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Which Mesh WIFI?

Discussion in 'Networks & Internet Connectivity' started by Midget Mafia, 23 Jul 2020.

  1. Midget Mafia

    Associate

    Joined: 2 Aug 2018

    Posts: 40

    We own a 3 storey townhouse, with a Netgear Nighthawk R7000 on the ground floor. My wife is moaning about dropped video conferencing calls blah, blah and wants me to sort it out.

    What's the best mesh type system I could install? Ideally I'd want to have one unit on each floor. Ethernet backchannel is only possible on the ground floor.

    TIA.
     
  2. neil_g

    Capodecina

    Joined: 9 Dec 2007

    Posts: 10,348

    Location: Hants

    I used tplink deco before with good success, 2 wired 1 meshed. The app is pretty basic but depends what you want to do.

    They use part of the main bandwidth for the mesh however so by the 3rd hop on wifi things might be a bit slow.

    The netgear orbi have separate mesh bandwidth I believe but these tend to be more expensive and only come in a pair rather than 3 nodes like deco.
     
  3. Firenze

    Gangster

    Joined: 18 Nov 2009

    Posts: 318

    Location: At my PC

    This thread is relevant to my interests too.

    What TPLink Deco do you use? I've seen a 3-set of the S4 on the rainforest relatively affordable recently. Still not sure if the S4 needs all the satellites to connect to the main base, or whether satellites can daisy chain.
     
  4. nst68

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 7 Jul 2003

    Posts: 1,459

    Location: Chelmsford

    I've been using a two unit NETGEAR Orbi RBK50 for about 6 months now (replacing a Virgin SH3), get v good wireless signal in both the house and garden.
     
  5. Avalon

    Soldato

    Joined: 29 Dec 2002

    Posts: 6,595

    You would have a much more resilient and faster solution if you could consider running even a single feed up to the top floor/loft and drop down into the landing ceiling. Running up behind a drainpipe externally or similar means it’s not obvious and many AP’s have a RJ45 passthrough, meaning you have further options and a dedicated gigabit backhaul. Failing that, avoid Google WiFi implementation unless you want to replace your existing router, like double NAT or loosing most of the features that make Google interesting to avoid double NAT. Eero and Velop both support bridge mode, as does the BT Whole Home system and the BT v1’s are relatively inexpensive. It may also be worth looking at what your ISP offers as many have jumped on the mesh bandwagon and some aren’t awful/that expensive, others are both awful and expensive.
     
  6. HeadlessChicken

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 6 Aug 2004

    Posts: 2,169

    Location: Norwich

    Deco M5 has been very impressive for me. Fit and forget, great speeds & seamless roaming.
     
  7. neil_g

    Capodecina

    Joined: 9 Dec 2007

    Posts: 10,348

    Location: Hants

    I had the m5 before I went unifi. I had better coverage with the deco then the ac lites.
     
  8. Dirk Diggler

    Capodecina

    Joined: 6 Jan 2013

    Posts: 17,256

    Hi, what do you mean by this? Are you saying the TP-Link Deco M5 are a good option?

    I'm two storey and the twin pack at £120 should be enough for me and price is ballpark.
     
  9. neil_g

    Capodecina

    Joined: 9 Dec 2007

    Posts: 10,348

    Location: Hants

    i went from the 3 node M5 (2 cabled, 1 meshed) to 2 unifi ac-lites and i did lose some coverage in my home, most likely due to fewer aps filling in the gaps.

    the M5 i never had too much issue with, just that the settings are pretty minimal if you want advanced network options. i have a pihole too and i found no matter what the deco would try and go around it.
     
  10. Dave85

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Jan 2004

    Posts: 8,926

    Location: Sunny Scotland

    I have installed many of these for different peope. If thick walls I usually use the Deco M5 if they will give me the budget if not i have used the p9 when on offer both offer powerline backhaul so good for thick walls. If they have a normal or large house without thick walls my goto is the Eeero and google wifi depending on budgets and not had a single person have issues with them. Cant go wrong with any of these I have even had super tight budgets and installed the tp link e4 3 pack and had no issues with it.
     
  11. Slade2

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 14 Apr 2011

    Posts: 1,139

    Location: Stafford

    I have just installed the Deco s4 into my house. I brought it along with a couple of 8 port switches and I got the 3 pack. Currently I have a spare node that I have not yet installed as the network is decent enough without it and I really want to Ethernet back-haul it when I do decide to install it. Took be a bit to set it up as I rain a cable up to the 1st floor for the back-haul but since the install its been flawless to be honest. Decent wireless signals and the app is good although it does lack some features of some dedicated routers. The s4 will allow 3rd party firmware so it might be we might even get a decent firmware for it in the future.
     
  12. Sparx

    Mobster

    Joined: 30 Jul 2007

    Posts: 4,675

    Location: Lincolnshire

    Curious, do these Deco kits act as routers as well? Or only particular models? And can you ethernet backhaul any/all if you wish?

    I noticed on the product titles, the M4 and E4 are the only ones that mention router, the S4 doesn't... Obviously you'd need the OR/VM modem still to work in tandem with it.

    I have a family member getting 150Mb BT full fibre later in the year in a new build, was curious if these would work say 2 APs in the house and backhaul 1 into the garage as being converted.
     
    Last edited: 25 Jul 2020
  13. Slade2

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 14 Apr 2011

    Posts: 1,139

    Location: Stafford

    when you installed them the first one acts as the router so you dont need another router. I am VM and I just the superhub 3 in modem mode. You can ethernet back-haul more than one unit to a switch if you wanted to as I plan to do in the future should I find any spots in the house with poor signal but I have only been using the system for a few days. I would not get the E4 as you would be limited to 100meg on the back-haul as its doesnt have gigabyte ports.
     
  14. Dirk Diggler

    Capodecina

    Joined: 6 Jan 2013

    Posts: 17,256

    What are your all meaning by Ethernet back haul?
     
  15. Dave85

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Jan 2004

    Posts: 8,926

    Location: Sunny Scotland

    For most of the mesh units with the option simply means the devices form the mesh using the ethernet instead of a wifi connection between each unit eating into available bandwidth.
     
  16. Avalon

    Soldato

    Joined: 29 Dec 2002

    Posts: 6,595

    If you’re fine with using the built in router functionality on the google kit or loosing most of the features that make it OK by enabling bridge mode, and lack of ppoe isn’t a problem on Eero, then possibly. But those are quite significant caveats for a large proportion of the UK who use FTTC for example or don’t have toy routers to begin with.
     
  17. Sparx

    Mobster

    Joined: 30 Jul 2007

    Posts: 4,675

    Location: Lincolnshire

    Cheers @Slade2 the M4/S4 seem identical from what I can tell. Good to know, would work fine connected straight to the OR FTTP modem then. I like the ability to directly connect via Ethernet any of the APs to ensure best bandwidth available.

    Rather than just connecting the 1st device to the router then the 2nd/3rd just power only to mesh the original Deco unit (aka daisy chain WiFi from first unit)... If you’re able to connect any via Ethernet then you ensure your devices can get the full capacity of your internet, rather than a potential weakened signal.
     
  18. Dave85

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Jan 2004

    Posts: 8,926

    Location: Sunny Scotland

    Indeed I have not had to install any of these on anything but Virgin cable connections. I personally have no issue with the google wifi acting as router and most non technical users I install them for don't either as it does most use cases for them. Most of the ready to go mesh kits are designed for the common home uses who want a simple out the box setup.
     
  19. Dirk Diggler

    Capodecina

    Joined: 6 Jan 2013

    Posts: 17,256

    Thanks for the clarification on Ethernet back haul; I actually thought that's how they were supposed to be installed. :o

    Hoping someone may know the answer to this one, too: if I had to Ethernet back haul between a Google WiFi main unit downstairs to a TP-LINK router upstairs, could I give the upstairs router the same SSID and password as the Google WiFi and devices would switch between them dependant on strongest signal?
     
  20. Dave85

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Jan 2004

    Posts: 8,926

    Location: Sunny Scotland

    Depends on what device your using as your main router from the modem. If its the google as the main router then it depends if the TP-LINK can be set to Access point mode only then it works just as as a wireless ap would and I imagine if it was connected via ethernet to the google it would use that as the backhaul for the client connected to the AP. If it was the same ssid and password the devices assuming they support it should swap between the strongest ap. If the TP link is the main router and the google is just an wireless ap then it would use ethernet as backhaul and again devices would swap network if they support that feature. I might be misunderstanding you but thats my take on it.