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    I was expecting to read about how the cheap hardware with open source firmware can be set up with all the features of expensive mesh networks, but that’s not what it was.

    I don’t like expensive mesh networks because (a) expensive (b) tend to require special proprietary control systems (c) which often want logins and other privacy-violators. So I buy $40 wifi routers that are known to work well with DD-WRT/OpenWRT and set them up as follows:

    • all wifi radios set the same SSID

    • turn off 2.4GHz on the AP nearest the kitchen (microwave fun)

    • channels are set by hand for minimum overlap

    • NAT, firewalling, DHCP and DNS are turned off

    • Cat5e runs to the nearest switch port (three switches: office, den, living room, all interconnected)

    Five of these cover the house and the back yard nicely. No meshing. No outside-the-house dependencies except power.

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      Interesting. I’m curious, do you know if Openwrt supports anything for handover protocol as you move from one client to the next?

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        Recent versions support 802.11 r, k and v, but not on all radios. Support is necessary on both ends. If you aren’t active while moving from one ‘best’ station area to another, none of them are needed.

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        Which routers are you using? What do you recommend?

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          TP-Link Archer C7 with OpenWRT is great. If you have a home server running a VM with OpenWRT and dumb Access Points from Mikrotik is fun and can cover easily cover multiple rooms/area/house. AVM‘s FritzBox have DSL/Cable/LTE Modem or Fiber included had quick stable but expensive.

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          That sounds pretty great. Do you have a wiki/post breaking all of that down? Or least have solid suggestions for cheap routers? Sounds very interesting.

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            Most of my routers are TP-Link Archer C7, which are routinely on sale in the US for $45 each. If I see a sale on some new plausible router, my criteria are:

            • at least one gigabit ethernet port, preferably 4.
              • one for uplink to a switch, the others for local devices that I might want to position there
            • 802.11ac and n on 2.4 and 5Ghz bands
              • the most usable protocols as of early 2023 – machines that were new in 2010 onwards use n, machines new in 2015 onwards use ac. ax has been out for almost 4 years and is still uncommon except on the newest phones and laptops.
            • known good firmware from dd-wrt or openwrt in the most recent stable release

            It’s reasonable to get everything set up well on machines that don’t have open source firmware, even if they don’t support an AP mode, by carefully turning off all the things I wrote about before and avoiding the ‘WAN’ port.

            I don’t trust any of these things as firewalls for outside connections, strictly as access points.