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R510, R610 and R710 Maximum Performance

New Contributor III

I am looking for any pointers to get the absolute maximum performance and smooth roaming on a small network in a setting with low ceilings and thick walls (which I cannot put wiring in to). I have read all the documentation I can find, but hearing from people with on the ground experience would be appreciated.

It is a small unleashed network 2x R710 APs (cabled at 1Gb) and 3xR510 & 1xR610 all meshed to one of the R710s. There are around 35 mobile client and IoT type devices which are reasonably up to date and support either 'n' and 'ac'. The network is static; I rarely add/move APs. I do not need to support old kit.

I am interested in anything to squeeze performance out. I am particularly curious in two main areas, AP placement/orientation and Unleashed settings.

With regard to APs placement the documentation seems a little contradictory. Broadly, there is one AP per room, which have low ceilings and brick walls.

My specific questions are:

1. Does AP orientation (horizontal/vertical) matter as long as the device isn't facing the back of the AP?

2. For meshing, should the fronts of the APs be facing each other or doesn't it matter? Is it just the distance apart that makes the difference assuming that the radiation patterns overlap?

3. Is there any performance difference between the different models of AP with the exception of volume of clients? I have cabled the R710s, assuming they have faster processors, to handle the meshing but I cannot find any information to support that theory. Does it matter? I have spare 510s and can get more 710s if that will make a significant difference.

4. Would getting one or more R750s with WiFi6 make any major difference?

Below are my Unleashed settings. Are they sensible? Optimal?

  • Manually enabled channels 1, 6 & 11 on the 2.4GHz band and 36, 52, 100, 116 and 132 on the 5.0Ghz band.
  • Channel: Auto
  • Channelization is set to 40Mhz for both bands
  • TX Power is set to Full
  • 11n/ac/ax only Mode is set to N-only and N/AC- only for the 2.4 and 5.0 bands respectively.
  • CAC: Off
  • Firmware: 200.8
  • Auto AP power adjust is turned on.
  • 2.4GHz Background scanning timeout: 3600 seconds
  • 5.0GHz ChannelFly
  • No load balancing or Band balancing
  • Application Recognition is turned on.
  • Authentication is WPA2/WPA3 with a PSK and SAE password.

Are there any other points I should consider to increase performance and deliver smooth handover between APs?

If anyone has experience they can share I, and I am sure others, would be very grateful.

New Contributor III
Good call. I will review once 200.9 is out.

Hi John,

Good point and thanks for highlighting!

R750 mesh will be supported in upcoming 200.9 version, so Greg have to wait, if he wish to use R750 in mesh mode.

Syamantak Omer

Syamantak Omer
RUCKUS Networks, CommScope!
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Valued Contributor II
I would definitely wait for the R750 before upgrading, personally. The combination you have is great already with these Wave2 AC APs. Wifi 6 meshing will be a significant improvement.

The only thing I would consider on your setup is increasing bandwidth from 40MHz to 80MHz if your RF spectrum is amenable to that. That's the one setting that can come close to doubling the throughput of your network.

I'd recommend trying 40MHz vs 80MHz and doing AP to AP SpeedFlex tests to see how each channel setting affects it.

The other thing is channel selection -- sometimes the DFS channels (52-64 or 100-112) have better noise floors compared to the non-DFS channels, resulting in better throughput. But not all clients support DFS channels so if this is a single root AP mesh network, that may not be a good option. Usually when I deploy a mesh network I try to provide two root APs and build up two chains of slightly overlapping cells, one DFS and one non-DFS.

Also in a mesh network, I highly advise a static channel assignment. The main reason is that channel switches are extremely disruptive to the client in a mesh grid. When clients get a CSA (Channel Switch Advisory), they can choose whether to follow the channel switch or to pick a different AP that they remembered from scans or neighbor lists. But if an entire mesh chain undergoes a channel switch, most of those APs won't be on their original channel either.

New Contributor III
Thanks for many great ideas. I will try them and see how I get on.

I assume the static channel is different for each AP to avoid co-channel interference and that the meshing system can cope with that?

Valued Contributor II
Well if you're meshing, remember on 5GHz all meshed APs share the same 5GHz channel. So, it's an inherent limitation of meshing that co-channel-interference is going to be there pretty much any time there's traffic on any AP meshed together, and there's almost nothing you can do about that (other than use eMesh topologies or having more than 1 root AP to spread traffic)

So what really matters is assign the root AP a good 5GHz channel. The rest of the mesh will use the root AP's channel when meshed to it, regardless of what setting you manually assigned a mesh AP.