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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.

Valued Contributor II
In other words: Mesh is wonderfully resilient and convenient, but for a high performance network it is not the best practice. Obviously wiring these APs via ethernet is ideal, but if that's not practical, it's worth looking at other backhaul alternatives too. In a residential setting, MoCA adapters (coax to ethernet) are expensive but very high throughput. In some settings, powerline AV adapters may give you acceptable performance though I've found that to be hit or miss.

I have done this at several locations including campgrounds that serve up to 2500 concurrent clients.  Mesh is Ok but not the best way to go if you can help it.  We have found that if you have to mesh then don't broadcast any SSID's on the 5ghz as that is what is used for the MESH leaving it alone to do the back haul work and all the clients connect to the 2.4 ghz.  Yes you will not get the same potential speeds on the 2.4ghz but it travels through walls, floors and such way better than 5ghz.  If you must use meshing and are forced into multiple hops it costs a bit more but you can put two ap's  together via a cable and it will create a new root link and improve the performance as the radios are not meshed to each other and will get you lan speed and restart the hop count..  Remember each hop will basically cut the throughput in half, so at 1 hop you are at 50% and at 2 hops 75 % and this has to be shared if there are multiple radios connecting to the one root mesh etc.