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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
This isn't entirely true. The better systems will steer channels, bands, and APs to give you the best signal. Although I don't consider these products to be prohibitively expensive, some balk at the price of implementing the higher end gear. I'm not talking Asus, I mean Ubiquiti and Aruba type stuff. I would not trade my hard wired Ubiqiti solution for a mesh setup, even if you gave it to me.

Don't get me wrong, I recommend mesh setups all the time, but I know what I like for my use.
 

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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
Not sure what you're doing at your house... :) At mine, the bandwidth intensive devices are pretty stationary and hardwired. The only things that move around a lot, aside from the dog, are smartphones, and they seem to switch dumb APs fairly seamlessly.
 

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I'm also in the "fanboy" camp when it comes to Ubiquiti UniFi equipment. I've used it in a large multi-facility enterprise application at work for several years now with great success. I also retrofit my 6,500 sqft house a year ago using the same equipment (UniFi AC Pro's). This is the "house from h#$l" when it comes to wi-fi! It is long end to end, there is extensive steel in the structure, and the exterior is true stucco over wire lath which makes the entire thing a giant Faraday cage. The house knocks down wi-fi faster than anything I've ever seen! Fortunately I did have cable pulled that I could use for interior & exterior AP's. In practice the UniFi system had been rock solid and just as stable as my work environment. Disclaimer - my observations are mostly "empirical" and are based on our wi-fi use and devices ...

- I've never seen a device not seamlessly track across all the AP's even when moving from across the entire house (or inside/outside) quickly. There have been no freezes, buffers, or loss of handshake.

- I'm also running a large CCA implementation (http://www.avsforum.com/forum/36-home-v-distribution/2966266-chromecast-audio-23-zone-whole-house-conversion-project.html). There has been some discussion about possible handshaking sensitivities with mesh networks for some people running arrays of CCA's. In my case I've seen flawless sync between all my front end wi-fi based devices (phones, tablets, Google Dots, ...) and all the CCA's even when I roam the house and flip between streaming / casting sources.

- I have been able to keep a lot of our video off wi-fi (which no doubt helps) since I have a ton of existing cabling in place (pulled when we built the house 11 years ago). My main home theater zone video (3 locations) is hard wired. I also have a large number of HD network cameras that I was able to set up using PoE. But we are also running a number of TV's streaming HD using Roku sticks and have the typical heavy loading from personal devices (stationary and mobile). None of this seems to impact any of the more "sensitive" wi-fi network applications like the CCA's and my laptop VPN connection when I'm working from home.

I know for a lot of people that wired AP's just aren't feasible with existing construction and limited access for wire pulls. The mesh solutions absolutely keep getting better and better! If I was doing it from scratch in an existing structure, however, I would try like crazy to figure out a way to get cables to decent locations for my AP's.

Good luck! Rick
 

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This isn't entirely true. The better systems will steer channels, bands, and APs to give you the best signal. Although I don't consider these products to be prohibitively expensive, some balk at the price of implementing the higher end gear. I'm not talking Asus, I mean Ubiquiti and Aruba type stuff. I would not trade my hard wired Ubiqiti solution for a mesh setup, even if you gave it to me.

Don't get me wrong, I recommend mesh setups all the time, but I know what I like for my use.
Some of us can't string a hard-wired set up around the home (w.o. having lots of ugly exposed wires. Mesh is our only option. Our Google mesh is simple and works perfectly.
 

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This isn't entirely true. The better systems will steer channels, bands, and APs to give you the best signal. Although I don't consider these products to be prohibitively expensive, some balk at the price of implementing the higher end gear. I'm not talking Asus, I mean Ubiquiti and Aruba type stuff. I would not trade my hard wired Ubiqiti solution for a mesh setup, even if you gave it to me.
I don't consider Ubiquiti, Aruba to be the target of my previous statement, nor would that qualify them as dumb APs. Most arguments against hard-wiring mesh thus far have been ... "I used to do that with my asus routers, same SSID, same result, blah blah" ... which of course can give good results, but is entirely dependent on how much work you put into setting it up and recognizing that your devices are in fact still switching APs on their own behalf

Not sure what you're doing at your house... :) At mine, the bandwidth intensive devices are pretty stationary and hardwired. The only things that move around a lot, aside from the dog, are smartphones, and they seem to switch dumb APs fairly seemlessly.
I'm using the best available speed everywhere I move. Laptops, smartphones, and tablets all switch seamlessley and have forever, with or without mesh, but they will hang onto a two bar connection to the upstairs router when a 5 bar connection is right nearby for a long while until it drops just far enough for Android/iOS/windows deep-level software recognition determines that the two bar connection is "poor." Not sure why you'd even mention "bandwidth intensive devices" as they should always be hardwired
 

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Some of us can't string a hard-wired set up around the home (w.o. having lots of ugly exposed wires. Mesh is our only option. Our Google mesh is simple and works perfectly.
I didin't say that. I was stating that not all hardwired APs are dumb. I did not say that hardwired APs are for everyone.
 

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I'm looking to solve my wireless issues, and this seems like a good place to ask. I'm not sure if the expense of one of these mesh network systems is necessary.

I live in a 2 year old Bi-level that is 1750 square feet. We built the house (well, not really, but you know what I mean) so I had them run Cat 6 throughout. The problem was that the electrician ran the cat 6 cables, but didn't terminate any of the wires. Anyhow, long story short, I did eventually get most of the wiring terminated. I have hard lines in my basement office, where the router is, and hard lines into the family room and the living room upstairs. I do not have the ethernet in any of the bedrooms terminated.

My router is a Nighthawk R7000. I thought it would be sufficient to provide good wireless coverage as my house isn't that big. It sits in the basement office, where my cable modem sits. My coverage in MOST places is fine, but it's really spotty in the bedrooms, which are on the opposite side of the house on the 2nd floor.

Other than the Nighthawk, I do also have an older Asus N66 router available to me.

I was thinking of 3 options to improve my situation:

1) Terminate the cat 6 in the master bedroom myself, and use that to set up the Asus router (I do have a punch tool and such, but I'm not sure how that all works as far as increasing my coverage using the second router - is it bridge mode? Something else?)
2) Spend the money for one of these mesh wi fi systems for better coverage
3) Upgrade to a new router, like the AC3200 that supposedly has better coverage

One issue is I want to make sure I maintain the things that are hard wired and functioning just fine.
 

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I'm looking to solve my wireless issues, and this seems like a good place to ask. I'm not sure if the expense of one of these mesh network systems is necessary.

I live in a 2 year old Bi-level that is 1750 square feet. We built the house (well, not really, but you know what I mean) so I had them run Cat 6 throughout. The problem was that the electrician ran the cat 6 cables, but didn't terminate any of the wires. Anyhow, long story short, I did eventually get most of the wiring terminated. I have hard lines in my basement office, where the router is, and hard lines into the family room and the living room upstairs. I do not have the ethernet in any of the bedrooms terminated.

My router is a Nighthawk R7000. I thought it would be sufficient to provide good wireless coverage as my house isn't that big. It sits in the basement office, where my cable modem sits. My coverage in MOST places is fine, but it's really spotty in the bedrooms, which are on the opposite side of the house on the 2nd floor.

Other than the Nighthawk, I do also have an older Asus N66 router available to me.

I was thinking of 3 options to improve my situation:

1) Terminate the cat 6 in the master bedroom myself, and use that to set up the Asus router (I do have a punch tool and such, but I'm not sure how that all works as far as increasing my coverage using the second router - is it bridge mode? Something else?)
2) Spend the money for one of these mesh wi fi systems for better coverage
3) Upgrade to a new router, like the AC3200 that supposedly has better coverage

One issue is I want to make sure I maintain the things that are hard wired and functioning just fine.
My unexpert opinion - Get a mesh system. We bought 3 Google meshes for about $250. Only using 2 to cover 2300sq ft condo. Input source is at extreme end of unit where TV and AVR is located. Bought a 5 "output" splitter being fed from modem. Outputs go to Roku, and AVR, and a 20' ethernet cord that feeds the first mesh device. Cord is hidden behind free standing low level bookcase and art objects.
The second mesh device is about 25 feet away from that. No problems at all! Our original $100 router and $30 extender was useless in trying to feed usable signal to everywhere.
 

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We have an Orbi (2 devices) for a 3500 sq ft home. I get consistent signal throughout the entire house (3 floors) and my yard. It's crazy.
 

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I'm also in the "fanboy" camp when it comes to Ubiquiti UniFi equipment. I've used it in a large multi-facility enterprise application at work for several years now with great success. I also retrofit my 6,500 sqft house a year ago using the same equipment (UniFi AC Pro's). This is the "house from h#$l" when it comes to wi-fi! It is long end to end, there is extensive steel in the structure, and the exterior is true stucco over wire lath which makes the entire thing a giant Faraday cage. The house knocks down wi-fi faster than anything I've ever seen! Fortunately I did have cable pulled that I could use for interior & exterior AP's. In practice the UniFi system had been rock solid and just as stable as my work environment. Disclaimer - my observations are mostly "empirical" and are based on our wi-fi use and devices ...

- I've never seen a device not seamlessly track across all the AP's even when moving from across the entire house (or inside/outside) quickly. There have been no freezes, buffers, or loss of handshake.

- I'm also running a large CCA implementation (http://www.avsforum.com/forum/36-home-v-distribution/2966266-chromecast-audio-23-zone-whole-house-conversion-project.html). There has been some discussion about possible handshaking sensitivities with mesh networks for some people running arrays of CCA's. In my case I've seen flawless sync between all my front end wi-fi based devices (phones, tablets, Google Dots, ...) and all the CCA's even when I roam the house and flip between streaming / casting sources.

- I have been able to keep a lot of our video off wi-fi (which no doubt helps) since I have a ton of existing cabling in place (pulled when we built the house 11 years ago). My main home theater zone video (3 locations) is hard wired. I also have a large number of HD network cameras that I was able to set up using PoE. But we are also running a number of TV's streaming HD using Roku sticks and have the typical heavy loading from personal devices (stationary and mobile). None of this seems to impact any of the more "sensitive" wi-fi network applications like the CCA's and my laptop VPN connection when I'm working from home.

I know for a lot of people that wired AP's just aren't feasible with existing construction and limited access for wire pulls. The mesh solutions absolutely keep getting better and better! If I was doing it from scratch in an existing structure, however, I would try like crazy to figure out a way to get cables to decent locations for my AP's.

Good luck! Rick

I have three Unifi AC-HD's wired in my house right now. I haven't gotten them up and running yet (not moved in) but I'm hearing that "zero hand off" is NOT the way to go.

What is?
 

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I have three Unifi AC-HD's wired in my house right now. I haven't gotten them up and running yet (not moved in) but I'm hearing that "zero hand off" is NOT the way to go.

What is?
the zero hand-off feature is important to me

if you are about to set up your Unifi WAP's: here are some tips I use:

-- set each WAP to auto update
-- run a scan using WiFi Analyzer or similar (Android device): identify channels in each band that are unused
-- set those channels in the configuration/ radios of each WAP (do not use auto channel, OK use auto for transmit power)
-- verify in overview that each WAP is set to the same channel for each band: sometimes they have to be hard rebooted to make the change stick
 

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the zero hand-off feature is important to me

if you are about to set up your Unifi WAP's: here are some tips I use:

-- set each WAP to auto update
-- run a scan using WiFi Analyzer or similar (Android device): identify channels in each band that are unused
-- set those channels in the configuration/ radios of each WAP (do not use auto channel, OK use auto for transmit power)
-- verify in overview that each WAP is set to the same channel for each band: sometimes they have to be hard rebooted to make the change stick


So you use ZHO with your Unifi equipment?

Hmmm. Everything I’ve read over at the Ubiquiti forums says to avoid that like plague.

Am I just getting a bad vibe? I certainly could be confused.

EDIT - Yeah. Seems they’re all talking about using Fast Roaming.


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I use Unifi in the office. 3 x AP-Pros covers the entire office and 30k sq ft warehouse with wireless pcs/guns to move around inventory all day.

At home, about 3100 sq ft, I use a single Engenius ECB350. It's an old model, and has since been replaced, but I have it mounted about 9' up and in the middle of the home and it covers the entire house/garage/yard (1/2 acre). I stream music to my phone every time I mow the lawn.
 

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After reading this thread, still on the fence of which Mesh system to purchase. I currently have 3500 sf 2 story, with no ability to hard wire backhaul the other nodes, so I will be relying on the mesh system for the satellite hook up. I was originally sold on the Orbi, as I have the Alro cameras and they have been great, but I have read a TON of issues with the Orbi with dropping service, having to reboot often etc... What I am looking for is a reliable Mesh system that can handle the 300 mbps that I pay for.
 

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I have an Orbi setup. I have to admit that I do have to reboot the system every month or two, but the speed and range makes it worth it. I have a 3500 sf single floor home and the cable drop is in the corner of the house. With the Orbi, I have 100% coverage throughout the house.


I made a change to my mesh system. I used my old Netgear R7000 AC1900 router as the gateway and the Orbis as a wireless system. The Netgear R7000 has the wireless disabled and I am now using MAC address security. While it is a PITA to setup, it prevents anyone from accessing my Wi-Fi without my permission. You don't realize how much stuff is connected to a wireless system. There are the smartphones, smart TVs, streaming Blu-Ray players, computers, laptops, game consoles, Smart AV receivers and wireless printers. I ended up with about 50 devices on my network at one time or another.
 

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I have an Orbi setup. I have to admit that I do have to reboot the system every month or two, but the speed and range makes it worth it. I have a 3500 sf single floor home and the cable drop is in the corner of the house. With the Orbi, I have 100% coverage throughout the house.


I made a change to my mesh system. I used my old Netgear R7000 AC1900 router as the gateway and the Orbis as a wireless system. The Netgear R7000 has the wireless disabled and I am now using MAC address security. While it is a PITA to setup, it prevents anyone from accessing my Wi-Fi without my permission. You don't realize how much stuff is connected to a wireless system. There are the smartphones, smart TVs, streaming Blu-Ray players, computers, laptops, game consoles, Smart AV receivers and wireless printers. I ended up with about 50 devices on my network at one time or another.
After reading this thread, still on the fence of which Mesh system to purchase. I currently have 3500 sf 2 story, with no ability to hard wire backhaul the other nodes, so I will be relying on the mesh system for the satellite hook up. I was originally sold on the Orbi, as I have the Alro cameras and they have been great, but I have read a TON of issues with the Orbi with dropping service, having to reboot often etc... What I am looking for is a reliable Mesh system that can handle the 300 mbps that I pay for.
I had the orbi for awhile, but switched to the eero earlier this year and couldn't be happier. It's pretty much turn on and forget. Haven't needed to do constant reboots, great speed, very stable. We have about 30 devices connected across the house, with no real congestion.

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Haven't had any problems haing to reboot Google system in the 6 mo. we've had it. Did have a couple of temp.bldg. electric outages of less than one minute - so those would have caused a reboot, I assume.
 

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Hi folks. Just bought an old (110 year old) 6500 sqft 3-floor house which has Cat5e cabling throughout (and a bit of new Cat 6 which I got installed for the media room). It currently has a Luxul Wireless system, which is pretty awful.

I wanted to buy a new hardwired wireless system to provide high quality seamless roaming through the house. Speed and stability of connection while roaming are important to me. It would be connected to a 400mbps Xfinity 4k modem. We also have Apple4k TV (ethernet), Amazon Fire TV (ethernet), PS4 Pro, multiple laptops and smartphones.

The three systems I am thinking of based on this thread are: Ruckus Unleashed, Eero and Ubiquiti Unifi Pro.
- I like the idea of Ruckus Unleashed's seamless roaming
- I like that Eero can be a hardwired mesh system (can each wireless AP be connected via Ethernet for additional stability??)
- A lot of people seem to like the Unifi system

Assuming that price is no object (of course it is, but let's suspend disbelief...) - is there anyone of these, or another high end wireless AP setup, which is an obvious choice?

Many thanks, any advice hugely appreciated!

P.
 

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I just moved to a 130yr old brick/concrete school converted to condos and I'm dying here. I have FIOS Gigabit wired into the closet but the wifi is terrible. I have two routers, a Linksys wrt3200acm and wrt1200ac in client mode- the 3200acm has poor wifi in general. I'd wire but the crawl space above my unit is unsafe so I'm stuck.

My apartment isn't that large- only 900sq ft, but the building is causing problems. I had to change my cell carrier to T-Mobile because they had VoLTE support- on ATT I kept dropping calls.

I really need to get decent wifi to my PC and 2 TVs (livingroom and bedroom), otherwise I'm just going to end up running a wire all around the baseboard, and that's my last option.

Is anyone using their mesh setups with gigabit? 4k streaming UHD rips? I don't want to invest time/effort/money into a mesh setup only to find it doesn't meet my needs.
 

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The place (a condo) where we use the mesh system is 2300 ft.²- a condo. The Internet signal from Comcast is only about 60Mbps. between the living room, where the signal comes in, and the bedroom is a concrete wall. There is virtually no signal from a router to the other side of the wall. Using a mesh system gives us a full strength signal in every nook and cranny. We stream video and music flawlessly. We only have HD not 4K.
 
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