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Thread: Mesh networks?

  1. #1
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Mesh networks?

    I'm at the point where I'm looking to update the home broadband equipment (currently have an AC-67U) and I'm wondering if I should get another traditional router or go for a mesh network.

    If anyone of you have gone mesh - any recommendations?

  2. #2
    Master Skier's Avatar
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    I have the Netgear Orbi system (RBK50 - one router, one satellite). It works for me most of the time but there are a few issues:

    - People on the forums have been reporting very unstable bordering on unusable systems. Netgear has finally asked for real-world beta testers (I haven't volunteered) to try to iron out the issues.
    - Generally the system works well for me though my iPad (and only my iPad) has occasional, momentary (3 or 4 seconds) disconnects from WiFi.
    - I have Philips Hue lighting and the hub is wired via Ethernet to the Satellite. A previous version of firmware caused problems with Philips Hue and Apple Homekit though this has now, largely, been corrected. I do get very occasional failures of Hue routines i.e. the lights don't switch on/off when scheduled.
    - The Orbi system has the facility to setup a Guest Network which some of the other system don't allow. This was a must for me though there is an issue. If connected to the Guest network you can see everything attached to both the Main and Guest network though you can't access anything on the Main network.

    If I were buying now i'd have a close look at the Ubiquiti kit.
    Last edited by Skier; 10th January 2019 at 23:03.

  3. #3
    Sky Q is supposed to be Mesh, itís rubbish

  4. #4
    Master
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    Mesh uses backbone wifi to interconnect the 'repeaters'. Catch 22 really... I mean if the wifi is poor then the mesh connectivity will be poor. The 'fix' is saturation mesh units placed so the can 'see' each other. The more mesh units the more things slow down.

    If you want the best wifi then it's called multiple APs using a cabled backbone back.

  5. #5
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianw View Post
    Sky Q is supposed to be Mesh, itís rubbish
    Ours is fine- We also have BT Wholehome and on the latest firmware it works well

  6. #6
    Master Skier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solwisesteve View Post
    Mesh uses backbone wifi to interconnect the 'repeaters'. Catch 22 really... I mean if the wifi is poor then the mesh connectivity will be poor. The 'fix' is saturation mesh units placed so the can 'see' each other. The more mesh units the more things slow down.

    If you want the best wifi then it's called multiple APs using a cabled backbone back.
    Not necessarily. The Orbi has the facility to have a wired backhaul (vice the 5GHz wireless backhaul) and I have mine setup this way using Powerline Adapters. For me (having given up on the fixed telephone line altogether and getting the Internet via the EE 4G network until Gigaclear establish FTTP) I'll never be limited by the WiFi performance of the system.

  7. #7
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skier View Post
    Not necessarily. The Orbi has the facility to have a wired backhaul (vice the 5GHz wireless backhaul) and I have mine setup this way using Powerline Adapters. For me (having given up on the fixed telephone line altogether and getting the Internet via the EE 4G network until Gigaclear establish FTTP) I'll never be limited by the WiFi performance of the system.
    In that case save your money and just put multiple business class APs around that support 802.11k/r roaming.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by solwisesteve View Post
    In that case save your money and just put multiple business class APs around that support 802.11k/r roaming.

    ^^ This

    The Ubiquity stuff is pretty decent.

    https://unifi-sdn.ubnt.com/

    I have a single AC-Pro and a Cloud Key controller, I've got a pfSense router and 3 Linksys 8 port POE switches scattered about the house and I have multiple vlans and SSIDs from the single access-point.

    https://www.pfsense.org/

    https://forum.netgate.com/assets/upl...4-drawing1.png

  9. #9
    If you're happy with the Asus you could just add another and use the AiMesh. Have a look here https://www.asus.com/AiMesh/
    HTH.

  10. #10
    Craftsman
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    I'm using Asus AiMesh with a couple of RT-AC5300 routers and it's faultless. Works remarkably well.

    Solid WiFi signal throughout the property that's split over 3 floors.

  11. #11
    Master
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    TP-Link Deco M5

    I got the TP-Link Deco M5, and it has worked perfectly since I got it a couple of months ago. I have a 4 floor townhouse, and i put one on each floor, which is overkill, but i thought I'd rather go over the top on cover, and extra units aren't too expensive (they're often discounted on Amazon).

    I have EE broadband, which is basically rebranded BT Infinity, and the router they provide you with is pretty poor. The coverage and speed of the TP-Link mesh is better and much more reliable.

    It also has an ethernet backbone, so if you have ethernet in your house (mine's a relatively new house, so it has ethernet plumbed in) you can use that and it doesn't affect the wifi speed.

    Setup was really easy, and it has a very good app, which also allows you to do things like restrict/timebox access for certain devices or users (useful for kids).

    Very highly recommended.

    https://smile.amazon.co.uk/gp/produc...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  12. #12
    Master andyjay's Avatar
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    Iíve just gone from a Sky Q router (no other q boxes) to switching off the Sky WiFi and installing a single Ubiquiti AC Long range in the hall.

    The difference in the WiFi signal over the whole house is like night and day. Black spots we used to have have all gone and the single AP provides coverage across the whole house, garage and garden. When putting in the cabling into the hall (central point) Iíve also added cabling ready in case we needed a second AP upstairs for the kids as they grow up.

    Im also adding an 8 port switch so that I can hard wire the TV and Sky box, just to give them a solid signal, they both seem to be flakey occasionally, so will hope this fixes them.

    Over all, Iím glad I went this route rather than the mesh route as the meshes seem to add more and more traffic to control themselves, and this route was the simple, robust method...

  13. #13
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyjay View Post
    Iíve just gone from a Sky Q router (no other q boxes) to switching off the Sky WiFi and installing a single Ubiquiti AC Long range in the hall.
    So if I understand this correctly you have simply hard-wared this to your router?

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Alansmithee View Post
    So if I understand this correctly you have simply hard-wared this to your router?
    Yes connect it directly into a lan port on the router.

    Set the SSID, password and encryption exactly the same as your wi-fi router.

  15. #15
    Master andyjay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alansmithee View Post
    So if I understand this correctly you have simply hard-wared this to your router?
    Yep, as per the next post, just wire into the LAN port and make use of a proper access point, with proper antennas and placement.

  16. #16
    Master sean's Avatar
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    Recently switched over Google WiFi, using three WiFi points (which is perhaps overkill for our fairly small house). Easy to set up and works a treat.

    https://store.google.com/gb/product/..._wifi?hl=en-GB

    If I remember correctly, one has to have a commercial amount of bandwidth before a mesh network negatively affects the throughput. Or something. I'll go and check.

    Edit: I think this is what I was thinking of:

    Wirelessly extending a Wi-Fi signal always results in some 50 percent signal loss because the extender has to do two jobs at once: receiving the Wi-Fi signal from the original router and rebroadcasting.

    That said, if you use two units of the Google Wifi, devices connect to the satellite unit will need twice the amount of time compared with those connected to the main router unit to receive the same amount of data. And if you use three units, this could get even worse.

    If you just want to use the internet, the signal loss won't matter much since Wi-Fi is so much faster than most residential broadband connections (if your internet speed is faster than 200Mbps, and you want to use that at full speed, you definitely don't want to use the Google Wifi or any wireless Wi-Fi systems). However, if you want to do heavy local tasks, such as backing up your Mac to a Time Machine server, or transfer a large file from one computer to another, the Wifi isn't the best choice.
    Last edited by sean; 2nd October 2018 at 21:15.

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