Which Turris combination to chose for an old house with thick walls

Intro / current solution

I’ve been following Turris from its first crowdfunding, but it was not the right time to buy it for me – I already had a MikroTik RB2011, which served me fine enough. Its WiFi antennas were powerful enough to cover the whole apartment OK-ish.

Since I’ve gotten FFTH though, problems started. The issue is that fiber enters at a different spot in the apartment, so the WiFi signal no longer reaches everything. So I bought a Mikrotik hAP Lite and set it up as a bridge. For some reason though, where the two signals overlap (RB2011, hAP Lite) – which happens to be where the work desks are –, latency got really bad (I suspect the clients were constantly switching between the two APs, but don’t know how to check).

I tried to fix that a few times, but it’s gotten worse, and then back to just being bad. So my current solution is to have just the RB2011 on and suffer from parts of the apartment simply not having signal. This is extremely likely a case of PEBKAC, as I am not super-network-savvy and while MikroTik is really quality stuff, I have serious trouble figuring out how to set things up.

…which brings me back to Turris and its more familiar OpenWRT/Linux :wink:

Problem/situation description

So I’m thinking of selling my MikroTiks and replacing them with Turris. :slight_smile:

But the building’s challenges remain and I’d need to figure out how to fix them. As this would be quite an investment, I’d like to get it right the first time.


  • proper thick walls (100+ year old building)
  • laying cables would be very hard and labour-intensive and the would require drilling as well as routing around doorframes etc.
  • FFTH enters cca. at one extreme corner and there are about 3 thick walls to the other end

What I need/want:

  • router at the FFTH entry (I have a FFTH modem, but if it’s better to plug it in directly into Turris, happy to do that)
  • at least 2 ethernet connections for my small servers
  • WiFi to cover 120m² through thick walls, cca. 14m radius from where the FFTH entry is
  • typically 8-22 devices are connected via WiFi

Any suggestions which set-up to choose and how to set it up?

So just connect the fiber modem/media converter with the MikroTik RB2011 via ethernet cable, but keep the MikroTik RB2011 at its old location…
I am a happy turris omnia user and will happily recommend it, but for your use-case sticking to what works might be best. You could also place a wired only router close to the fiber entry point and let that handle internet access but still connect to your MikroTik RB2011 at the old location and just configure that as access point instead of as full fledged router.

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In general, you are right, but there’s two problems:

  • setting RB2011 to its old location would require some difficult cable routing and only partially improve the signal
  • even then my skills with MikroTik’s remain limited and I stay with the current set-up and don’t touch anything not to break it (apart from occasionally updating the firmware)
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as much as i like the turris hardware (have 2 mox and 1 omnia in my home), i do not think they can bend the laws of physics…
what i mean is, a device that uses good antennas will only cover so much.
also, the mox´ antennas/coverage is quite bad out of the box.

you can of course mod the omnia to your liking, putting in the wifi adapters you want and combine it with the antennas you want, but it still will not cover your whole appartment on it´s own.

the best way to connect things is a cable… at least the more important devices should be wired… and several wifi devices (one “main” and several “dumb” access points) to connect the rest.

I would have several Wifi APs for the rooms needed and connect them to the router/switch by cable.

I’m not trying to bend the laws of physics, but trying to figure out what the best combination of (Turris) hardware, its location and software set-up would be.

What I’m thinking is perhaps:

  • Omnia (or a large Mox?) at the FTTH entry / router (= extreme edge of apartment) and primary AP
  • a small Mox as a AP bridge that connects to the primary AP somewhere in the middle of the apartment

Also, could I re-use my existing MikroTik hAP Lite as the AP bridge instead? At least until I save up enough to move to a full Turris-based solution :sweat_smile:

Yes, I realise the ideal would be to have cables run also to the desktop machine and all the needed APs, preferably also to the laptop work desks, but again, I need to work within the physical boundaries of the apartment’s layout, thick walls (and an extremely strong preference of having all cables hidden, which also means no cable gutters on the wall).

A question is then also the difference between antennas – how does the Omnia and Mox antennas compare to MikroTik RB2011’s?

imho, the omnia has way better antennas and overall hardware (no joke, just look at the specs) than the mox, so as the main router, i def. would get an omnia.
as for the AP /bridges, you really don´t need to go all turris, but it sure hepls to have the same interface on all devices.
you could even use “mox network boot”, which should automatically set up the mox as an AP (slave to the omnia). should, because it didn´t work for me here for whatever reason. :unamused:

i´m sure you can use your hAP as an access point.

as for the antenna comparison:
the omnia has “real” antennas, the mox uses internal ones.
i don´t own the rb2011, so i can´t comment on those from experience, but my bet would be 4dbi antennas on the omnia are like the 4dbi antennas on the rb2011.

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Ha, cool. That sounds similar to what I tried to to with my MikroTiks but failed.

For AP would MOX Pocket WiFi be enough or would I need Power WiFi?

That is how I understand the spec, yes.

depends on what you “need”… compare those two - the pocket has only one (not soo good) wifi module that works well with 2.4 OR not so well with 5GHz. the power has an additional wifi module, so you can have 2.4 and 5 GHz at the same time. the software on both is the same, only one has the additional module. both will work just fine as an AP.

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Good point. Probably better would be better, but budget is also a real thing.

you can always upgrade /add modules to the mox later when needed…takes only a few minutes and a reboot… that´s the big advantage of the modular build of the mox.

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