Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Mesh: Upgrade or die!

Remember those Linksys WRT54 series routers?  Please stop using them and stop buying them on E-Bay!

This article will explain why its time to upgrade or die, but just in the context of mesh networking and amateur radio through the use of AREDN and the amateur radio spectrum!

Level Up:  Mesh & AREDN

A few years ago, the only options for experimenting with modern amateur radio mesh networks were some antiquated Linksys routers and a few older Ubiquity Network devices.

Today,  these "entry level" devices are no longer very usable since they lack processor speed, on board memory and capable Wi-Fi chipsets to offer a great user experience.

Currently there are 79 different devices across 4 vendors supported by the latest version of AREDN which is v3.20.3.0.

What device should I buy?

Currently, there is only one dual band device which offers the 2 and 5 GHz spectrum and is the GL iNet GL-AR750 which sells new for under $60 USD.

Additionally, there are a total of 3 Ubiquity Networks devices that support the 900 MHz band and another 3 that offer 3.5 GHz access.

The remaining 72 devices are equally split between the 2.4/2/3 and 5.8/5/9 GHz bands.

Selecting the right antenna and deciding where or how your AREDN mesh device is a very user specific question. 

All devices offer different benefits should you need longer range, higher power, smaller size or remote operation that are far too numerous to list here, but the AREDN Forum is a great place to ask questions.

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