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The problem

I have an array of Wi-Fi cameras at a location very distant from my wireless router. I have installed an extender as near to the cameras as possible, but the connection is very slow (I believe the signal travels over 100 ft). At times, I also have a hotspot device which is much nearer and much faster. Unfortunately, these cameras (Wyze) can only be configured to connect to one wireless network at a time and so they have no automatic switching capability like smartphones.

Proposed solution

I would like a device that is able to connect to the extender (always available) and the hotspot (when available), then repeat the signal (whichever is stronger; the hotspot) with a single SSID - this way it appears to the cameras as just one network. I am unsure if this would cause issues due to the inconsistent IP addresses.

I have not managed to find such a device searching the web, the closest I can think to do is to make my own “custom” router with e.g. a Raspberry Pi. Before I plunge into that, is there a pre-existing device like this?

Thanks for your time.

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  • Hi Shay, welcome to Hardware Recs! I think you'll need a "custom" solution here. That said, I'm curious as to what the limiting factor is in installing a normal extender/repeater closer. Is it power? If so, how will adding this new custom device solve the issue, since it'll also need to be powered on all the time?
    – JMY1000
    Commented Nov 14, 2023 at 0:33
  • Hi JMY1000, I suppose I should have elaborated more on my exact setup, apologies. The router and extender are located on a building which is separated from the cameras by around (or over) 100ft of yard. Therefore the only way to install the extender closer, without also interfering with vehicles such as lawnmowers, would be to dig a shallow trench (it's connected to the router by an Ethernet cable). The cameras are on a separate power supply which would indeed be able to power this additional device. Perhaps that is a better solution overall than creating a new device. Thanks for the feedback!
    – shay
    Commented Nov 14, 2023 at 2:58
  • Gotcha. What about just using a repeater with a directional antenna, or more powerful AP? It'd probably be a more robust solution, and you'd get constant access to your cameras instead of only when the hotspot is out there.
    – JMY1000
    Commented Nov 14, 2023 at 6:26
  • I'm currently using an EAP225-Outdoor from tp-link and I've pointed the antennae out toward the cameras. It probably isn't the most powerful extender I could buy (I already had it on hand), but how much can it be improved upon? Naturally I'm using 2.4Ghz. Looking at the page for this AP, I notice it supports a mesh network. I don't know anything about mesh, maybe I could use this to extend the usable range with another compatible AP? I'm not sure exactly how that would work.
    – shay
    Commented Nov 14, 2023 at 19:31
  • All depends on your budget (and if you have a networking gear vendor/ecosystem you're trying to stay within.) Honestly the EAP225 is a pretty good starting point; what speeds are you getting right now, and how much do you need? On the overkill side of things, Ubiquiti sells a 5/60 GHz solution for $500 that's rated for bidirectional gigabit at 500 meters.
    – JMY1000
    Commented Nov 14, 2023 at 21:16

1 Answer 1

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I'd try adding an EAP610-Outdoor on the camera end

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  • Inexpensive - $130
  • IP67 rated
  • Wi-Fi 6 (though not 6E)
  • Should integrate nicely with your existing TP Link access point using their mesh network functionality
  • Can be easily configured as a repeater
  • Amazon has free returns if it doesn't work :P

Since most of the data is going from the cameras to the house, we want to add another access point near the cameras with solid TX power. Very roughly speaking, it's easier to receive than to transmit, so we're probably better off putting the powerful AP close to the cameras. We can then keep your EAP225-Outdoor close to your house, where it'll act primarily as a downlink for the EAP610.

Some of the other options I considered but ultimately decided against:

  • Ubiquiti AC Mesh Pro: although it's outdoor rated, they don't give an IP rating, and there's at least one report of it not doing so well. Also, $200 for a Wi-Fi 5 AP is a little expensive these days—even if it's a pretty good one
  • Ubiquiti U6 Long-Range: Only IP54 rated, and buying a separate enclosure would add to the cost significantly.
  • Ubiquiti U6 Enterprise: 2x2 MIMO vs. the 4x4 in the U6 LR, and I still wouldn't trust IP65 fully out in the elements.
  • Ruckus T310n: Would probably do a fantastic job thanks to its 30º beamed antenna, but at $500 each, it's tough to justify buying one—let alone the two I'd recommend, especially since you could get a Ubiquiti Building Bridge at that point.
  • Aruba 570 series: Too expensive to justify (~$1000).
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  • 1
    Thanks so much! Sorry for the delay, I had to order the EAP610 and I didn't install it for a while. This works perfectly for my needs. I installed it a ways away from the spot with the cameras - probably about 25 feet - on a pole, roughly level with my EAP225. It seemed a good spot, and I could easily get AC power there. Thanks again for your help and recommendations!
    – shay
    Commented Dec 1, 2023 at 22:17
  • Glad it worked out!
    – JMY1000
    Commented Dec 2, 2023 at 0:32

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