Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2021 12:05 Post subject: Netgear with DDWRT works well on Ubiquiti but not on Meraki?
Hello, We are using Netgear WNR3500L routers flashed with Firmware: DD-WRT v3.0-r40559 giga (08/06/19) in client bridge mode to provide networking on moving irrigation booms - 65 of them (see attached confi diagram) . We have a separate SSID and vlan for these moving devices. This system has worked dependably on a Ubiquiti wifi system, but the Ubiquiti cloud key/module has been flaky. We upgraded a portion of our system to a Meraki WiFi system using the same ssid/vlan settings, and have had mixed results. The native vlan (vlan1) has been rock solid. The irrigation vlan (vlan2) is where we're having issues. The settings are the same in Meraki as Ubiquiti as far as we can tell. On the Meraki system, we are sometimes able to ping the devices (from the server) behind the Netgear router, but are unable to ping the router or access the Web interface. Vlan 2 is entirely static IP, since all the communication from server to device is IP based. It puzzles me how we can have devices with a static IP address, and some are reachable by ping and others are not. Wait a bit, and we might be able to ping the devices that were not "pingable" a few moments ago.
Builds 46446 and older use the old method of handling vlans per the switched ports wiki; builds 46604 and newer use swconfig. Today's release (46854) should be able to be strictly configured from the webUI.
5Ghz has less than a quarter of the distance so good luck with that. I think you are nuts to do it. Stay with the 2.4Ghz stuff. I do a fair bit of industrial wifi and the 5Ghz is only useful in an office where you can flood it with access points for millennials and their stupid phones. 5Ghz is useless in an industrial setting like a yard.
The Ubiquity stuff works quite well AS LONG AS you DO NOT upgrade your controller software beyond version 5 (5.14.23) I will NEVER in a million years understand Ubiquity. They worked for YEARS building up a reputation as THE TOP industrial wifi vendor IN THE WORLD then over the last year they have just been pissing that reputation away. They came out with version 6 of their controller software and got a flood of complaints and their answer has been the same "upgrade your software" So you do that and the bug is still there, you complain some more, they stall and stall and stall until 2 weeks later and then tell you "try upgrading your software" And the bug is still there. Repeat over and over. And if you start getting medieval on them they claim it's your problem.
I'm sorry the radios in your gear are incompatible with Meraki but I am not surprised - I've used Cisco gear professionally for the last 2 decades and Meraki was the stupidest purchase Cisco ever made - even stupider than buying Linksys and that's saying a lot. Every last thing of Meraki's is crap, and incompatible with how everyone else in the industry does things and it has ALWAYS been that way. It's a wonder a PC network card will even sync up with their stuff.
Ditch the Ubiquity "cloud" controller BS, setup your own controller with version 5 of their controller software on some convenient Windows 10 system, and rebuild your Ubiquity network and it will be stable. And chuck the Meraki stuff down the outhouse hole where it belongs.
You have to update the controller and network application software to keep your network appliance firmware current on Ubiquiti devices because the older controller software, etc. will not work with newer firmware versions AFAIK. Otherwise, you don't run the controller and application or cloud key, etc. and you upgrade the firmware manually via ssh. It is literally a pain in the ass to manage a site-wide Ubiquiti network without the controller software. I have not seen this flood of complaints you refer to, but I don't hang out on their forums much...
Fortunately they have not yet released device firmware that WON'T work with the 5.x controller. I am sure it's coming down the pike which is why I stopped doing firmware updates to the large Ubiquity AP nets I manage. If they eventually pull their heads out and fix the problems then I'll go back to updating. But for now, you can put the APs to the latest firmware and use the 5.x controller code.
You also don't need their appliance on the net. With proper network design you can use any firewall you like. Their appliance isn't the controller, BTW they are 2 separate things.
You also don't need any of the cloud stuff. Yet. The Ubiquity AP's will run without it as long as you run a controller on your network. IMHO the Ubiquity cloud stuff is just another way that Ubiquity has to try and encourage people to buy more Ubiquity APs.
I don't know why anyone would run Ubiquity stuff without a controller and muck with ssh and all that. Their stuff is designed for site-wide installs and the controller is very good and free anyways. (well it WAS very good until the 6 code)
You aren't missing anything on their forums. Most of the people on them are raw newbies and Ubiquity is their first contact with wifi WDS networks.
You don't need the controller on the network to run Ubiquiti APs and appliances on stock firmware.
I know but as you stated "It is literally a pain in the ass to manage a site-wide Ubiquiti network without the controller software."
The benefit to using their stuff is you can stick a Ubiquity AP 50 feet off the ground on the ceiling of a giant warehouse and not have to worry about renting a lift truck to pin reset it because someone looked at it crosseyed. Otherwise if it's reachable, the consumer gear like Netgear is "good enough"
Thank you all for thoughts. Much appreciated. We updated our routers to build 46723 from May 20, 2021. Overall it appears to be more stable. However, we still are losing connections in the Meraki wifi zone, but not in the Ubiquiti wifi zone. Even though all devices have static IP's, and all are on the same subnet, pinging devices on Meraki is "hit-and-miss". Sometimes I can get it - many times not. Devices on the Ubiquiti wifi zone are always "pingable". It's still a mystery to me how this can be.
Connecting to the routers on the Meraki system is pretty rough. I have to try (with a browser) 20 times over a period of 4 hours before I can finally reach one. When I finally get on, uptime indicates that it was running the whole time. I have a watchdog which will reboot the router every 2 minutes if it can't see the gateway. I can often ping devices connected to the router, but I can't get on the browser web interface (only on Meraki).