Which Wifi Access Point to Buy?

Hi Guys,

in my house, I have 2 Openwrt Routers, both are the same:

I did a small Paint Picture, hope this explains what I do. One of the routers is in the bottom of my house and one is on the other side on the top!
Now I need an advice to extend my house with Wifi, because the 2 Routers in U1 and on the attic are not enough for Wifi in the whole house. I do not need LAN in Ground or 1st Floor.

I am thinking about buying a POE Switch in U1 and 2 Wifi Accesspoints in Ground and in 1st Floor (I can add a cable via the blue empty wall, so I do NOT want to use Repeater).

Can you give advice, which one to buy? I was thinking about this one:

Do you think it is good? I do not need WIFI 6, WIFI 5 is fine for me.

Unfortunately, I have no Idea which POE Switch to buy, maybe you have also an advice?

Thank you!

I'd buy more R7800s and use them as APs.
If you can find them, cheap.

Extreme Networks WS-AP3825I is a great inexpensive enterprise quality AP if interested.

Side note: I would try to keep equip out of the attic if possible.

for the APs, any low-end routers is enough, suggest Xiaomi 4AG likes, new or used, costs very lower.
refer to:
(https://youtu.be/vVoZppb_FR0?list=PLH3ZvoFDobW5hrI-ulH_mgFHgokbj2wd7)

Depends on what you want them to look and if you have power or can easily add power there - I prefer ceiling mounted devices, so I went with used business APs, like the TP-Link EAP225. I had one wall-mounted device, there I went with an old router.

For the PoE switch: Do you need/want VLANs? If yes, you need a managed switch. Since I wanted to run OpenWrt on my switches as well, I went with ZyXEL GS1900-series switches (the GS1900-8HP is the smallest version whereas I use a GS1900-24HP in the basement).

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Thank you all for your Ideas!

@andyboeh yes! I definetly need VLANs, I do not want my IOT devices talk to anything but the Internet. And I like switched networks and configuring this is like gambling for me :slight_smile:

I will order a Zyxel GS1900-8HP - looks good for me, thank you! Maybe go for a TP-Link Omada EAP225 aswell and sell one of my Netgear Routers. Do you think these different vendors (Netgear Router, TP-Link AP and Zyxel Switch) will work together well? As I have seen, they all run openwrt which is definetly what I want to use for my home network.

If all are running OpenWrt, they should. Different WiFi chip vendors might have problems with roaming between the APs, so I went with QCA chipsets for all devices.

I would look for the EAPs on the used market, they are not that powerful (CPU-wise) and are getting old/replaced by companies. There are, however, newer and more powerful variants (i.e. WiFi 6), but you stated you don't need that.

Nice!

So the Netgear Router has this one:
Qualcomm Atheros QCA9984, 2.4GHz 802.11bgn, 5GHz a/n/ac
While the EAP225 series go for different numbers, but its also QCA:
Qualcomm Atheros QCA9563, Qualcomm Atheros QCA9886

I asked chatGPT what are the differences, seems only to be the band.

The ZyXEL goes for Realtek Chip, but I think this does not matter because it actually does not do wifi and should handle the vlans correctly.

If I am able to install openwrt on TP-Link EAP225 - this will be my solution. Thanks to @andyboeh, this was really helpful!

There are quite a few more differences than that:

  • QCA9886:

    • Supports 2x2 MIMO, 5 GHz only
    • Usually paired with a WiSoC like QCA9563 in the TP-Link EAP225
      • QCA9563 provides the 2.4 GHz band with 3x3 MIMO
  • QCA9984:

    • Supports 4x4 MIMO, 160 MHz, both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
    • Usually paired with a SoC like IPQ8065 in the Netgear R7800

It does matter if you'd like to run OpenWrt on it, since the actual SoC needs to be supported. But the ones you got recommended obviously do.

I myself am very happy with my EAP615-Wall 802.11ax PoE+ AP, I have an older EAP235-Wall 802.11ac one, but that uses a crippled radio (MT7613), which you do not want if you are still in the market for new APs.

I found a used Switch, but I did not buy the accesspoints yet.

I found out, that the EAP225-Wall Accesspoint only has 100M ports, is there a Wall AP with 1GB and Qualcom Soc?

Why is Qualcomm specified?
Netgear WAX218 is using IPQ807x which fits but probably not selling anymore, there is newer WAX220 using MT7986 which is also very good.

Zyxel NWA50AX or TPLink EAP615-wall are cheaper alternative (both using Mediatek as well).

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