). It sounds silly things to do, but I really  have seen impossible installs by construction companies, when AP was put between 2 metal ducts or even worth - over it, as well inside metal cabinet.

Also, if you some how can get higher-end Ruckus AP (such as R610, R710 or better), replacing on of existing APs could fix died area, as this APs has better antennas and sensitivity.

Still, if you have really unfortunate location which is heavily shielded by some construction elements, nothing else is going to help and the 3rd AP is probably the only option.   

Any speculations that AP must send stronger signal without going on site and checking situation are rubbish. RF is as much a science, as art, and you have to be onsite with equipment  to see the situation. Ruckus APs are best available on market, but physic's laws still apply.

Also, about low speed inside - I would expect that this is the limitation of NAT router (tplink GB VPN Router) throughput. Fact that router has 1Gbps ports doesn't mean it is able to provide 1Gbps NAT throughput! Most probably it has limit you see, so to get higher you need better (newer and probably - more expensive ) NAT router. But 300 Mbps is enough for any needs usually, just change service accordingly to not overpay ISP. I know setups where ISP provided 1Gbps line, but router brings it down to 150 Mbps -- doesn't make sense to pay extra for what you can't use. 

About internal cabling quality -- Ethernet can't work at 350 Mbps -- if you can measure 350 Mbps, and don't see  errors on port, cabling is OK and works on 1 Gig speed, as expected,  otherwise  you would have 100Mbps sharp and not more.   

 Hope it helps.


@eizens_putnins Thanks.  Good info!  Perhaps the easiest solution is adding a 3rd and upgrading the router.  

New Contributor II


Purchased a 3rd R320 via eBay ($150).  Lennar build sticker on the back.  After an hour or so of fumbling around, appears I needed to upgrade all WAP's firmware to the latest in order for the newest r320 to be picked up from the master settings.  The close proximity speeds are great, yet still isn't giving me the range I need on the main floor of the house, which is quite confused/disappointing as we're talking 50-75ft through a wall.  Bummer.    

For comparision, I also bought (because it has a 30-day return) the latest Comcast Modem/Router along with (4) of their newest Mesh pucks.  Set-up is speedy and I'm getting very consistent speeds throughout the house, albiet not as fast as the R320 in close proximity.  

My first (2) R320 came with my house, so I'm only $150 down while the Comcast is $400 + $15/month for the modem.  Assuming I paid full price for all of the R320, it would be over $1000 along with a 3rd party modem/router.  Tough call, yet appears Comcast will take my money.....

I'll keep the R320 Wifi around for fun, yet the consistency and range of the latest Comast Mesh is better for me needs.  I'll play with the Ruckus as I'm sure there's more ability to tweak the settings yet my knowledge is quite is my time.  

Thanks for the help.  Just wanted to pass along the update.