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-   -   Whole House Wifi / Mesh Network ... Who you using? (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/39-networking-media-servers-content-streaming/2955804-whole-house-wifi-mesh-network-who-you-using.html)

beachfront71 02-08-2018 10:39 AM

Whole House Wifi / Mesh Network ... Who you using?
 
Hello and thanks.

Got a new TV this weekend and have it downstairs temporarily as I wait for mounts to arrive.

I have been watching amazon and netflix on it via wifi and realized i get a much better streaming downstairs where the router is at than the TV's upstairs.

With that in mind, what is the consensus on a whole house network people are using ...

Feedback appreciated .. I am reading Velop, Orbi, amped are the highest rated but have not dealt w/ this before.

Thank you.

steveb18 02-08-2018 12:37 PM

You may want to give Ubiquiti a look as well. High quality, affordable and easy to setup.

https://www.ubnt.com/products/#default

burowyako 02-08-2018 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by beachfront71 (Post 55656362)
Hello and thanks.

Got a new TV this weekend and have it downstairs temporarily as I wait for mounts to arrive.

I have been watching amazon and netflix on it via wifi and realized i get a much better streaming downstairs where the router is at than the TV's upstairs.

With that in mind, what is the consensus on a whole house network people are using ...

Feedback appreciated .. I am reading Velop, Orbi, amped are the highest rated but have not dealt w/ this before.

Thank you.

I went with a Ubiquiti setup at my house, and it has been great! I ended up buying the UniFi Cloud Key and two AP AC Pro access points. I'm debating to add a third access point for my yard, but I get full signal everywhere inside my house and a decent signal while in the yard.

I'm yet to test some of the features like the seamless handoff. The best test I can think of is to use my softphone for work and try to carry a conversation throughout the house and make sure that I switch AP's.

Compared to some of the other prices for products like Orbi, I feel like I got a better system for less money.

PeeJHooK 02-08-2018 01:03 PM

I have the Orbi and it is the best product I have ever spent money on that I can remember. It is worth every dollar and cent. I had a linksys AC1900 dual band router trying to cover a roughly 1500sq/ft house built in the 50s. But the "mancave" room that was on the opposite end of the house from where the router was positioned still experienced signal drops. Since going with mesh/Orbi, I haven't had any issues whatsoever and it now allows me to connect all the equipment in the mancave via ethernet to one of the routers/nodes. I now get consistent speeds and strength of signal that I actually pay for (200dl/10ul)...and for as long as I can remember, I have never gotten that with a traditional router setup; only with ethernet connections.

I have no experience with powerline or Ubiquity, but I think mesh/whole-home wifi is absolutely worth the investment. Getting the actual speeds (consistently) you pay for alone makes it worth it.

steveb18 02-08-2018 01:13 PM

I will add that I dont have Ubiquiti at home but we have installed the AC pro AP's at my work for enterprise use and they are excellent.

I had never heard of them before that but we left the HP Enterprise products for them.

Everything we need and nothing we don't with absolutely no issues so far in the year + we have had them installed.

beachfront71 02-08-2018 03:39 PM

Thanks everyone!

For these products.. Orbi for example..
Do you plug one into your router and the other at some midpoint across the house?

Am I also to assume that they are limited in speed to your ISP speed..

We have ATT uverse but they are fighting with the city to install the ATT boxes everywhere they need them so the fastest plan I can buy is 15 MB.

----

My quick thinking is I put one by the router and another one upstairs velcro'd to the back of the TV and run ethernet into the TV.. if that would help.. (the TV does have WIFI)

PeeJHooK 02-08-2018 04:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by beachfront71 (Post 55658320)
Thanks everyone!

For these products.. Orbi for example..
Do you plug one into your router and the other at some midpoint across the house?

Am I also to assume that they are limited in speed to your ISP speed..

We have ATT uverse but they are fighting with the city to install the ATT boxes everywhere they need them so the fastest plan I can buy is 15 MB.

----

My quick thinking is I put one by the router and another one upstairs velcro'd to the back of the TV and run ethernet into the TV.. if that would help.. (the TV does have WIFI)

The nodes are routers themselves, so you connect one main one to the modem, and then place the other node somewhere else (Orbi actually recommends placing it centrally as much as possible, but I didn't do that and I still get nearly perfect speeds).

Yes, you would be limited to your ISP speed, so while 15mbps is relatively slow by my standards, if that's the fastest you can get, and you want to be able to squeeze every mbps out of that plan, then Orbi will do the job.

beachfront71 02-09-2018 05:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PeeJHooK (Post 55658736)
The nodes are routers themselves, so you connect one main one to the modem, and then place the other node somewhere else (Orbi actually recommends placing it centrally as much as possible, but I didn't do that and I still get nearly perfect speeds).

Yes, you would be limited to your ISP speed, so while 15mbps is relatively slow by my standards, if that's the fastest you can get, and you want to be able to squeeze every mbps out of that plan, then Orbi will do the job.

Thanks,

Can you still have a switch hooked up to them if needed for additional ethernet ports?

also .. for now .. I have the Uverse modem/router combo...Would I just turn off wifi on this?

Dark_Slayer 02-09-2018 06:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by beachfront71 (Post 55656362)
With that in mind, what is the consensus on a whole house network people are using ...

Feedback appreciated .. I am reading Velop, Orbi, amped are the highest rated but have not dealt w/ this before

Google Wifi /best

Deployed over my house (3k sf). Used the three pack you find on sale at Slickdeals pretty regular. Parked the main one upstairs in the game room then to a switch. Two others connected to the switch for wired backhaul. Anything with wired backhaul will kill anything without. Put one over near kitchen/living room/patio and the other near the garage/office/driveway. Nice 5GHz blanket, and it's not had any problems auto switching to the best one at all of my standard device usage locations

PeeJHooK 02-09-2018 07:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by beachfront71 (Post 55661006)
Thanks,

Can you still have a switch hooked up to them if needed for additional ethernet ports?

also .. for now .. I have the Uverse modem/router combo...Would I just turn off wifi on this?

Yes, you can. I'm not sure about a combo router, but I imagine that you would have to turn off the wifi if that's an option.

snidely 02-09-2018 06:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PeeJHooK (Post 55661636)
Yes, you can. I'm not sure about a combo router, but I imagine that you would have to turn off the wifi if that's an option.

We had several problems with stable signal. Our internet comes in at one end of our domicile. 2300 sq. feet. A wifi extender didn't help much. Got the Google Mesh system and only used 2 of the 3 devices. Also use it to stream music to 6 speakers thruout. Flawless.
They have EXCELLENT support. Will pick up chat line within a minute. Google also provides excellent support for YTTV and Google Home devices. They also do phone and email support.

u8mycrackers 02-10-2018 04:14 AM

I have been running 4 apple airport extreme in a 3000 SQFT house for 8 years. never a hiccup and work flawlessly with my att gateway. But should 1 fail I have 2 for backup. The great thing about the AAE is that they support wired backhaul with 3 lan ports.

Stephen Hopkins 02-11-2018 09:01 AM

I've been using Luma for about 3 months now and haven't had to do a single reset or change a thing from initial setup. The individual nodes aren't the strongest in terms of signal, but the three together have eliminated almost every dead spot in my 3-floor 2400-sqft home and otherwise made the network as a whole FAR more reliable (running ~40 wifi/iot devices and ~10 wired/streaming devices). I was about to pull the trigger on a Google Wifi 3-pack but came across a deal on the Luma 3-pack for about $100 less and thought I'd give it a try and it's done everything I need it to and well. For $5/month you can add concierge tech support and "stealth mode" privacy VPN (which can be quickly enabled/disabled for specific clients int he app), but it seems like they're actively blocking torrent downloads when in stealth mode, so that defeats some of the purpose of having it to begin with.

My only complaint is that I only see ~100Mbps file transfer speeds from a wired device on one satellite note to another wired device on the other satellite node... I get that this is pretty much the worst case scenario since the data is going from sat-node to primary-node to sat-node, but it is also my primary large file transfer use case going from the PC in my 1st-floor office to the Shield TV Plex Server storage in my 3rd-floor theater.

snidely 02-12-2018 06:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stephen Hopkins (Post 55672934)
I've been using Luma for about 3 months now and haven't had to do a single reset or change a thing from initial setup. The individual nodes aren't the strongest in terms of signal, but the three together have eliminated almost every dead spot in my 3-floor 2400-sqft home and otherwise made the network as a whole FAR more reliable (running ~40 wifi/iot devices and ~10 wired/streaming devices). I was about to pull the trigger on a Google Wifi 3-pack but came across a deal on the Luma 3-pack for about $100 less and thought I'd give it a try and it's done everything I need it to and well. For $5/month you can add concierge tech support and "stealth mode" privacy VPN (which can be quickly enabled/disabled for specific clients int he app), but it seems like they're actively blocking torrent downloads when in stealth mode, so that defeats some of the purpose of having it to begin with.

My only complaint is that I only see ~100Mbps file transfer speeds from a wired device on one satellite note to another wired device on the other satellite node... I get that this is pretty much the worst case scenario since the data is going from sat-node to primary-node to sat-node, but it is also my primary large file transfer use case going from the PC in my 1st-floor office to the Shield TV Plex Server storage in my 3rd-floor theater.

I had never heard of "Luma" when I was looking into a Mesh system. Wound up getting the Google about 2-3 months ago.

I am glad yours is working well. Went to Amazon to read about the Luma. If you do a search by most recent reviews first - a large percentage are one star.

OTH - Amazon has a great return policy if it doesn't work out. Best Buy also sells this product and is priced at $175 for the 3 pak. Best Buy will match Amazon's price.

mike

Stephen Hopkins 02-12-2018 07:38 AM

From what I could tell, most of the bad Luma reviews were prior to a major firmware update about 6-9 months ago that really sured up the product. I was willing to risk it given the price since it would be a pretty easy return process if it didn't work out. Luckily, it's been rock solid and I've had nothing but good experience with it, both in setup and daily use.

Spinningbull 02-12-2018 07:54 PM

I had the oorbi for about a year, the last firmware update made it extremely unstable.

We have about 30 devices on the network, gig access, and stream multiple 4k services at once (and have a gamer in the house ), so we are pretty abusive users of any system.

About 2 mos ago we switched to eero. Absolutely love it! We consistently get 800mbps to the gig switch in the rack and all the laptops and tablets in the hose.

Much better admin/app the the others I've played with.

Bigus 02-13-2018 08:55 PM

Check out Ruckus Unleashed and Aruba Instant product lines. Both run controllerless and still do mesh and handoffs the way they are supposed to. Was just introduced to these myself. I can't see myself going any other direction now. Expensive, but these products do what they are supposed to.

Dark_Slayer 02-14-2018 08:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bigus (Post 55688952)
Check out Ruckus Unleashed and Aruba Instant product lines. Both run controllerless and still do mesh and handoffs the way they are supposed to. Was just introduced to these myself. I can't see myself going any other direction now. Expensive, but these products do what they are supposed to.

What is the benefit for a home usage scenario vs the best available consumer products (at consumer prices)

dan4081 02-14-2018 08:30 AM

You would have to pry my Orbi set-up out of my cold, dead hands. ;)

Bought mine during Black Friday and its been flawless. Really one of the best tech purchases I have made in a long time.

Bigus 02-14-2018 09:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer (Post 55690794)
What is the benefit for a home usage scenario vs the best available consumer products (at consumer prices)

These solutions implement true 802.11 roaming meaning absolutely transparent and reliable handoff from wireless AP to another. So one network ID for the whole covered house... your device doesn't have to determine which AP to connect to. They negotiate with themselves to determine best AP for any connected device and may even distibute load balance. One AP will automatically declare itself master and if it fails or for some reason isn't functioning properly another AP will automatically take over... so there's a bit of self mesh healing there.

Ubiqui handles this somewhat differently and from reading, seems plenty of people have found it to be less than robust and reliable.

Dark_Slayer 02-14-2018 09:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bigus (Post 55691178)
These solutions implement true 802.11 roaming meaning absolutely transparent and reliable handoff from wireless AP to another. So one network ID for the whole covered house... your device doesn't have to determine which AP to connect to. They negotiate with themselves to determine best AP for any connected device and may even distibute load balance. One AP will automatically declare itself master and if it fails or for some reason isn't functioning properly another AP will automatically take over... so there's a bit of self mesh healing there.

All the cheaper consumer options are doing this as well with the exception of auto-takeover ... not sure how that would work but also trying to imagine what the benefit would be for my usage. I prefer everything to always be functioning, so I'd likely address the issue immediately. I've not had downtime with any consumer router gear I've used for many years, but instead been annoyed with AP strength reception issues ... which is basically solved with all current mesh options

Bigus 02-14-2018 10:20 AM

Well, compared to the orbi specifically, there is a definite difference in total throughput on multiple devices when talking about a wireless mesh (orbi) and a system using wired connections back to a router (Aruba, ruckus, ubiquity, etc). The ubiquity can do single SSID handoff but I've seen way to many complaints about it to believe it works seamlessly. You can step up to orbi pro but now you've upped the price range considerably.

Aside from that, the enterprise level systems allow VLAN creation to segregate for example automation devices and security cameras that don't need to be accessed from other devices (and that you don't want to be able to for security reasons).

Jon S 02-14-2018 11:43 AM

I have an Orbi... Here are my thoughts..
Pros:
  • The Orbis are now a true mesh system. You can connect any satellite to another satellite (before all satellites could only connect to the base router which lmits its range)
  • The backhaul feature is on a separate band, so you get full speed bandwidth. Others do not which causes a slow down in data transmission.
  • Great range, my three piece system covers my 4,000 sq ft home with 80-90% signal strength at the farthest point. My old R7000 would drop to 40% (my cable drop is in one corner of the house, limiting signal to the opposite side).
  • I can use the same SSID throughout the house. Using wireless extenders required different SSIDs.
  • The same SSID can be used for both 2.4 and 5.0 Ghz bands
  • Interface is easy to use but not much controls

Cons:
  • Expensive
  • A bit unreliable, I have to reboot the entire system occasionally (every couple of months) when a satellite loses connectivity
  • When used as a router, the system would lose the Wi-Fi signal. Had to use my old R7000 router and make the Orbi an access point to resolve. This is a known issue, not sure if it has been resolved.
  • Only three ports per satellite, if you need more, you have to buy a switch.
  • USB port on back is useless
  • Customizing options rather limited compared to other brands
  • Interface slow and primitive
Overall, i like the Orbi. It does what it claims to do. Compared to other mesh systems, the Orbi has better performance and range. You should check out the reviews, such as smallnetbuilder.com which did head to head comparisons.

Dark_Slayer 02-14-2018 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bigus (Post 55691742)
Well, compared to the orbi specifically, there is a definite difference in total throughput on multiple devices when talking about a wireless mesh (orbi) and a system using wired connections back to a router (Aruba, ruckus, ubiquity, etc). The ubiquity can do single SSID handoff but I've seen way to many complaints about it to believe it works seamlessly. You can step up to orbi pro but now you've upped the price range considerably.

Google Wifi is a wireless AP mesh unified SSID setup with wired back channel. There is another mesh wifi thread where some falsely concluded the smallnetbuilder results were the most common scenario since nobody would want a mesh system if they could already run ethernet. Eero and Velop already supported this as well. Supposedly this already hit Orbi as an update (non-pro) https://www.avsforum.com/forum/39-net...twork-not.html

Bigus 02-14-2018 03:11 PM

For most people the wireless mesh options will work fine. Wired backhaul is even better as you don't waste bandwidth on the interdevice connection. And for most people in most environments, the handoff will probably just work fine.

But these systems do not work the same as enterprise grade AP meshes properly implementing 802.11r. Again, my experience is limited, so maybe its an unnecessary cost for the mmajority of people. But what is clear is that the technology and strategy differ significantly.

With orbi, Google, eeros or whatever it is up to your phone/tablet/device to determine strongest connection to available AP's. SSID may be singular, but I don't believe the mesh devices contain the necessary hardware and software to make this determination. I think they are reliant on user device signal level and try to force a swap from their end. Someone let me know if this is wrong. The result could be a device having a sticky connection to one AP even though it is closer to another with stronger signal. This has been the major complain against the ubiquiti stuff as far as I can tell, and it implements mesh handoffs in the same way.

Enterprise grade stuff like those mentioned truly present a single network to the user device. The AP controller monitors all connection signals, speeds, and device balance and manages device connections entirely. While the transparency to the user may be no different than orbi, this type of system had been designed this way because it works really, really well.

Maybe overkill for your house. But we are on a forum of multiple 24“ subwoofers. If you really want the best wireless mesh solution there is, read up on the options I mentioned.

Dark_Slayer 02-15-2018 07:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bigus (Post 55693850)
With orbi, Google, eeros or whatever it is up to your phone/tablet/device to determine strongest connection to available AP's. SSID may be singular, but I don't believe the mesh devices contain the necessary hardware and software to make this determination. I think they are reliant on user device signal level and try to force a swap from their end. Someone let me know if this is wrong. The result could be a device having a sticky connection to one AP even though it is closer to another with stronger signal. This has been the major complain against the ubiquiti stuff as far as I can tell, and it implements mesh handoffs in the same way

This is not the sole reliance on AP switching. Google does indeed have the software/hardware in each AP to adjust to your network topology. That's the point. Otherwise you are just connecting a bunch of dumb APs to a router, welcome to 2001. That's been available forever at this point. Ubiquiti has been around so long that most of the complaints and reviews you'll see are outdated, even with orbi their firmware and options have evolved far beyond what the product was capable of upon release.

Typically the difference you'll see in enterprise networking gear is related to the sourcing of internal components, allowable heat, designed heat dissipation, and max number of clients (something like 50-100 consumer and 200+ enterprise)

fvbounty 02-15-2018 08:16 AM

Here's a test with my Eero's in my house....hope the numbers make sense, 1500 square ft house and 2 Eero's using cat 6 backhaul....I copied this from another website I'm on.

Eero Wifi Mesh Network!
Well I started this thread instead of posting more info in the Google wifi thread. I now have the results of the Erro routers vs my D-Link 655 2.4GHZ router and my TP Link AC1750 5 and 2.4 GHZ router, the d-link was in my office and the TP-Link was hooked up in my front room by cat 6 cables, I had 3 SSID one for the D-Link and 2 for the TP-Link. Here are the readings I got off my Nexus 6P cell phone for the 5 GHZ band I used my Asus laptop to get the speeds off the 2.5 GHZ band for all tests. The first set of speeds are from my old setup and the second set are from the Eero mesh network! My computer hooked up by cat 6 gets 120.13 Mbps down and 6.07 up from Comcast

5 GHZ speeds TP Link

Office - 119.4 Mbps down and 6.2 up

Bedroom - 119.2 down and 6.2 up

Kitchen - 113.62 down and 6.3 up

Front room - 119.2 down and 6.1 up

Middle of Basement - 96.8 down and 6.3 up

Front Porch - 118.5 down and 6.4 up


2.4 GHZ speeds D-Link 2.4 router

Office - 46.8 Mbps down and 6.1 up

Bedroom - 25.3 down and 6.6 up

Kitchen - 36.0 down and 6.3 up

Front room - 10.4 down and 6.3 up

Middle of basement - 34.21 down and 6.4 up

front porch - 8.15 down and 6.1 up



Ok now for the Eero's speeds, first the 5 GHZ speeds.

Office - 118.83 Mbps down and 6.40 up

Bedroom - 119.13 down and 6.34 up

Kitchen - 119.32 down and 6.23 up

Front room - 119.70 down and 6.19 up

Middle of basement - 85.40 down and 6.41 up

Front porch - 119.36 down and 6.36 up



And finally the 2.4 GHZ on the Eero routers.

Office - 88.46 Mbps down and 6.02 up

Bedroom - 69.29 down and 6.01 up

Kitchen - 79.22 down and 5.99 up

Front room - 55.27 down and 5.91 up

Middle of Basement - 72.83 down and 5.98 up

Front porch - 75.99 down and 6.03 up

Well has you can see the 5 GHZ band on both my old router setup and the new Eero mesh network is about the same, but on the 2.4Ghz band the Eero's are kicking butt 3 times the speed and this is where most of my stuff runs on, Sonos, Roku's, Chromcast so all in all I'm very happy and now only one SSID for all the bands, no more having to connect to the 5 or 2.4 band, Eero does it automatically. One thing you should know I have both Eero's hooked up to my network by cat 6, if you used wifi to hook up the second Eero you will get a drop in speed.
__________________

Jon S 02-15-2018 09:05 AM

3 Attachment(s)
Here is a Wi-Fi thermal map with my old Netgear R7000 Router vs the Orbi. My home is 4000 sq ft. The cable drop is in the lower left corner of the map (the black icon). With the Orbi, the primary router is still in the lower left corner with the first satellite in the center of the house and the second in the top left corner.

The first pic is the 5.0 Ghz band, the second pic is the 2.4 Ghz band and the final pic is the Orbi at 2.4 GHz. For some reason, I never tested the 5.0 Ghz band, I think because almost all my devices only have 2.4 Ghz radios.

I hit 118 Mbps speeds for download in most of the house.

PeeJHooK 02-15-2018 09:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jon S (Post 55697390)
Here is a Wi-Fi thermal map with my old Netgear R7000 Router vs the Orbi. My home is 4000 sq ft. The cable drop is in the lower left corner of the map (the black icon). With the Orbi, the primary router is still in the lower left corner with the first satellite in the center of the house and the second in the top left corner.

The first pic is the 5.0 Ghz band, the second pic is the 2.4 Ghz band and the final pic is the Orbi at 2.4 GHz. For some reason, I never tested the 5.0 Ghz band, I think because almost all my devices only have 2.4 Ghz radios.

I hit 118 Mbps speeds for download in most of the house.

This is awesome. What app did you use for this?

Jon S 02-15-2018 11:04 AM

It's an old program for the iPhone called Wi-Fi Maximiser by Telstra... It was replaced by the Telstra Home Dashboard. The app is pretty comprehensive in the features it supports, such as Wi-Fi thermal maps, speedtests, device inventory scanning and others.

The painful part is that you have to draw the floorplan of your house and import it into the app. Luckily, I had an old floorplan from a brochure of the tract home I bought. I just scanned it and imported the file into the app.


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