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Brands for building Wifi networks

Seamless internet

The purpose of this article is to review the seamless Internet solutions that are present on the world market and Russia in particular.

Seamless Internet is provided by the selection and placement of equipment (signal repeaters) in such a way as to ensure that there are no zones in which there are no conditions for receiving a Wi-Fi signal.

- My name is Vyacheslav Lapshin (V.R). I am an automation engineer, head of the company Fast Projects LLC. Recently, the market has seen an increase in demand for seamless Internet, which is required in transport, in concert venues, in offices, in a number of industrial applications and much more. Separately in this list are smart home technologies. There are many solutions on the market, but how to figure them out? After all, firstly, they are not all that cheap, and, secondly, they are not very clearly described for users. How to be a user? Contact a specialist.
- My name is Artem Merkulov (A.M). I am an engineer, a specialist in the integration of "Smart Home" systems. I am mainly engaged in setting up systems to cover the space in private homes with seamless Internet, less often at industrial facilities. I agree that now there is an increase in demand for solutions for a seamless network. The systems are either quite expensive or average in terms of budget, but inconvenient to set up. I note that it is not enough just to buy the appropriate equipment. You need to study, take certain courses, where they teach the features of the settings. I will try to put everything on the shelves and explain how the process of diagnostics, brand selection, system settings takes place.

В.Р. - Let's first define what a seamless Internet is and what its purpose is.
А.М.  - Seamless Internet is a distributed system with a central point of access to the Internet, which distributes access to the network to other devices connected to it. Seamless Internet provides uninterrupted stable communication when moving between access points. At the same time, there are no redundant networks, a single addressing is provided for all access points.

В.Р. - That is, when, for example, a person moves from one floor to another with his phone or tablet, he will not lose connection?
А.М. - Yes, this is the main purpose of the seamless Internet. Client access points are distributed in places with the highest signal strength and reliably receive Internet in a common coverage area.

В.Р. - What is required in order to understand what kind of equipment needs to be purchased for a particular Customer, is a floor plan needed, for example?
А.М. - Yes, a floor plan is needed. In addition to it, it is necessary to make a diagnosis of the premises themselves and find in them the so-called places of a weak signal. Where the signal of one access point ends, the next one is established. The coverage can be both along one floor of the room, and on several floors at once.

В.Р. - Have you ever had cases when the Customer was dissatisfied with the work performed or made demands that you could not implement?
А.М. - No, there were no such cases. At the design stage, you can lay some margin for arranging access points, so that during operation, if weaknesses are identified, you can install or rearrange some equipment, and easily eliminate these "dead zones".

В.Р. - Another such question. Are there routers with two SIM cards so that the router can choose the optimal connection in terms of quality?
А.М. - Yes, such solutions exist. For example, MikroTik has two different LAN drivers and, accordingly, two traffic sources. It can be a USB modem or an additional WAN port.

В.Р. - Does the equipment being installed have to be from the same manufacturer or is it possible to use products from different manufacturers?
А.М. - It is better to build the entire network on one brand, adhere to the concept of the so-called brand ecosystem. In both simple and expensive solutions, this is due to the fact that all components within the same brand interact better with each other..

В.Р. - How do you determine how much a job will cost? Does the customer need to know the price of your services in advance?
А.М. - The price is determined locally, formed at the stage of preliminary assessment of the object. A large part of the budget goes to the equipment itself. It is determined how much the access point costs, how much they need to be installed and in what places.

В.Р. - Will there be a fee to leave?
А.М. - If the Customer agrees to the installation, then the departure will be free. If not, then we negotiate the cost of departure in advance so that none of the parties remains offended.

В.Р. - Let's take a closer look at manufacturers of equipment for seamless Internet. You have already mentioned MikroTik, but what other brands are present on the Russian market that a user can purchase?
А.М. - All equipment (brands) can be conditionally divided by price class.
1. Cisco WAP, access points are combined without an additional controller.
2. Zyxel Keenetic.
3. Ruckus.
4. Ubiquiti Networks.
5. MikroTik.
Cisco - American networking brand. They have a successful, but very expensive solution. They present their products as a complex (their own ecosystem), which is designed to solve their problems. The system provides the user with its services, software that facilitates the work of setting up. I have experience in setting up systems on this brand, but I have not been trained by Cisco and I cannot say that their product is 100% worth the money.
There is Ruckus, I haven’t worked with it yet, but you can offer a solution on Ruckus, although it’s far from cheap. There is a special Ekahau program in which you can make coverage maps.
With Ubiquiti, there was experience in building networks, a working version. Many are sure that a seamless network is easy to build there, because the system architecture is built that way. However, in fact, a completely seamless network does not work. Ubiquity usually comes with a controller.
There is also such a brand as Linksys Velop, but such brands are a thing in themselves. I can't really add anything about it..
Some of my friends use Zyxel Keenetic Air - the price does not bite, but there are limitations there and I can’t advise this as a good solution.

В.Р. - What brand do you have the most experience with?
А.М. - Mainly Ubiquiti, MikroTik..
I make good decisions on MikroTik. They thought of everything to combine the line of devices into a single network and create a single network infrastructure. As for the software part in terms of these settings, everything is also thought out and flexible there. Gadgets seamlessly switch between access points, clients are visible in the Mikrotik interface and who is on which access point. Glitches are not noticed. When calling on whatsapp, the connection does not break, no matter where you go within the general coverage area.

Поэтажный план Mikrotik

For the price, I would classify MikroTik in the middle price segment. For me, it is such a good combination of price / quality. The main thing is to correctly distribute all access points and configure the main router accordingly. Do not forget about 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies, if they are on the devices. And you can make a 5 GHz seamless network.

Картинка настроек Mikrotik

Merkulov Artem

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#Mikrotik, #Ubiquiti, #Linksys, # SeamlessInternet ,#pointsaccess

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