General Questions about the AyrMesh system
Q: What is the AyrMesh system?
A: The AyrMesh system is a series of products that enable anyone to quickly and easily set up a wireless network across a farm, ranch, or other rural property. The system uses standard meshing WiFi (802.11s and 802.11n) access points called "AyrMesh Hubs." The first Hub, called the Gateway, connects to your internet-connected router and is mounted outside up high in the clear. Additional Hubs, called Remotes, can be placed up to 2.5 miles away and require only power and to be mounted up high and in the clear. You can create up to three "rings" of Hubs to create a "cloud" of WiFi up to 15 miles across. The Hubs are complemented by the AyrMesh Bridge, which is simply a 5-mile-long wireless Ethernet cable. See the "How it works" section of Ayrstone.com for specifics.
Q: How does AyrMesh work?
A: We use high-power, outdoor microwave radios based on Atheros (Qualcomm) chipsets. To those we add our own custom firmware, based on OpenWRT, and our own cloud-based management portal, AyrMesh.com. This makes a product that is simple (you only need to fill in your SSID and the encryption passkey in AyrMesh.com), self-configuring, and extremely easy to manage. The AyrMesh system is really just a well-engineered implementation of the appropriate standards with excellent "back-end" tools to help manage the products.
Q: Will AyrMesh work on my property?
A: Of course, we can't say with certainty. There are a number of factors that limit the effectiveness of the AyrMesh system:
- Obstructions: The Hubs require clear "line-of-sight" between the Hubs and the devices using them and between the Hubs themselves. Trees, buildings, hills, rocks, and all other obstructions to that "line of sight" (and "line of sight" is really shorthand for the "Fresnel zone") reduce the effectiveness - range and speed - of the AyrMesh Hubs, Receivers, and Bridges.
- Interference: The AyrMesh system is designed for use in "radio-quiet" rural locations; interference - from other WiFi as well as devices like some cordless phones, wireless security systems, and even some RADARs - can severely reduce the effectiveness of the AyrMesh system. Part of the "magic" of AyrMesh is the large, high-gain antennas on the AyrMesh Hubs, but those high-gain antennas also amplify the effects of interference, making them much more vulnerable to interference than a "normal" WiFi access point.
- Underlying network: The AyrMesh system does no routing, filtering, or throttling - it just extends the network to which it is connected. As a result, if there are problems on that network like IP address conflicts or Network Loops, the AyrMesh system may stop working because your router "freezes." When that happens, devices connecting to the Hubs will fail to connect even though the Hub's signal is still present and strong. Debugging these problems can be difficult, but other parts of your network may also be involved.
Because we can't control these factors, we offer a 90-day money-back guarantee - if your AyrMesh product does not live up to your expectations, you can return it for a refund. Simple.
Q: Will the AyrMesh Hub work with trees on the property?
A: The short answer is, "generally, not well." The longer answer is that microwave radio transmissions, including WiFi, are absorbed by water, and trees are, in essence, big columns of water. So WiFi signals can "weave between" a few trees, but the tree trunks will, eventually, stop the signal, depending how dense the trees are. For orchards, we recommend mounting the Hubs as high as possible, at least 20' above the tops of the trees, so there's good line-of-sight between them and so their signal are "shining down" through the crowns of the trees rather than trying to "bore through" the trees from the edge.
Q: Why is AyrMesh better than (fill in the blank)?
A: AyrMesh is designed to be the best possible solution for farmers, ranchers, and other small rural residents and businesses who need a simple, robust wireless network for a relatively small number (tens to low hundreds) of devices spread out over a very large area (hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of acres). To do this, we have "tuned" our products for range over total bandwidth. This is the opposite of most other WiFi systems that are either designed for expert networking technicians (with many, many features and extremely complex configuration so they can be configured in myriad ways) or for the provision of WiFi to large numbers of people in a small area (favoring bandwidth over range). The important thing is that AyrMesh is a solution for a particular case; if you are setting up a metropolitan network in town or public WiFi for an RV park, hotel, or campground, there are better products out there.
Q: What is the default SSID and passkey for the AyrMesh system?
The default SSID is AyrMesh, and the default passkey is Ayrmesh1. CHANGE THESE IN YOUR AYRMESH.COM ACCOUNT, because ANYONE can find this and access your network, perhaps from up to 2 miles away!!!