Anybody Using Mesh Routers?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by Rich, Apr 3, 2020.

  1. Apr 3, 2020 #1 of 20
    Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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  2. Apr 4, 2020 #2 of 20
    grover517

    grover517 AllStar

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    I have heard some good things about the Eero setup but I ended up going with the Google Mesh setups, using the Google Wifi (original) version in our RV and the newer Google Nest Wifi Mesh setup in our house. Don't ask me why, being a FireTV addict, I chose Google setups over the Amazon one cause I don't know either. ;-)

    With that said, in the somewhat limited research I did on these mesh setups before I made the jump, and from my experiences with trying to use an ASUS mesh setup with two AC86U routers, one of the biggest complaints/issues I have heard is whether or not you have the ability to use Ethernet that you may have in each location to use as a back haul instead of the wireless bandwidth to do it, therefore decreasing your usable wireless bandwidth via the mesh network. There were also some concerns about WiFi 6 support but for me, that is the least of my concerns. I believe the newer Eero set has the Ethernet ports as well on all the routers/nodes (as does the original Google Wifi AC1200 mesh setup) but the newer Nest Wifi nodes don't, only the router. You can build a mesh network using all Nest routers but that increases the cost quite a bit. So if this is a feature that you think you would want, double check that on the Eero's.

    I have been using an ASUS AC86U router for a few years but it's signal tends to get a bit weak in the furthest parts of the house, especially in the basement and so I had run temporary Ethernet connections to all my FireTV/Recast locations instead. We also share a single DSL connection in our RV park and my ASUS router, although did an "ok" job, I was hoping for something a bit better and found it with these mesh setups.

    Setup was a breeze and had the whole thing up and running in less than an hour, even including re configuring my FireTV/Recast network to now use the mesh network exclusively.

    I chose not to replace my ASUS routers (at least for now) and simply connected the mesh router to a LAN port on my ASUS router. Since these mesh setups don't have nearly the granular network capabilities (meant to be a plug and play solution for the masses), I am not sure I am ready to ditch my ASUS routers just yet though so keeping them around as a firewall behind the modem for at least a while yet. It also now allows me to just use the ASUS wireless for our normal mobile/laptop devices and use the mesh setup exclusively for our FireTV 4K/Cube/Recast setups in both locations which isolates that FireTV Recast traffic to it's own network segment and will now allow me to remove the Ethernet runs to each FireTV/Recast location.

    After a few months use of these setups, I have to say I am happy and they are doing exactly what I had hoped they would do. I have Comcast Blast (200/10) for my internet and consistently see 220/12 without an Ethernet back haul. I no longer have to hear at least once a day about how "tacky" it all looked!! :)
     
  3. Apr 4, 2020 #3 of 20
    RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

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    I was lucky that when I got this house I had ethernet runs to a few of the rooms, so I just got another router and set it up in access point mode and installed it in the other end of the house.
     
  4. Apr 4, 2020 #4 of 20
    lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    I purchased the TP-Link Deco M5 Mesh system about a year ago. Really like it, simple to set up, has some internet security built-in and is reasonably priced.

    On Amazon : https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-Deco...d=1&keywords=Tp+link+m5&qid=1586016546&sr=8-3

    I have 200/20 internet service and I tested throughput throughout the house. At the furthest point in the house I get on average 100+ speeds. Never had an issue since I got it.

    I also use one to connect my Tivo Mini with an Ethernet cable to one of the M5’s as the Mini doesn’t do wireless. Works great.
     
    Rich likes this.
  5. Apr 4, 2020 #5 of 20
    Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I'm using two Netgear routers as you do. I got an email about the Amazon mesh thing and thought I'd look into it. I started this thread out of curiosity. Knew I'd get better answers here than other places.

    Rich
     
  6. Apr 5, 2020 #6 of 20
    glrush

    glrush Cool Member/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    I have 2 Asus routers hooked up in a Mesh network. I have a RT-AX88U downstairs in the basement and an older RT-AC88U upstairs. It was a little fussy to set up but it has allowed me to retire my D-Link extender and has extended a wi-fi signal throughout the house and in fact has allowed me to retire one of my Sirius radios that I used on my lawn tractor because I can now stream my phone when I mow the lawn. I also allowed me to re-purpose my old router, which was pretty pricey and is still an excellent AC router, to duty upstairs where even with the extender, wi-fi coverage was spotty.
     
  7. Apr 6, 2020 #7 of 20
    steve053

    steve053 Godfather

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    Just upgraded my home WiFi last month to the Orbi WiFi 6 System AX6000 (RBK852). Had been using a Netgear Nighthawk router with the same SSID for 2.4 and 5.0 networks. As I added more smart things I noticed an increase number of disconnects. Like grover517 I was concerned about not having a wired backhaul, but the Orbi RBK852 has a dedicated wireless backhaul.

    In my previous set up I ran cat-5 to the opposite side of the house and used that as a backhaul to a netgear router set up in bridge mode. When I switched to the Orbi I swapped out the router/bridge for a 5 port switch (which is hardwired to a 16 port switch). This switch handles our main media streaming needs (Apple 4k TV, HR44, AVR, and BluRay).

    I stayed with netgear as the Orbi router uses a similar interface and allows me to set up my network the way I want, and it has a dedicated backhaul (unlike most mesh systems). Set up was a breeze due to familiarity with the interface, that said, there were no hiccups and it was straight forward. Their app is nice and allows me to see how the devices are connected (router or satellite, wired/2.4/5.0). We live in a 1800 sq foot ranch and I now have incredible speeds throughout my house and yard. I even have decent WiFi in the basement, something that I didn't have without adding a dedicated router in bridge mode in the basement. I'm consistently hitting 90-95% of my advertised download speed using my iPad while sitting in the farthest corner of my home (never once came close to this in the past), I've experienced zero internet drop offs from my smart devices in three weeks, and our Ooma phone sound quality is noticeably better (it was and is hardwired to a 16 port switch, and the switch is hardwired to the router).

    I continue to be blown away by the speeds and seamless integration.
     
  8. Apr 6, 2020 #8 of 20
    dod1450

    dod1450 Legend

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    I have a mesh network up running with phones. The amateur radio operators around the country have several mesh networks that are used for emergencies.
     
  9. Apr 6, 2020 #9 of 20
    Rich

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    Is that what a "mesh" network is? A main router and an access point? My two Netgear Nighthawks are configured in that manner. What would I gain?

    Rich
     
  10. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Depends on the mesh system and how you connect them. Some have a dedicated WiFi backhaul to talk between units, some use wired Ethernet for the backhaul and a few less expensive ones don’t do it either way, essentially making the cheap ones just like a router and access point.
     
  11. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    So, a more expensive mesh system would be the best choice? I don't know what I'm doing when it comes to this kind of thing. I fumbled my way thru hooking up the two Nighthawks and got them working properly. Somehow.

    Rich
     
  12. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Unfortunately it isn’t quite that easy. You have to read the specs a bit.
     
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  13. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    Do you have Ethernet cables run anywhere in your home? I’ll explain what I have latter if I can remember to, but I recently did some adjusting and I’m much happier with the results so far over just access points and simple range extenders to extend the WiFi range.... if I forget, pm me...
     
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  14. grover517

    grover517 AllStar

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    I also are much happier with the Mesh setup I have, even when not using an Ethernet back haul vs. using two routers and/or network extenders. From much better signal coverage overall to just having the wife like the aesthetics of the nodes vs. the ugly boxes with all those antennas, it was worth it for me to make the switch.
     
  15. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Yes, Ethernet connections in each room. None of our laptops are hardwired. Everything else that matters is hardwired. What did you find out? I've never been impressed with range extenders but I don't know all that much about Wifi.

    Rich
     
  16. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    I have a linksys EA9300 router, and have a linksys RE9000 in another room and a RE7000 out in the garage. All three are hardwired to Ethernet. (Actually used coax and DIRECTV decas to get the hardwire to the workshop,works very well)

    There is a feature called seamless roaming which basically is mesh and will in conjunction with your wireless devices that support seamless roaming move the phones etc from one wireless source to another on their own. It’s been working great for me overall.

    Seamless Roaming

    Here’s a few things I found along the way though.

    All three devices are hardwired with Ethernet. No wireless backhaul and I think that gives me much better performance.

    My router does band steering between the two 5ghz but not between the 2.4 to one of the 5 or back. So when setting up the re9000 I made sure to leave band steering off, because it would band steer between 2.4 and 5g. Weird I know, but I think there was a timing issue of release of products...

    You must find in settings on the extenders the option for seamless routing and turn it on.

    SSID and passwords need to be the same on the router and the two access points.

    I did however make sure and use two different SSID, one for the 5 bands and one for the 2.4 bands. Biggest reason for this is some smart home stuff I have only connects to 2.4 and that was causing me issues when sometimes things would try and change to a 5 band and then stop responding. I have also found myself reserving it address for quite a few things especially and mainly smart home stuff, as they tend to be finicky about finding their way back without a reboot a second time if the power goes out and comes back, things of that nature. Super easy to reserve it address on this router, and has seemed to solve most those issues.

    I used to use two different routers and didn’t have the seamless routing, and it was annoying. But the router is so expensive I preferred to try and find a path to a mesh like system without changing out the main router, and I think I have succeeded.

    I too hardwire as much as possible. I think that helps as well. And the RE9000 has a Ethernet switch built into it as well which is really nice.

    These range extenders actually get setup as access points to make this work too as I recall since they are not using the WiFi for backhaul when connected via Ethernet.

    And the re9000 is definitely not an inexpensive range extender. I can’t tell the difference between it and my main router speed wise.
     
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  17. billsharpe

    billsharpe Hall Of Fame

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    I put a cheap TP-Link range extender in my dining room. It does provide a much better signal when watching TV via my Fire TV stick on my living room TV. It doesn't help at all for my second-floor desktop computer but I don't really need it for that machine.
     
  18. Getteau

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    I have a mesh setup with an ASUS 88U as my primary device and an ASUS Blue Cave as the secondary. The blue cave is hard-wired to the 88u. Before I got the blue cave, I had an old D-Link access point connected to the ASUS and used the same SSID on both to create a fake mesh setup in my house. When it worked, it worked pretty well. The main downside to that approach is that my wireless devices wouldn't auto-switch between the two access points and you could get stuck on a device that was basically out of range. With the ASUS mesh setup, you define the signal level at which your devices should switch. So now when we walk from one side of the house to the other, our phones auto-switch between the access points.
     
  19. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz New Texan

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    My fingers are crossed for a sale on a second Amplifi HD Mesh router and utilizing it as a Wired Backhaul. While I would like to get a Amplifi Alien system, my wallet is saying "nope!"
     
  20. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    poor wallet !:cool:
     

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