Wireless Mesh Network?

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
85,996
South Puget Sound, WA
Has anyone set up a modern wireless mesh network. We are long overdue for an upgrade, but the standards keep changing. At CES they are already announcing new modems that will use the 6GHZ band for the backhaul. I am willing to buy one step behind state of the art, these things are expensive, but also want to avoid obsolescence. Our prerequisites are that it supports Wifi6, has at least 3 LAN ports on the base station, has excellent range and reliability, and not need an engineer to set up. The goal is to not only cover the house but ideally the garden area next to the house too. If necessary I can put one unit in the greenhouse for that. It's 60ft from the house. What I don't want is Google, Apple or Amazon listening in. And I don't want a network booster, that has a separate login to manage.

Recommendations?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
85,996
South Puget Sound, WA
I hear a lot of good feedback about orbi (net gear) not sure the specs
Yes, my current system is Netgear and it has worked without a hiccup for the past 7 years.
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
658
Western Washington
I believe they make a few different levels of they’re mesh network devices

Most of them are set up through an app

Just follow prompts and some will show color for placement, some will learn and guide with app

Your basically looking for a good reflection point and avoid leapfrog
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
658
Western Washington
I use either airport utility tool or wifi analyzer app to check signal strength. Good rule of thumb is better than -65. Each pod should be placed within this range and far enough away from another satellite device so as to avoid leapfrog. You can check each pod by it’s Mac as it won’t always broadcast a name
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,365
Northern Maine
Orbi here. Not a tech geek but it works solidly.
I’d buy another if it died tomorrow
 
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faultymechanics

New Member
Oct 15, 2020
83
New Hampshire
Ubiquiti Amplifi is a good option for you: https://amplifi.com/amplifi-hd

Just so you know, while wifi6 is the new thing. Don’t feel like you need to dive onboard right now.

I just upgraded my setup for the new house and went with a Ubiquiti Dream Machine and a gigabit switch and that will have us covered for years to come.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
85,996
South Puget Sound, WA
Ubiquiti Amplifi is a good option for you: https://amplifi.com/amplifi-hd

Just so you know, while wifi6 is the new thing. Don’t feel like you need to dive onboard right now.

I just upgraded my setup for the new house and went with a Ubiquiti Dream Machine and a gigabit switch and that will have us covered for years to come.
My son's wireless connection to his computer is WiFi 6 capable. He would be the beneficiary. My iPhone would too, but I am not a heavy hitter on the phone wireless usage. The intent was to be more futureproof, but I see now a lot of the new routers will have a 6GHz backhaul, so maybe I am better to not worry about it. No matter what you buy it will be out of date shortly, even if it cost a fortune.

I have been trying to avoid adding a gigabit switch just to gain ports. It's another wall wart and parasitic load and I am running out of plug space.
 
Last edited:

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
658
Western Washington
Well, you have certainly helped a tremendous amount of people. I have a basic understanding of how they work and how to troubleshoot problems and if I can help I certainly will. Good luck with your choice!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
85,996
South Puget Sound, WA
Thanks. I suspect I will be getting a Netgear Orbi or Linksys Velop, but nothing decided yet. We don't need gigabit+ throughput, but good range and rock steady operation are important.
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
658
Western Washington
One thing to keep in mind about range, wifi channels overlap with neighbors. If there’s a lot of networks close by, it narrows the bandwidth even for mesh networks with band steering
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
85,996
South Puget Sound, WA
No problem, but thanks for the heads up. We have a couple acres separating us from neighbors.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Depending on speed required I'd be tempted to run on the 2.4GHz (Wireless N) spectrum. It's definitely not the fastest, but the signal often carries the furthest.

That being said most new equipment should have the option to manually force 2.4GHz should you need to try and increase range.

But I'm not familiar with mesh networks, mainly because I've never needed more range than a single router can provide.
 
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semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
3,941
SW Virginia
One caution about wireless mesh networks - latency.
I've worked with commercial mesh networks and each hop adds a bit of delay.
If someone was doing time-critical work/play then mesh wireless networking may cause problems.
I have no idea if this is the case with Wi-Fi mesh systems but I'd suggest confirming it's not, or that it doesn't matter for your usage.
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
658
Western Washington
It definitely is the case. We call it leapfrogging. It’s why I like to see the signal strength of each device for placement. For an out building it may be the only way without hardline
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
85,996
South Puget Sound, WA
Depending on speed required I'd be tempted to run on the 2.4GHz (Wireless N) spectrum. It's definitely not the fastest, but the signal often carries the furthest.
Good to know, that makes sense. Our out of the house (patio and garden) needs would be low speed. Mostly email and browsing and maybe some H.com moderating. That area would be 30-60 ft away from the satellite.
 

festerw

Feeling the Heat
Nov 16, 2009
468
Cambridge Springs, PA
Good to know, that makes sense. Our out of the house (patio and garden) needs would be low speed. Mostly email and browsing and maybe some H.com moderating. That area would be 30-60 ft away from the satellite.
Even at a range your likely going to have enough speed on 2.4 for most things. Our deck is about 60ft from the router through 3 walls and we can still stream 1080 video for the projector.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
85,996
South Puget Sound, WA
Even at a range your likely going to have enough speed on 2.4 for most things. Our deck is about 60ft from the router through 3 walls and we can still stream 1080 video for the projector.
Thanks, that's good to know. The router or base router is in my office and would be on the diagonally opposite corner of the house about or about 50 ft away from the satellite and 80-120' away from the garden area. I suppose I could reverse wire the setup and put the primary router closer to the garden, but I need good bandwidth at my office location. My son's computer is directly above. What router are you using?
 

festerw

Feeling the Heat
Nov 16, 2009
468
Cambridge Springs, PA
Thanks, that's good to know. The router or base router is in my office and would be on the diagonally opposite corner of the house about or about 50 ft away from the satellite and 80-120' away from the garden area. I suppose I could reverse wire the setup and put the primary router closer to the garden, but I need good bandwidth at my office location. My son's computer is directly above. What router are you using?
I'm using an older model of this Amazon product
You can use any Asus AIMesh compatible router and add multiple nodes fairly easily.
 

TradEddie

Minister of Fire
Jan 24, 2012
917
SE PA
You may not need a mesh system with newer routers. I've been excessively stubborn about upgrading but my re flashed DD-WRT Access Point died and the primary router couldn't handle everything so I caved and got a TP-link AX3000. I've been blown away by the reliability, speed and range improvement. I can get 10-15Mbps 100ft away from the single router. Keep in mind, the 5Ghz band may be faster, but it's far more easily blocked, for those distant devices, 2.5Ghz ends up faster.

TE
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
85,996
South Puget Sound, WA
I've heard good things about that router.
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
658
Western Washington
I believe a mesh network would be the best for your situation. I would center and spider out if possible. With a good system, the outlying areas work as well as the main. If you corner the main you will likely end up with leap frogs
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
85,996
South Puget Sound, WA
I believe a mesh network would be the best for your situation. I would center and spider out if possible. With a good system, the outlying areas work as well as the main. If you corner the main you will likely end up with leap frogs
Good point. Such is the layout of the house that I would have to do some notable rewiring to relocate the main to the center of the house in order to get ethernet wiring to non-wireless devices on the system. However, I am building toward the future so maybe wired devices will become something of the past. I ordered an Orbi today with one satellite. That will get my feet wet and allow me to determine what works well (and not) in our situation. I will start off with the main and the remote on the opposite corners of the house on the first floor, then test all around to see how well the signal is distributed. If there are problems, then I may need to adjust the plan.