I need help setting up my rural network

Hello, I'm from Brazil, so if what I say seems confusing, blame Google Translate.

I'm putting together a solution for a rural network, I have a 100mbps fiber connection and I intend to install Starlink in the future to leave the fiber as a backup, because when there are problems due to location, maintenance takes weeks.

To cover the entire property, I thought about putting two comfast routes cf-ew72/cf-ew72-v2 and a home router, which I don't know yet, on a mesh network.
I searched a lot, but I couldn't answer my questions:

  • Do the comfast cf-ew72 or cf-ew72-v2 models support mesh?

  • What would be the ideal router to receive fiber internet (onu epon) and starlink at the same time, and manage my mesh network?

  • The only things connected with a cable would be my computer, the server (for automation and storage), the NVR for the cameras and one of the Comfast routers, the rest is all wireless, it would be necessary to use a switch or a router with 2 internet ports and 4 lan would it work?

I would like to remember that I am very limited in terms of options due to budget and location, our purchasing power and options here in Brazil are very limited and things cost more than triple what they should.

1 mt76 work very well, though shoot for AX if you want over the air mesh due to 1.5x better beamforming.

2 anything wilth multiwan package and enought ethernet ports https://openwrt.org/toh/views/toh_available_16128_ax-wifi likely you need to ask somebody local or at provider if you can get SFP+ PON module.

3 buy a router with 5 ports, then other with 5 in other home corner. It is roo many ports for a single router.

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Thanks for the answer.

1 - I understood that the AX would be better, but while the CF-EW72-v2 costs around 50 dollars, the cheapest external AX that I believe does not support OpenWRT (Wavlink hd6 ax1800) costs around 165 dollars, and when it converts this for Real and adding import taxes makes it completely unfeasible.
Do you have any suggestions for an AX outdor (with a range of 200m) priced below 50 dollars?

2 - I found a TP-Link Omada ER605 V2, I saw that it supports Openwrt and is available here in Brazil for an interesting price.
The local provider provides me with an Onu Gpon that receives the fiber and gives me an RJ45 that I would connect together with the starlink on the TP-Link ER605 v2.

3 - This Tp-Link has exactly 5 ports, two of which would be used for lan, while the other three would be used for initially one of the APs, the PC and the NVR, in the future I would connect a switch to place my automation/NAS server and others devices.

A new question, will the TP-Link ER605 v2 be suitable for my use? in this case as the main router managing the entire network and the two APs (one mesh)?

OK, great, some small pieces were lost to translation.
1 - estimate ~50m in direct sight, 20m with obstructed by building for coverage radius, if you have electricity in the other place you may consider powerline ethernet extender. Given price you got I think nothing can compete.
2 - Sounds good, thing to consider - PoE output - say PoE injectors here are ‚ā¨70 and up, so any PoE-out router is immediately better than separate injector and common router.
3. Add one spare port - you need 2 of such switches, additionally look around zyxel mikrotik ubiquiti, in some places those are like for enterprise market and come with consultants and double price, your success depends.
4. You can have 80211s mesh with the recommended routers and mt76 and ath??k in general. As said you need more ports than one switch.

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Thanks again for taking the time to respond to me.

It's sad that the translation isn't perfect, but at least it allows us to communicate. '-'

1 - Both mt76 APs will be in mesh approximately 60m away with a view, I believe that in this regard I have no better solution, due to the financial circumstances of the moment.

2 - I will take this into consideration.

3 - I'm going to take a look at what's available here on the domestic market, but researching the requirements I found that the mwan3 can be used on any router that supports openwrt, so I don't need to go after something that has multiple WANs.

4 - here the translation was confusing for me lol, I didn't understand if you say that mt76 supports mesh or if you ask, what would "ath" be?

1 Access points have better antennas, they will do just fine. 2 antennas mean beamforming, better bandwidth at coverage border for static or walking clients.

  1. port labels do not matter, usual architecture is one netcard WAN other netcard switch with multiple LANs, you can have one gigabit WAN and 4 slower WANs summing up to another gigabit.

  2. Qiualcom Atheros network cards, ath9k (wifi4) ath10k (wifi5) ath11k (wifi6)

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I spent the day researching and studying viable possibilities within my limitations (budget and availability), I reached the following conclusions:

  • There will be two mesh APs (comfast cf-ew72)
  • One of these will be connected via PoE to a MikroTik RB760iGS
  • This RB760iGS will receive Internet from my provider and starlink, it will manage the network and if I need more ports I will connect an RB750Gr3, but I believe that with all five RJ45s and an SFP I will not need the RB750Gr3.

Just to confirm, I believe that now everything is perfect, everything will work with OpenWRT and despite having gone a little over budget I will have more reliable devices.

I'll wait for a second opinion before closing the post!

And when I put everything together, I will make a point of writing a topic related to rural internet here on the forum and recording some videos for YouTube Brazil showing the entire process as we have almost no information related to the topic.

Sounds like a good plan.
Wait for somebody to confirm, like from BR, like +5 bucks double speed or so :wink:

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I'm going to consult an acquaintance who is in the networks area, I'm glad I go to him with something more solid.

Anyway, thank you for your answers and the time you took to help me.

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Well, back to my rural internet drama, but now with consistent options.

When my father installed fiber internet, the provider provided him with a Chinese router that is not worth mentioning, as the area of ‚Äč‚Äčthe house where the router was installed is higher, he was able to cover the entire yellow area below it without any problems. ..

Chatting here on the forum, I came to the conclusion that the ideal would be to put two Comfast EW72 V2 as AP and a MikroTik to do the routing, this solution would cost around 250 Dollars, and even if I exchanged the Mikrotik for a cheaper domestic solution the difference wouldn't be that big since you'd have to buy a switch.
The advantages of this system are that the EW72 easily promises to cover a radius of 100m and basically two of them would already cover the entire farm.
The disadvantages are that I would need to compromise one of the bands on the second AP as it does not have three antennas and one of them would need to receive the signal from the first AP to be able to create the mesh network.
Basically the design I estimated considering the 100m radius is this.

Talking to some people in the area here in Brazil, they suggested that I do a cheaper option that seemed interesting to me and I would like your opinion here on the forum.

This option consists of using two Xiaomi mi 4a gigabit routers as APs and a Xiaomi AX3000T doing the routing in the house.
As the AX3000T only has 4 ports, I would use a switch to expand my needs, and basically I would do everything wired using a cat5e cable with a maximum of 70m, which in theory meets the needs of my network.
I saw in tests that in a straight line and without obstacles the Mi 4a managed to reach an incredible 250m, but I'm considering a radius of 60m so as not to escape reality, they will be protected in a case with just the antennas out, so external exposure will not be a problem.
According to the design I made, this option would work, it would be 100% Openwrt and would cost around 150 Dollars.
It would look more or less like this

My questions are:

How would the switch work in relation to OpenWRT?
I'm thinking about using a cheap 5 or 8 port DSA switch and connecting the two AP's to it, as the two AP's would use OpenWRT and be on the same network I don't think they would be any problem, on the AX3000T it has 4 ports where one would be for the switch, two would be dedicated to receiving internet from the provider and starlink and one for my PC, in my accounts there would still be some ports left over for other things.
I saw that DSA would make OpenWRT understand each switch port independently, is this real?
This way I could redirect Vlans for each port and keep the entire structure organized?

Finishing here, as a picture is worth a thousand words (we say that here in Brazil, it's a very popular phrase) I will leave you with an image of how the farm is currently, and I believe that with this image you will understand why I want to save every possible cent, if that's not enough, imagine that our purchasing power is so ridiculous that 100 Dollars for me would basically be 1000 Dollars for you, sometimes even more than that.

Please remove images with geoloc. thanks.

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You cannot get good coverage in the dense forest. Best hope is sides of open field.

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So, my intention is to cover this area marked in yellow, where there is no dense vegetation.
This area marked in white is already the "useful area" of the farm, outside of it we still have almost 2 hectares of preservation area, so much of that green in the last image will disappear, as it is literally bush, weeds and other junk that grew over three years of abandonment.

I'm going to take advantage of my parents leaving there to put into practice all my knowledge of Harvest Moon (Story of Seasons), Stardew Valley and Farming Simulator. heheheehhehe

And thanks for letting me know, I was so excited to share another possibility that I didn't realize the details.


My approximation, unsure if middle should be more north

Ok, I placed the positioning as you indicated, making small changes, but still considering a radius of 60m for signal transmission, it looked like this...

Later I could place another Mi 4a as an AP near the pool or in another location expanding the network, and I would return the AX indoors, for now, I placed it as close to the location indicated by you, but considering the 70m limit by cable, as I will be using cheap cat5e cables (copper-plated aluminum), I want to reduce performance loss as much as possible.

Place double cables for same earthworks. But seems pool gets cover from house already?

ok, finally defined so how am I going to do it.
I think I'll buy the routers today, just waiting for a response from a local seller.

  • "Place double cables for same earthworks" - The translator couldn't convey this correctly, what did you mean by using double cables, using one in redundancy?

  • Regarding the house, the provider's link goes directly to it, but taking the AP/Router to the pool seems like the best position, in relation to the signal.

1 - yes, two cables, one used other not
2 - you can try field routers on the house wall while at it :wink:

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