I play Xbox a few times weekly and several weeks ago, a friend says “hey, I need to see all the stuff on my network”. So I asked what he currently had setup. Well, the cable modem had a couple network ports, that connected to other stuff and one port went to a “wireless router” that had some more network ports and those ports connected to other stuff. Well hello double NAT. Hi. Usually something had to be power cycled for his Xbox to work better. Basically took about 15-20 minutes before each game session, as we’d have to figure out what the hell was not working. Sometimes voice chat would work then stop, just a bunch of odd stuff.
So I told him we need to get this fixed and a good test was with Open Mesh. I had played around with Open Mesh, but really didn’t spend much time with them. But they came back on my radar after hearing Datto had acquired them.
Good thing about his house, it was already setup with CAT-5 all over the place. Each room had a network port. Good thing for newer construction. After doing a FaceTime call and seeing the main locations that needed good wireless, we decided on three zones. Each zone would have an Access Point, mainly because of the house layout. Also, being a few states away I had to make this simple, plus I figured we could move Access Points around or add/remove if needed.
So yeah, this was an entirely calculated guessing game for a small wireless deployment. No scans to see what might be close by. So yeah, we guessed. Since we’re only using three Access Points, this makes the channel plan simple; 1, 6 and 11 on 2.4, and we did 40 wide on 5GHz staying in UNII-1 and 3.
So we picked two Open Mesh switches, model S8 and three OM5P-AC Access Points. One switch would go upstairs and one downstairs. The upstairs area, has the Xbox, Audio Receiver, TV and one Access Point. Nice thing about the S8 switches, they have PoE support.
Another reason for picking the OM5P-AC was the physical size, it looks like a bar of soap. It does get a little warm to the touch, not a big deal, just don’t put a stack of papers on it. We had the equipment shipped to my office, I set everything up, made sure it powered on etc… left it on for a few days. After that, boxed it up and shipped it a few states away.
Hold on! Why not just ship to the final destination? I thought Open Mesh is all cloud setup and controlled?
Stay tuned for Part 2….