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Buying Long Range Router Suggestions


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Good Afternoon,  

I am not sure this is the right forum for the question, but I imagine there could be interesting answers too. I would like to buy a router, and do not know exactly what I need.

I would like to stream 1080p video @ 30 fps, over 802.11n, 75 meters from 20 separate locations simultaneously to a base station.  The cameras will be used in sports and moving.  The 75 yards is clear, with no obstructions from walls/buildings. 

My approach was going to be use Raspberry Pi Zero Ws to keep the cameras small but to allow them to also record to SD cards.  Then, get a long range router they could all connect to, and then use some streaming application and maybe port forwarding on the router to make the streams available there.  I could then connect a laptop to the router with ethernet.

I estimated the router would need to handle 70-100 Mbps at the 75 yards, and have some weather resistance.  I saw some routers that looked like they could do this, but the reviews varied allot, and I have never looked for one like this before.  These are some I looked at... I would be interested if these will work, if one is best, or if you would use something completely differant.




Thanks for any and all suggestions.


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14 minutes ago, Rkiver said:

I use Ubiquiti stuff a lot in clients setup, and have not been let down by them yet. I have no problem recommending them.

That is good to know.

So if I bought this one... Ubiquiti UAP-AC-M-US Unifi Mesh Access Point , it looks like it has the strength I would need.  Would I be able to use this one as a router connected to a laptop and setup a LAN with the Pis, with Ubiquiti software that would let me setup port forwarding on the Ubiquiti?  It seems like an obvious yes, but I just want to be sure when it says Mesh and AP it is not just like a repeater that would not allow me to do what I'd like, or have a really stripped down interface for configuration.

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Well no, it's not a router, it's an access point.

Ideally you'd have something already on your network that handles dhcp and routing, this would then be put wherever facing in the direction of where you want to connect to at a distance, and then at the far end you'd have another one that you'd then have it connect to say a dumb switch.

As for the controller, you only really need a controller for setup and running updates, but you can run the controller on any device really, and only run it say once a week for updates, otherwise the Ubiquiti gear remembers their settings.


In short


Internet ---> modem/router ----> One AP     <wireless magic here > Second AP -- > switch. 

Anything connected to the first modem/router can be used to run the unifi controller software for initial setup.

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So in my case where I want to assign the Pis IP addresses, I could not do that from the Ubiquiti UAP, but would need to do that from whatever connects to the Ubiquiti like...

Laptop (as DCHP server?) -> Ubiquiti -> 20 Pis , or would I want to put a router in between like Laptop -> Router -> Ubiquiti -> 20 Pis.  

Right now the plan is not to have them streaming to the internet, it will just be a LAN, where they stream to a Laptop, but the ability to connect to the internet in the future could be good.  Like 

Internet -> Router -> Ubiquiti -> 20 Pis.

                                -> Laptop 

Also, thanks for the replies, these are the things I am confused about.

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What currently gives out IP addressses in your home network? That is your DHCP server. No need to setup another one. Just log into that one and assign IP address as you see fit from it.  

Right now what I get from you is the idea that you do not quite understand how your home network works, so I will give you a bit of a break down of a basic one.


THE INTERNET   -----------> Modem/Router --------> every other device in your home.

Now, somtimes the modem is not the router, sometimes you have a router seperate from it. This is fine. 


THE INTERNET -------> Modem -------> Router --------> every other device in your home.


Now normally there is cable that provides the internet to the modem, then a wire from the modem to the wan port on your router, and then you have other cables that provide wired connection from the lan ports. Now, if you have a combined modem/router, you will still likely have 4 lan ports.

This router is giving out all the IP addresses. You don't want or need ANOTHER dhcp server. Just log into the router that you already have and set the IP addresses that you want. The only thing you might want the laptor for, briefly, is to install the Unifi controller software to setup the connection between the two Unifi access points for a point to point connection. Then on the far end, the one away from where the internet comes into the house, perhaps a dumb 5 to 8 port gigabit switch for any wired connections down there. EVERY SINGLE DEVICE in your home, or office, or whatever, get's its IP from whatever is already giving out DHCP, which is likely your router. DO NOT introduce a new one unless you know what you are doing, as you will just make a total mess of your home network and have nothing working.

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Then sure, you could use a laptop.


The main issue is using raspberry pis is that while your large antenna is great for broadcasting out, the pis onboard wifi may not be enough to push the data back.


In that case


Laptop (setup to act as DHCP server and also unifi controller) ---- > Unifi large antenna or external mesh antenna ---- 20 pis.

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Ya, It seems there will be a lot  of stuff to figure out in testing.  I figured the larger antenna would also be able to pick the data back up, but I am hearing from other people, even if I do get that streaming well, I will be limited to maybe 2 streams at a time, not due to bandwidth, but timing issues.  So maybe I will need multiple APs.  It seems like a lot of the documentation on WiFi can be misleading, or buried, as to what it is capable of.  I did see you could attach antennae to the PI zeros, so that may be something that I will need to do to later also.  Fun Fun :-).

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Generally wifi is half duplex, like CB radios or telephones.  Only one side talks at a time.  That's why they invented MIMO, or multi in, multi out.  The access point bonds two, or more radios together so it can transmit and receive at the same time, this increases bandwidth.  These will be the 802.11ac routers and access points.  As for the range part, think of your pi0 as you standing on one end of a football, or soccer field(depending on where in the world you are), and the access point as your friend standing on the other side, with a bullhorn.  He can talk to you through the bullhorn and you can hear him just fine, but when you talk back, he can't really hear you that well.

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