Mesh Networks for Home Use

Snowman

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Bumping this thread to see if anybody has any more input after using their mesh network for a while. I ordered the TP-Link Deco M5, which is supposed to arrive tomorrow. Looks easy enough to set up via the app, just wondering how people have fared with it as far as performance and reliability.
 

choppstixxx

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Bumping this thread to see if anybody has any more input after using their mesh network for a while. I ordered the TP-Link Deco M5, which is supposed to arrive tomorrow. Looks easy enough to set up via the app, just wondering how people have fared with it as far as performance and reliability.
Have been running my Deco AC1200 (2 units) and a Deco M3 wall plug for the past few months and they have been awesome. Super simple to setup (vs the overly complicated Orbi) and manage, covers my entire 2100ish sq ft house. No dropped signals etc. and I have been working from home since March, so I depend on my internet to be issue free.
 

Snowman

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Have been running my Deco AC1200 (2 units) and a Deco M3 wall plug for the past few months and they have been awesome. Super simple to setup (vs the overly complicated Orbi) and manage, covers my entire 2100ish sq ft house. No dropped signals etc. and I have been working from home since March, so I depend on my internet to be issue free.
Thanks! It actually arrived Saturday evening after I posted, and I had it set up and running pretty quickly. Setup was easy, and even with only two of the units it provides way better (and faster) coverage than I had with my router and an extender (the Deco came with 3 units, I'm still deciding where to put the third one).

Added plus is I don't have to deal with the additional SSIDs created by the wi-fi extender, and having to manually switch between them - the Deco creates one network and my devices switch seamlessly between the nodes as I move around the house.
 

TheDoctor

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Thanks! It actually arrived Saturday evening after I posted, and I had it set up and running pretty quickly. Setup was easy, and even with only two of the units it provides way better (and faster) coverage than I had with my router and an extender (the Deco came with 3 units, I'm still deciding where to put the third one).

Added plus is I don't have to deal with the additional SSIDs created by the wi-fi extender, and having to manually switch between them - the Deco creates one network and my devices switch seamlessly between the nodes as I move around the house.
Set up correctly, you shouldn't have any issues like that? The whole point of the extender is to extend your existing signal, not create new ones
When you set it up, you should be able to enter your current SSID and password details and then any device should automatically switch between them as you roam
 

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Set up correctly, you shouldn't have any issues like that? The whole point of the extender is to extend your existing signal, not create new ones
When you set it up, you should be able to enter your current SSID and password details and then any device should automatically switch between them as you roam
Maybe they work differently over there, but most extenders you can buy here create a second SSID - for example, if your main network is "Hacker", the extender's SSID would be "Hacker_EXT". It's apparently possible with some models to run them on the same SSID, but your wireless devices may not hand off correctly between them, as detailed in this article (and also in others I've read).

To make things even worse, my old router created separate 2.5 Ghz and 5 Ghz networks, each with unique SSIDs - so I had "Hacker" and "Hacker 5Ghz", then with the extender I had "Hacker_EXT" and "Hacker 5Ghz_EXT". My router and extender were a few years old, so maybe newer ones function differently/more efficiently, but it was a kludgy setup to me. The Deco creates one SSID which is the same at each node, and the 2.5 Ghz and 5 Ghz networks are integrated into one - your devices choose which frequency to connect on according to what they're capable of.
 

TheDoctor

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Maybe they work differently over there, but most extenders you can buy here create a second SSID - for example, if your main network is "Hacker", the extender's SSID would be "Hacker_EXT". It's apparently possible with some models to run them on the same SSID, but your wireless devices may not hand off correctly between them, as detailed in this article (and also in others I've read).

To make things even worse, my old router created separate 2.5 Ghz and 5 Ghz networks, each with unique SSIDs - so I had "Hacker" and "Hacker 5Ghz", then with the extender I had "Hacker_EXT" and "Hacker 5Ghz_EXT". My router and extender were a few years old, so maybe newer ones function differently/more efficiently, but it was a kludgy setup to me. The Deco creates one SSID which is the same at each node, and the 2.5 Ghz and 5 Ghz networks are integrated into one - your devices choose which frequency to connect on according to what they're capable of.
It sounds like your old router is very limited - our router here has a single SSID with both the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz channels available and the devices connect to whichever they want automatically

I bought a Unifi access point to extend our network as due to the position of the router, the signal strength dropped off at the back of the house and in the garden, and had it configured and working in a couple of minutes via the app on my phone - all I had to do was tell it the SSID and password for my network and it automatically connected, so now if I use a wifi analyser app I can see a single network ID with 4 different channel connections available depending on the device and signal strength and they roam as I move about the house/garden without any interruption

Wifi.jpg

So I have two 5Ghz and two 2.4Ghz channels, one of each provided by each device
 

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It sounds like your old router is very limited - our router here has a single SSID with both the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz channels available and the devices connect to whichever they want automatically

I bought a Unifi access point to extend our network as due to the position of the router, the signal strength dropped off at the back of the house and in the garden, and had it configured and working in a couple of minutes via the app on my phone - all I had to do was tell it the SSID and password for my network and it automatically connected, so now if I use a wifi analyser app I can see a single network ID with 4 different channel connections available depending on the device and signal strength and they roam as I move about the house/garden without any interruption

View attachment 8953379

So I have two 5Ghz and two 2.4Ghz channels, one of each provided by each device
That's the difference between an extender and a mesh. The extender creates a new SSID, and the mesh will manage the devices better. A lot of devices will connect to the stronger signal if you have both remembered but it's not seamless.
 

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That's the difference between an extender and a mesh. The extender creates a new SSID, and the mesh will manage the devices better. A lot of devices will connect to the stronger signal if you have both remembered but it's not seamless.
There are extenders that you can simply configure to work as an access point and use the same SSID, although you will probably still have the same drop in speed as if it was configured as an extender - to be honest, I would probably go with a powerline plug and access point over an extender to get the best possible wireless speed

Personally I didn't see the need (or point) to pay the extra to go to a mesh system as I have a fully wired house with minimum 2 network points in almost every room, so just connected the access point to the switch in the back bedroom of the house and had it running in minutes and it covers the back of the house and garden with no problems
 

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Okay.. I’ve got to revive this thread. It’s time for me to make the plunge. I’m over the speed of this Verizon fios router in certain parts of the house and with us cutting the cable cord, I need something better.

I am not a tech guy at all, so these might be stupid questions. Do these replace your actual Verizon fios router that I have sitting in my bedroom? Or are they an extension of that and you just add these to rooms?

What’s the best bang for buck right now?
 

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Okay.. I’ve got to revive this thread. It’s time for me to make the plunge. I’m over the speed of this Verizon fios router in certain parts of the house and with us cutting the cable cord, I need something better.

I am not a tech guy at all, so these might be stupid questions. Do these replace your actual Verizon fios router that I have sitting in my bedroom? Or are they an extension of that and you just add these to rooms?

What’s the best bang for buck right now?
I use an Orbi mesh satellite, after I was getting annoyed that in corners of my house, I was getting maybe 40% of the speed. It was beyond frustrating.

I’m not sure if you have to use their modem or not, but I still do for the moment until someone shows me how to set it up without it. I plug my orbi into the FIOS modem, and then plug the satellites into where I want. Voila. I’m getting 99-100% modem speed anywhere I want in my house.
 

golfunfiltered

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I just bought a third hamster and a bigger wheel for my 56k modem.
 

Mark_UK

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I’ve always been crap at this whole network thing? I’ve seen this orbi thing mentioned a few times on here. Can anyone tell me the advantages to hooking up to this other than straight to my Xfinity gateway? Are there any advantages? My gateway seems to cover the while house fairly adequately.
 

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I’ve always been crap at this whole network thing? I’ve seen this orbi thing mentioned a few times on here. Can anyone tell me the advantages to hooking up to this other than straight to my Xfinity gateway? Are there any advantages? My gateway seems to cover the while house fairly adequately.
]

I see three potential advantages to a mesh router over the standard issue Xfinity.

First is better coverage even if you think it’s good now. As you do more and more streaming the coverage becomes more important.

Second is faster speeds Communication goes two ways - internet to device and device to internet. This latter stream is called a backhaul and better modems have a dedicated backhaul channel instead Of a single channel for both streams. Imagine a sidewalk where everyone is walking in one direction instead of two

Third and very important to me is security. With your own router you generally have many more options to improve your security vs what Xfinity issues. Plus, would-be hackers probably know the weakneeses of Xfinitty gateways well because there are so many in use. Orbi is considered to have good security features as is my preference, Synology. But if you do buy a mesh or any other router, be absolutely sure to take the 90 minutes max to configure the security settings. It’s a prompted exercise on nearly every decent router out there. If you stay with the factory defaults, every hacker knows those and can probably get into your network in a minute or two.

Hope this helps.
 

Mark_UK

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^^^^^ It does. Thanks, very informative.
 

Snowman

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Okay.. I’ve got to revive this thread. It’s time for me to make the plunge. I’m over the speed of this Verizon fios router in certain parts of the house and with us cutting the cable cord, I need something better.

I am not a tech guy at all, so these might be stupid questions. Do these replace your actual Verizon fios router that I have sitting in my bedroom? Or are they an extension of that and you just add these to rooms?

What’s the best bang for buck right now?
They replace any router you're using, but you still need whatever the ISP uses for a modem. Hardwire one of the mesh units to the modem and it replaces the router, then position the other mesh units around the house as needed.

I'm using the TP-Link Deco M5 and very happy with it. Solid network throughout the house, it hands off flawlessly, and have had zero dropouts/downtime. It was easy to install and configure and takes virtually zero maintenance. I did a firmware update on it this morning - it was as easy as tapping a button on my phone's screen and the app took care of the rest. Both units updated, rebooted and were back online in a few minutes.
 

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