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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
 

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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).
 

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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.
 

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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) http://www.avsforum.com/forum/39-networking-media-servers-content-streaming/2934808-mesh-network-not.html
 

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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.
 

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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)
 

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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.
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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.
 

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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?
 

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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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I purchased the EERO pro system several months ago. At the time Best Buy was giving you something like a 15% discount on a new router device when you brought in an old modem or router for recycling. I also had a 10% of coupon and the two discounts stacked. EERO is expensive and rarely goes on sale but it has performed flawlessly for me in a 4 story 4100 square foot townhome. Beautiful interface, completely trouble-free and you can easily test through the EERO iphone app the connection speed the EERO base station is getting from the cable modem.
 

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There is an excellent utility called 'wfi fi sweetspots' on the app store. It's great for measuring the wi fi signal in your house. It helped me eliminate dead spots in my house and see how awesome adding an AP to my network was.

I am clocking around 800mbps in certain areas and 125 in the older part of my concrete bomb shelter of a basement.
 

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There is an excellent utility called 'wfi fi sweetspots' on the app store. It's great for measuring the wi fi signal in your house. It helped me eliminate dead spots in my house and see how awesome adding an AP to my network was.

I am clocking around 800mbps in certain areas and 125 in the older part of my concrete bomb shelter of a basement.
Wifi Sweetspots is a great app for wifi testing in your home.

I have two Netgear EX7000s in access point mode, connected to the LAN and centrally located in my house and garage. Yes, it's old school, but gives from 150 to 800 Mbps everywhere on our 60'x 150' lot. The 150 Mbps measures in the far corner of our concrete basement in a 100yr old house with plaster walls and brick exterior. Same SID shared on boxes for 2.4 and 5Ghz bands. Zero issues, and fast.

Those are numbers that parallel latest AC class mesh systems, and faster in all cases when 2 hops are introduced to the mesh. If you want performance, it's still hard to beat properly located access points that are LAN connected.
 

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Wifi Sweetspots is a great app for wifi testing in your home.

I have two Netgear EX7000s in access point mode, connected to the LAN and centrally located in my house and garage. Yes, it's old school, but gives from 150 to 800 Mbps everywhere on our 60'x 150' lot. The 150 Mbps measures in the far corner of our concrete basement in a 100yr old house with plaster walls and brick exterior. Same SID shared on boxes for 2.4 and 5Ghz bands. Zero issues, and fast.

Those are numbers that parallel latest AC class mesh systems, and faster in all cases when 2 hops are introduced to the mesh. If you want performance, it's still hard to beat properly located access points that are LAN connected.
No Doubt. I had an old ASUS lying around that i used as an AP a month ago and now my home is covered in fast wi fi. For all of those who need better coverage, and can run a lan cable (AP is different than an extender) you may want to go this route.
 

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I’m running Velop and have good success with three nodes in my home. Coverage and speed tests look great.

Also have done a bit of research and came across this site that might be helpful: http://www.analiti.com
 

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No Doubt. I had an old ASUS lying around that i used as an AP a month ago and now my home is covered in fast wi fi. For all of those who need better coverage, and can run a lan cable (AP is different than an extender) you may want to go this route.
If starting from scratch, you should definitely hardwire a mesh system in place. I had the wired AP method going with an Asus RC68 in the center and an RC66 AP. Bought the Google Wifi 3 pack and sold the Asus routers. Could have bought another 68 and sold the 66 or an even newer asus and used the Asus AI mesh, but in the long run I don't think they are going to do a good job with mesh. They are kind of the Samsung of routers, simply tossing everything and the kitchen sink into the options page with no feature improvement or bugfixes over the long term

Mesh is better than dumb APs since you end up relying on the router to do your AP switching. It will learn and improve. Wiring up APs with the same SSID (and manipulating their channel) will always rely on the device you are using to have a good enough algorithm to "avoid poor connections" and switch APs ... even if it doesn't present the different APs to you this is what is happening behind the scenes. Mesh takes this control up to the router level, and with the competing consumer options available it does a much better job in my experience
 

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I am considering acquiring the Google three pack router for my home and I have a few question to determine if it would suit my installation. I looked at a number of Utube videos on the product but none of them was really a technical review.

Can i keep my main router connected to the carrier and connect the LAN side to the Google device. Turn off WIFI on the main router and turn off DHCP on the Google router with the main router supporting all DHCP.

I need this configuration for a number of reasons.
My main router support a VOIP telephone line.
I am unsure if the Google router supports Port forwarding which is one of my requirements.
Not sure if the Google router support fixed Ip addresses for specific MAC addresses.
I have multiple hard wired Ethernet devices. I guess one could use an ethernet switch with the google router to expand this capability.
Not sure about the security features on the Google router and how configurable they are.

The main reason i am looking to make this change is the WIFI from my main router is very flaky.

Would be very interested in comment from any user who had to support a similar configuration and any problems encountered.
 

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I am considering acquiring the Google three pack router for my home and I have a few question to determine if it would suit my installation. I looked at a number of Utube videos on the product but none of them was really a technical review.

Can i keep my main router connected to the carrier and connect the LAN side to the Google device. Turn off WIFI on the main router and turn off DHCP on the Google router with the main router supporting all DHCP.

I need this configuration for a number of reasons.
My main router support a VOIP telephone line.
I am unsure if the Google router supports Port forwarding which is one of my requirements.
Not sure if the Google router support fixed Ip addresses for specific MAC addresses.
I have multiple hard wired Ethernet devices. I guess one could use an ethernet switch with the google router to expand this capability.
Not sure about the security features on the Google router and how configurable they are.

The main reason i am looking to make this change is the WIFI from my main router is very flaky.

Would be very interested in comment from any user who had to support a similar configuration and any problems encountered.
Google has an EXCELLENT help forum. Supported by both Google itself and users. Besides that, Google does have their own direct support line. Start off by going to - https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!forum/googlewifi

Our Google Wi-Fi set up is very simple and straightforward. Not as complicated as yours!

Also try direct support at: https://support.google.com/wifi/?hl=en#topic=7216602
 
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