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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => LAB Lounge => Topic started by: John Roll on April 22, 2021, 11:07:35 am

Title: Router or WAP
Post by: John Roll on April 22, 2021, 11:07:35 am
I will be attempting to set up the ability to ring out monitors wirelessly using Presonus UC and a tablet. I am confused about whether or not I should get a router or a WAP. Any help is appreciated.

John
Title: Re: Router or WAP
Post by: Brian Adams on April 22, 2021, 01:23:37 pm
I think that depends on your definition of "router."

Most home "routers" are a combination of a DHCP server, router, switch, and access point, and they they call it a wifi router. You can certainly split out these functions to other pieces of gear, and sometimes that's preferable. Oftentimes an all-in-one wifi router is just fine for most small venues, but you might start having issues in larger venues or in crowded RF environments.

Personally, I usually use a small router/switch (Ubiquiti ER-X) and an access point (older Ubiquiti bullet with a 14" antenna), since it allows me to keep the router close to my gear and put the access point where it will have good reception. If it's just me connecting, sometimes I don't bother with the router and I just use the access point straight into my console and a static address on my Ipad. If I need DHCP, or more than one network port, I patch in a small router/switch.

If it's a really small show and I don't need wifi once the audience shows up, I might just use an Airport Express, since it's so quick to power and patch. It's always nice to have options.
Title: Re: Router or WAP
Post by: Steve Litcher on April 22, 2021, 04:36:35 pm
I will be attempting to set up the ability to ring out monitors wirelessly using Presonus UC and a tablet. I am confused about whether or not I should get a router or a WAP. Any help is appreciated.

John

Brian does almost exactly what I do (router + WAP), but for the vast majority of folks, an all-in-one wireless router should work perfectly fine, especially if your wireless router and UC are close to the stage. Then it'll be a no-brainer.

Apple's Airport Express has long been a favorite, as it provides good wireless coverage, has a router, and is about the size of a big deck of cards... but there are a ton of consumer grade wireless routers that should fit the bill. Just make sure you disable guest access and use a strong password for joining your network.
Title: Re: Router or WAP
Post by: Alec Spence on April 22, 2021, 06:35:01 pm
Brian does almost exactly what I do (router + WAP), but for the vast majority of folks, an all-in-one wireless router should work perfectly fine, especially if your wireless router and UC are close to the stage. Then it'll be a no-brainer.

Apple's Airport Express has long been a favorite, as it provides good wireless coverage, has a router, and is about the size of a big deck of cards... but there are a ton of consumer grade wireless routers that should fit the bill. Just make sure you disable guest access and use a strong password for joining your network.
All of this!  THough I've got no time for Apple stuff - really, any domestic dual band router should do just fine.  I've never been let down by old ex-ISP routers - cost, next to nothing.
Title: Re: Router or WAP
Post by: Mike Caldwell on April 22, 2021, 07:44:06 pm
And to add.....hide your SSID, turn off the 2.4g radio and only use 5g.

Title: Re: Router or WAP
Post by: Alec Spence on April 22, 2021, 08:33:50 pm
And to add.....hide your SSID, turn off the 2.4g radio and only use 5g.
I beg to differ on this a little.

By all means hide your SSID, but beware a little more complexity to debug if you ever have challenges connecting - or if you need to add other people to the router on an ad-hoc basis.

While it may be a regional thing, in the UK I always have both radio bands enabled.  It's all very well having the faster throughput and lower utilisation of the 5 GHz band, but its range is more limited, so well worth having the 2.4 GHz band available for use.  I've always found my devices switch between the two bands as required with no fuss and, most importantly, I get the most range when I need it.  Never yet had an issue with this.
Title: Re: Router or WAP
Post by: doug johnson2 on April 22, 2021, 10:03:18 pm
I use enterprise level APs, mostly Ubiquiti, with a non-wifi router.  Mainly because i want the option of multiple wired connections at every point (I do APs and bridges). If you don't want/need that, most APs will work in router mode with one or two wired connections.  The robustness/range of these types of AP is sooooo superior than that of consumer type wifi routers, to me it is a no brainer.
Title: Re: Router or WAP
Post by: Sean Anderson on April 22, 2021, 10:15:06 pm
I just set up a couple ubiquiti er-x with some ubiquiti uap-ac-m access points. While figuring it out was a bit of hell, they work really well now that everything is setup and they have great range. I know many people who use apple airports with great success. They are easier to setup.

I also disagree about turning off 2.4. I do sound at one ampitheater that right around nightfall the park cameras all kick on and they destroy the 5ghz range. I have to switch over to 2.4 or I only get 30 feet of range with dropouts. I am not the only one this happens to at this particular venue. I have no clue why this happens, but I know how to work around it. I use 5ghz pretty exclusively everywhere else.
Title: Re: Router or WAP
Post by: Mal Brown on April 23, 2021, 10:39:45 am
I'm using a to-link Archer C1900 ?  or is is 1750..  I forget and am to lazy to pull it from the pen.  I hardwire a win 10all in one touch pc to it and also hardware from the board to it.  Then for the most part I use the 5g side.  ipad air Ii's for side stage and wandering.

wonder if I'll ever need that rig again ?  sure hope so.
Title: Re: Router or WAP
Post by: Steve Litcher on April 23, 2021, 10:47:07 am
Ahh... the old "hide the SSID" discussion/debate. :D

I've read both sides of the argument for/against hiding your SSID and ultimately it sounds like wireless devices don't care if the SSID is "hidden" - it really only impacts humans who are semi-passively looking for WiFi networks. The devices are always broadcasting and listening for a signal, so even if you hide it from human eyes, the devices still "know" about the network.

So, while it may help avoid the very casual nefarious person from potentially seeing your network, hiding your SSID is unlikely to slow/stop devices from being aware of and/or trying to connect to your network.

As an aside, I use a cheap/free app on my laptop called "WiFi Explorer" and can see *every* single WiFi device in my area, hidden SSID or not. It's pretty handy for working in extremely crowded areas.
Title: Re: Router or WAP
Post by: Mal Brown on April 23, 2021, 10:54:09 am
That would be my understanding as well Steve.  I don't bother hiding my SSID anymore.  More important to get off of the 2.4 ghz band
Title: Re: Router or WAP
Post by: Debbie Dunkley on April 23, 2021, 11:15:27 am
Ahh... the old "hide the SSID" discussion/debate. :D

I've read both sides of the argument for/against hiding your SSID and ultimately it sounds like wireless devices don't care if the SSID is "hidden" - it really only impacts humans who are semi-passively looking for WiFi networks. The devices are always broadcasting and listening for a signal, so even if you hide it from human eyes, the devices still "know" about the network.

So, while it may help avoid the very casual nefarious person from potentially seeing your network, hiding your SSID is unlikely to slow/stop devices from being aware of and/or trying to connect to your network.

As an aside, I use a cheap/free app on my laptop called "WiFi Explorer" and can see *every* single WiFi device in my area, hidden SSID or not. It's pretty handy for working in extremely crowded areas.

Yet I keep all of my routers/ WAPS hidden and I have never been able to find them on the WIFI analyzers I use. I have 2 apps on my iPhone and one on my Android tablet. I just tried to find one of my hidden SSID routers to be sure and nothing showed up.

I have 3 Apple Airport Express and a Ubiquiti Mesh.
Title: Re: Router or WAP
Post by: Steve Litcher on April 23, 2021, 11:54:12 am
Yet I keep all of my routers/ WAPS hidden and I have never been able to find them on the WIFI analyzers I use. I have 2 apps on my iPhone and one on my Android tablet. I just tried to find one of my hidden SSID routers to be sure and nothing showed up.

I have 3 Apple Airport Express and a Ubiquiti Mesh.

I've found that the mobile apps aren't as good as the desktop/laptop apps for whatever reason. I stopped relying on my mobile apps and now only use the WiFi Explorer app on my laptop(s).

SSID info is broadcast as part of the beacon signal - named/not-named/hidden/whatever, the beacon has to be transmitted, otherwise your trusted devices wouldn't know how to contact the access point.

Here's an article that talks about it in more detail:
https://www.alphr.com/should-broadcast-wifi-ssid/

And I've attached a photo of a scan from a few minutes ago using WiFi explorer. Any network in grey is "hidden."

Title: Re: Router or WAP
Post by: Brian Jojade on April 23, 2021, 01:38:25 pm
All of this!  THough I've got no time for Apple stuff

The Airport express was one of the EASIEST wifi access points to set up and deploy.  Hate Apple or not, it was an awesome piece.  Sad that they got out of the game.
Title: Re: Router or WAP
Post by: John Roll on April 28, 2021, 04:24:34 pm
The Airport express was one of the EASIEST wifi access points to set up and deploy.  Hate Apple or not, it was an awesome piece.  Sad that they got out of the game.

Brian,
If you had to buy new, what would you recommend? From this thread it seems I'll need a router and a WAP.

John
Title: Re: Router or WAP
Post by: Alec Spence on April 28, 2021, 04:42:46 pm
If you had to buy new, what would you recommend? From this thread it seems I'll need a router and a WAP.
The mind boggles at wanting two items (each with their own PSU and cabling) when one will do a perfectly good job - especially considering your opening post indicated that you wanted this just for ringing out monitors.
Title: Re: Router or WAP
Post by: Brian Adams on April 29, 2021, 10:14:16 am
I know plenty of people that use a $30 Netgear from Walmart and it works fine. These are bands that play small venues, not arenas, of course. I'd say if you're under 200 people just about anything would work.

I still use an Airport Express occasionally when I'm just ringing stuff out, even in a 2,500 seat theater. It's fine for setting up when the building is mostly empty, although I'll use something else if I'll need it while there's a large crowd.
Title: Re: Router or WAP
Post by: Māris Brensons on June 13, 2021, 01:38:12 pm
I`m looking for weatherproof solution and found GrooveA 52 ( https://mikrotik.com/product/RBGrooveA-52HPnr2 ). This unit is with only one Ethernet (no LAN) connection. Is it possible to connect with Behringer X32 for wireless mixing?
Title: Posting Rules
Post by: Mac Kerr on June 13, 2021, 03:31:50 pm
I`m looking for weatherproof solution and found GrooveA 52 ( https://mikrotik.com/product/RBGrooveA-52HPnr2 ). This unit is with only one Ethernet (no LAN) connection. Is it possible to connect with Behringer X32 for wireless mixing?

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