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post #1 of 15 Old 05-07-2020, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Question Recs for good Mesh Wifi System?

Hi -

Looking for recommendations on a new mesh Wifi router system.

I'm currently "evacuated from NY" to my mother's, and her 5 year old router is buckling under the weight of too many zoom classrooms and meetings, streamings, etc. She has a large house (5,000 ft sq), and there have always been dead spots here. From what I'm reading the new Mesh systems might be a good way to go.

No gamers here, but lots of zooming and streaming happening.

Bonus if you can tell me if I also need to buy a modem with the system you recommend. (I know I'm a real damsel in distress! 😂). Existing device that need replacement is a combined modem/router, so I need to know if I will have to buy a modem separately. Service is cable internet.

Thanks everyone!!!

ps I hope this is the correct forum - please let me know if not.
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post #2 of 15 Old 05-07-2020, 11:07 AM
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post #3 of 15 Old 05-07-2020, 11:47 AM
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post #4 of 15 Old 05-07-2020, 12:52 PM
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I just upgraded to Netgear Orbi and so far the coverage and throughput has been excellent. Given the size of your house you'd need to buy the 3 pack that includes the router and two satellites. I have my satellites connected via Ethernet, which isn't necessary but would be preferred.

Chances are the modem you have can be setup to shut off routing functions so you shouldn't need to buy a new one.
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post #5 of 15 Old 05-07-2020, 01:01 PM
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Second the Netgear Orbi. Coverage inside our 2-story, 3500 sq. ft. home ,and outside on the 1/2 acre is excellent. We have the router and one satellite unit but I recently purchased the plug in satellite for a room upstairs at the very back of the house that I wanted a bit more speed to. The satellite that came with the router is hard wired (which I highly recommend) but the plug in satellite uses WiFi for the back channel with zero issues.


The Oribi is connected to a Motorola DOSCIS 3.1 modem. The installation was truly plug and play. I did have to work with Netgear a bit to tweak the router settings but that was very easy to do. I prefer not to use gateways and keep my router and modem separate. It's easier to troubleshoot and upgrade when the time comes.

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post #6 of 15 Old 05-07-2020, 03:04 PM
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First, regarding the modem, connect a laptop directly to the modem and do a speedtest. If you're getting the speeds she is paying for, you're good to go.

Second, regarding a Mesh system. Yes, the Orbi's do have a great reputation, though I just installed an Asus RT-AX92U (AX6100) mesh system at my parent's house. It's two-and-a-half floors and ~5000 sq/ft as well, which includes a bonus room over their garage. They now have full wifi coverage throughout their house, including outside on the front porch, and even over to their other (detached) garage and deck. They are using the 2-pack (one router, one client). You can add more as needed.

I have a single RT-AX92U at my house (1650 sq/ft), and have full coverage everywhere, including the garage, front porch, and back deck/pool area.

Also, the RT-AX92U is Wifi-6, tri-band. Basically it uses the third 5-Ghz channel (up to 160Mhz) as the backhaul between the mesh system. In my use, it connects at 1Gbps, way more than you probably need.

Good luck!

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post #7 of 15 Old 05-13-2020, 01:39 PM
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Depending on budget, TP-Link Deco is a very solid choice. I currently have 3x M4 and 1x W2400 (same as M4, but lacking gigabit ethernet) doing a great job covering ~3500 sq ft over 3 floors plus backyard, and that's with sub-optimal main node and router location on in a corner of the bottom floor. I bought an M4 3-pack and a W2400 2-pack in anticipation of needing 5 total (replacing 5x Luma) but just didn't have a need for the 5th node. I also helped a friend cover ~5000 sq ft on 2 floors with an M5 3-pack and it did the job quite well, though still slightly marginal in one unused corner of the house.

There are currently some good new and refurb deals on the W2400 2-pack (refurb, direct from TP-Link), M4 3-pack (refurb, from NewEgg), and M3 3-pack (new, from nothingbutsavings). The refurb M4 3-pack from NewEgg is probably the value sweet spot.

One of the best parts of Deco is a mesh network can be made up of any combination of Deco products/models, so it's easy to put together some combination of the number and type of devices you need from the outset and also easy add/expand over time if needed. There are even (more expensive) compatible models with Powerline backhaul as well.

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post #8 of 15 Old 05-13-2020, 02:10 PM
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I have the Orbi RB53 at my house, which is 5000+ sq ft, not including the basement. I set up my parents house with the TPLink Deco. Both were very easy to setup. The Deco is setup with two units connected wireless, and the third on a hardline running over 100ft away in a garage. It was easy to setup and they have great coverage. You can go anywhere between the house and garage with no gaps. It has been a set it and forget it. They have had no issues since I set it up

I have only had the Orbi for a couple weeks, so I can't give the best review of it yet. It probably works fine in most cases, but I am a bit of a power user and there are some hoops you have to jump through to get things working right. One of my satellites keeps going offline, but I currently have the base in the basement, with the satellite on the second floor at the end of the house. The one big annoyance is that you can't easily separate 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz SSIDs, which is causing issues with some devices that are 2.4Ghz only. You have to telnet into the router to do this, which seems to be the case for several settings I've looked at. The speed on the Orbi is excellent. I can max out my 200mbs internet connection on my laptop, which I have never been able to do before, and that was done wirelessly through one of the satellites.

For the price, I don't think you can go wrong the Deco systems.

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post #9 of 15 Old 05-13-2020, 04:46 PM
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Not sure if you really want mesh or whether multi access points will do, but I'm a big fan of Ubiquiti.

I have a couple Unifi AP-AC-Long Range units and they cover my house out to my pool. You can add as many devices as you need and each one adds just like the others (so not an issue configuring them).

Last edited by C0rk; 05-20-2020 at 08:18 AM. Reason: Spelling error
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post #10 of 15 Old 05-16-2020, 06:50 PM
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We have a 2 y.o. Google mesh. Easy to set up.
You do NOT want to use a wifi extender. That would be useless in your situation.
Don't think you can go wrong w. any of the brands mentioned. We got the Google brand both for its ease of set up and it was easy for us to make use of it to set up a whole home audio sound system.
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post #11 of 15 Old 05-20-2020, 08:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks and Thinking

Thanks everyone!

I had not realized until today that there had been responses at all - AVS didn't notify me - I must have failed to subscribe. Will fix that now.

At any rate, here's what I'm thinking...

I need something simple - plug and play. I also can't hardwire the satellites. Some of the suggestions look really cool (Ubiquiti for example), but I am concerned that there would be "surprises" in setting them up (like needing hardwire connections where none exist).

For these reasons, and also because there is a sale going on now, I'm considering a 3 x Eero pro setup. Right now they are running a special 3 Eero pros for $399. (This is the same price as 1 pro + 2 beacons...so I assume get the 3 pros, right? The satellite pros don't have to be hard wired do they?

Also, the cable guy recommended that I get a Docsis 3.1 router. Is it just me, or are the sold out everywhere?

Thanks so much for all of the advice!

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post #12 of 15 Old 05-20-2020, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVdamsel View Post
Thanks everyone!

I had not realized until today that there had been responses at all - AVS didn't notify me - I must have failed to subscribe. Will fix that now.

At any rate, here's what I'm thinking...

I need something simple - plug and play. I also can't hardwire the satellites. Some of the suggestions look really cool (Ubiquiti for example), but I am concerned that there would be "surprises" in setting them up (like needing hardwire connections where none exist).

For these reasons, and also because there is a sale going on now, I'm considering a 3 x Eero pro setup. Right now they are running a special 3 Eero pros for $399. (This is the same price as 1 pro + 2 beacons...so I assume get the 3 pros, right? The satellite pros don't have to be hard wired do they?

Also, the cable guy recommended that I get a Docsis 3.1 router. Is it just me, or are the sold out everywhere?

Thanks so much for all of the advice!

AVdamsel

I use a Motorola DOCSIS 3.1 modem and a Netgear Orbi Mesh system (main router plus satellite with 4 extra ethernet ports). I did purchase an extra plugin Orbi extender for a back room. The plugin extender cannot be hard wired so it uses WiFi for its back channel. The other satellite is hard wired but it works just fine using WiFi as the back channel. Comcast is our ISP and the Motorola modem is approved for xfinity. The only downside of providing your own equipment is that the ISP will usually not support it if something goes wrong. However, that is minor in my opinion because most ISP-supplied equipment is garbage.


Eero makes good products so you probably can't go wrong with their mesh WiFi system. I have had zero issues with my Netgear and I've been using it for almost 3 years now. Coverage in our 3500 sq. foot 2-story home is excellent as well as the rest of our 1/2 acre property.

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post #13 of 15 Old 05-20-2020, 09:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post
I use a Motorola DOCSIS 3.1 modem and a Netgear Orbi Mesh system (main router plus satellite with 4 extra ethernet ports). I did purchase an extra plugin Orbi extender for a back room. The plugin extender cannot be hard wired so it uses WiFi for its back channel. The other satellite is hard wired but it works just fine using WiFi as the back channel. Comcast is our ISP and the Motorola modem is approved for xfinity. The only downside of providing your own equipment is that the ISP will usually not support it if something goes wrong. However, that is minor in my opinion because most ISP-supplied equipment is garbage.


Eero makes good products so you probably can't go wrong with their mesh WiFi system. I have had zero issues with my Netgear and I've been using it for almost 3 years now. Coverage in our 3500 sq. foot 2-story home is excellent as well as the rest of our 1/2 acre property.
Thanks Otto!

Question - what does it mean when it says the modem is approved for Xfinity? Is this the bundled cable phone?

Next on my list is going to be revamping my mom's cable package as she's currently paying a lot for a lot of stuff she doesn't use like that phone. But ... incase she doesn't want to get rid of it...do I have to get a modem that is Xfinity computable?

I'm looking at the Netgear modems on eBay right now, but will check out the Motorolas.

Thanks again!
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post #14 of 15 Old 05-20-2020, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by AVdamsel View Post
Thanks Otto!

Question - what does it mean when it says the modem is approved for Xfinity? Is this the bundled cable phone?

Next on my list is going to be revamping my mom's cable package as she's currently paying a lot for a lot of stuff she doesn't use like that phone. But ... incase she doesn't want to get rid of it...do I have to get a modem that is Xfinity computable?

I'm looking at the Netgear modems on eBay right now, but will check out the Motorolas.

Thanks again!

It just means that Comcast (xfinity) has approved the Motorola modem to be fully compatible with their network. Comcast doesn't sell them so I bought mine online from Motorola but you could probably get them at Best Buy or someplace similar. I think Motorola even sells one with VoIP capabilities if that's what you want. Comcast for us is internet and local HDTV (broadcast networks) only. Streaming is done thru a separate device and phone service is cellular WiFi Calling (because cellular service in our home is poor). I'm not a fan of purchasing equipment like this off of eBay because you really don't know what you're getting. I much prefer to spend the extra money and get brand new equipment from the mfr but that's just me.

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post #15 of 15 Old 05-21-2020, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVdamsel View Post
I need something simple - plug and play. I also can't hardwire the satellites. Some of the suggestions look really cool (Ubiquiti for example), but I am concerned that there would be "surprises" in setting them up (like needing hardwire connections where none exist).

In my opinion (and others are free to disagree), but if simplicity is important and if there are limitations in your ability to hardwire satellites, a newer higher-end "WiFi 6" model might be the way to go. I just replaced my Nighthawk r7000 (which always had fantastic range and speed, but was buckling itself under the weight of an ever-growing list of connected devices from smart light bulbs and smart locks and smart speakers and tablets and video games for my growing children, etc)... and I have a fairly large space myself, out in the country, and I get pretty good coverage. I had one dead spot, out in the sunroom "addition" we added back in 2017, and I was able to add one wireless acess point (WAP) with a Netgear EX7000 and run a separate 5G SSID off that. My devices move back and forth off the WAP's SSID and the main router's SSID pretty fluidly with no hiccups. It hasn't caused me any grief.



A mesh network might be the way to go. It might be simpler to set up than I'm giving it credit for being. It might be more reliable and higher-performing than I'm aware of. And it might do all that while being more cost-effective than what I'm suggesting... I am not a networking/routing guru. But the above has worked well for me... TIFWIW.

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