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Author Topic: Best router for crowded WiFi areas  (Read 2113 times)

Rich Orde

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Best router for crowded WiFi areas
« on: September 01, 2017, 08:51:30 am »

I am using an X-32 rack, iPad controlled.  Last night the band played a gig at an outdoor venue in a city's downtown area.  The list of WiFi sources was seemingly endless.  I was experiencing an occasional hiccup but then at one point later in the evening I lost connection altogether.  Tried restarting things, changing to an extender, etc. and there were still major connection problems, even standing 10 feet from the router.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a router that can overcome such issues?  The heade guy from the sound company that was there recommended this one:

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/asus-ac3100-dual-band-wi-fi-router-black/4465000.p?skuId=4465000

Thing is, I would hate to spend that kind of money only to have the same issues.

Any suggestions on this?  Thanks

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Chrysander 'C.R.' Young

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Re: Best router for crowded WiFi areas
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2017, 09:00:26 am »

Any suggestions on this?  Thanks

Yes.  ALWAYS have a wired backup solution ready to go.

/thread
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Best router for crowded WiFi areas
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2017, 09:17:23 am »

I am using an X-32 rack, iPad controlled.  Last night the band played a gig at an outdoor venue in a city's downtown area.  The list of WiFi sources was seemingly endless.  I was experiencing an occasional hiccup but then at one point later in the evening I lost connection altogether.  Tried restarting things, changing to an extender, etc. and there were still major connection problems, even standing 10 feet from the router.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a router that can overcome such issues?  The heade guy from the sound company that was there recommended this one:

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/asus-ac3100-dual-band-wi-fi-router-black/4465000.p?skuId=4465000

Thing is, I would hate to spend that kind of money only to have the same issues.

Any suggestions on this?  Thanks

No, this would not help, at least not much.  This is a consumer, or "gaming" router.  It looks fragile too, not something I would want to transport.

The first thing to do is not to rely on the wireless.  Have a wired backup.  What kind of console?

What frequency range were you running (2.4 or 5Ghz)?  You should have been on 5Ghz.  Remote control apps don't take much bandwidth so using the slowest speed setting in your AP is often the best choice. 

There are other mitigation techniques such as not broadcasting your SID and getting your antenna high enough for line of site.

We have many threads on these topics.  Here is one of the more popular:  http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php?topic=145637.0

It may be a little dated on equipment selection.  Any decent Access Point from Ubiquity, Engenius, Ruckus, Fortinet, Cisco Aironet (not Cisco Consumer), Sonicpoint etc.  will do the trick.  Simple mounting on a mic stand is key here.

A word on nomenclature.  A router is a device to connect networks together.  It can have an Access Point (AP) built in however in our application the routing functionality must be disabled.  Calling an AP a router generally means you are referring to some piece of improperly deployed consumer gear.   The three building blocks of networks, Access Points, Switches and Routers have distinct roles.  Learning those distinctions would serve you well.  There is also a sticky thread to a networking primer for production professionals.

Good luck.
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Rich Orde

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Re: Best router for crowded WiFi areas
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2017, 09:41:31 am »

Using an X32 rack, no option for wired with that console :(  Haven't needed an alternative in over 3 years but last night was the first real problem.

Originally on 5GHz when it failed, tried connecting to both after that with no noticeable difference.

I read this in the link you provided and this does make sense

Quote
make sure you're using WPA2 encryption, and TURN OFF SSID BROADCAST. That is the most important part. That will stop punters from trying to connect to your router all night long. Even with just a password, you run the risk of hundreds of people trying to connect over and over, guessing the password all night. That can actually bog down your network and cause a lot of un-needed wifi traffic in the venue.

That being said, we are using a 5 year old Linksys router.  There has to be something better out there.  Used to use an Airport Extreme but had a lot of problems with that one.

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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Best router for crowded WiFi areas
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2017, 09:46:41 am »

Using an X32 rack, no option for wired with that console :(  Haven't needed an alternative in over 3 years but last night was the first real problem.

Originally on 5GHz when it failed, tried connecting to both after that with no noticeable difference.

I read this in the link you provided and this does make sense

That being said, we are using a 5 year old Linksys router.  There has to be something better out there.  Used to use an Airport Extreme but had a lot of problems with that one.

Pickup a modern AP then.  I like the Ubiquity.  Stick it on a mic stand.

The x32 rack has many wired options.  Connecting a touch screen laptop to the Ethernet port is one simple one.
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
River Delta Audio is now:

Ghost Audio Visual Solutions, LLC
Cleveland OH
www.ghostav.rocks

Chrysander 'C.R.' Young

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Re: Best router for crowded WiFi areas
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2017, 09:51:19 am »

Using an X32 rack, no option for wired with that console :(  Haven't needed an alternative in over 3 years but last night was the first real problem.


The X32 rack has the same connectivity as its larger brethren.  I have the X32 rack and always use a wired backup with it.  The X32's ethernet port  goes to a LAN port on my router/WAP and a touch-screen PC goes into another LAN port.  At my last show, the PC was side of stage and I was out front with a  Mac airbook.  Thankfully, I had no issues that day, but the wired option was live and ready to go had there been an issue.

If you are relying solely on 802.11 Wifi to pull off your show, you are courting disaster.  With anything RF, it is not a question of IF, it is a question of WHEN you will get interference and lose functionality.
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Rich Orde

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Re: Best router for crowded WiFi areas
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2017, 12:09:13 pm »

The x32 rack has many wired options.  Connecting a touch screen laptop to the Ethernet port is one simple one.
After last night we are speaking of having something on hand like this just in case.  The band leader has a touch screen laptop that he is going to configure and bring along.  Definitely a worthwhile option.
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Mike Monte

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Re: Best router for crowded WiFi areas
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2017, 03:56:55 pm »

After last night we are speaking of having something on hand like this just in case.  The band leader has a touch screen laptop that he is going to configure and bring along.  Definitely a worthwhile option.

'gotta have faders as a backup....

I leave my A&H QU-24 on the side of the stage and mix on my iPad.
I have never had an iPad issue, but, if I did lose connectivity I can limp through a gig mixing on faders.....

call me cautious??

 
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Russell Ault

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Re: Best router for crowded WiFi areas
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2017, 06:11:30 pm »

The x32 rack has many wired options.  Connecting a touch screen laptop to the Ethernet port is one simple one.

I do a lot of shows with an X32-Rack sitting side-stage, and any of the ones I care about I'll always run a wired network connection to FOH. Dealing with Cat5e cable (especially the less-than-rugged foil-shielded stuff) is annoying, but not as annoying as losing control during a show.

A little-known feature of the X32's PC Editor software is that it talks Mackie Control, so if you plug a MIDI controller into the computer running the PC Editor software you can use it to control the X32. In theory this will work over Wi-Fi, but obviously works best on a wired connection. It also reduces the importance of having a touch screen computer, since you'll be mixing on actual faders.

-Russ
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Best router for crowded WiFi areas
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2017, 07:32:01 pm »

I only use 5ghz, hide your SSID, Get a wifi scanner app (lots available for android) to take a quick look at what's going on in your area to make sure you don't have a channel conflict with someone else, if you do go in and reconfigure your AP / wifi router (yes I know I just said router) to another channel.

I am getting great results with my consumer "routers" in fairly dense wifi traffic areas. TP Link Archer C7 and Netgrear R7000, I sometimes feel the TP link gives me slightly better range. I carry spares of routers and Ipads. My A&H Qu Pac has full front panel operation for an emergency if needed.

« Last Edit: September 01, 2017, 08:17:49 pm by Mike Caldwell »
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