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Johnster001
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HAP AC2 or Hex for home use

Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:35 pm

Good Afternoon all,
I'm upgrading my home network and (after much research) have decided to go with a Mikrotik Hex or AC2 (over the EdgeRouter X and Asus AC86U). What's holding me back from actually making the purchase are a couple of questions I have that perhaps the good people here will be able to offer an opinion on.

Usage: Home network, 250/50. 15-20 clients total with no more than 4-5 connecting at once. Mixture of 2.4GHz, 5GHz and wired clients. Would like to set up VPN in and whole-home VPN out (if I go with Mikrotik, I'll use IPSec). Some high speed downloading and a lot of local streaming and file transfer. Possibly set up QoS at some point to handle VOIP traffic, but so far that's not been necessary.

First question: as far as I know, the AC2 is considered a hardware upgrade over the Hex (and Hex S) but it's marketed as just an AP with routing capabilities, but is it still useful for my scenario? Will it be able to do all that the Hex can only faster because of the better hardware?

Second question: Because of the desired placement of this box (in the basement next to the ISP cable modem), I really dont need it to be an AP, and was planning on buying a couple of dedicated AP's for the upper floors of the house. CAn I just disable the WiFi antenna's on the AC2 and use it solely as a router\firewall? I know this is technically a waste of hardware, but if I dont use Mikrotik AP's then I really dont want to get into cross-brand management issues. Deos that make any sense or could\should I use the WiFi of the AC2 and then just buy one additional AP of another brand and see if they get along? My desire here is to have one SSID for all users, with automatic switching at the AP as to which band the clients use, I also want to be able to set up a guest WiFi as needed.

Last Question: should I just get a Hex (or Hex S)? The price difference is only about $20 CDN, so I'm not saving much, but the AC2 is currently out of stock until March at my local authorized retailer, whereas I could have a Hex by this weekend. The Hex would resolve the issue about the additional AP's but if the hardware is that much less capable, then I'll just wait until I can get an AC2.

Any answers would be appreciated. I'm still in the decision-making phase so now is the time for me to get this all hashed-out.

Cheers
 
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normis
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Re: HAP AC2 or Hex for home use

Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:44 am

hEX is more or less the same as hAP ac2 except that hEX has no wireless at all.
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Johnster001
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Re: HAP AC2 or Hex for home use

Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:59 pm

hEX is more or less the same as hAP ac2 except that hEX has no wireless at all.
The hardware specs are different, with the AC2 looking more capable. This is pretty much the sole reason I was waiting on it to come back in stock. Am I wrong in thinking the AC2 is more capable than the Hex?
 
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normis
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Re: HAP AC2 or Hex for home use

Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:17 pm

True, at maximum load, the CPU might make a difference. This will be visible for small packet traffic and firewall rules, where bandwidth nears port limit. The difference is around 10-20% it seems.
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Johnster001
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Re: HAP AC2 or Hex for home use

Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:20 pm

True, at maximum load, the CPU might make a difference. This will be visible for small packet traffic and firewall rules, where bandwidth nears port limit. The difference is around 10-20% it seems.
Where I live, the AC2 is only about $10 more than the hEX, and actually costs a little less than the hEX-S, given that, is it not worth it to wait and get the AC2? Is the hEX-S better from a hardware perspective?
 
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normis
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Re: HAP AC2 or Hex for home use

Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:29 pm

No, hAP ac2 is better in all aspects there as well. But it's out of stock for that reason. Very popular model.
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Johnster001
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Re: HAP AC2 or Hex for home use

Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:40 pm

No, hAP ac2 is better in all aspects there as well. But it's out of stock for that reason. Very popular model.

As long as it comes back in stock at the same price point and with the same H/W, I'm willing to wait.

What would be the best AP to pair with this for home use? The house is about 4000 sq ft including basement.
 
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normis
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Re: HAP AC2 or Hex for home use

Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:52 pm

First of all, it is an AP itself and will cover a few rooms (depending on the walls). If you have cables in your house, you can use the hAPac2 as the CAPsMAN manager, and add on any kind of MikroTik WiFi devices in your house that will all be centrally controlled. Depends on size and speed requirements.
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Johnster001
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Re: HAP AC2 or Hex for home use

Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:42 pm

I'm in the process of running a wire to the second floor now for just this reason.

So, based on this, it sounds like the AC2 is the best unit for my needs. Is there any reason I would upgrade to the AC, or is the AC2 good enough?

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