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I’m looking to add an outdoor WiFi setup to my home with three goals in mind:

  • Provide an outdoor access point for phones outside around the home.
  • Create a WiFi bridge to a shed 200ft away.
    • There are a good number of trees between these buildings but I can do some selective trimming as needed to get as much line of sight as possible and I suppose a directional antenna is best too.
  • PoE powered.
  • Something dd-wrt compatible would be really great too, but not strictly necessary.

Here's a hastily drawn diagram:

crappy diagram

Are there any systems that would accomplish both of these in one?

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  • What's your current wifi infrastructure? If you're using Unifi's products, there are options that will fit in, but I don't want to recommend one of their products if you don't already utilize that ecosystem.
    – Andy
    Nov 15, 2023 at 15:23
  • @Andy I currently have a single indoor access point running DD-WRT on an old Linksys router. Beyond that, I do wired networking for everything possible. The signal from this indoor AP does not extend at all outside as the building is metal and effectively blocks 100% of the signal.
    – shanet
    Nov 15, 2023 at 18:40
  • What's your budget?
    – JMY1000
    Nov 17, 2023 at 22:56
  • @JMY1000 Budget isn't a consideration. Whatever gets the job done is most important.
    – shanet
    Nov 18, 2023 at 0:34
  • How much bandwidth do you need? Approximately how tall are the trees vs the house and the shed? Also kinda dumb, but if budget isn't an issue, why not lay conduit and run a cable?
    – JMY1000
    Nov 18, 2023 at 4:14

1 Answer 1

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Don't use the same AP for both purposes

These are two very different use cases: a high-bandwidth, omnidirectional network for near the house, and a low-bandwidth, directional network for the shed. You'll be much better served by using two separate access points.

House: Ubiquiti U6 Enterprise - $279

enter image description here

As far as I'm aware, there are currently no Wi-Fi 6 compatible DD-WRT access points/routers. I'm also not aware of any outdoor rated Wi-Fi 5 access points that are DD-WRT compatible. You could definitely still go with an indoor DD-WRT compatible access point, but I think there are better options.

I'm recommending the Ubiquiti U6 Enterprise, since it's powerful with good coverage, supports Wi-Fi 6, is relatively easy to manage, isn't insanely expensive, and most importantly is IP65 rated so you can mount it outside (though I'd still put it under cover.) That said, if you don't like Ubiquiti there's plenty of other valid options; something from Ruckus or Aruba might be good, though likely more expensive. You could also use multiple inexpensive access points from someone like TP-Link.

Shed: Cambium Networks PTP 450 900 MHz - $139 (used)

enter image description here

Since it seems like you don't need a ton of bandwidth, but do need a lot of range and (more importantly) need to go through a lot of trees, I think a lower-frequency radio makes sense. Cambium is basically the only remaining manufacturer for 900 MHz radios (Ubiquiti used to make them, but no longer does.) You'll need one at each end, but given that budget doesn't seem to be a huge deal and these are fairly affordable used, I think it's a good strategy.

You may also want to add Yagi directional antennas for better signal strength. Cambium makes a 12 dBi antenna (the N009045D003A - $100), but you could use any 900 MHz Yagi antenna.

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  • Thank you for the suggestions. I'm actually more concerned about the shed connection. The AP for around the house is just a nice to have since I'm already running the wiring to the roof and that's the hard part. Since asking this I've also been looking at the TP-Link CPE710 as it has a directional antenna, but you make a good point about using a lower frequency. I'll have to do more research into that.
    – shanet
    Nov 25, 2023 at 8:21
  • If you're able to trim the trees to get consistent line of sight, the CPE710 should do just fine; however, given that there are a good number of tall trees, I think a 5 GHz signal will probably be almost entirely blocked. The CPE710 has a 23 dBi antenna; at 5 GHz, it only takes about 20m of vegetation for that to be entirely attenuated, and far less for it to be unusably weak.
    – JMY1000
    Nov 25, 2023 at 9:43

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