New Router or Mesh Wifi?

Soldato
Joined
28 Jun 2006
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Newcastle upon Tyne
Morning,

After a recent increase in my internet speeds from 40mbps to 200mbps, I've encountered an issue with my network.

Previously, I had a Tenda MW3 3-piece mesh wifi and it worked perfectly, giving me speeds of around 40mbps in my study which is some way from the modem. Sadly, despite claiming they had transfer speeds of up to 1200mbps, all of the WAN/LAN inputs on the MW3 units are capped at 100mbps, so it cripples my speeds straight away. I complained to the place I purchased it from and they have agreed to refund me (despite nine months of use!).

Money is not overflowing at the moment as I have two new kids in the house, so I need to find the best way to get as much speed as possible in my study. The old TP-link Powerlines from my old house I tried also throttled speeds quite badly so it seems the electrics are not a trusty option.

So it comes down to either a new router, or another more powerful mesh wifi - and they seem to suddenly jump in cost! Any advice or suggestions on equipment would be much appreciated.

Running cables is not an option, unfortunately.
 
Soldato
Joined
13 Jul 2005
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Norfolk, South Scotland
Does your ISP not supply a router?

What system do you have? Cable (eg. Virgin), FTTP or G.Fast?

The best ‘cheap’ router I’m aware of at the moment is the Honor Router 3 which for £50-ish is incredible value for money. But it can’t defeat physics and if your WiFi isn’t great now, it won’t be much better with any other wireless device. So you’ll need to extend your wireless lan somehow.

The cheapest option is always a cable and an access point. Mesh systems are pretty awful really. And the good/better ones are fairly expensive. You could use something like UniFi UAP-FlexHD access points in mesh mode where you’d use two of the 4 channels for meshing and two for clients and that would give you 300-ish Mbps but they’re £150 each. Whereas one centrally placed UAP-AC-Lite on a cable would give you the same speed across most of the house for under £100 including the cable.
 
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Soldato
Joined
14 Apr 2014
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Sunny Sussex
I’ve found the BT Whole Home WiFi kit to be good. Not the AX kit, not the mini one but the standard one.


I’ve used Google WiFi before which has managed to saturate a 350Mb Virgin connection over reasonable distances.

I’m currently using a Zyxel setup which, according to the sync speeds of the APs would be good up to 500Mb.
 
Soldato
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Norfolk, South Scotland
I'd be tempted to try the Honor Router 3 first and then see what that gets you. The Virgin hubs are pretty awful for Wireless LAN.

If you unpack it carefully and it's no better then just send it back.
 
Soldato
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13 Jul 2005
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Norfolk, South Scotland
I use the BT whole home system and its as fast as if I was hardwired ,

I think you might need to clarify that. Are you saying that you've got a broadband connection slow enough that the slowness of the mesh doesn't matter or are you saying you've got the full-fat 1Gbps symmetrical Hyperoptic service and your mesh units are passing traffic at 1Gbps like a cable would?
 
Soldato
Joined
1 Jul 2007
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5,384
I’ve found the BT Whole Home WiFi kit to be good. Not the AX kit, not the mini one but the standard one.


I’ve used Google WiFi before which has managed to saturate a 350Mb Virgin connection over reasonable distances.

I’m currently using a Zyxel setup which, according to the sync speeds of the APs would be good up to 500Mb.

Is the new premium version worth it?
 
Soldato
Joined
14 Apr 2014
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5,004
Location
Sunny Sussex
Cheers,

may need a mesh set up for the new house, so gathering info in the mean time.

I wouldn’t recommend mesh if you use any wireless speakers - they’ve always caused issues with them for me and KEF support have specifically advised against them to me over the phone when troubleshooting some LS50s.

If you’re going up to 200Mb, I’d go with Google/Nest WiFi

Anything more I’d go either Netgear Orbi (the high end ones), Ubiquiti Alien or Zyxel
 
Soldato
Joined
1 Jul 2007
Posts
5,384
I wouldn’t recommend mesh if you use any wireless speakers - they’ve always caused issues with them for me and KEF support have specifically advised against them to me over the phone when troubleshooting some LS50s.

If you’re going up to 200Mb, I’d go with Google/Nest WiFi

Anything more I’d go either Netgear Orbi (the high end ones), Ubiquiti Alien or Zyxel

A couple of alexa's but they remain in place.
We may need to go for a 4G router in the attic and then improve the signal to the groundfloor for study, TV ie where the heavy use is.
 
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