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#4573719 - 11/14/17 11:33 AM Mesh WiFi Systems
racer12306 Offline


Registered: 10/06/05
Posts: 2285
Loc: Baltimore, MD
Anyone using one of the mesh WiFi systems out there?

Seems there are a few major brands between Netgear Orbi, Google, eero, Amplifi and Linksys Velop.

I had heard not great things about the Google system, but I don't know if they've been addressed in firmware. Seems the other four are pretty solid with the Velop being the most costly as it appears that it doesn't use satellites like the Orbi, eero or Amplifi.

I don't need full tilt points throughout the house. Other than in the office, the only thing I need is WiFi, so I think that satellites will be fine. LAN ports shouldn't matter as I have an 8 port Gb switch for the two-three cable connected items.
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#4573737 - 11/14/17 11:49 AM Re: Mesh WiFi Systems [Re: racer12306]
StevieC Offline


Registered: 08/21/08
Posts: 16392
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I was considering this because the plaster in my 1940's house has the wire mesh in it and it makes my house like a giant Faraday cage for signal.

I tried multiple routers setup as access points on multiple floors but had problem seamlessly moving from one to the other. Then someone told me about the Ubiquity UAP-AC-PRO access point which has super strong signal and if placed centrally in your home will give you amazing coverage. It was $178 CDN on Amazon so I thought I would take the chance and if it didn't work out I could always return it. (Does B/G/N/AC)

I put it in the central hallway on the main floor and I not only have excellent strong signal everywhere in the house but in the backyard too.

I also like its very advanced features and the fact that it's POE and comes with the power injector for the Ethernet cable so there is only one wire to run back to your switch etc.

I would look into this before going through the expense of the mesh systems. Just my personal experience.


Edited by StevieC (11/14/17 11:55 AM)
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#4573748 - 11/14/17 12:08 PM Re: Mesh WiFi Systems [Re: racer12306]
OVERKILL Offline


Registered: 04/28/08
Posts: 34513
Loc: Ontario, Canada
How big is the space you are trying to provide coverage to? I'm generally not a fan of consumer repeater-style setups, however they do allow you to avoid running ethernet for an access point, which can be a plus.

StevieC's point about equipment quality selection bears mention here, as, depending on the size of the space, a single well-placed access point may be sufficient.
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#4573751 - 11/14/17 12:11 PM Re: Mesh WiFi Systems [Re: racer12306]
racer12306 Offline


Registered: 10/06/05
Posts: 2285
Loc: Baltimore, MD
Originally Posted By: StevieC
I was considering this because the plaster in my 1940's house has the wire mesh in it and it makes my house like a giant Faraday cage for signal.

I tried multiple routers setup as access points on multiple floors but had problem seamlessly moving from one to the other. Then someone told me about the Ubiquity UAP-AC-PRO access point which has super strong signal and if placed centrally in your home will give you amazing coverage. It was $178 CDN on Amazon so I thought I would take the chance and if it didn't work out I could always return it. (Does B/G/N/AC)

I put it in the central hallway on the main floor and I not only have excellent strong signal everywhere in the house but in the backyard too.

I also like its very advanced features and the fact that it's POE and comes with the power injector for the Ethernet cable so there is only one wire to run back to your switch etc.

I would look into this before going through the expense of the mesh systems. Just my personal experience.

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll take a look at that.
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#4573752 - 11/14/17 12:13 PM Re: Mesh WiFi Systems [Re: OVERKILL]
racer12306 Offline


Registered: 10/06/05
Posts: 2285
Loc: Baltimore, MD
Originally Posted By: OVERKILL
How big is the space you are trying to provide coverage to? I'm generally not a fan of consumer repeater-style setups, however they do allow you to avoid running ethernet for an access point, which can be a plus.

StevieC's point about equipment quality selection bears mention here, as, depending on the size of the space, a single well-placed access point may be sufficient.


It's a 2 story plus basement house. IIRC it's 2800' not including the basement.

It's my impression that a mesh system isn't a repeater system, at least what I think of a repeater system. I think prior to mesh setups, a repeater would grab the signal and throw it further, so whatever the signal had dwindled down to before it got to the repeater would then be thrown. It's my understand that isn't the case with a mesh.
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#4573763 - 11/14/17 12:31 PM Re: Mesh WiFi Systems [Re: racer12306]
OVERKILL Offline


Registered: 04/28/08
Posts: 34513
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: racer12306
Originally Posted By: OVERKILL
How big is the space you are trying to provide coverage to? I'm generally not a fan of consumer repeater-style setups, however they do allow you to avoid running ethernet for an access point, which can be a plus.

StevieC's point about equipment quality selection bears mention here, as, depending on the size of the space, a single well-placed access point may be sufficient.


It's a 2 story plus basement house. IIRC it's 2800' not including the basement.

It's my impression that a mesh system isn't a repeater system, at least what I think of a repeater system. I think prior to mesh setups, a repeater would grab the signal and throw it further, so whatever the signal had dwindled down to before it got to the repeater would then be thrown. It's my understand that isn't the case with a mesh.


It's essentially a repeater with a dedicated backhaul so that the traditional bandwidth penalty imposed by repeating isn't there.

In a traditional repeater-based setup, the bandwidth is halved every time it is repeated, even if the signal path is perfect, this is because half the bandwidth is used to talk to the other AP, whilst the other half is used to talk to the client. Using a dedicated radio for inter-AP communication eliminates that issue.

A traditional mesh topology is generally made up of access points with a common controller that are fed via ethernet. There are some variations of that, for example in many SMB setups like HP's Instant, one AP is also the Virtual Controller and is the master of the group and it dictates the SSID's, VLAN information and other configuration data for the rest in the cluster. Cisco has a similar setup, though it is not as nice to configure. When one thinks of a Cisco cluster, one generally thinks of a dedicated controller and "LightWeight" Access points which operate on what they receive from the central controller.

I'm covering my 2-story, which is similar in size to yours from the sounds of it with a single Cisco AP. We have a finished third floor however and reception up there is spotty (AP is on the main floor).
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#4573767 - 11/14/17 12:34 PM Re: Mesh WiFi Systems [Re: racer12306]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 19495
Loc: Upstate NY
I would only consider a mesh WIFI if a high quality dual or triple band router did not do what you need.
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#4573778 - 11/14/17 12:47 PM Re: Mesh WiFi Systems [Re: racer12306]
glock19 Offline


Registered: 03/12/13
Posts: 709
Loc: Virginia
I've been running the Google Wifi mesh routers for about 6 months now. I have a Google Wifi access point on each floor. My wired connection is upstairs and I can reliably stream 4k content in the basement. I'm not sure what bad things you've heard, but Google Wifi has been rock solid for me.
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#4573782 - 11/14/17 12:53 PM Re: Mesh WiFi Systems [Re: racer12306]
StevieC Offline


Registered: 08/21/08
Posts: 16392
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Racer the price on Amazon.com is far more than Amazon.ca so I would look elsewhere for the Ubiquity UAP-AC-PRO access point if you go that way. It is enterprise grade but simple to setup using their software.

It also does Band Steering so if clients connect on the 2.4GHz band and are capable of 5GHz it will instruct them to move over to that band. And it allows you guest networks which is nice for guests not having access to your lan but having access to your Internet when they come over.

Good luck with your new setup! thumbsup


Edited by StevieC (11/14/17 12:55 PM)
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#4573815 - 11/14/17 01:32 PM Re: Mesh WiFi Systems [Re: racer12306]
NateDN10 Offline


Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 1711
Loc: Rochester, NY
Have you read this: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017/04/...etworking-test/ ?

The Plume looks pretty cool.
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#4573850 - 11/14/17 02:21 PM Re: Mesh WiFi Systems [Re: racer12306]
EdwardC Offline


Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 1582
Loc: Chicago, IL
I can't comment on the mesh systems you mention, but I also went with a Ubiquiti access point (Amplifi is a Ubiquiti product). I had a UAP-AC-LR for a while, and now have a UAP-AC-Pro (I only changed it since the old AC-LR was a passive 24V, and I wanted standard POE for cleaner wiring). I also have an older Ubiquiti access point that I leave connected as backup. I can unplug the ethernet and it'll automatically connect a wireless uplink to the other accesspoint. Obviously I lose speed doing this, but I would guess that the Amplifi is basically doing the same thing.

One difference is that the Ubiquiti access points are not routers (compared to the mesh systems), so you'll still need a separate router. I disabled the wireless in my all-in-one wireless router and connected the UAPs to that.

I think these repeater/mesh networks are only good IF you can't possibly run a separate wired connection to another AP. You would be much better off running lines for 2 separate APs and placing them where the entire structure can be covered (wired backhaul). It's very possible that one UAP-AC-PRO will be enough to cover your house. If not, add a second UAP-AC-XXX, have it wirelessly uplink to the other device (less bandwidth).

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#4573893 - 11/14/17 03:18 PM Re: Mesh WiFi Systems [Re: racer12306]
razel Offline


Registered: 06/28/03
Posts: 482
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Been using Google onHub/WiFi for almost 1 1/2 years. I absolutely love it. If you enjoy toying around with WiFi settings you'll hate it. A single GWiFi/onHub is just as powerful, arguably more powerful than benchmark routers like ASUS RT-AC68u. However now-a-days there are many MESH choices. Netgear Orbi tends to be luxury one. I tend to watch the Linksys Velop since its the same hardware as GWiFi and Linksys tends to be friendly with DD-WRT. Despite all that, GWiFi still competes very well, especially with price. I believe a 3 pack is going for $250 this coming holiday.

The other thing to watch for is security updates. Google has been on top of it and has a schedule of a firmware update about every 6 weeks.


Edited by razel (11/14/17 03:20 PM)

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#4574792 - 11/15/17 10:18 AM Re: Mesh WiFi Systems [Re: racer12306]
racer12306 Offline


Registered: 10/06/05
Posts: 2285
Loc: Baltimore, MD
Thank you for all the comments and information.
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