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Mesh / Hub and spoke Wifi router general thread

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Sam Posten, Nov 14, 2017.

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  1. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I know Ron loves his Eeros but I'm not sure that's the route I want to go down. Strongly considering the Orbi system. With BF pricing it looks like I can get the hub router and 2 spokes for under $350. Anyone try any of the Eero alternatives and have input?

    https://slickdeals.net/f/10749503-black-friday-wifi-mesh-network-deals-orbi-velop-eero-google-etc?v=1

    https://www.tomsguide.com/g00/us/netgear-orbi,review-4263.html?i10c.referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F

    https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-wi-fi-mesh-networking-kits/
     
  2. Chris Strnad

    Chris Strnad Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd be much more interested in what networking issue you're trying to resolve...
     
  3. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    I’m happy that my home is small enough that I can get by with a single AirPort Extreme.
     
  4. 4 Dec 3, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
    Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    3500+ square feet of Home spread out over 3 floors, used simultaneously by 3 humans and a variety of always on devices including media centers, TVs, phones, laptops, iPads, security systems and video cams. Overkill is good!
     
  5. 5 Dec 3, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
    Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Fixed
     
  6. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    1400 square foot single-floor dwelling here with only my wife and myself. Simple is good.
     
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  7. Chris Strnad

    Chris Strnad Stunt Coordinator

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    Overkill is getting copper to everything that can possibly accept a cat5e/6 connection (even through a USB dongle), then have a site survey done to determine optimal wireless Access Point (AP) quantity and placement for everything else. Let's face it, it's Radio. You're sacrificing reliability for convenience.

    The problem with residential wireless hardware is that it is frequently a package deal (broadband gateway router) that forces you to put it in less-than-ideal locations. The other unadvertised problem is that there's a functional limit to the number of devices a single AP can service--it's probably why they keep tacking on more and more antennas. It's ABC gum & band-aids to cover a problem bundling created. Range extenders are the bailing twine on that bundle because residential stuff tends to handle multi-AP environments poorly (if at all.) They're like getting a gong instead of running another string with a small bell at the end.

    The home mesh hardware is trying to replicate the function of what I would call infrastructure wifi: multiple APs with a controller of some sort. The whole point is to configure your wireless network once, and be able to seamlessly move from one AP in the system to another. This assumes that all the APs are wired and not acting as range extenders/repeaters.

    Another trick that residential hardware misses out on is Power over Ethernet (PoE). Ethernet spec currently only uses 2-pair for data, leaving the other 2 "for future expansion". PoE was one such expansion--it uses that idle copper to power the device at the other end. The nice thing is that your existing network switch doesn't necessarily need to have PoE capability; you can get power injectors to cover individual devices. As an example, my EnGenius N-EAP600 AP is sold as a PoE bundle. The upshot in this case is that you can put an AP where it needs to be, and the power-supply is back with all the other network hardware and plugged into the battery backup (you have one, right?)
     
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  8. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    OH yes. EVERYTHING that can go to Ethernet is on Gigabit routers. My basement, living room and all 4 bedrooms have ethernet to the wall and their own 10 port switches. =)
     
  9. Chris Strnad

    Chris Strnad Stunt Coordinator

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  10. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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  11. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Yes, the Eero 3500. It's ok. =)
     
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  12. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    What did you upgrade from? Do you have 100Mbps or 1Gbps internet service that contributed to the upgrade?

    My setup works. But I’m following this stuff for when I need or just really want to upgrade.
     
  13. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Old School Airport Extreme / express. Actually I left one of those running too. I have FIOS 100/100. The wifi on their router sucks tho. I can't turn it off but none of our devices connect to it.
     
  14. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    I'm just glad that my cheap stuff works. I have CableOne 100 MBps service, using a Motorola SB6121 modem ($40 used at Amazon) and a TP-Link TL-WR841N router ($20).
     
  15. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    With a mesh network, why is your AE and Airport still running. Moar WiFi’s = moar problems.

    You can turn off WiFi in a fios router.
     
  16. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Because my ring doorbell is connected to that Wifi. Removing it would require me to physically undo the cowling around the doorbell.

    Couldn't on the old one, will see if there is a google guide for this one.
     
  17. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Maybe the different models have different features. I had an older one (it was obsolete and being recalled /disposed of last year) and WiFi was disable-able through the web interface.
     
  18. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Are you using a physically separate WiFi network for IOT devices?
     
  19. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    You guys rattled my cage. Newegg had a one-day special on the TP-Link Archer C5 V2 AC1200 for $29 today. So I ordered one to let me move from one-band to dual-band WiFi. Let's see how this works when it arrives.
     
  20. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    I ended up getting the Costco deal on the Orbi AC3000 bundle (1 router, 2 satellites) during the Cyber Monday/black Friday melee of 2017. I got it to replace a super-old wireless router I got from CompUSA (that should tell you how old it is), along with bridged units of the same router model for 2 other locations I hardwire ethernet devices to them, so the Orbi system fit the upgrade requirements to a tee.

    Setup was pretty simple, and I didn't have to make any adjustments to my networked devices while installing the Orbi system since they were all on the same subnet.

    I'd guess my old setup was running at super-slow A/B/G speeds, barely got 5-10mbs download-wise, now I get ~75mbs from my Comcast hookup, so pretty much the advertised level of service for what I'm paying them for. One day, I'll go up to the 1000GB pipe size. For now, it's sufficient for my needs.
     

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