Why I need B.A.T.M.A.N. / batman-adv? What is a Mesh network?


Why I need B.A.T.M.A.N. / batman-adv? What is a Mesh network?
If I setup what is my benefit?

Because we all hate the Joker?

Better coverage, seamless roaming....

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Unless a wired backhaul is available. Wired APs will almost always perform better than wirelessly uplinked/meshed connections. Don't bother with mesh if you have wired.


Thank you. That TP-Link doc explained very well.

I don't do roaming.

But I have 3 floors. How do I notice that coverage is bad? At the moment I see no problem.
It means I need a 2nd OpenWrt router in above floor?

You would, if you had mesh.

If streaming is buffering, and choppy, could mean you'd need a better signal.

Yes, you need additional devices to make it happen.

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I am only able to stream 1080p from Raspberry to my iMac

Is that the definition of choppy? Can I stream 4K with Mesh?

Choppy means it freezes occasionally, to buffer additional data.

Doesn't have to be because of bad wifi, but it could be.

Only way to test is to use a cable to the same device, and try to play the same media again.

If you have more than one AP using the same SSID and password on the same network, your devices are probably already roaming between them. You don't need mesh, and you don't need any special protocols (like 802.11r, s, k, v)... simply having multiple access points with the same credentials means that you have the foundations of roaming.

Roaming is (mostly) a client side process. The client's decide which physical AP to use based on the relative signal strength or SNR (among other metrics) from that client device to the different APs. Some of the newer protocols like 802.11r are intended to improve the roaming experience, but strictly speaking they are not required or necessary. There are some brute-force methods to force a client to roam (such as setting minimum RSSI), but the best methods are really about tuning the AP channels and power levels appropriately for the space to encourage clients to use the AP that is most proximate. Done properly, this can be seamless.

You can look at signal strength, SNR, or network performance (speed tests, dropped packets) to determine the quality of your connection in various places around your space.

I'd recommend watching this video to understand some of the principles of setting up multiple APs for optimal performance around a space. Although this particular video is targeting the Unifi APs, the concepts and principles apply to all wifi network infrastructures, regardless of the brand or firmware.