Computers & Electronics

Networking: Mesh vs AP - MoCa backhaul

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 6th, 2020 2:42 pm
Tags:
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 7, 2006
1189 posts
1064 upvotes

Networking: Mesh vs AP - MoCa backhaul

Hi guys. Long story short I was thinking of networking my house using MoCa adapters to run an Ethernet line via COAX to each major room (1 per floor). At the tail end of these MoCas adapters I will be installing a router to have the option of a wired switch and use its wireless connections. My question is if I should have these items set up on a mesh system or individual AP. From what I've read using it as an individual AP makes the connection faster but I'm wondering if "fast roaming" is something that could be used between APs that are not on a mesh system (i.e wifi calling while moving between rooms and not having the connection break as the network will automatically switch seamlessly to the stronger AP). What product would offer a technology of this sort?
Last edited by IceCreamGee on Aug 1st, 2020 9:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
16 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
36194 posts
9452 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
If speeds are a concern, don’t go mesh

I am not sure how big your house is, but a good commercial grade access point should cover it.

If you want seamless roaming between access points, you will need something with a controller.

If you’re budget minded, look at TP-Link’s EAP245, a step up would be Ubiquiti, then you hit the big boys, Cisco, Aruba etc.

The EAP is ~90$ on Amazon. I would start with a single access point as see if that covers your entire house, if not, get a second access point and install the controller on a virtual machine.

As for MoCa, I think it will be cheaper to run Ethernet. Make a few holes and run it properly. Cheaper to patch, sand and paint drywall than pay for MoCa

*** Edit ***

Saw this in the Buy and Sell section

tp-link-eap245-v3-access-point-poe-80-firm-2393267/

Even with a mansion, all you need are a single access point on each floor
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 7, 2006
1189 posts
1064 upvotes
Gee wrote: If speeds are a concern, don’t go mesh

I am not sure how big your house is, but a good commercial grade access point should cover it.

If you want seamless roaming between access points, you will need something with a controller.

If you’re budget minded, look at TP-Link’s EAP245, a step up would be Ubiquiti, then you hit the big boys, Cisco, Aruba etc.

The EAP is ~90$ on Amazon. I would start with a single access point as see if that covers your entire house, if not, get a second access point and install the controller on a virtual machine.

As for MoCa, I think it will be cheaper to run Ethernet. Make a few holes and run it properly. Cheaper to patch, sand and paint drywall than pay for MoCa

*** Edit ***

Saw this in the Buy and Sell section

tp-link-eap245-v3-access-point-poe-80-firm-2393267/

Even with a mansion, all you need are a single access point on each floor

Going to research the above, ty. But is roaming a mesh feature or can it still be applied to separate AP channels?
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
36194 posts
9452 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
IceCreamGee wrote: Going to research the above, ty. But is roaming a mesh feature or can it still be applied to separate AP channels?
Mesh works by talking to each other. The problem is speed takes a hit when you connect to another node. Each node has its own encryption and requires overhead.

With access points, there is no speed hit since you use a wired back haul. Each access point runs at full speed. More importantly, if you have multiple access points, the controller informs each node so that there is proper hand off. I guess you can call it roaming. But it is really a hand off. Similar to cellular. As you drive down the highway, your signal gets handed to the next available cell tower
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 7, 2006
1189 posts
1064 upvotes
Gee wrote: Mesh works by talking to each other. The problem is speed takes a hit when you connect to another node. Each node has its own encryption and requires overhead.

With access points, there is no speed hit since you use a wired back haul. Each access point runs at full speed. More importantly, if you have multiple access points, the controller informs each node so that there is proper hand off. I guess you can call it roaming. But it is really a hand off. Similar to cellular. As you drive down the highway, your signal gets handed to the next available cell tower
Would these hand-offs cause a disruption in communication/connection? Ie someone is on a VoIP call moving between two aps
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
36194 posts
9452 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
IceCreamGee wrote: Would these hand-offs cause a disruption in communication/connection? Ie someone is on a VoIP call moving between two aps
No it is seem less, you wont notice any disruption.
Member
Oct 11, 2013
217 posts
61 upvotes
Almost American
Gee wrote: No it is seem less, you wont notice any disruption.
So you have to make sure this is a true mesh network. If you're using two or more AP's in repeater mode, you'll loose the connection. Roaming assistant basically just disconnects the client when signal from the connected AP drops below a certain level.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
36194 posts
9452 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
expresspotato wrote: So you have to make sure this is a true mesh network. If you're using two or more AP's in repeater mode, you'll loose the connection. Roaming assistant basically just disconnects the client when signal from the connected AP drops below a certain level.
It is a little more complex. These are access points, there is no repeater mode per say.

The problem with mesh is that they piggy back off each other and because of encryption, speeds are degraded each time it connects to a DIFFERENT mode.

The access points have a wired Ethernet back haul. You get full wired speed. If you have multiple access points with a controller running, there is a hand off through your switch to the next access point

The other advantage is that these access points have considerably more power to their antennas than any pods from a mesh system. In most cases, a single access point is adequate to cover a decent sized house.
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 7, 2006
1189 posts
1064 upvotes
Alright, ty. Going to site survey the house we purchased in the coming weeks. I'll see if it's going to be a bitch to run a wire or breeze is with moca adapters. I'm no tim toolman taylor, so the less walls I destroy and wires I fish the better. If I have to pay 80 bucks per moca adapter - so be it.
Deal Addict
Jan 20, 2012
1081 posts
716 upvotes
Toronto
Is it a new build? Many newer home runs CAT5/6 for phone. Check the cable behind the wall plate. You may just need to change to RJ45 from RJ11 for each floor and run a switch in the basement.

I’m running 3 routers to act as AP in each floor. With same SSID in different channels. I don’t experience much cut off.
Member
Jun 9, 2012
471 posts
318 upvotes
Vancouver
Use phone wires, some of them are actually cat5e that were wired up for phone lines, the wires that aren't used are usually wrapped around the outside of the wire.

Don't use coax wires, getting them to work is EXTREMELY expensive since you need special converters that converts coax to Ethernet. It's better to use Ethernet straight up since Ethernet wall outlets are cheap to setup.
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 7, 2006
1189 posts
1064 upvotes
Inclemental wrote: Is it a new build? Many newer home runs CAT5/6 for phone. Check the cable behind the wall plate. You may just need to change to RJ45 from RJ11 for each floor and run a switch in the basement.

I’m running 3 routers to act as AP in each floor. With same SSID in different channels. I don’t experience much cut off.
BigBrother0 wrote: Use phone wires, some of them are actually cat5e that were wired up for phone lines, the wires that aren't used are usually wrapped around the outside of the wire.

Don't use coax wires, getting them to work is EXTREMELY expensive since you need special converters that converts coax to Ethernet. It's better to use Ethernet straight up since Ethernet wall outlets are cheap to setup.
I'm buying a used home, I think it was built in the 70s/80s. Running ethernet in-wall (professionally part+labour) will cost me more than 3 moca adapters (3x60USD) . I dont know if I could re-purpose the existing phone line because I'm not too sure what type of wire they've used - but if they are indeed cat5es then I could use that instead. Like I mentioned, I'll be doing my first visit in a couple of weeks. I'll try to keep an eye out for this as well.
Member
Jun 9, 2012
471 posts
318 upvotes
Vancouver
IceCreamGee wrote: I'm buying a used home, I think it was built in the 70s/80s. Running ethernet in-wall (professionally part+labour) will cost me more than 3 moca adapters (3x60USD) . I dont know if I could re-purpose the existing phone line because I'm not too sure what type of wire they've used - but if they are indeed cat5es then I could use that instead. Like I mentioned, I'll be doing my first visit in a couple of weeks. I'll try to keep an eye out for this as well.
Hmmm. I guess that would be your only option unless you can tolerate cat5e cables running along the walls. The good thing with cat5e is that signal degradation doesn't occur over long distances (~100 metres) than using Coax cables. Depending on the moca adapters you buy and how many splitters your signal goes through, you might not get the full gigabit speeds like you would get on cat5e.
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 7, 2006
1189 posts
1064 upvotes
BigBrother0 wrote: Hmmm. I guess that would be your only option unless you can tolerate cat5e cables running along the walls. The good thing with cat5e is that signal degradation doesn't occur over long distances (~100 metres) than using Coax cables. Depending on the moca adapters you buy and how many splitters your signal goes through, you might not get the full gigabit speeds like you would get on cat5e.
Not too worried about gigabit speeds. I think the best It’s going to get is 150/15 or 300/20.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 4, 2015
8679 posts
4918 upvotes
Canada, Eh!!
Gee wrote: If speeds are a concern, don’t go mesh

I am not sure how big your house is, but a good commercial grade access point should cover it.

If you want seamless roaming between access points, you will need something with a controller.

If you’re budget minded, look at TP-Link’s EAP245, a step up would be Ubiquiti, then you hit the big boys, Cisco, Aruba etc.

The EAP is ~90$ on Amazon. I would start with a single access point as see if that covers your entire house, if not, get a second access point and install the controller on a virtual machine.
If just using one TP-Link’s EAP245 then can we just simply set up through browser and not worry about installing controller?

Thanks.
2022: BOC raised 6 times and MCAP raised its prime next day.
2017 to 2018: BOC raised rates 5 times and MCAP raised its prime next day each time.
2020: BOC dropped rates 3 times and MCAP waited to drop its prime to include all 3 drops.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
36194 posts
9452 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
georvu wrote: If just using one TP-Link’s EAP245 then can we just simply set up through browser and not worry about installing controller?
Yes if you only have one EAP245

If you have multiple EAP units, you should use a controller to manage it. The controller software is easy to setup in Windows.

Top